Carl Michael von Hausswolff & Leif Elggren
The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland
In 1992, the Stockholm based artists and musicians Leif Elggren and Carl Michael von Hausswolff established the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland (KREV) and announced themselves kings. It was decreed that KREV should consist of all border areas – the so-called no-man’s land – geographical as well as digital and mental territories.
In their own words, Elgaland-Vargaland is the most populated and far-reaching kingdom, as it consists of not only the physical world but also digital territories as well as other forms of existence. Every time you cross a border, and every time you pass into a new state of mind, for instance while dreaming, you visit Elgaland-Vargaland.
This year, the 25th anniversary of The Kingdoms is celebrated with an exhibition at Kunsthal Charlottenborg and the inauguration of the Copenhagen embassy of The Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland. Almost 20 years ago, a Danish ambassador was appointed but without an official representation and authorization. With the inauguration of the embassy this will finally be rectified, and for the first time it will be a possible to apply for citizenship of KREV in Denmark.
The exhibition at Kunsthal Charlottenborg is based on the establishment of the embassy in Copenhagen, and is also a presentation and a documentation of KREV and the continuous annexation of new lands and states of mind.
During the spand of many years, multiple national borders and frontiers have been annexed by Elgaland-Vargaland. Latest in 2016, when KREV, in collaboration with the Swiss Dada-institution Cabaret Voltaire, annexed Switzerland as border. In 2014 it was the border between the Republic of Krim and Ukraine, while the borders between Sudan and South Sudan were annexed in 2012 and as were the borders between Mali and Azawad.
In 2012 the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland announced the annexation of the terms “No Fixed Abode” and “Address Not Known”, and so it continues. Diplomatic relations have been established with The Republic of Talossa, Embassy of Seborga, League of Secessionist States, and consular posts have been established in, e.g., New York, Amsterdam, Smedsby, LA, and Cyprus and embassies established in e.g. Vienna, Sofia, Johannesburg, Kaliningrad, San Francisco, and Thessaloniki. In November, it is finnaly Copenhagen’s turn.
Elgaland-Vargaland consists of a series of objects and performances dealing with territorial ownership, the right to reign and decide and about the rights of the individual. Passports, stamps, flags, national anthem, ministries, and embassies have been established since the constitution was ratified in 1992. At this time, a request for recognition was sent out to the governments around the world.
Leif Elggren (born 1950, Linköping, Sweden) lives and works in Stockholm. Elggren is a writer, visual artist, performance artist, and composer. Carl Michael von Hausswolff (born 1956, Linköping, Sweden) is a composer, and conceptual visual artist focusing on performance, light and sound installation, as well as photography. He has been represented at the Istanbul Biennial, The Johannesburg Biennale, Documenta X in Kassel and at the Venice Biennale.
The exhibition is curated by Jesper N. Jørgensen.
Exhibition hashtag for social media: #krev.