If mourning gives name to longing, loss and sorrow, then the work of mourning is the effort involved in working through that grief. The exhibition at Bonniers Konsthall wants to deal with this—the work that grieving demands. However, the artwork on display does not approach the theme in a theoretical or philosophical manner; instead, it gathers works that are created through or in the process of grief.

Planning this exhibition began long before the Covid-19 pandemic. From the beginning, the idea was to examine our relationship to portraits and objects that remain after someone has passed away and how mourners can use these as tools in the grieving process. However the issue of mourning was given new urgency once death – with fatalities in the thousands – became a daily occurrence and the world began following curves that represented lives coming to an end. We now consider this exhibition to be a place where we can talk about grief together. For if an artwork can allow us to imaginatively identify with someone’s mourning, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with our own. Thus, we might become less alone in grief; the work of mourning may be done collectively.

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