Plato Arrives to the Cleaningplace of the Souls
Lumen 10 exhibition, Retretti Art Centre, 1992
In Chapter 10 of Plato’s Republic people arrive to get themselves new souls. Plato’s idea was that people could choose a new different soul for their next life, which would make up for shortages in their present life. For the exhibition Lumen 10 in the caves of the Retretti Art Centre, curated by Stefan Lindfors, I choose to make my own version of this place, along with a sculpture of Plato and a place with souls for everyone to choose from; five white and five black souls. They are fastened inside a very anarchistic spatial construction, consisting of 200 aluminium rods.
A short users’ guide (from the exhibition catalogue):
The first of the white ones is the Air Soul, a cross between a bird and an airplane, from which red tears burst. The second is the Water Soul, a creature that spread all over, like water. The body of the third is a sturdy tile cubicle with rubber boots and a carrot in his fist. It is the Earth Soul. A question mark made of metal is the fourth, a Sceptic. The fifth is the Fire Soul. From its small yellow ball like centre hefty rays hurtle.
The first of blacks, the Booze & Skrew & Fuck You Soul, waves a beer bottle and gives the finger. As for the second, the Square, even the pupils of its eyes are square, because it wants to construct everything systematically, in a disciplined manner. It just doesn’t realize it’s doing evil. The third soul’s centre is a black block with thorns to keep others at a distance. It’s called the Don’t come Close soul. The fourth is waving a sword, a revolver, and a bayonet simultaneously. It is the Soul of Organized Violence. The fifth of the blacks is a mere empty sack, the Loser Soul.
Close to the mesh of aluminium rods stands a chicken-legged mirror-wretch, looking like a cartoon character. It is Plato himself. The sculpture is a short introduction to his theories, interpreted through my mental life. For the first time in history even the butt of Plato is portrayed. His soul is a wooden heart nailed into the body by every sensation. As his hat, a black flame burns in a multi-coloured candle. It is black because our idea of the real colour of light is only a shadow of the ideal light.