Scandinavian culture turns me on

I follow the news of “120 Hours” architecture contest, as they try to find new ways in understanding architecture and contemporary world in general— may be too hard. The last winner, for example, looks like this:

image from 120 Hours.

The task was to create a space with no function, and the answer — if it has no function, no one should ever see it. Not bad, right?

I would not even call it minimalism. It’s a natural and the only logical way, straightforward approach. Like a train, which goes from point A to point B, always on time, because what else a train should do?

I’ve never (yet) visited any of Scandinavian countries, but affections are easily fed by books, friends’ testimonials and movies.

Like the stories of vikings, who became my first personal sex-symbol — tall, pale-skinned, fierce and desperate. Outcasts of society, seeking for their fortune in armed storms, striking fear at all the Northern Europe. And their scalds — poets, who used words as swords: to cut flesh open, to honor themselves and their leaders, to obtain love and glory.

They had a strong drive of mythology inside, which is very strict despite of its profoundness. You’ve died fighting — you go to Valgalla to party with gods till the final war. You’ve died somehow else — you spend the eternity in gloomy spaces and ice rivers. Nothing personal.

There is also surströmming, a traditional dish, which is basically a rotten fish. The story tells that some ages ago one Sweden’s city was taken into siege for a huge period of time, but the citizens didn’t mean to yield. After they ate all the stocks, animals and whatever else could be eaten, somebody found the remainings of fish in cesspit and made a dinner out of them. The city survived the siege. Because badass.

After russian-swedish war 1808–09 was born the belief that swedish warriors are turning to wolves after death. They told about a woman, who has lost her husband in war and after this she notices a wolf, who is following her with sad eyes. She asks her brothers to kill the wolf, which they do, and when they peel off the skin they find a silver cross — her gift to her husband.

Even the graphic style of cave paintings found in Sweden is similar to IKEA’s patterns. The hellish amount of thousands of years before everything. How straightforward is that.

Ah, and Lars von Trier’s movies as a cherry on the cake. Everybody knows his Nymphomaniac, Melancholia and Antichrist, but he also has a dirty secret of directing a comedy once. It’s called “The Boss of it All”, and if you consider yourself a patient person — try this, and you will be rewarded. It contains all mentioned above, and more.

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