RainOnOff - A Farewell to Nordic gloom version 2.0 TBF © AVPD 02.2001


A Farewell to Nordic gloom


In the Saga of Burnt Niall, which is part of the first written traditions from the making of the Nordic societies, a man named Darrad looks in through a peephole of a cabin where a group of women is chanting:"it rains blood,"


Despite the fact that the word or the concept ,"rain" in the present case is used as an ominous metaphor of slaying and suffering, one could venture to think that we here, in the language of the saga, are dealing with something that is at the root of the later notorious Nordic gloom, in which the rain in an endless stream has been pouring down from heavy clouds through more than thousand years, carrying melancholy as its shadow. Similar observations are made in connection with the birth of the German romantic movement at the beginning of the nineteenth century, that also tracks into Scandinavia: Caspar David Friedrich and Otto Runge both choose the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen as their place of study,Äîwhich will show in their monumental, dramatic nature scenarios of the Nordic landscape that in melancholically saturated colours surround the small, fragile human being.


Phenomenologically the rain appears in all shades of the artistic spectrum. The rain is a striking motif and a pronounced mood-creating figure: a natural romanticist (nature-romantic) notion of the rain as the face of despondency and melancholy. In Nordic literature, poetry, rock and pop texts, photography, film and, not least in visual art, the rain has through this last century had its prominent place. The presence of the rain in the Nordic gloom talks about the yearning for the genuine, for the true nature, but in our view the belief in the naked genuine is an illusion. That the Nordic man should carry a sadness gene is a thing of the past. The project RainOnOff marks AVPD,Äôs termination of this chapter of the gloom.


The natural nature. Weeping figs and waterfall in the hall. Water World with realistic waves and palm groves. Hothouses. The mall,Äôs roofed city. Indoor ski runs. River systems that are brought back to their original winding. Put & Take lakes. Systematized woods. Nature reserves.


RainOnOff manifests itself as a constructed, temporary shower in a street. This constructedness is a result of our passion and attraction to the film,Äôs artificial set-up, asserting through the use of scenographical effects its own reality.


Specifically for RainOnOff we adopt one of the illusory devices of the film and bring it into an urban space. The set-up that in the space of the film is hidden or cut away, is laid open in our project, and the rain as ambassador for a natural romanticist (nature-romantic) notion is deconstructed into a synthesis of artificiality and authenticity.


The uncontrollable primitive force and the emotional states of mind attributed to the rain are deromanticized and dismantled through RainOnOff and are left behind as a man-made construction which can be turned on and off.