Martin Agge Augustsson
Desanctifying the ancient Norse runes with modern art
My project is a journey from past to present. A bridge between the society in the Scandinavia one thousand years past and the one in Scandinavia today. It is a way for me to bring the Norse runes into a modern art context as part of the art without being carriers of a message themselves.
Drawing inspiration from graffiti and kitsch, I painted brightly coloured runes over and over again on metal shapes to make them become a texture. To blend them together into a background to de-emphasize the storytelling qualities of them and make them become an aesthetic element and part of the overall work without standing out as a message to be decoded.
I wanted to make something that would be interesting to people who don’t usually like things adorned with runes and thusly heavily associated with Viking-era culture. I wanted to make things that are silly and saps the mystical power of the runes. I wanted to bring the runes back in a way that is not associated with right-wing hate groups, precisely so that they stop being associated with what those groups stand for.
This has been a work of passion. Passion for the historical value of the runes and passion for the art that can bring relevance to them in today’s society.