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The First Stone

Through a Glass Lightly, Tensta Galleria Jan-May 2015.
Curated by Dorota Michalska
Artists: Céline Condorelli, Johanna Gustafsson Fürst, Carl Palm.

The First Stone was a work connected to an exhibition with Frederick Kiesler at Tensta Konsthall http://www.tenstakonsthall.se/?frederick-kiesler-visioner-i-arbete-med-tillgg-av-cline-condorelli-och-sex-studentgrupper. Three artist were invited by curator Dorota Michalska to make a piece in relation to  shops in the Galleria. The First Stone were developed in relation with the flower shop Interflora in Tensta galleria owned by Faraj Chamoun. The First Stone was transported on a truck from the National City park Djurgården in Stockholm to Tensta. The stone is made from a piece of concrete that fell out from one of the old oaks nearby the “Prince Oak” on Waldemarsudde. The concrete was poured inside the trunk of the oak in mid-1900s to prevent it from dying after it was struck by a lightning. The veiny, irregular and uneven surface was created to resemble the bark of the oak.

Oaks were protected in Sweden in the 16th century, so that they could be used as timber to build warships. They were the property of the king and the punishment for cutting down an oak was death. Before the 16th century, oaks were often considered sacred trees. On the other hand Concrete, can be considered the symbolic material of modernism: both cheap and easy to shape it enabled a new architecture connected to social issues. It was at once democratic and visionary as was also perceived by Frederick Kiesler in his projects. The First Stone focuses on the hybrid status of today’s nature situated between the desire for the original and pure and the human construction. By doing so it critically reflects on the complex origin of the object.

The First Stone weighs about 750 kg and the dimensions are approximately 100x100x50. The surface was lightly sprayed by the artist with stone-like paint blurring even more the boundaries between natural and artificial matter.