Typologies of Silence is a set of social situations where the discourse has been submerged as if there is something that needs to remain hidden. The narratives explore the path between fact and fiction in order to obtain status. In Hallberg's work this leakage is explored upon as she brings forward and critiques the fragile state of the subject, intertwined with contemporary contingencies touching up on geopolitics, remembrance and status within society.


Installation view, Reminicence, ch 1 and 3 Queretaro, 2015

Typologies of Silence explores cultural history and memory through the path of the artist Bror Kronstrand, and by this it relates to the installation Making The Immortal. It had its premiere in Mexico after traveling along the railroad between Vera Cruz and Mexico City with the final destination of The Valley of the Dead. The exhibition layout followed the geographic journey that Kronstrand took in the 1920s. At that time the train system in Mexico was well developed and frequently used by people. In Mexico 2015 the infrastructure is more efficient but only used for cargo and by illegal immigrants. Kronstrand describes Vera Cruz vividly with red bolshevik banners seen from the harbor. Hallberg found special interest in one photograph in Kronstrands private archive - a stunning bridge. She found a researcher who shared the interest and had plans for a green pathway of the old beautiful bridge, located near Fortin de las Flores in the state of Vera Cruz. The bridge is located in one of the highest points over a ravine. The new one more rationale for the cargo trains is situated nearby. The old one ascends the mountainside. The bridges become metaphors of the two passages in time, 1924 and 2015. The final segment of the series not exhibited in Queretaro is a series of close-ups of hands and automatic weapons carried by the around 20 police officers escorting Hallberg through the wild forest to the bridge.

The leakage between two artists, Bror Kronstrand Anna Viola Hallberg, two eras and geographical and geopolitical settings along the railroad track between the main harbor city Veracruz and capital Mexico City. Together the two projects explore dimensions of memory both as a personal and cultural phenomenon. The topic of desire is at play.

Kronstrand made this journey primarily to see the city of the Aztecs. He started out in November 1923 and left Mexico in January 1924. At the time Veracruz was a major port of entry for European immigrants today. The same district today is frequented by the cargo trains with immigrants from the south “La Bestia”. Kronstrand made a number of portraits of prominent people during his stay in Mexico City.


Title: Reminiscence
Format: dual projection, independent loops (placed on opposite walls)
Channel 1: HD video, color w sound
Duration: 16.31 min
Narrator & Translation: Karina Ocaña
Subtitles: English

Channel 2: HD video, color w sound & narration.
Soundscape: Spanish
Duration: 17.59 min
Channel 3: Media: Tiled street posters
Portraits of: Bror Kronstrand, Anna Viola Hallberg, General San Martin & José Gonzales

Titel: Accumulation
Duration: 20.34 min
Language: Swedish
Subtitles: English
Research and interview made with: Ulla Manns, Docent in History of Ideas. PhD in History of Ideas, Stockholm University. Manns is also part of the research project Time, Memory and Representation.

Titel: Metlac, cruzando una barranca
Duration: 8.31min
Interviewee: Lucina Rangel Vargas, Jafa de departemento de monumentos historicos
Translation: Karina Ocaña
Subtitles: English

Title: Desire
Media: Photographic Series (Hallberg & Kronstrand)
From the journey between Veracruz and Mexico City. 2015/1923




Narratives and representations of Kronstrand found in personal archives, and the cultural memory of museums and archives production, all indicate ambivalence. There is a notable lack of reflection about the history of Kronstrand at archives and displays in his home town (the only place where he has some recognition). Historiography, personal and collective memory, as well as the institutional role of art as a producer of history, is recurring themes. It is a source material that is systematically and consciously collected, and simultaneously, full of ambivalences and leakages. The image of a successful portrait painter stands alongside an image of a prankster, big spender, and adventurer of quite stereotypical white masculine sort.

Kronstrands notes and photographs from the journey along the railroad between the main harbor on the Atlantic, Veracruz and Mexico City. Kronstrand made this journey primarily to see the city of the Aztec (Valley of the Dead), it was in the winter of 1921-23. At the time Veracruz was a major port of entry for European immigrants today. The same district today is frequented by the cargo trains with immigrants from the south “La Bestia”.

The photograph above by Bror Kronstrand is of the bridge of the Barranca de Metlac in Veracruz. It is a curving bridge so it could be taken from the train. Kronstrand took this route in November 1923 or January 1924 with “El Mexicano 101″. Later in January 1924 Kronstrand departed for Washington DC, US where he stayed for a short time prior to going back to Sweden. The Mexico he met was a puzzle to him - everything at once. In 1947 he received according to his own documentation correspondence with the Mexican Embassy in Sweden, the Mexican Order – the highest recognition a foreigner can get. However among his medals that got stolen in July 2014 there is no visual presence of the medal in the last photograph taken. Nor have we been able to identify it in records in Mexico. This is however the life of Kronstrand. Stories sound so true that one believes it is he somehow surpasses the layer of real and imagined.

Åsa Öhrn, artist, project assistant, Mexico (2015)
Karina Ocaña, Msc International Museum Studies, research co-ordinator, Mexico (2014-15)
Maja Andersson, artist, project assistant, Sweden (2014)

List of work:
Spanish: >>>

Exhibition in Queretaro, Mexico March 6th to April 12th 2015
With support from:
Swedish Arts Grants Committee
City Museum of Queretaro
Embajada de Suecia

Installation view, Metlac, Queretaro, 2015