Our Trip to France (Mont des Tantes)


Two-channel HD-video installation, 27.35 mins. Structures in wood, cotton blend, cotton voile and sandblasted mirror glass. The work is part of the Moderna Museet collection.

—In our world, only faggots existed during the weeks in July.

A collection of diary entries from 1977 written by four young gay men from the Gothenburg area forms the starting point of the installation Our Trip to France (Mont des Tantes). The group belonged to the socialist association Röda Bögar [Red Faggots], and the journal depicts their stay at an international gay liberation camp in southern France. 

Over 40 years later, Conny Karlsson Lundgren visited the farm where the camp took place and filmed the empty buildings along with the garden and surrounding landscape. The artist has created a montage of the filmed still images from the site accompanied by archival photographs, saturated summer sounds, and recordings of the diary fragments describing the art of the camp community. We meet the activists during some intense weeks of both joyful and anxious encounters in the heat of the southern European summer. They reflect on relationships, sexuality, politics and the possibility of using drag and female-coded expressions as a playful weapon against the patriarchy. By letting a younger group of activists voice the diary entries, the installation becomes a place where dreams, desires and memories of different times can meet across historical and generational boundaries.

 Our Trip to France (Mont des Tantes), film still (detail). Archive photo: Eric de Keizer.
Installation view, Göteborgs Konsthall, 2021. Photo: Hendrik Zeitler.
Installation view, Bonniers Konsthall, 2024. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.
Screen (after Verfaillie) and Parasol (After Eric), Bonniers Konsthall, 2024. Archive photo: Verfaille Eddie. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.
Pond (after Hans), Bonniers Konsthall, 2024. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.
Screen (after Verfaillie) and Parasol (After Eric). Front: The Stairs from The Teenage Runner, Bonniers Konsthall, 2024. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.

Director, Camera and Editing: Conny Karlsson Lundgren. Archive Photo: Eric de Keizer. Voices: Zafira Vrba Woodski, Olov Kriström, Eddie Mio Larsson, Finn Hellman. Script: Conny Karlsson Lundgren (based on the travel journals of T, S, B and H from Röda Bögars Diskussionshäfte [Red Faggots’ Discussion Folder] No 8/1977). Script Edit: Clara Diesen. Grading: Ulf Lundén. Sound: Jesper Norda. Translation: Tomas Hemstad and Benny Nemer. Assistant: Mike Karlsson Lundgren.
Our Trip to France (Mont des Tantes) was commissioned for and produced in collaboration with The Ghost Ship and the Sea Change, the 11th edition of Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art (GIBCA) in 2021, curated by Lisa Rosendahl.  Exhibtions: Göteborg Konsthall. Gothenburg SE. Moderna Museet, Stockholm SE. Ystad Art Museum, Ystad SE. Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm SE. Örebro Konsthall, Örebro, SE.

 ©MMXIV Conny Karlsson Lundgren