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Interview: Judit Weegar [MFA ‘24] – The Accent of Coming Steps

In the run-up to this year’s graduation and bachelor’s exhibitions, the Royal Institute of Art met with a number of students, many of them involved in the communication work around the exhibitions, others busy with the final degree exhibitions at Galleri Mejan (the Royal Institute of Art’s student gallery). Based on the works that the students planned to exhibit during the exhibitions at Konstakademien and Marabouparken, they talk in more detail about their works, and their process and artistic practice.

Tell us about the working process that led to The Accent of Coming Steps

In the autumn of 2023, I spent whole days in different places in Stockholm: in train and metro stations, abandoned railway tunnels, next to the tracks of fast trains and heavy freight trains. With a simple microphone, I recorded sounds in each place – the silence of the tunnels, the bustle of the stations, the signals and whistles, the metallic echo through the rails that herald the arrival of a train.

A place began to emerge afterwards as I scrutinised the sounds in the sound studio. Different layers and ramifications were mixed with the idea that the sounds were filtered through a consciousness that generates a new subject: a fusion between a place and a consciousness.

During the long recordings, which sometimes lasted several hours, I noticed the diversity in the way people move and use the infrastructure of the train and metro stations. Some people walk by purposefully, others stay in the stations for hours, sleeping on benches, sitting on stairs or in the dismantled tunnels.

Furthermore, the sound work grew out of the sensory experience of resting in a public place, the physical exposure and all the sounds that the brain is constantly paying attention to and sorting.

What is your background and how did you come to work with sound as a form of expression?

Before Mejan, I went to Konstfack in Stockholm where I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art. Before that, I spent a year at Malmö Art Academy.

When I started working with moving images a couple of years ago, I realised that what I really found most interesting was the sound that held the film together. Since then, I’ve been developing and experimenting with sound, and using it as a starting point in my art. There is a natural ambiguity in sound that allows me to explore places and bodies in a different way, outside their dominant representations.

Recently, I have introduced performance and different types of moving image into sound making. I find the intersection with other fields as a natural part of exploring the medium.

How did you organise the installation at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts?

At Konstakademien, the work functions as a memory of another place, nearby but inaccessible. During the installation, I collected gravel, cigarette butts and broken glass left over from winter cleaning in the streets around Konstakademien, and then placed the material under the stairs on the ground floor. I wanted to bridge the public and the private to the memory of the closed tunnels that run under the entire Stockholm City.

For the group exhibition at Konstakademien, our exhibition producer Silvia Thomackenstein suggested that the work could work well in the stairwell as the sound can resonate throughout the building. I mixed the multi-channel sound for different floors. The result was sculptural and integrated with the surrounding environment in a very interesting way.

The graduation exhibition was on display at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts until 9 June, after which it will be available in digital form at kkh.se. More about Judit Weegar can be found at juditweegar.com.

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