In the row of young Swedish artists, Percy Andersson is an interesting name, which it is a joy to welcome to Södertälje. His engagement in the relation and problematics between human–technology–economy is often dressed in a understated and witty irony. His work makes us think and attempt to interpret and I have fallen for the temptation to share my thoughts on one of the exhibited three-dimensional collages, Status Symbol (Statussymbol).
A plastic space rocket stands in the middle of a big table top and around it approximately 50 toy dogs are staring at it with solemn faces. Every now and then an invisible machine puts the table top in motion and make the dogs’ heads move. The dogs – that’s us. The rocket – that’s the space research and its most palatable result, the space travel and the landings on the moon. The movement in the artwork is a “propaganda impulse” that we are sometimes affected by. When our interest has wavered, a new, fantastic, visionary mission will come to fruition. We are fascinated, become foolish, fall into trance over humanity’s capabilities, the changed and progressive perspectives on the future made possible my new techniques. But when the attention tapers off – then we are, to our great delight, exposed to a new blast of propaganda. We are yet again forced to nod our heads in agreement, yet again be screened off from reality – our interest is not enough for everything that happens around us – war, famine, injustices, misery – we nod our heads, we bow to the rocket – the divine image. Isn’t that enough!
Södertälje, November 1970