Sometimes, things you don’t say are a part in a lie

Sometimes, things you don’t say are a part in a lie.

The video is filmed in London during 8 months, 1998-99. It is about what’s happening with Theresa, with me and with our relationship during this time.

This is the story:

Theresa asked Cecilia for money in the street. Cecilia gave her some. They started meeting at cafés and became friends. Every time they met, Cecilia filmed Theresa without her knowledge. Theresa always needed money and Cecilia gave it to her. After several meetings, Cecilia told Theresa about the filming and that she wanted to make a video about them. Theresa said it was OK. They continued meeting, Cecilia paid Theresa by the hour for the filming and contacted the Social Security for her.

Theresa had a friend, Helena. One day, Theresa let Helena into Cecilia’s kitchen to give her some food whithout Cecilia seeing. Helena took some money from Cecilias wallet without Theresa seeing and left. Cecilia asked Theresa where the money was. Theresa said she hadn’t taken it and left. Theresa found out that Helena had taken the money. They had a fight and are not friends anymore. Theresa told Cecilia. Cecilia said she wouldn’t ask for the money back, but she didn’t want Theresa to let anybody into her home without her knowing it. Cecilia finished the film. Theresa and Cecilia still meet, always in Cecilias home because Theresa doesn’t have one.

When I meet Theresa she is 16 years old and she is homeless. She is from a small town in Ireland, she came to London a year ago with her parents and she ”didn’t like the atmosphere” at home, as she says, so she made the decision to leave home.

My intention was not to make a video about the history of a young Irish girl in London. This video is my answer to her question of wether I can give her money.


YOU Laminated colour photograph 92 X 204cm. O Videoloop

YOU was an exhibition at Göteborgs Konstförening, Sweden May 1998, arranged and funded by Ebba and Gustaf Ljunggren


Other works in the exhibition:

I love myself and I understand you think I’m difficult.Photo: 90 X 237cm.

I can see you but you can’t see me. Photo: 90 X 242cm.
It’s either the woman in the image speaking or the viewer. Women are often subject for critical view regarding looks and sex, and either she becomes a victim and act as such, or she answers back and challenge that gaze.

I know you’re out fucking others, but I’m not. Photo: 20 X 30cm.
I’m out fucking others, but you’re not.Photo: 220 X 20cm.

Wrestling Video. Video cover for Wrestling

The Dominatrix


The Dominatrix, 2 back-projection video screens, sound and 6 double spacehoppers.

Moderna Muséet, Stockholm, Sweden 06-08 1998. An installation produced for the exhibition AVATAR for Riksutställningar (the Swedish council’s organisation for touring exhibitions, national and international). AVATAR included: Åsa Andersson, Peter Hagdahl, CM von Hausswollff, Mariko Mori, Soda, Cecilia Parsberg. It was first shown at Moderna Museet in Stockholm and then at 9 other places in Scandinavia during 1998-99. A catalogue was made.

The piece consists of two back-projection screens and the five space hoppers around. Screen 1 shows an interview with a Dominatrix (she is not doing sex but dominating in other ways, see interview of the project). Screen 2 shows a session with the Dominatrix, filmed with two cameras. The session is edited as two circles with camera 1 & 2 in each, syncronized.

The two circles (from the video session)  reappear in the double-space hoppers placed around the screens. The circles are also reflected in the sound – the music of bells played in the session.

The Spacehoppers were designed for two people sitting back to back, jumping the space hopper together. to negotiate and jump together while holding the rubber-handles.

Double spacehopper. Blue balls made of rubber and plastic with black rubber handels. Length:120com. Height: 70cm.



The interview was printed and handed out to the visitors.


Sado masochism is an extreme way of expressing the power-relation between two persons. In the catalogue I present a negotiation form that is used in SM, by exchanging words and a few changes in the text, it could be applicable to any work situation.
The Dominatrix says in the inteview: ”For me, SM means a consensual agreed upon exchange of power. I find it an interesting statement living in a society where a lot of abuse is happening at home, at work and in the politics.”


Wrestling, 1998.

Click here to see the film  (5:24mins.) John and Mary met through a contact add some years ago. John is a retired pilot in the US Airforce and Mary is a Masseur. Every Sunday they meet up with their friends to wrestle.

This is a filmed wrestling contest between a man and a woman. The are both technically skilled wrestlers and often participate in official competitions. Today, as every Sunday, they practice together with their friends. The couple enjoy this match. In order to win, one of them has to take a deadly grip of the other and the other to give up. What makes their match special is that they wrestle naked and they are in this way official that they have a love-relationship. One can see that there is a caring of each other, a tenderness and a vulnerability, as in lovemaking.

In the sports there are rules and the goal is to win. In relationships there are also rules or rather precepts and norms, but the idea is to reach a win-win situation where mutual interests and needs meet; we care for one another.

The society is a community of relationships. There is sometimes a fine line between win and win-win in a relationship.


Installation view: Göteborgs Museum, Sweden 24/1 – 1/3 1998

Applause, 1998.

I work with a reciever during the realization of the piece. What is interesting in this method is that I cannot control the answers. In this way I push the limits for my private space and for that I have to take the consequences. It is not possible to applaud with one hand.

On a large back-projection screen (2.5 X 3m.), hanging freely from the ceiling in the middle of the dark room the bodies of the man and woman are creating an applause with their movements.

The upright intercourse was filmed by a third person pulling the camera in a circle around the couple. The couple is filmed from the waist up. The size of the room in the film is the same as the exhibition room (150m2). The screen in the exhibition space shows the video on both sides, and the viewer may move around the screen in the same way as the camera had filmed the couple.

The filmed intercourse starts in real time, gradually slows down, then gradually speeds up again and ends in real time.

The duration of the original take is 30 mins. but the final length of the screened video is three times longer than the original take: 1 hour and 37 minutes. Both video (picture) and audio (sound) were fed through four computers non-stop during a period of two weeks rendering a special gradual motion effect whereby two thirds of the video, two thirds of the facial expressions and movements of the couple, have frame by frame been generated by the computer.

Cyberspace does not exist as a space, it could however exists as soon as one acts. This is communication.

Don’t be stupid

Don’t be stupid, a projection on the floor Sept-Nov 2011, Magasin 3, Stockholms Konsthall

Don’t be stupid, 1997.

Screenings: SVT “Elbyl” Ch 1 / Art & Video in Europé Heure Exquise! Stockholm Art Fair. Swedish Television Ch1 / Osnabruck Videofestival. at Botkyrka Konsthall. Don ́t be stupid in the videocompilation ”Take two” (same tour as FRESH) at: the ICA, London / Videopositive-95, Liverpool / Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff / Ikon Gallery Birmingham / Tate Gallery London / Ferens Art Gallery Hull / Open Hand Studios Reading / National Film Theatre in London / Ruskin SFA Oxford.

Don’t be stupid, a projection on the floor Sept-Nov 2011, Magasin 3, Stockholms Konsthall

Makt och maktlöshet – handling är igångsättande av kraft. Relationer består av både monolog och dialog, ibland kreativ dialog. ”Var inte dum, ägna inte kraften till annat än kreativ dialog” frestas man därför att säga, men i oförmågan, i läckaget av kraft, i handlingen som inte når fram, finns också det ofödda.

Verket Var inte dum är en reflektion över en politik som äger rum på offentlig men också privat nivå. Det avbildar ett rörelsemönster av de oförmögna eller de som inte kan hantera sin förmåga, sin makt. Att se det ofödda, det osynliga, är en förmåga som går att träna upp. Om man vill, envisas och… inte är dum.

Power and powerlessness – action is force. Relationships include both monologues and dialogues, and sometimes creative dialogue. ”Don’t be stupid, your only power lies in creative dialogue”, one is tempted to say, but our abilities fail us, we almost never reach our objectives. And there is the invisible.

The work Don’t be stupid is a reflection of the political that takes place both in public and in private. It depicts movement patterns of those who cannot handle their power. To see the invisible: it is an ability we can acquire. But only if we want. Insist. Persist. Do not be stupid.

Cecilia Parsberg

The man in the performance says:

Woman kicks man’s ass. To me it would seem more natural with the roles turned around, a man punching a woman. Then I would sympathize with the woman. I would probably see the video as an image of women’s relation to men in general. I can easily sympathize with the woman when she’s the one wearing the boxing gloves. With the woman fighting it’s so obvious to me, as a man, how lonesome her struggle is. She doesn’t let the man in.

This is not the picture of a relationship, rather it reflects the fight of a single individual.
I’ve always believed that the relationship between man and woman in our society was the concern of both. Why does it seem so clear to me in this case, that it’s all about one individual woman struggling with herself. Is this the kind of one-sided struggle that patriarchy is built to hold and maintain?
The woman spends all her energy on her fight. What happens to the man – nothing? There is no room left for him. And in our society-where is the deliverance of women made passive by someone else’s fight. Men struggling, leaving no room for women. What happens to women-nothing? Should you implode or explode?
It’s a man’s world, in which both men and women live. But society is no relationship – it’s a one-sided struggle for survival and self-development – man against nature – men against women!


Suggestion, a videoinstallation shown at Schaper Sundberg Gallery in Stockholm and L.A Gallery in Umeå, Sweden 1997.

A video projector shows a super-8 film in a small black room. It’s an endless loop of a 2 min. film. The sound of a film projector is quite high and there are also a few sounds from the woman who was running the film projector when it was filmed on video.

The projection shows a woman rolling her head, but instead of that her hair spreads out, it encloses her head. The film is shown backwards.

The woman looks as if she’s in the grip of three forces: firstly the one which she’s generating herself by rolling her head, secondly the one which is the opposite to the centrifugal force (a force that strives to the center) and thirdly the one from the woman who starts the projector over and over again with a sigh.

How do you know the war is really over?

How do you know the war is really over?, a video installation 1996.

For videoscreenings, see CV. Video Master on BETA. 14:57 min.

The video was filmed in Vietnam, the USA, and Sweden between December 93 and October 96. It begins with a Vietnamese man who shows and explains that for the first eight years of his life he lived in tunnels as protection from the bombs during the war (there are no Vietnamese living in tunnels today). It ends by explaining that 6000 people are living in tunnels under Manhattan. How do you know the war is really over?

The video is a reflection over how responsibility and guilt are related to each other, and how easy one can change to the other.

The video also includes private conversations about how easy and true it can be to make certain agreements in one relationship and how wrong they can be in another.

Visiting souls

Visiting souls

Multimedia square was a groupexhibition including: Peter Greenaway, Ben Vautier, Colin Self, Darell Viner, Jårg Geismar, Sachiko Odashima, Arni Gudmundsson, Tom Phillips, Cecilia Parsberg.
The exhibition took place in a stylish building in central London with security guards at the entrance. My intention was to bring the subject of mental gifts into this business orientated area.

Landsdown House, the Saatchi building, London, June 1996


A piece made for the groupexhibition: multimedia square, Landsdown house, London June 1996.

I was present every day in a big open room. On top of the front wall I had put up the sign: Visting souls. I asked the visitors if I might try to draw their soul. I put the drawings (size A4) up on the wall as they were finished.

When drawing I used a simple system, I stuck to a given form, an outline of a torso. During the time I was drawing I looked into the eyes of the person in front of me much longer than I looked at the drawing and much longer than you usually do with a person you don’t know. The result depended on how much each of them agreed to have eye contact. When they looked in another direction I looked at the drawing. This was to maintain the concentration and create a drama of the situation, with respect.
The first visitors were disappointed; -Is this my soul? but when they saw that all of the drawings were similar, they started to compare them and read the small differencies. They also wanted to hear what I saw and how I interpreted them as personalities. Each drawing took about 4 minutes to make.

I was interested in commenting upon the situation when we sit in front of a doctor, therapist, medium etc; the need of being reflected by others and how one transforms and uses it. I also wanted to put people in contact with each other, the people who happened to be there at the same time. It´s a similar thought as the one I had in the concept of the exhibition: Who wants to be like mum and dad?

Performance by the artist and a visitor.

Vietnam, hello bye bye ok

Vietnam, hello bye bye ok, a video installation by Cecilia Parsberg and Erik Pauser 1995.

Shown at Galleri Index, Stockholm, Gallery OTSO Helsinki, Sveaborg / Suomenlinna Helsinki and in ”Anight at the show” Zurich, curator Harm Lux. (10 DigitalBETA-Masters per edition.)

A room: floor, walls and ceiling is black. 10 Monitors, 10 video players. Sound. All the 10 videos are edited at two paces which change every three minutes.

One after another the monitors lights up and goes out with a ”Hello”, showing a Vietnamese child looking directly into the camera.

Second pace: All the monitors shows faces of Vietnamese children looking. 40 different faces are edited in a fast tempo. The rhyme ”hello by bye OK, hello bye bye OK, hello bye bye OK….” is repeated continuously.

The monitors were placed high and low, at a distance and close. At the first pace it is possible to look back at one child at a time. Then it changes, the children are surrounding the viewer in a continous flow in all the monitors. The childrens urge of wanting contact becomes a threat of limitless space.

The filming was made during 2 months in Vietnam 1993.