Janeric Johansson

The Gordian Knot

2005 450 photos, bamboo ladder and ropes 480 x 240 cm, the ladder 60 x 800 cm

The story about the ”Gordian Knot” goes back 2.300 years. There was a big complicated rope knot, which bound a wagon to a building in Athens. It was said that if somebody could untie the knot he should be the ruler over the whole Asia Minor. Many people tried, without success. But when Alexander the Great, 333 BC came he went up to the big knot, took his sword and in one cut he untied the knot. And he became a ruler of Asia Minor. After this story we use to say that if you have a complicated problem and find an easy solution, you have untied the ”Gordian Knot”. This installation will honour the people of Kunming and all over the world who are struggling from morning to late evening just to survive, when at the same time the gap between the rich and poor becomes bigger and bigger. How to untie the ”Gordian Knot” for these people? More than 90 percent of the photos for this installation were taken in March 2005 in one and the same crossing in Kunming during 3 hours. All these people were just passing me and I took more then 600 photos. Every day during the exhibition I could see the Chinese audience looking, pointing and laughing to these pictures. When I went up to them they said: ”Very interesting, very interesting!” Why do you think it’s so interesting”, I replied, ”You can go out to the street and see the same!” ”But we have never seen this before” was the daily answer. Out from the big rope knot a long bamboo ladder goes all the way up to the roof, like an opening, a heavenly ladder. I ordered this from a carpenter and some days later it was delivered to the gallery by a man on a bicycle. How it could be possible to handle the 8-meter long ladder the two km. in the heavy traffic I don’t understand, but the way it was delivered it became even more a part of the idea around the installation. During the last years I have shown this installation in several places in Sweden, Norway and Germany.


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