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Man och barn
Magdalena Ljung

‘Husband and Child is about a need to create a family and the impossibilities connected to it. An everyday dream so many people can make true but not me. Why is that so? How can I hurry slowly when I’m becoming forty and the time is running out? What can be done within the framework of today’s ethics, moral and science, and what lies outside this frame? In the film I share my feelings and motives and reach further into a surrealistic domain. I want to create a drastic, analytical and humoristic narrative about a woman who is between a rock and a hard place and tries to find a way out.

An unredeemed fertility is depicted against the backdrop of a lush summer. Life, flowers, animals, and I who walk in the midst of all that beauty without being able to join. I am in the middle of life wearing a red dress, blood, strength, victory, but the flag is hoisted too soon or is it already too late? I’m dressed up for a party that is delayed or one that has already stormed past. In these scenes I live out my hope in vain. Other times I wear a white jumpsuit, like from an old film about the future. I imagine a space where unconventional solutions are possible. Are such things a long way ahead of us or just around the corner, and will I make it? I’m also dressed in a black morning robe and speak about my everyday sorrow. Edvard Munch symbolised the three ages of a woman by dressing her in white, red and black, and letting her inhabit various landscapes.

A white cat follows me. Freja, the Wiking goddess of fertility, travelled in a carriage pulled by nine cats. The lechery of a cat, it’s nine lives, the nine months of a pregnancy, and at the same time the lonely crazy cat lady. I play with symbols of fertility, volatility and sacrifice, a pomegranate, eggs and soap bubbles. I pour wine on seashore cliffs, four litres, the monthly blood of the childless years that left me. A midsummer pole is raised with much ado against a grey sky. I walk among stuffed birds and try to fly.’

English title Husband and Child
Aspect ratio 1.78:1 (16:9)
Prod. format Generic HD-video
Duration 00:26:57
Language Swedish
Color Color
Sound Channel 2
Year 2013
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About the artist

Magdalena Ljung

Magdalena Ljung, f.d. Dziurlikowska (b. 1975 in Warsaw) lives and works in Stockholm. She received her MA from Konstfack University of Arts and Crafts and works predominately with video.

Magdalena Ljung’s video works linger on the crossroads between documentary and fiction. Her themes originate from her own life, she plays herself and interpret existential questions, hardships and adventures. The starting point is the self-experienced and the script is based upon such, while the imagery is symbolic and associative. Everyday life, surrealism, humour and feminism become a narrative which encompasses a personal story and the wider contemporary sphere.

Magdalena Ljung’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums such as Eskilstuna konstmuseum, Kulturhuset and Liljevalchs konsthall, and at film festivals, such as Tempo Documentary Festival, Uppsala and Oberhausen international short film festivals. Ljung is also an art critic for the daily press and a guest teacher at art schools.