Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening :
BSA Special Feature: World Premier
“The Pier” (Piren)
Today BSA brings you the online release of “The Pier”, by Erik Vestman and Nils Petter Löfstedt, who have presented it at packed documentary events and exhibitions around Europe but it has never been presented online until today, which we do proudly.
The half hour film tells the story of two artists discovering a hidden space under a pier near the ocean and their distinctly D.I.Y. approach to getting their hands dirty and creating something genuinely new. “We wanted to make the room perfect – like a classy room in an apartment – but in a dirty dark hole underground,” says Petter when describing the secret project that took the guys about six months of ferrying materials and tools back and forth to the spot on bicycle. Why, you might ask? “There was no obvious purpose. Otherwise all rooms have a purpose, usually – toilet, office, living room. But this was just a room, underground, for everybody to do what they wished with.”
Löfstedt and Vestman have been experimenting with the concept of public/private in some of their other conceptual works over the last few years; precisely replacing stone tiles in public areas with photographic works of friends and rats, for example, and “re-purposing” a downtown commercial kiosk into a rural field outside of the city for uses more fitting the agrarian way of life.
“Everything can be changed. Everything can be turned into poetry,” they like to say, and with this same philosophy you can best assess many artworks works on the street – sanctioned and guerilla style – and judge how successful at writing poetry an artist has been when engaging the public.
Is it possible to find poetry in all public spaces? Petter says possibly, “Guess there is poetry everywhere. The only thing is to have time to see it.”
Documenting their project of transformation with film and photography, they also left journals for visitors to write in, collecting observations, some negative, most positive.
But the under-pavement construction wasn’t originally going to become a film. “When we found the empty, dirty space under the pier we had no plans except making something great out of it,” Erik tells us. “After quite some time when we finally started building we also started documenting what we were doing. But we had no plan of making a film or a book until far into the process.”
Was it all glamour? “It was horrible and fantastic to build the room. I got a nosebleed, there were these tics… I think we both had dreams about moving stones and gravel and paint that didn’t dry in the moist air of the sea. However we were totally absorbed by what we were doing.”
The “secret” spot became known because of its ingenious appropriation of a nether space – not quite public but not entirely private. The transformative effect of their carpentry and industry deliberately plumbed psychological boundaries about the built environment, as well as its purpose. By physically crossing the precipice into and out of the space a visitor pierced a veil of typical expectations, interacting with an inspired project that literally causes one to see their world differently.
Welcome to “The Pier”.
Original title: Piren
English Title: The Pier
Director: Nils Petter Löfstedt
Production: Stavro Filmproduktion AB in coproduction with SVT and Film i Skåne
Length: 28 minutes
Photo: Nils Petter Löfstedt
Editing: Johan Löfstedt
Music: Carl Johan Lundberg / Vit Päls
Producer: Patrik Axén
Sound design: Robert Sörling
First grade: Simon Möller
Final grade: Erik & Nils Petter
Graphics: Erika Nyström