The Welcome back! exhibition has been created by 42 design students at HDK-Valand in partnership with the Swedish National Archives and GPS400. Taking newsreels from Gothenburg in 1921–1923 as their starting point, the students have used the national archives to create their own interpretations of historical events in the city. A physical complement to the exhibition will be housed at the National Archives building at Arkivgatan 9 in Gothenburg from 15 January – 20 April 2021. Watch the films on the exhibition website or below.
In Tre delar salutorg (Market Square x3) we discover the history of Kungstorget square. These three films explore different aspects of life in the square. Scratch the surface and you find several layers of history of the bustling commerce that once filled Kungstorget. We dive in for a closer look at locations such as the beer hall Ölhallen 7:an and the covered markets Bazar Alliance and Saluhallen, finding out more about some local characters and unique incidents. We also encounter a number of objects that have been created and brought to life through various archives, including the National Archives’ church documents, police records, the newspaper archive held at the National Library of Sweden and books about the site.
Station i lågor: Bänken (Station in flames: The bench)
Ellen Hedin & Greta Sjöström
The bench is designed drawing on fragmentary archive documents relating to the fire at Gothenburg’s Central Station in 1923. It is the result of an exploratory design process in which our intention was to create translations between archive material and design.
In a way, the bench is also an archive in its own right. Through our interpretations, the various fragments from the archive have been transformed into design elements that together touch on questions about the interface, legibility and accessibility of the archive. The archive’s task of providing information without either the obligation or the right to influence how archive documents are interpreted, used, understood or retold has been a recurring source of inspiration.
Sista gatan i Sverige (The last street in Sweden) is a video-walk in which the viewer participates, experiencing what the last time in Gothenburg was like for migrants to America in about 1900. The port of Gothenburg took about 1.2 million Swedes across the sea to the land of their dreams. Here you follow the street that the travellers walked down in real time with elements of the past and sounds that take you back in time. In a film clip from 1923 we see a view of the harbour in Gothenburg filmed from the Navigation School up on Kvarnberget. This clip was our gateway to discovering what the port meant for the people of the early twentieth century.
There has always been a kind of distancing between Göteborg on the mainland and Hisingen on the other side of the river, and there still is today. Den rätta sidan (The right side) is a video-walk based on an artistic depiction of the distance between the two. Using fragments of archived events and places, the approach shifts between serious and playful. A glimpse of Hisingen a hundred years ago.
Den rätta sidan is created by Hanna Graas, Christina Klein, Sara Ohlsson, Pia Quach, Maria Solinger, Åsa Thureborn and Nora Widell.