Sweden. Day 38. Skål.

Yesterday I did a small presentation of my work at BKN, showing again the video and a recording of the play to the local artists, which the organizer, Anna Viola, hadn’t seen. Now there is a new artist from Taiwan that is taking my studio space. She’s probably sitting right now on my desk, looking out of my window and watching the birds. Oh well. What can we do? It is time to go.

To prepare for the night event, I baked homemade pizza and also my now traditional apple cake, and we had a couple of bottles of 3,5% alcoholic beer, which is the only one they sell at the supermarket. For anything else, you have to go all the way to Norrtalje, 50 km away. I got a local beer brewed in Älmsta, which wasn’t bad. Skål!

Skål is how they say “cheers” in Swedish. It also means “bowl”, and may refer to a time when ancient people shared the same bowl and passed it around to drink. It also sounds like the English word “skull”, and some say it could refer to a custom of the vikings to drink their beer in the skulls of their dead enemies, but this is probably just another myth. They did not use human skulls as mugs, but horns. The truth is that a lot of what we know about the vikings has been written after they were gone, and so a lot of romanticized myths are mixed in with reality. Whichever is the case, they probably drank something stronger than 3.5% alcoholic beer…

It was a great experience being here at Björkö, and particularly at the BKN space for artists, a place I recommend to anyone. Everybody has been very gracious, and it was good to be able to say goodbye to the organizers and to meet the new artists coming.

We will see what the future holds.