Hedvig Jalhed, Mattias Rylander

Unfinished Business

How can microsocial rituals connected to a specific site be used as interaction templates for artistic purposes? And how can we distort such rituals artistically in order to make them memorable events? As artists, we regard distortion as the process that gives character and distinction to things and situations, as well as something that confuses and enriches information and interpretation. Through examples emerging from the operatic production Chronos’ Bank of Memories (2019–2022), set in empty shop stores with interacting visitors, we have recalled and fleshed out issues of rituality with distorted proportions. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, its production was interrupted and later on revived, which affected the work. This exposition covers aspects of both our artistic practice in general and this particular opera’s tendency to encompass distorted rituals. Commentary texts, images, and audio/video clips are arranged into an introduction and then three thematic strands in order to offer a reasoned overview of our work process.


Hedvig Jalhed is senior lecturer in Chamber Music and Chamber Opera at Mälardalen University and interim head of department of the Inter Arts Center, Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts at Lund University. She is a professionally trained opera singer with a master’s degree in Musical Performance and doctorate degree in Performance in Theatre and Music Drama. Her artistic research concerns the development of operatic practice in contemporary and conceptual works, with a special focus on operatic game design and issues regarding immersion and interaction. Besides her academic career, she has founded the independent chamber opera company Operation Opera and is appointed artistic director for Halland Opera & Vocal Festival on behalf of Region Halland.

Mattias Rylander is senior lecturer in Informatics and Graphic Design at Kristianstad University. He holds a master’s degree in Fine Arts. He is a visual artist, graphic designer, and set designer, and his work includes video art, illustrations, literary productions, and scenographic interiors. During the last decade, Mattias has created set designs for a number of experimental chamber opera productions, on conventional stages, in black boxes, and in urban-exploring venues and found spaces.