Within the countless folios of Bernt Nyberg’s work at the archive in Stockholm, there are very few writings by the architect to be found outside of terse project descriptions and business correspondence. The exception to this general finding is a succinct one-page declaration, didactic enough to be taken as an architect’s philosophical statement, reflected upon for decades, refined and explored through his work, and then succinctly articulated in short bursts of language as pure as his work’s details.
The poem was written for the occasion of an exhibition by artist and friend Olle Dahl. Specifically, we can read the poem in the context of one particular print by the artist entitled ‘Homage à Mikis Theodorakis’. The print depicts the Acropolis in the distance and a fallen column in the foreground, yet one segment is higher than the others as if resisting the inevitable fall of a once heroic monument. Written less than a year before Nyberg’s death, and during a time where his body and will to live were deteriorating, the monument described could be interpreted as his own presence just as much as a reflection on his work (which to him, were one in the same). Ironically, this writing and the print together sum up the state of Nyberg’s work and perhaps shed light on his keen understanding of culture’s potential to ruin as much as it creates.
and must now
and dead devices
in the life joy’s