Sunday, May 31, 2009
Foppa is the nickname of Swedish ice-hockey star Peter Forsberg. Copies of this portrait of Foppa are, at intervals, placed in various locations in the Umea area, offering a link to the blog Foppakuppen, and making traversals between physical public spaces and a virtual repository of the bloggers' activities. As visitors or strangers in that place, without good access to necessary linguistic and cultural resources, it was hard to connect with this instance of avantgaming/situational art. It took me and my colleagues the best part of a week to weave a naartive web around the images we saw. The final denouement was a combination of the efforts of a hotel receptionist who translated parts of the blog for us and a taxi-driver who made the connection with Sweden's most unstylish consumer item, the foppatoffel (or Croc). But somehow the meanings we made from Foppakuppen were rich and arguably richer than the basic facts. It's perhaps just as well that we are comfortable with multiple truths; that way we are insulated from the disappointments of being wrong, whilst being forced to concede that some people just love their crocs!
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