Sunday, 30 June 2013

Once Upon a Time in Sunny Stockholm

The best part about and old city (Stockholm is more than 750 years old!) is the difference in architetcture, places and environments that are created over time and everybody can have their favourite. This cozy part of Stockholm is a tiny piece of Södermalm, which often is used in films when the setting is around the 1800's or 1900's.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Museum Mission: Dansmuseet

At Drottninggatan, the biggest and longest shopping street in Stockholm for pedestrians only, there is also Dansmuseet/Dance museum. But do not worry, you can shop even here - for example, dance DVD's such as "The Red Shoes" and dance documentarys about festivals (say, Jacob's pillow), dance schools and great dancers of our time.
Taking the first dance steps down to the current exhibition called "Gravity language"!... It consists of non-photoshopped photographies taken by the French photographer Denis Darzacq (in separated series, actually, but I do not distinguish them below). This is not part of the permanent exhibition, which is supposed to be back in October.
Fighting gravity.
Fighting grativy 2.0.
The ceiling setting separates a part of the exhibition. Neon rainbows, nice.
As if playing the game when one is supposed to move around without touching the floor.
How cool would it not be to bounce in to a flower shop, grab a bouquet, make a spin, end up in front of the counter, pay and bounce off as easily? Fast and fun combined! But actually, this is the photographer's thought:

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Museum Mission: Postmuseum

This time, let's go to the Post museum! It is situated in the Old Town/Gamla stan.
The ways of delivering letters have of course changed over the years. For some time after 1636, a courier would be walking a certain distance, then meet another courier and hand over the letters, and so on. Letters could be delayed for weeks during the spring and autumn because of the melting roads.
The letter K stands for the city Kiruna, where "cancelled letters" are taken care of.
Out of  300,000 "cancelled letters", 40% can be returned to the sender. My favorite example of "cancelled letters" was an envelope that said "To: My cousin Samira. Grönegatan 17 or 19 (a green gouse). Lund". 
Today, some 29 millions letters are sent every day. In the 1700's, it was roughly 300 per day.

Once upon a time, only certain institutions and people important to the state could send their letters for free; one of them was Carl von Linné/Carl Linnaeus. No personal messages were allowed in these letters and having cheated a couple of times, von Linné was scolded by the general postmaster!..
 This boat was used for delivering mail only, even after the invention of the steamboat, since it turned out to not be reliable during the winter. 1661-1721 Sweden also consisted of what today is Finland, parts of the Baltic states and parts of Russia.
Secret messages.
Stamps were compared with money: their production is also detail-focused, so that no fake stamps enter the market.
I was sad about not have come on time to produce my own post cards (which is possible in the basement), but my "consolation" was that the entrance ticket was the nicest of its kind that I have ever seen.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Museum Mission: Almgrens Sidenväveri

The first museum that appears on the map of the 87 museums in Stockholm is this!
Almgrens sidenväveri
/"Almgren's Silk Weaving Museum" at Repslagargatan, which is one of the few to be open on a Monday.
The booklets contained many facts. Did you know that in order to produce 1 kilogram of silk, one needs more than 300 kilogram of mulberry leaves and roughly 8,000 eggs from approximately 20 moths?

 Many royal walls, chairs and sofas in Sweden are covered with silk from this museum's mills. The mills are still in use and most of the silk comes from China.
 "Sensitive fingertips are required as well, that may not be destroyed of too much rough job done at home."
 There were many boxes filled with silk surprises.
 Old notes on who was weaving, using which thread et cetera. All this information is about to be cataloged and stored digitally.
 A small team of journalists from the magazine "Vävmagasinet" was there as well, making an interview about the basics of weaving. The magazine will be in stores in August, you might find it worthwhile reading!
It takes about 8 hours to produce 1.5 meters of a fabric like this.

And I made a video! Have in mind that during the 1800's, a normal workday would last at least ten or eleven hours and a weaver was payed differently depending on the shift of colours, how thick the silk was and how many threads there were in the fabric.
Two parts out of several exhibitions by weaving students.

Midsummer on the Countryside

This summer I did not dance around a maypole as is traditional in Sweden; I went to the lovely countryside!
We were lucky with the weather: despite it being windy next to the water, it was still perfectly warm.
And far, far away from the traffic, with everything silent, one could not but feel harmony.