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Xet and Aniara

Xet Museum, Botkyrka, Feb - May 2010

In 1959 the Royal Opera House in Stockholm staged an opera based on Swedish poet Harry Martinsson's epic poem
Aniara. The music was written by the composer Karl Blomdahl and the stage decor and costumes were created by the great modernist painter Sven Xet Erixson. The exhibition at Xet Museum in Botkyrka included a collection of lithographic prints that Xet made during his time working with the Royal Opera. The exhibition also included a large number of photographs from the production as well as two costumes and a piece of the original stage decor.

We begin to slowly see that the space
we travel in is of another kind
than that we had imagined when ere
the word space was heard on Earth
and given form by our fantasy.
We begin to see that our confusion
is deeper than first we thought
that knowledge is but blue naivité
which from a trusted measure of thought
has sprung the idea that the riddle is formed by reason.
We begin to see that what we call space
and crystal clarity around Aniaras hull
is spirit, spirit eternal and ungraspable
that we have become lost in a sea of spirit...

                          - 13th song from Aniara by Harry Martinsson

The exhibition was curated by Finbar Krook Rosato in cooperation with the Xet Foundation.
Thanks to the Royal Swedish Opera.


Stage decor "Mima".


Exhibition view with photographs from the Royal Operas archives, stage decor 
and costumes; "High Comedian Sandon" (left) "ChefOne" (right)


Lithographic print by Sven Xet Erixson "Mimaroben", 1959.