TO BE RIGHT – OR – TO GET RIGHT

Mr K - A Story of Passion, The Dialyses Case, Ossietzky, Temptation and some other art projects.

After a reading experience of Franz Kafka's The Trial, Torsten Jurell carved his own picture story in four painted oak reliefs. The theme is processed in several versions...

Mr K - A Story of Passion

(Develouped and transformed through 3 series of reliefs + paintings, woodcut prints)

"MR K - A STORY OF PASSION
 is a suite of four oak reliefs produced over a period of four years and exhibited in Paris in March 1989, can today be found in Göteborg. In the new version, 'The Accusation 1-4' from 1999, the victim is under attack from mechanical and masked judges who protect themselves with shields in the shape of paragraphs.
These works tell the story of a man who was fined for a parking offence even though he did not own a car. Trapped in a mixture of red tape and judicial harassment, the man has to fight alone to prove his good faith - yet he ends up a victim, convicted and sentenced.
A tribute to Kafka, this story is an allegory of the indiscriminate workings of the administrative and judicial systems, and is illustrated in the bas-reliefs which take the classic form of a Descent from the Cross with the main character as the centrepiece.
But to understand their message fully, they have to be looked at both as a whole and in their myriad details, reminding us of the ceaseless bustle typical of the surrealist paintings of Hieronymus Bosch."
By Laure Barbizet-Namer
November 1999

(In 1999 Laure Barbizet-Namer was assistant curator in charge of the painting and print department at Musée d'histoire Contemporaine, (the Museum of Contemporary History), Paris)(Mr K - A Story of Passion was shown in several exhibitions in France as "La Passion de Monsieur K".)

"Like A Dog!" (Detail) SECOND VERSION: Mr K a Story of Passion. Relief in oak, oil paint, kaolin. 92 x 140 cm. 1999.
"Like A Dog!" (Detail) SECOND VERSION: Mr K a Story of Passion. Relief in oak, oil paint, kaolin. 92 x 140 cm. 1999.

"Like a dog, he said. It was as if the shame would survive him".
(From The Trial of Franz Kafka)

The Accusation relief in oak, oil paint, kaolin 1999, 144x91 cm
The Accusation relief in oak, oil paint, kaolin 1999, 144x91 cm
The Appeal relief in oak, oil paint, kaolin 1999, 144x91 cm
The Appeal relief in oak, oil paint, kaolin 1999, 144x91 cm
An Exemplary Action relief in oak, oil paint, kaolin 1999 144x91 cm
An Exemplary Action relief in oak, oil paint, kaolin 1999 144x91 cm
Like A Dog! relief in oak, oil paint, kaolin 1999 144x91 cm
Like A Dog! relief in oak, oil paint, kaolin 1999 144x91 cm
An Exemplary Action. Oil and tempera on canvas. 70 x 100 cm (approx). 1987 (approx). (Private collection).
An Exemplary Action. Oil and tempera on canvas. 70 x 100 cm (approx). 1987 (approx). (Private collection).
"The Appeal", watercolor and ink, Nr 2 in a series of four. 92 x 140 cm. 1988". (Collection: Sundsvalls Museum, Sweden.)
"The Appeal", watercolor and ink, Nr 2 in a series of four. 92 x 140 cm. 1988". (Collection: Sundsvalls Museum, Sweden.)
Two Cousins with Dog. Water color, ink. 63 x 98 cm. 1985 (approx). This is a preparatory work - before the first relief about Mr K.). (Private collection)
Two Cousins with Dog. Water color, ink. 63 x 98 cm. 1985 (approx). This is a preparatory work - before the first relief about Mr K.). (Private collection)
Mr K (Bolme´s Blue), woodcut print, 42,5 x 71,6 cm. 1988.
Mr K (Bolme´s Blue), woodcut print, 42,5 x 71,6 cm. 1988.
Cousin and Death (front and backside), painted oak wood, iron (detail). 20,8 x 184,5 cm (Private collection).
Cousin and Death (front and backside), painted oak wood, iron (detail). 20,8 x 184,5 cm (Private collection).
Mr K - A Story of Passion. Woodcut prints. 10 x 15, 3 cm. 1988. Edition: 50
Mr K - A Story of Passion. Woodcut prints. 10 x 15, 3 cm. 1988. Edition: 50

The Dialyses Case

The Dialysis Case relief in oak 1991-92 132x200 cm collection of The Swedish Association of Health Professionals SAHP
The Dialysis Case relief in oak 1991-92 132x200 cm collection of The Swedish Association of Health Professionals SAHP

THE DIALYSES CASE
A nurse was made to take blame for an accident which occurred during dialysis in a hospital in Linköping, Sweden.
In 1983 a new dialysis system was introduced. As it turned out this system was a failure. Three patients died, others were put in danger.
The Hospital Board, the doctors and the technicians, those who are paid to take responsibility, did not take any responsibility at all for what happened."In Sweden Jurell's triptych about 'The Dialysis Case' aroused even greater interest and tells the story of a nurse who was made to take all the blame for an accident which occurred during dialysis in a hospital.
Bought by the Swedish Nurses' Union, the bas-relief was exhibited to the public, commented on and shown on television. This story turned out to be a milestone in popular opinion, and the law concerning hospital responsibilities has since been modified.
That pictures like this have such a profound effect owes much to the fact that they appeal to our imagination by exploiting classical and religious references to point out the absurdities and shortcomings of our society.
The triptych composition of 'The Dialysis Case' calls to mind Christ's Road to Calvary in a medieval church painting, but, in contrast to that bygone era's 'picture book for believers', Torsten Jurell's pictures seek to encourage reflection in the observer, inspiring a stubborn refusal to be subjugated. In the ultimate analysis, his pictures affect us because they are beautiful and because they arouse our emotions."

Laure Barbizet-Namer
November 1999
In 1999 Laure Barbizet-Namer was assistant curator in charge of the painting and print department at Musée d'histoire Contemporaine, (the Museum of Contemporary History), Paris)
(Draft for catalogue text to "Fire!" (Det Brinner!), 2000.)

Germany and Ossietzky

Germany and Ossietzky. Oak, oilpaint. 140 x 115 cm. 1992-93.Collection: Museum f¨r Hamburgische  Gischichte. Permanent place: Carl von Ossietzkt-room, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg.
Germany and Ossietzky. Oak, oilpaint. 140 x 115 cm. 1992-93.Collection: Museum f¨r Hamburgische Gischichte. Permanent place: Carl von Ossietzkt-room, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg.
The relief Germany and Ossietzky was carved for an exhibition at Notre Dame des Monts in France in 1993. The work was accompanied by a brief text. News reports along the Atlantic coast spread information about the relief's existence. Word reached as far as Hamburg, Carl von Ossietzky's home town. Money was raised, and the relief was purchased and donated to the Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte (Museum for Hamburg History). The Mayor of Hamburg presented it to the city library, where it now hangs in the Carl von Ossietzky Room.
The relief was lent to the Kulturhuset cultural centre in Stockholm in 2000, where it was exhibited as part of "Fire!" (Det Brinner!).

Confidence or Betray

Confidence or Betray. Oak wood, oilpaint, diptyk: 164 x 67 cm, 175 x 75 cm. 1995. (Private  collection).
Confidence or Betray. Oak wood, oilpaint, diptyk: 164 x 67 cm, 175 x 75 cm. 1995. (Private collection).

The Temptation

The Temptation. Oak wood, neon, oilpaint, kaolin. 200 x 140 cm. 1999
The Temptation. Oak wood, neon, oilpaint, kaolin. 200 x 140 cm. 1999

More about The Temptation: FIND HERE

Changing Stars

Changing Stars. Oak wood, oilpaint. 200 x 152 cm. 1990 - 94
Changing Stars. Oak wood, oilpaint. 200 x 152 cm. 1990 - 94

"The radio was on...
"...I was carving.
The Berlin Wall had fallen...
Lots of people were waxing lyrical
about 'the Market' and 'Europe'.First the Ebbe Carlsson affair, then
Changing Stars.
A kind of market picture - a picture of the Market...
Two men exchanging stars.
Maybe one of them was a STASI informer...
Who knows?..."Catalogue text for "Ladies and Gentlemen..."

141:an, Gothenburg 1996The relief was carved for the EU-critical exhibition
"Bara Brysselkål", Frölunda Kulturhus, Sweden, 1980

The Trick

The Trick. Patinated bronze. Edition 2/5. 100 x 125 cm. Herman Bergman Foundry, Stockholm, Sweden
The Trick. Patinated bronze. Edition 2/5. 100 x 125 cm. Herman Bergman Foundry, Stockholm, Sweden

3 Lost Conquistadors Meet Maya

3 Lost Conquistadors Meet Maya. Painted sculptures in bronze, aluminum, wood, acrylic glass, neon. 206,7 x 220 x 40 cm (approx). 2003-06
3 Lost Conquistadors Meet Maya. Painted sculptures in bronze, aluminum, wood, acrylic glass, neon. 206,7 x 220 x 40 cm (approx). 2003-06

Red Blood – White Frost

Red Guards. Woodcut print.  15 x 12 cm (approx) 1975
Red Guards. Woodcut print. 15 x 12 cm (approx) 1975