I am back! Here is my Sick Note..

pappa-bjorn-lowendahl-and-annalivia

My Father holding me.

Excused Absence? The last few years have been very difficult. A series of troubling and heartbreaking events. First, around 2010 I became very unwell, not knowing what was wrong, then after finally being diagnosed with Pernicious Anemia (an autoimmune disorder that can lead to serious complications), I begun the long road to recovery only to have my path broken again, by the sudden, unexpected death of my father, followed by a distasteful and questionable aftermath, which to some extent still is dragging on. Truth has been allowed to unfold into different versions, and justice seems to be nothing but a series of slaps in the face. Much salt has been sprinkled into wounds!

My father died on the 24th of August 2013, while I was in the process of moving the public wing of the M{ }esum into new premises. Instead, my mother and I found ourself on a long-haul flight to Thailand. A rush against the clock to make it in time for my fathers cremation, which we were about to gatecrash, uninvited, after finding out about it by pure chance.We arrived in monsoon whipped Bangkok, dazed, disorientated, jet lagged and grief-stricken, in a state of severe shock and utter dis-belief. Already inconsolable. Things were about to get worse.

The next day we managed to navigate our way to the temple-grounds with the help of an old friend of mine, Kaprice, a long time resident of Bangkok, only to discover that my father was given a ‘pauper’s cremation’ in Bangkok’s shantytown Klong Toey, the oldest and largest slum in Bangkok, home to 100,000 people crammed into one square kilometre  built on a swamp, (a three-metre-deep bed of sludge, rubbish and sewage bordered by the Chao Phraya River)  which against the backdrop of the intense and humid tropical heat of over-urbanized Bangkok, is accompanied with the putrefying odor of the city’s sewage system. Later I would find out that the temple (Klong Toey Nai) is best known for the cremation of dogs and other pets.

 

Crematorium. Klong Toey Nai Temple in the slums of Bangkok. #crematorium

A post shared by Anna Livia Löwendahl-Atomic (@allatomic) on

There were no guests, only my half siblings, my fathers estranged wife (i.e. my stepmother) and my fathers driver. The ”ceremony” (if one can call it that), took place in a small building with an incinerator, rushed and cheap, it was but an insult to the memory of my father, and together with my family’s mean-spirited and malicious attempts to keep me in the dark, was not only, at a time already full of sorrow and distress, extremely hurtful, unkind and offensive, but together with other turn of events and in combination with things my father confided in me shortly before he died, still leaves a lot of questions.

I have now set-aside over two-and-a-half years preoccupied by following leads, pursuing judicial inquires, comparing conflicting stories, uncovering missing information and collecting testimonies. My stepmother and I have also been embroiled in an ugly  dispute about my fathers Last Will and Testament, where she wanted an over 20 year old Last Will and Testament“, written during a time that my father and I had fallen out, to be followed instead of his last one, written in 2011. The whole thing  has left me feeling exhausted, depressed and  disillusioned. My art-practice has taken a back seat and I have turned into more of recluse than normal, not wanting to burden friends and acquaintances with the situation, but finding it almost impossible to think or talk about anything else, especially when new disclosures and exhumed facts only has served to increase my misgivings.

Having said that, come end of last year I woke up one day and felt that enough is enough. I wanted my life back, if only partly. I will continue to leave no stone unturned, and the wretched and murky story deserves to be told in full, which I intend do on another blog, SALT NOIR . However,  I can’t let myself continue being  all-consumed by this tragedy. It’s time to move on, and I am determined about picking up the pieces of my own life, where they were left, on the 24th of August 2013.

So it is with much excitement that I want to make an official announcement. I am  opening  a new space for the public wing of the M{ }esum , at a secret location in Berlin! Watch this space.

To be continued..

 

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Instant loss has left me stunned and disrupted.

My father Björn Löwendahl and I.

My Father Björn Löwendahl

 

Three month ago I lost my father unexpectedly. His death was sudden and un-anticipated. There were no good-byes and no opportunity to finish unfinished busines. No warning and no time to gradually grasp the reality that my world was about to change dramatically. Instant loss has left me stunned and disrupted.

I am still trying to reorientate myself in the gap between the way my world should be, with my father alive, and the way the world is. Trying to fathom that my father is gone. That so many of my hopes and plans for the future are gone. That so many questions never will find answers.

My creativity was often driven by the presence of his absence and my longing for him to play a bigger part in my life. Cruel fate had it that he was taken away from me just as that longing was starting to be met. Just as he had stepped back into my life

 My father was an exceptional man. I miss him very much.

  Anna Livia