Bigert & Bergström.

Mats Bigert

*1965 in Stockholm, SWE


Lars Bergström

*1962 in Stockholm, SWE


Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm, SWE

collaboration since 1986



Exhibtions [Selection]:

 The Storm, Gallery Niklas Belenius, Stockholm, SWE

The Mouse, CIS Art Lodgers, Convent de Sant Agusti, Barcelona, ESP
 Meditations on Divinations, Forum, Stockholm, SWE

Know Yourself, Världskulturmuseet, Göteborg, SWE
 Temporary Truth, Milliken Gallery, Stockholm, SWE
 Short Circuit No.18, Cabinet Magazine, Brooklyn, NY

The Mouse

Date: 2012
Length: 28:00 min.
Format: 16:9
Specifications: Colour, Sound, Single Channel
Courtesy Gallery Niklas Belenius, Stockholm



Scarcely any other animal polarises society to the same extent as the mouse, whose relationship with people began some 10,000 years ago when mankind became settled in one place. In their short film “Musen” (mouse), the artist duo Bigert & Bergstrom examine the complex situation, full of discrepancy, of the mouse in our society – from a historical and a contemporary point of view.  The work is an artistic expression in appreciation of this tough animal, whose divergent relationship with mankind is presented with the help of found footage. At eye-level, the camera follows a mouse wandering through a maze. Its search for an exit is frequently interrupted by interviews, film excerpts and text overlays. The work compares the life of a laboratory mouse with that of a mouse bred for beauty contests, and contrasts the loathing felt by someone who suffers from musophobia with the religious veneration of the rodent in India. The film also includes a commentary by professor Karen A. Rader on the origin and development of the mouse as a laboratory animal in basic research, shows the respect with which Taiwanese people treat the mouse, and explains how Chinese artist Lu Yang established a “mice pleasure orchestra” named “Kraftmäuse”. The sound concept of David Österberg’s background music refers to real-life sounds which the composer stylised to match the theme of the film.

Stephanie Bestle




► 1. Your work has been chosen among over 2000 festival entries to participate in VIDEONALE.14. In which context do you prefer to present your work, festival/cinema context or exhibition? And what kind of difference does the respective mode of presentation mean for you / your work?


I prefer to present my work in an exhibition context. We are artists and do a lot of exhibitions, we mix sculptures and video work. In the art world you are more free, in the world of festivals you have to fit into the right slot and it is easier that you fall in between chairs. However, we also show our films at festivals and TV stations, and then you meet another audience with different eyes and comments and that is always in one way or another interesting.



► 2. Art can be seen as a mirror that registers and reflects life or as a tool that transforms it. Is there a particular theme, concept or problem your art addresses the most?


The border between science and art are one topic that we work with and how the science truths are temporary. The video ‘’The Mouse’’ deals with how different cultures and humans relate to the little animal and how humanity has developed in relation to beauty, religion, fear and our knowledge about our self - through the mice. The little mice are quite mind blowing.



► 3. In which way is the video medium an excellent possibility to express your intended subjects, especially in contrast to other media you use? Or do you work exclusively with video?


Well, to describe an interview with clay would be a problem. With film/video you work with time that you can control very exactly. And in our case we work with history, animals, interviews, sound etc. It’s very hard to do that in other media. We are at the moment looking at the possibilities to use the information we got from the research and to transform it into a performance, but it would be something totally different.



► 4. If you have the chance to ask the visitors of the VIDEONALE.14 exhibition questions about your own work, what would be your question?


What was your relation to the mice before you saw the film and what is it now?

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