Sites of Reason: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions

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Two-channel video (color, silent), 15:25 min. 
Fund for the Twenty-First Century
© 2014 Emily Roysdon

Emily Roysdon. Sense and Sense. 2009

Fifteen digital Chromogenic color prints on custom plinths, Dimensions variable. Fund for the Twenty-First Century. © 2024 Emily Roysdon

Glenn Lowry: This is a two-channel video of the performance artist MPA slowly moving across a public square in Stockholm, appearing to walk but lying on her side. Artist Emily Roysdon:

Emily Roysdon: Sergels torg, it's the central public square in Stockholm. And it sits at the heart of the city. In many ways it was designed to be the place for political manifestations. And I was very interested that a place could be built for such a reason and also then used for that reason.

On the two channels, one is more of an intimate portrait—this struggle to produce this illusion of walking, of movement—and then the bigger channel is the image with context, the image that situates it within a city, within other people's vernacular movement.

MPA is a great friend and a great artist, somebody I've been working with for many years. She has this profound awareness and intensity in her performing body that is well suited to this because it's both a difficult gesture to maintain all the way across that public square, but it's also a vernacular kind of movement.

In the project I'm very much trying to question what this place is built for and how it's used. In some ways it's a reorienting of what the public square is, what the idea of free movement is, what it means to use that abstraction as a representation of a city or an idea of a city. But it's also about the perspective of the people passing through and what it means for them to see MPA on her side like that.