Our workshop in Mölndal upholds a far-fetched, but still, connection to Senefelder.
This special connection, has a span from 1818 until now and further on, into the future. That´s quite an extensive span to take into considerration these days, when inovations older than five years are sometimes regarded as useless.
In his time, the chemical adventure took place on plane limestones that he had found outside of Munich, where he lived. He invented and developed this method, as far as he possibly could, and left it to us as a heritage. I´m absolutely certain that he would have taken great interest in the possibilities that our computerized time has connected to his invention.
At about the same time, it could even be the very same year, 1818, when Senefelder wrote his book on lithography, a house was built in Mölndal, just south of Gothenburg. A brick house with big granite stones in the ground. It´s a house that after 160 years, and a great many different activities, gave room to a lithographic work shop in wich Senefelders Chemical Plane Print continued its course through photo mechanical sollutions into the digital era.
Then,.. in 1978,.. ten artists graduated from Valand school of Art and started a lithographic work-shop and named it Bolaget Vardagsbilder (Everyday Picture Company).
The house itself is a two-storey building with the print shop down stairs and and a studio on top. It has one smaller stone press from the 19th century and a big Steinmesse & Stollberg offset press from 1956. The workshop has, in the last decade, been upgraded with pre press possibilities on an elementary basis.
You could say that the situation resembles Senefelders: as he did... we too... want to gain access to printing facilities on our own terms. The equipment needed is of course expensive, but still within the reach for a smaller artist group like ours. Standard soft ware like Photoshop, Indesign etc, laser printers that provide size up to A3 and an ink printer that is getting close tobig formatswill get you a long way.
One could write a special chapter about the scanner, the importance of wich cannot be overestimated! It lodges the capacity to convert any printmaker into an euphoric, digital filing clerk.
In this small-scale print shop situation, where you can combine 19th century techniques with the latest affordable upgrades, you get a different stature on both tradition and renewal.
The old house looks the same on the outside as it did almost 200 years ago, but it is not as far away in the world as it was then. It stands as solid as ever, on its´granite ground, as does our need to visualize and ponder over what it is to live this life. And that´s what we do, images that tell about our own experiences, about everyday life, and death, and the world we live in.
(Alois Senefelder, Munich, 1771 – 1834)