In 2002, on the tenth anniversary, a group of 10 travelled from Sweden to Estonia carrying only Elgaland-Vargaland passports. After being detained for a day for trying to enter Estonia with false documents, the citizens were placed on a boat and sent back to Sweden. As King Leif I states, "Our purpose was not to provoke the border police. Our purpose was to go home to Elgaland-Vargaland's physical territory: to get rejected at the Estonian border, then go back and be rejected at the Swedish border, back again to the Estonian border, etc., etc., you know, for ever. They did their job and took our passports, so we just had to go back to Sweden."
By now, KREV counts more than 1000 citizens and 20 embassies all around the world. The claims extend to other “interstitial territories” such as the transition from being asleep to wakefulness (the hypnogogic state) and limbo, and they also regard all dead people as being citizens.
On the 14th of October 1991 a meeting took place in Stockholm, Sweden, between the artists Carl Michael von Hausswolff (born 1956, Linköping, Sweden) and Leif Elggren (born 1950, Linköping, Sweden). The event resulted in an agreement to establish a new country as a work of art.
On the 27th of May 1992 at 12 noon, the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland (or KREV) was proclaimed at the Andréhn Schiptjenko gallery in Stockholm, Sweden. The proclamation was shouted out by the founders in four directions: east, south, west and north. During the Spring of 1992 various associates were contacted and Embassies were established in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, San Francisco, Milan, Basel, New York City, Stockholm and London. Preparations for a ceremonial crowning, planned at Treriksröset where the countries of Norway, Sweden and Finland meet, started in the spring 1992. In the Winter of 1993 a letter was sent out to all other nations on earth, declaring KREV's indepencence, explaining the border functions and asking for recognition.
By the 1st of January 1993, all living creatures were able to apply for citizenship via application forms distributed from the Embassies and The Royal Chamber. In March 1994, they opened a “general consulate” at Thomas Nordanstad Gallery in New York and applied for membership of the United Nations.
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Sathyan Rizzo was born the 20th of April, 1994, in Benevento (Campania, Italy). She attended an art school that brought her to painting, a technique that she continued to explore during her university studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. Currently living in Naples, Sathyan drastically changed her artistic procedures, which now concentrate on digital media.
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Edoardo Ciaralli was born in 1991 in San Benedetto del Tronto (Italy). After art school he continued his investigations at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, where he still lives. Despite the fact that his artistic identity developed in an environment linked to traditional techniques, now Edoardo deconstructs classic modalities proposing ironic and dynamic pastiches.
Defined “one of the least understood artists of our time”, John Duncan has done a considerable number of things during his life (most of which pissed off a considerable number of people). He was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1953, and raised with a strict Calvinist upbringing, where hard work, self-punishment and sensual denial were considered virtues. At the age of 19 he moved to LA to study at the CalArts under Allan Kaprow. Several of his early events were held in private or in front of a small number of witnesses. In some of these works (Scare, For Women Only, Bus Ride), participants were necessarily trapped in situations and forced to cope; these days they are free to leave at any time. The ‘audiences’ for Duncan’s early works were often quite unaware of their status as such, being city bus riders, unwitting acquaintances, or people who accidentally tuned into one of his pirate radio broadcasts. After Blind Date (Los Angeles, 1980), the most controversial and life-changing artistic act of his life, he left the United States and moved to Tokyo, where his work was far more accepted by the public opinion. There he continued his performance work, and expanded his experiments with recorded shortwave broadcasts and film.
The music he produced in this period, including Kokka, the solo LP Riot and Dark Market Broadcast, established him as one of the early pioneers of Japanese noise music. In 1988 Duncan moved to Amsterdam, where his work became more introspective, especially following a month-long stay at a Buddhist monastery in Thailand in 1993. More elaborate and less nihilistic, and no less energetic and imaginative, his sound work had matured. The influence of the Aktionists, however essential to Duncan’s early artistic development, grew less relevant. In 1996 he moved to Italy, first to a small village in the north of the country, Scrutto di San Leonardo, and then to Bologna in 2005, where he still lives. His explorations of the inner self led him to use a large variety of different media; one of his works even included a particle accelerator (The Crackling, 1996). But he's not aiming at sensationalism, nor shock. The questions he asks and the answers he gives are only meant to unveil the most hidden part of ourselves. Even words are used parsimoniously, the most of the times. Duncan prefers to show, rather than to describe, so that the viewer is urged to experience the work himself, rather than read the description.
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