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Andreas Ribbung

Moose Cavalry and the Swedish King who got Stuck in the Ottoman Empire


PASAJ @ Barınhan is pleased to welcome Andreas Ribbung with 'Moose Cavalry and the Swedish King Who Got Stuck in the Ottoman Empire' between 13 July - 08 August 2024.  


The exhibition "Moose Cavalry and the Swedish King who got Stuck in the Ottoman Empire" by Andreas Ribbung connects the image of moose with a spectacular historical event from the early 1700s through a chain of associations.


A central piece in the exhibition is a wall collage made from recycled passepartout cardboard and discarded paintings on paper, depicting a moose head, and mounted high up on the wall like a trophy.


On a different wall, a collection of small photographs and various clippings, including older depictions of moose, images representing different aspects of exoticism, and introductions to the story of a Swedish king who got stuck in the Ottoman Empire, are displayed. The images engages in an associative and sometimes tenuous interplay of ideas, employing an artistic approach distinct from factual representation, storytelling, and illustration.


After suffering a major defeat against Russia on Ukrainian soil, King Charles XII fled to the Ottoman Empire, where he remained for several years. During this period, he continued to govern Sweden from a distance, hoping to form an alliance with the Turks to wage war against Russia. An interesting detail is that Charles XII's father had attempted to create a regiment of moose cavalry, inspired by the rebel group Ribbungarna, who reportedly rode moose in the early 13th century.


At the age of fourteen, the artist changed his surname from Larson to Ribbung, inspired by the thrilling stories of the Robin Hood-like Norwegian rebel leader Sigurd Ribbung. The exhibition also includes a family tree showing the artist's ancestral connection to Ribbung.


In Sweden, it has long been said that Charles XII brought back dishes typical of traditional Swedish cuisine, such as meatballs and stuffed cabbage rolls, from Turkey. Today, one might suggest there is some inspiration, though the differences between the cuisines are substantial.

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