Conny Blom

Conny Blom


Text & sound installation, 20 page pamphlet, shelf,
wall text, 50 min stereo sound piece.

There is a rarely discussed dark episode in Swedish history that cannot adequately be explained with Swedish neutrality politics. Between the years 1939 and 1943, any critical writing on the German Nazi regime would be consistently censored. Entire editions of daily newspapers and books were confiscated and in multiple cases the writers were sentenced to jail. Altogether 368 confiscations were implemented.

In 2016 The Swedish Freedom of the Press Act celebrated its 250th birthday, but obviously there have not been 250 years of uninterrupted freedom of the press in Sweden. In the exhibition 368, the events from the past are juxtaposed against those of today, when censorship appears in the shape of history rewriting, economical information monopolies, restriction of freedom on the Internet and self censorship within the culture sphere. The installation calls upon us to not only celebrate but also to reflect over the notions of freedom of the press and freedom of speech in a period when obvious changes are happening in our attitude towards knowledge, when governments are considering new limitations to the law that protects free expression, when media faces big challenges and not least when the roll culture has in a society is being questioned.

The exhibition consists of an edition of a 20 page pamphlet with reflections on the threats to freedom of the press and freedom of speech in Sweden today, a wall text illustrating the WW2 confiscations and a sound piece composed of beeps, not unlike those used to mask out unwanted words and sentences in radio and TV transmissions. The sound makes it very difficult to maintain a conversation in the exhibtion space.

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Conny Blom