In his 150 or so plays, collections of poetry, novels and diaries that make up his œuvre, Lars Norén (1944-2021) has constantly explored the darkest and most terrifying depths of the human soul, always with a touch of humour. The play Stilla liv (“Still Life”), written over a period of ten years and staged in 2017 at Dramaten, Swedens’s Royal Dramatic Theatre, is a perfect illustration of this. 90 wordless, tableau-like scenes unfold in a fictional time somewhere between 1890 and 2015, painting a poignant portrait of changing Swedish society.
The playwright then intended to give this fragmentary, dreamlike play another form: that of an exhibition in which the visitor would be immersed, moving from scene to scene in the darkness and becoming another protagonist in these silent lives. Along with the filmmaker and photographer Bobo Ericzén, Lars Norén carried out this project until his untimely death in January 2021. The exhibition was presented last autumn at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm with the title Stilla liv (Still Life).
Readapted for the Institut suédois, Still Life is the heart of the season we are devoting to the internationally acclaimed writer Lars Norén, whose work, from the 1970s onwards, significantly influenced contemporary theatre. Photos, stills from scenes and stage directions help us to understand his favourite themes as well as his doubts and obsessions. Several events echoing the exhibition will be scheduled in collaboration with theatres—the Comédie-Francaise, which added Lars Norén to its repertoire in 2018 with the play titled Poussière and Les Gémeaux, Scène nationale, who is showing Kliniken in April—and L’Arche, the publishing house that publishes Lars Norén’s works in France.
Curator: Bobo Ericzén in collaboration with Nelly Bonner, Lars Norén’s daughter and heir to his estate.
In collaboration with the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.
With support from the Swedish Arts Council (Kulturrådet).
Admission free. Prior booking not required.