The commission Du gamla, du fria (Fragments from the National Anthem of Sweden) by artist Mattias Norström, opened the exhibition series Aesthetic of Law produced by ICIA – Institute for Contemporary Ideas & Art, 2016-2017.

The exhibition took place between August 24 – September 30, 2016.

Du gamla, du fria (Fragments from the National Anthem of Sweden) raises questions on national identity. The flag, being the strongest symbol for national boundaries – for what is being inside, and consequently on the outside – is drooping. It is sagged, despondent and melancholic.

Again, our time is characterised by a raising right-wing populism, patriotism and fascism. Is the idea of the national state really the best way of organizing our society now and in the future? How can the national boundaries be understood in relation to the global capitalism and its excavation of national politics? Who is inside, and consequently outside? As a Swedish born white man, Norström questions his own responsibility and identity in our society.


Du gamla du fria, 2016, Mattias Norström