Elgaland-Vargaland

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KonungaRikerna Elgaland-Vargaland
Micronation
Flag of Elgaland-Vargaland
Flag
Status Current
Official languages English, Swedish
Organizational structure Monarchy
• King
Carl Michael von Hausswolff
• King
Leif Elggren
Establishment
• Declared
May 27, 1992
Membership 980 (2014)[1]

Elgaland-Vargaland is a conceptual art project[2] and micronation conceived and developed by Swedish artists Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Leif Elggren in 1992. It is also known by its acronym "KREV"[2] (KonungaRikena Elgaland-Vargaland).

"Elgaland-Vargaland is the largest – and most populous realm on Earth, incorporating all boundaries between other nations as well as Digital Territory and other states of existence. Every time you travel somewhere, and every time you enter another form, such as the dream state, you visit Elgaland-Vargaland."

— elgaland-vargaland.org

Origins[edit]

Von Hausswolff and Elggren formed the name out of their own names and define the country as being the borders of other countries. The decision to found the country and name themselves kings was in reaction to Sweden still having a monarchy.[3] The country was announced in an advert in Dagens Nyheter newspaper. It was announced on May 27, 1992.[4] Other Scandinavian artists have had micronations, such as Lars Vilks' Ladonia.[5]

Operations[edit]

"Elgaland-Vargaland is an extended series of objects and performances concerning territorial ownership, the right to rule and the rights of individuals."

—Gallery 400[6]

Elgaland-Vargaland has a flag[1] and national anthem, issues passports and stamps on request, and has had a number of "embassies" (art exhibitions).[3] Elggren often invokes "the image of a street-corner lunatic with a paper crown who declares himself King".[7]

In March 1994, they opened a "general consulate" at Thomas Nordanstad Gallery in New York and applied for membership of the United Nations.[8] In 2002, on the tenth anniversary, a group of 10 travelled from Sweden to Estonia carrying only Elgaland-Vargaland passports - they were detained and their passports confiscated, and they were returned to Sweden the next day. They had planned to be turned away from each country in turn, indefinitely.[4] The same year, they released a musical album titled "The kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland, 1992-2002", published by Ash International.[9] In 2003, Elgaland-Vargaland attended a conference of micronations in Finland.[10]

As of 2007, the country had around 850 citizens[3] and by 2014 they claimed 980 citizens.[1] In 2007 they had 20 ambassadors;[3] the embassy in Reykjavik opened in 1994 at the Nýlistasafninu (Museum of Fine Arts)[11] the embassy in Berlin was opened in 2006 at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt,[12] and the Moroccan embassy opened in 2014 before the Marrakech Biennale.[1] A "Consulate General" was held at Gallery 400 in Chicago for two months in 2007-8 as part of the city's Festival of Maps.[6] They have a number of Ministers, mainly artists, including trumpeter Greg Kelley who is Minister of Fanfares.[13]

The claims extend to other "interstitial territories" such as the transition from being asleep to wakefulness (the hypnogogic state),[2] and limbo[4] and they also regard all dead people as being citizens. In 2007, they declared at the Venice Biennale that they had annexed the Isola di San Michele, an island cemetery.[3] This annexation project appeared at the Gallery Niklas Belenius in 2008.[5]

Reception[edit]

KREV has been described as an art project that criticises the principles of the nation state and von Hausswolff and Elggren has, with the projects hierarchical diagram, clearly stated their disgust towards any kind of racism, fascism and oligarchy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Yablonsky, Linda (March 31, 2014). "Now and Then". Art Forum. Retrieved June 22, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "In conversation: Leif Elggren and CM von Hausswolff". MASS Gallery. May 30, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Kennedy, Randy (June 9, 2007). "At Venice Biennale, Artists Plant Flag for Their State (of Mind)". New York Times. Retrieved June 9, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Middleton, Nick (November 5, 2015). An Atlas of Countries That Don't Exist: A compendium of fifty unrecognized and largely unnoticed states. Pan Macmillan. p. 221. ISBN 9781447295297. Retrieved June 22, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Elgaland-Vargaland / Galleri Niklas Belenius". Expressen. March 12, 2008. Retrieved June 22, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "The Inauguration of the Consulate General for the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland". Gallery 400. University of Illinois at Chicago. November 27, 2007. Retrieved June 22, 2016. 
  7. ^ Bey, Thomas; Bailey, William (2009). Micro-bionic: Radical Electronic Music and Sound Art in the 21st Century. Creation Books. p. 130. 
  8. ^ "New Art Examiner". 25 (7-10). New Art Association. 1998: 23. 
  9. ^ "Various Artists, The Kingdoms of Elgaland Vargaland". Ash International. July 15, 2002. 
  10. ^ Muukkonen, Marita (2007). "Between a Rock and a Hard Place – The Possibilities for Contemporary Art Institutions to Function as Critical Political Spaces" (PDF). Variant.org.uk. 
  11. ^ "Konungsríkin Elgaland - Vargaland". Morgunbladid. March 26, 1994. Retrieved June 22, 2016. 
  12. ^ "The Opening of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Elgaland-Vargaland". HKW. October 21, 2006. Retrieved June 22, 2016. 
  13. ^ Sienko, Chris (November 16, 2011). "A Curious of Crowns: Leif Elggren at Lampo". Transmission. Gapers Block. Retrieved June 22, 2016. 

External links[edit]