‘Hestia’ is the Greek god who got the hearth – the fireplace – and thus also the home as her divine domain. Hestia was at the same time the oldest and the youngest god at the Olympia. She was the first to be born by Zeus’s parents Kronos and Rhea, but the last to be taken out of Krono’s head after he had eaten all his children. It was Zeus who saved his siblings from the titan, and who later together with them started a new era as a god at Mount Olympia. Hestia, as the ruler of fire, was honoured by the Greeks before each sacrificial rite. Her fire, burning in every home and every town hall, was never put out.
Hans Carlsson’s project is Hestia’s story about herself. It is based on a written monologue, where a bitter and neglected goddess tells about the self but also about the history of the home from antiquity to the present day. She does this to remind us that myths and rituals invade the idea of domesticity also in our present time. Her story accounts for bloody sacrifices and household deities, collective dwellings and utopian projects, and of homes that are no homes, but investments in the era of market capitalism.
In addition to an essay/monologue, and a study circle open to the public where source texts are read at the Inter Art Center (more info soon), ‘Hestia’ takes the form of an exhibition in a home environment in Malmö. In this exhibition various layers of myths that have surrounded places people inhabited are presented as a collage and a genealogical momentum. Hestia’s voice should have a material expression in rooms that are actually inhabited. Her experiences are not only symbolic, they are firmly anchored and already part of, walls, floors and ceilings.