steiner in a sheep shed

So. Finally, I went to Järna to see the exhibition See! Colour! Järna is far, far away. And the anthroposophists are in Ytter-Järna, which is far from the village Järna. In addition, you have to get off the bus on the main road, and then walk 10-15 minutes. The main road is a small country-road; the autobahn is still further away. But before you even get on the bus, you have to go by underground train, and then a commuter train. Anyway, I finally managed to drag myself to enemy land. I survived. Nobody tried to assassinate me. In fact, people are very nice. Of course, they don’t know me. I believe they don’t. I didn’t wear a t-shirt that had ‘supporter of anti-anthroposophy hate-type group’ printed on it. It would be stupid, unnecessary, and — most of all — untrue.

There were a few of Steiner drawings in the main exhibition area, in a music or eurythmy room (I don’t know); that was great and very appropriate. But most of them were hidden away in the attic of a stable. The groundfloor was inhabited by sheep (some other sheep). Upstairs, in the attic, were Steiner’s drawings. I’m not joking. You had to walk far from the rest of the exhibition. There were biodynamic fields and I don’t know what else. Arriving at the destination — exhausted and hungry, to make matters worse –, there was a smell of manure. That’s ok, I suppose. There were animals, of course. But, I mean… when anthroposophists say Steiner’s detractors, his critics, hate him… I just don’t know; I would never ever do something like that to his legacy. Don’t accuse me of hating Steiner; I don’t hate him half as much as you seem to do. (Pay attention, Sune!) Perhaps the sheep enjoy this spiritual and artistic embellishment of their sheepish existences?

It’s like they don’t want people to see these drawings — or? And, if so, they made the right decision. There were no visitors. He’s worth it, so go there, if you’re going to see the exhibition. (On the map to the right, borrowed from See! Colour!’s website, the arrow points to where the bus stops. The circle shows where the sheep shed is.) Unfortunately, the drawings in the attic of the sheep shed were… the glass covering the drawings was more often than not stained or dirty, it seemed. Some looked as though they’d had water running down on them. (What was with that!?) The lighting in the attic was poor, and the lightbulbs that were there, had been pointed towards the drawings so as to cause reflections in the glass that obscured the drawings themselves. You had to move around and choose different angles to be able to see them, often without succeeding in seeing an entire drawing. (Maybe that’s just me, though.)

I think I must have been too shocked or too hungry to take any pictures of the stable. But the one above is from a distance. That’s the place. The picture is slightly tilted. I should have corrected it. But it’s a lousy picture, and I don’t feel like opening it again for editing. The barn is hideous — it’s yellow and blue. (Yes, it’s true. Steiner would perhaps not object; he’s supposed to have told a Swede once that the Swedish flag — which is yellow and blue — was nice. I’m sure that he lied, because he wanted to be flatter the Swede. I’m equally sure it is impossible to consider the Swedish flag a nice flag; the colour combination is atrocious, it’s a colour disaster.)

I saw all the Steiner drawings (there were 24 in total), Hilma af Klint’s paintings, some of Turrells work (not the big installations, there was no time for it), and the Goethe-inspired colour and light experiments. I bought some books, and the exhibition catalogue as well (the one for the Steiner part, not the other two). Had a very nice lunch. Am very, very tired. Perhaps I’ll write more later. I have some more photos, too.


2011-07-15: I noticed I had another — better, I think — photo of Steiner’s stable. Nice environment, but… well, you’d expect sheep out here, not art.

2 thoughts on “steiner in a sheep shed

  1. I loved the blackboard drawings actually; I think they have another quality altogether than Steiner’s ‘art’ when he tried to do art, because then he sort of… failed and became uninteresting.

    Maybe it was too much to have Steiner, af Klint and the Goethe experiments ‘compete’ with Turrell; one day is not even close to enough time to see all of it anyway. I would have loved to go to see only Steiner’s drawings — preferably more than only 24 of them. I suppose I’m influenced by my expectations. I would have liked to see more of af Klint as well.

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