“Cover story” is a collaborative performance with artists working in different art forms (visual art, performance, dance, theatre, graphic) conceived in four interwoven acts. Each act forms a “handling” (handling is a swedish word that comes from the German word “Handlung” and means storyline, plot, action, act or record) that takes its departure from student occupation/demonstration in Vienna 2007, political reforms in swedish school politics, a christmas wrapped object given to me on a train journey in April and/or the conditions of production for me as an artist.
Each act writes itself and takes its beginning from the previous act. “Cover Story act I: The shape of an Object” is a guided tour/monologue presented during an exhibition in Stockholm 2011. It guides people around a flat in Stockholm weaving together a story that begins in Vienna with an interview with the artist Kevin Dooley about the student occupation of Akademie der Bildenden Kunst and ends with a woman in the north of Sweden selling part of her forest to the paper industry. “Cover Story act II: A footnote of an object revisted in the form of a play” is a three person family drama, theatre play. It is a collaboration between myself, Sam Kennedy, Bernd Krauß and Zoë Poluch. The characters Fatherland, Mothertongue and Student body, acts out a play between how objects of an art institution (aims, goals) effects the objects at hand. “Cover Story Act III: An object through Wonderwall” together with Zoë Poluch, is a plea for stasis; for a contrived moment that challenges the notion of work, labour and lazyness. Seeing the body as a container of power it aims to explore ideas connected with slowness and what it means to move forward when “all the roads we have to walk are winding”. Finally “Cover Story Act IV” together with graphic designer Maryam Fanni, is this attempt to cover the Cover Story.
The term “cover story” derives from Rosalyn Deutsche book “Evictions; art and spatial politics” and her celebrated essay “Agrophobia”. This essay describes the development of the public sphere and discusses this from a philosophical and political perspective. “Cover Story” is the title of the last chapter of the essay in which she discusses the expression of a relational public sphere. A relational public sphere is the creation of a democratic public space where everyones opinions can be agonistically discussed. A sphere where people with backgrounds and political opinions can unite and discuss.
The term Cover Story is the expression of when a story appears on the front cover of a magazine or newspaper, as well as the term used for hiding one’s real motives, e.g. when one covers up a story. It is this double meaning of the word with total different meaning that the performance tries to explore. What is covered? And how can these stories end up on the front cover?