Sweden's Public Art Agency recently held a competition for an artist to do something with Korsvagen train station in Gothenburg. The winners, Jacob Goldin and Simon Senneby, proposed a project called Eternal Employment which the jury considered "humorous and critical".
And here's the idea. The artists will shortly be advertising for someone to work in the station. What you do there is entirely up to you. A light and timeclock will be installed to signify to visitors that the "worker" will be working in the station. According to the Agency, the light provides "a direct sensory experience while suggesting multiple interpretations in relation to working environments. The stamp bell and the changing room, to which only the employee has access, are also important components of the proposal."
This is a real job with a real salary. The employee will be given a proper employment contract, lasting in perpetuity, and paid to do whatever it is they want to do through the Agency's budget for the project.
The artists want this job to have lasting anthropomorphic benefits:
As for Korsvägen itself, it seems strangely devoid of any historical narratives or urban legends. Korsvägen of today is really just a traffic solution, a place to change between buses and trams, a place to cross while heading elsewhere.
A key aspect of Eternal Employment is its potential to produce secondary mediation. Stories told about the person employed forever with nothing to do. This may take the Eternal Employment form of newspaper articles, TV reportages, and social media hashtags. Jokes about working "as though you were at Korsvägen". Although almost invisible at first, over time Eternal Employment has the capacity to make its way deeply into the oral history of Gothenburg.
Further information is available at the Public Art Agency Sweden website and the vacancy will be advertised in the near future.