Per Hasselberg / Henrik Andersson: Option / If it's not love then it's the bomb that will bring us together

12 January–20 February 2005

Ever since the first bomb was detonated, nuclear weapons have had a considerable impact on global politics. Simultaneously, they embrace the dual characteristics of what is possible and impossible. Quite literally, nuclear weapons exemplify the encounter between the local and the global. Even if nuclear strategies and programmes are kept top secret, no one can detonate a bomb without the entire world knowing it. This exhibition at Index presents two artworks separately related to the issue of nuclear weapons.

Henrik Andersson shows an audio-work titled, “If it’s not love then it’s the bomb that will bring us together”. The work is based upon the monstrous power released by a nuclear explosion that, somewhat like a sounding-board, vibrates throughout the entire world. These low-frequency vibrations in the earth’s crust have been transformed by the artist into audible sound. The recording was made in Canada during the time for the last nuclear test (no. 2058) made in Pakistan, 1998.

Per Hasselberg’s work, OPTION, is based around the R3 heavy-water reactor, that provided district heating to Farsta south of Stockholm, 1964–74. R3 was part of “The Swedish Policy” that combined a civil atomic energy programme with a military function. Freedom of action was the compromise that unified both opponents and proponents of a Swedish nuclear bomb. OPTION consists of a filmed conversation between the artist and Bengt Göransson, who in 1958, being the chairman of a congress where the issue threatened to split the socialdemocratic party, advised Olof Palme about the compromise. The work also consists of a taped conversation with the journalist Christer Larsson, who in 1985 called Palme to account for the Swedish nuclear weapons programme.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Index will be publishing a conversation between the artists and the curator, Niklas Östholm. This is available in Swedish at the gallery and an English version will be available on Index’s website.

OPTION is a joint production with Rooseum, Malmö.

Special thanks to Bengt Göransson, Christer Larsson and Magnus Wikegård.

Per Hasselberg is a founder and director of the newly opened C art hall in Hökarängen. He has previously exhibited at Index in the group exhibition, Changing Places, in May 2002.

Henrik Andersson participated in the Index project, Collect Call, October 2004, in Timisoara, Romania and performed ‘Alla talar svenska’ at Index, May 2001.