Jan Svenungsson

KRIS project: backstory

The theme of the issue of KRIS (Crisis) in which my project appeared was to be "Jag" (I). As I understood it that meant trying to move away from deconstruction towards a new interest in the uniqueness of experience and the possibility of authenticity. Essays dealt with, among others, Augustinus, Luther and Kafka.

I decided I would make repetitive drawings (during a limited time-span) of my Henrik S., who, except from being my father is also a man of the (Lutheran) church. I would not make the drawings from life, but from a photograph - in order to make the experience more controlled and possibly trancelike. I first proposed to the editors that they would give me 5 or 6 cm at the bottom of each page of the magazine, where my drawings would run in chronological order, making 4 or 5 to the page, and thereby totalling several hundred. In my idea the layout of the magazine should take no consideration to the drawing strip, making interesting chance encounters possible. When this idea was turned down I asked for and got twenty pages in the middle of the magazine instead. All drawings where done with ink (with different pens) and in one case white gouache, during one tiring day (which is visible - because one important idea was that all drawings, no matter what they looked like, would have to be kept inside the series). The drawings are shown in chronological order.

This project was actually developed before the Cover for Växjö telephone-book, wherein I made use of myself and my brothers. But due to the long delayed publishing of the magazine, the phone-book cover came out long before the KRIS drawings.

Out of this project was born the idea that led me to further drawing-series projects in that the first drawing on page 14 was copied in the following drawing, then this copy was copied in the first drawing on page 15, and so on, until the second drawing on page 16 is once again done from the photograph. (More about this working method.)