April 24 2007, 23.48. Outside Wetterling Gallery in the Royal Garden, Stockholm, Sweden. Gallery showing Barry Flanagan.
A light rain on an empthy square.
Klonk klonck. Humpfh. Klonck. The sounds are gentle and somewhat damp, still clearly hearable. There is a flicker in the warm light as something passes the window. Klonk. Moving closer with a feeling one can only describe as curiousity, despite the late hour and unfamiliar sounds deprived of fear in any form. Klonck. A silent laughter, as a gentleman might laugh with a child, not at a child, but a laugh of recognition and aproval. Humpfh. Moving closer to the window. There, just by the front desk is BjÃ¶rn. Smiling, with his hands on his back, balancing on his toes. Left shoe red, right shoe green, with bright pink socks, the kind that goes all the way up to the knee. Klonck. There it is again, something moved just by the window. Klonck. This time lauder with an echo.
Sitting in the corner of the room, making not as much as a sound is Thinker on Rock, Medium. BjÃ¶rn looks at him, smiles. Thinker looks back with an annoyed look on his face. BjÃ¶rn laughes silently, eyes smiling still. Thinkers face turnes slowly from annoyed to huble, giving the impression that the lack of concentration in the room is getting the better of him. Just as he leans his nose back in his left hand Large Boxing Hare on Anvil runs by, obviously without the anvil, setting Thinkers rock in a spin at which point he stands up on it and starts jumping up and down, his hands on his head. Klonck, klonck. Large Boxing Hare on Anvil returns to his anvil with a proud look on his face, chin high up in the air. BjÃ¶rn laughs out loud. Thinker sits down again, looking both sad and furious at the same time. BjÃ¶rn walks over and pets him on the head.
There is a sound coming from the offices. A low vibrating sound that is in some way similar to that of a dog, getting ready to bark. I walk over to the next window, trying not to make a sound. The rain falling on my walking umbrella might give me away but I am willing to take the chance. After all. There is nothing that says a hare prefer the sound of rain falling on the ground over rain falling on a walking umbrella. They dont seem to notice me. They are all to occupied with dealing with things at hand. Nijinski Five and Monument to Letters are in jumping positions. Every muscle tensed. They have cornered Stellas Matah, who doesnâ€™t seem to care for that matter. Ninjinski and Monument on the other hand are like boxers in a ring. They slowly start to move closer, step-by-step. BjÃ¶rn is just behind them now, smiling still. Without as much as a million of a seconds warning, Matah gives out a horn blow. It is as the whole blow section of a marching band has suddenly given in to an urge to express them selves through the instruments they so proudly carry. Ninjinski and Monument jumps straight up in the air, legs moving as those of cartoons. The only thing hearable now is the sound of BjÃ¶rn laughing as the two hares peeks out from behind him. Eyes shifting from each other to Matah, who is still hanging proudly on the wall.
I visit the gallery as often as I can. Never again has anything there given me as much as blink. It makes me very sad. I do however feel, that if I study hard enough and give them enough time, they might give me a performance once more.
Frank Stella, Matah, 2005