The work The Last Stone derives from the idea of Benedict Anderson about cenotaphs and tombs of Unknown Soldiers being the most arresting emblem of the national collective identity. Due to its physical emptiness or lack of any specificity – no body remains or names listed, the memorial is left only with the nationality of all traits, defined by default by the geographical location. Two particular aspects of this idea influenced the work directly, the first of them is the required power of imagination to conceive the idea of communion on that level of abstraction. The second is the generic character of the statement on such memorials, that allow them to be identical in all parts of the world. The Last Stone serves as a memorial for our contemporary battle for all that is good. United by the desire to serve the greater good, we are blind to the methods being employed that we share with our predecessors throughout history.
The engraved granite plate comes from the last unshipped remains of the so called Hitlersten quarried in the area of Bohuslän, ordered by architect Albert Speer on behalf of the German Reichskanzler between 1939 and 1945. The stone was initially cut for German victory memorials, but was never delivered and resold several times locally. It was donated to the project by the Stenhuggerimuseet. The engraving ”For all that is good, against all that is bad” uses the font Helvetica which is the most ubiquitous font of virtue signalling of today (widely used in published media, it is a default font of Apple products and social networks like Facebook and Instagram), a current typeface equivalent of Fraktur of 1939.
The notion of Fascism is important here not as a matter of radical right-wing nationalist politics, but a matter of our ultimate desire to impose our correct understanding of «good» on others, since «we» are always those who got it right.
Installation images by Maria Safronova Wahlström
Engaved granige plate, approx. 90x60 cm; 2019