An era is coming to an end… The four year adventure of the Satans Demokrati (Satan’s Democracy) trilogy of unprecedented multidisciplinary art happenings are soon to cease to exist together with site that has hosted it all, the scrapped office complex in Sickla, which is soon to be demolished.
Perhaps those who expected the theatrical elements to have a bigger presence in Satan’s Dead, like in the previous two parts, Satans Demokrati (Satan’s Democracy) and Satans Delirium (Satan’s Delirium), will feel a little disappointed to find out that there is only one actor, in the character of Woland – the devil. She will only stay in one of the rooms, and interact with the members of the audience who are curious enough to find her. But if you do find her, the reward will multiply itself as you may be invited to enter an exclusive room, where another set of musicians will be playing. Funnily enough, the musicians will not be the same during the entire duration of Satan’s Dead. Different acts will be invited to play there every week. So if you visit Satan’s Dead more than once, you can expect different musical numbers to show up in Woland’s kitchen.
During my time in Satan’s Dead, I got the opportunity to see the Swedish electro-rock band Skuggorna Bakom Oss perform inWoland‘s kitchen. I didn’t expect to be as mesmerized by them as I wass. They were both dark and electrifying at the same time, with an impecable, cool and elegant image. Do check them out here.
There are 120 memory books that will be handed every night to the members of the audience, 60 spirits will get the chance to enter the Satan’s Dead world at every shift and there are two shifts per night. Every book has the name of the person that it belonged to, so you will become this person and go around this world trying to find out who you were before dying and ending up in this limbo: what you liked, who were your relatives, your love, your work colleagues and friends. But you will also go out performing tasks that are explained in the book and with more instructions to find hidden in the different rooms you visit. So every person will experience this world in a different way, visiting only a few of the 150 rooms in the complex and performing different tasks.
A book was handed to me as well, apparently I was a man named Oliver who lived with his parents, and used to like to sit on his fathers knees as he watched TV, sipping on his beer and eating walnuts. From time to time he even let me try his beer. I got to visit the doctor as well, my work place, pick into the mind of my boss who apparently liked stones and crystals and was a bit of a workaholic, among other tasks and memories. Along the way I witnessed other spirits mixing their own fragrances, trying to lay down in their coffins, observing a tattooer making tattoos on himself. Even though I didn’t manage to find out that much about who I was in my previous life as Oliver, it was fun to go around exploring the world that the 80 different artists had created, and interacting with the other souls.
Most of the memory books are in Swedish, but you may ask for a book in English at the registration point when you enter the building, although the audio you’ll be hearing will be in Swedish. Jimmy Meurling, Satan’s Democracy’s project leader and director, mentioned in an inteview with Your Living City, that around the middle of December the audio is expected to have been translated into English. The audio contains extracts from Lotta Lotas‘ Den Röda Himlen (The Red Sky). Lotta Lotas is a writer and a member of The Swedish Academy, the committee in charge of making the annual decision on who will be the laureate for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
There is definitely an aura of mystery and an esoteric feel to the ambience and the symbols used in the art scenes or rooms of Satan’s Dead. The stories you’ll live and have lived during the trilogy are dark and potent, not forgetting to mention the fact that everybody is wearing ghostlike masks and white robes, thus stripping you from a typical worldly identity. It all adds to the oddness of the Satan’s Democracy world.
It is no wonder they have sold out every single performance Satan’s Democracy has offered. With over 100 performances since November 2015, the dynamic and originality of this art performance where the stage surrounds and submerges the audience, has been providing stories and experiences that the Stockholm art-scene was definitely lacking and craving for.