Ordinary People

Texto: FA+ & Ivan Ivanissevich

November 1983, noon. Ingrid Falk and Gustavo Aguerre manage to find their way to their SAS business class flight to Stockholm with just seconds to spare. They are still trying to recover from the effects of their farewell party, which ended a few hours earlier.

A tall, blonde, irritated Swedish flight attendant shows them to their seats. The two make themselves comfortable and order cognac. The flight attendant, not a little shocked, reminds them that it is only twelve o’clock. «In that case make them doubles,» says Gustavo, who notices that the other business class passengers, mostly executives, well-groomed and elegantly dressed, are watching him with shocked fascination.

Gustavo is not only leaving the 23-degree weather of Mallorca behind him, but also years of work with art groups, experimental theatre and street performers. He is about to begin a new adventure with Ingrid on a different latitude.

A few cognacs later, at 15:30, the pair land at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport. This time it’s their turn to look around with shocked fascination. However, it isn’t their fellow passengers, the flight attendants, or even the meticulously suspicious customs officers that are the cause of their horror. It is the fact that outside its dark, everything is covered in snow, and the temperature is sixteen degrees below zero. The shock couldn’t be more complete.

Two of Ingrid’s friends are waiting for them at the exit. Excitedly hopping and yelling to them, they hug. The first friend is wearing a leather jacket and leather jeans, her blond hair gathered in a ponytail sticking straight off the top of her head like a porcupine. The other friend is wearing worn clothing, and has green hair. “Finally some ordinary people,” says Gustavo.

A few days later they form their first group in Stockholm: 1+ you, consisting of two artists, an architect, a computer programmer, an art student and a female friend.
During three months residency in Sweden the group manages to design a restaurant, a bar, an apartment, and T-shirts for the pop group The Sugarcubes (featuring Björk). They find a large studio space which they rent, they start up an illegal club, they go broke and disband the group.

Ingrid and Gustavo go back to Spain in order to fulfil the necessary visa requirements of the Swedish authorities, and they return to Stockholm in the middle of 1984 to settle in Sweden.

They find a new studio in the middle of the city, and start a new group, based on themselves, Ånli jo (only you). They set up exhibitions, performances, and all sorts of events in the new space. This is the studio where Gustavo will have his first exhibition in Sweden: Jack the Ripper or The hunt for the missing sausage. The exhibition invitations include a thin slice of sausage, which is sent along with it. The majority of the exhibited pieces are made from sausages. There are black sausages with green bread, black ketchup and green mustard which they sell at the exhibition. Gustavo receives the public wearing a jacket with sausages sticking out from it. The exhibition is a smashing success, which brings them media and public attention.

After a few exhibitions together and separately, Gustavo and Ingrid form a temporary partnership with an actor, a musician, and a model. They write and perform Lucia Lucia.

(Translation by Tsemaye Opubor Hambraeus, international journalist)

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