Can we outwit death? That question has been asked for as long as humans have roamed the earth, but modern research shows that the question of eternal life should be viewed not only from as a religious and philosophical matter, but also as a biological possibility.
But while we humans are developing more and more advanced methods to prolong life, for the first time in history we ourselves have the capacity to extinguish all life on earth. Nuclear weapons are not the only threat. Our way of life is destroying the climate and diminishing the chances of future life, day by day.
Oscar Nilsson is creating a sculpture of the sickly girl Josie, taken from the 2021 novel 'Klara and the Sun' by 2017 Nobel Prize laureate in literature Kazuo Ishiguro. This is an image from the work in his studio. Photo: Richard von Hofsten.
From the film Körkarlen. The book was written by Selma Lagerlöf, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909. © AB Svensk Filmindustri (1921) Photo: Julius Jaenzon
The aim of the exhibition Life Eternal is to reflect on issues related to eternity, and thus also the future. It is more urgent than ever to find new ways of talking about how we should continue our journey. In these discussions, the Nobel Prize can play a key role.
Various issues will be highlighted in the exhibition halls. Visitors will be challenged to think about what happens as we get older and whether it is possible to stop ageing. How our lives and societies are being affected by Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. Whether there may be a life after this one, or whether parallel worlds exist. In one of the halls, the exhibition will take an in-depth look at why some people put their own lives at risk for a higher purpose.
In one of the rooms at Liljevalchs, visitors will be able to sit down at the desks of some Nobel Prize laureates to learn more about their work processes and creativity. One laureate who will be highlighted is Marie Curie. She succeeded in isolating pure radium that later proved capable of saving lives by means of radiation therapy to combat cancerous tumours. But radiation also posed risks. Marie Curie’s own life was ended by a blood disease that was probably caused by her work with radiation. At peace prize laureate Desmond Tutu’s desk, it will be possible to listen to witnesses from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that he led after the abolition of apartheid in South Africa.
Artists Mark Dion, Niki Lindroth von Bahr and Christian Partos have been commissioned to create new works for the exhibition. Oscar Nilsson will also contribute a sculpture of the sickly girl Josie taken from the 2021 novel Klara and the Sun, written by the 2017 Nobel Prize laureate in literature, Kazuo Ishiguro.
The following artists are providing works for the exhibition
Anna Dumitriu, Andrea Galvani, Ann Lislegaard, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Christian Partos, Dana Sederowsky, Éva Mag, Fredrik Paulsen, Jillian Edelstein, Jone Kvie, Julian Charrière, Laura Splan, Mark Dion, Mats Hjelm, Moa Israelsson, Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Petra Lindholm, Rineke Dijkstra, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Ulla Wiggen, William Kentridge, Ylva Carlgren, ARTECHOUSE and a joint work by John Wynne and Tim Wainwright.
Creative partners include
Sahara Widoff, Greger Ulf Nilson, Birger Lipinski, Annesofie Becker, Morten Søndergaard, Magnus af Petersens, Matilda Lindvall, Jan Gradvall, Lars Forsberg, YOKE, Transpond, Digizyme, Hangmen, Alnarp Foodtech, AI Sweden, AGoodId, Sveriges Unga Akademi.
An early X-ray picture taken by Wilhelm Röntgenof Albert von Kölliker's left hand. Photo: Public domain, Wikimedia Commons
A killer slug made by Niki Lindroth von Bahr for his stop-motion animated short film 'Something to Remember'. The slug will play a major role in the new work that the artist is creating for the exhibition. Photo: Niki Lindroth von Bahr.
Try the digital experience ‘Eternal Conversation’ that connects to the exhibition. Listeners enter a space filled with quotes from Nobel Prize laureates, authors and entertainers, and are invited to drop in on the conversation. The listener can explore themes such as equality, hope and compassion, and can soundtrack the party by playing the quotes like an instrument.