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Mattias Andersson

My life has always revolved around self-improvement. Study harder, read longer books, swim faster, tell greater stories, be a better friend. A constant need to control my actions. Throughout the years I have learned to deal with minor failure, slight slip-ups. But how to deal with the things I cannot control? With life’s fundamentally uncontrollable conditions? 

When I was younger, my solution was to believe my own lies. Long-winded, complicated lies I wove in and out of each other. The base lies were always the same: that I am not gay, that I am not alone, that I am not afraid to go home. Now that I am an adult, I use my art. I get infinite redoes, I can say the things I didn’t dare to or couldn’t voice, I get to place blame and poke fun at my overly serious self.  

After my grandmother died of Alzheimer’s I was sure I could see the early signs thereof in my mother. My sister and I tried to convince her to get tested for it, but she refused. I thought, “Singing is the highway to the heart,” so I wrote a song and created a room full of artworks for her, each an argument and a warning. She wasn’t fazed. After that, I promised myself never to make art for anyone but myself.  

But that is a promise I have failed time and again. Because every uncontrollable condition is linked to someone or something outside of myself. I fell in love with my straight best friend, the world and I went into lockdown, I am my father’s son and then my father died. So when I address my performances, when I sing, show videos and objects in space, they are for me—but to you. 

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