Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Maranundak - Exhibition by Filippa Pettersson

Opening Date: 14 October 2017 (Sat)
Time: 7 pm – 10 pm
Exhibition Duration : 14 October -28 October 2017
Time: 1pm -7pm

Artist Bio
Filippa Pettersson, born 1987 in Södermanland, Sweden, living in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Student at the Städelschule 2009-2015. Working in the fields of installation, sculpture, sound and performance.

There are so many ways to do Maranundak, different families have different ways of celebrating it. I’m from the south-east, and here we always get the puppet from the Slandan (our temple) before a person is passing away. We put the puppet next to the dying person and in the moment of death, the spirit of the person will enter the puppet. During Maranundak we keep the puppet with us. We treat it in the same way we used to care for our loved one, it sits with us on the dinner table, we give it a bath in the morning, we put it to bed at night… Some conservative families even take the puppet with them when they leave the house but my family is not that traditional. When we did Maranundak for my grandmother and we left the house, we would place grandmother-puppet in a chair with a newspaper and a cup of tea. That’s something she always used to do and enjoy. I remember how the conversations used to flow between us when we had grandmother-puppet with us. How is it- does grandma like to sleep in this position? It’s two spoons of sugar in her tea right? Turn off that music, you know she doesn’t like it! I think that the three weeks we spent with grandmother-puppet made me honor my grandmother in a sincere way, it made me remember how she really was like, not only the sweet and nice things about her but also the annoying ones… And it made me focus on some memories and moments I once had with her instead of completely surrender to the sadness of her being gone.

On the last day of Maranundak we have the funeral for the body, and in the evening we throw the Farewell-party with the puppet. During the night everyone will take turns to go up to the puppet to take an inhale from the mouth. In that way we take a small part of the spirit inside ourselves and we all start to behave, talk and sound a bit like this person because we have a part of their spirit inside of us. I used to find it scary but nowadays I really like it. It’s a last chance to talk to the one who has died, to ask and sort things out, to express thoughts and emotions. At the very end of the night, we all go through a breathing ceremony to send the spirit out of us. Sometimes people collapse from it but actually it’s not really harmful. They just faint for a short moment because of the intensity of the spirit leaving their body.
After the Farewell-party we return the puppet to the Slandan. The puppet is reused by other families for the same purpose until it’s too worn out. Then it will also be buried, but in a specific corner of the cemetery. When a new puppet has been crafted we usually gather for a small celebration. We all tie threads around the puppet, because the more hands that have been part of crafting the grid, the stronger it will be. In that way the spirit will be safe and comfortable inside the puppet until it is the right moment for the spirit to leave.