To walk into a silent tunnel 

”Memory is redundant; it repeats signs so that the city can begin to exist.”
    Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

The city is a patchwork. 

Or perhaps a kaleidoscope, an optical illusion. You focus your gaze on one part of it, and slowly the motif transforms into something different.

Rats run across Kungsträdgården, new rats that replaced the ones that were there before. 

Relax your gaze, let it glide further into the horizon. The black rat runs in the background, full of potent lice and plague bacteria. It is since long extinct here, yet it remains. One step further back runs the rat of the future. Beneath it stretches the sewers and the subway, a vascular system and a nervous system that binds the city together. Further down lies forgotten graveyards, stories and  memories. They do not disappear, they form a mass on top of which all new things are built.

Humanity never rests and therefore the city cannot either. It is expanded, torn down, built up and reimagined according to current ideals.

Stockholm always wanted to get up, to get out there. The first time it was nicknamed “the Venice of the North” was in the 16th century. These barren little islands with their restrained megalomania has not changed much since then.

The essence of humanity is concentrated in the city, it becomes a magnifying glass through which one can observe dreams, restlessness, hunger and the desire to have a good time. The human, too, changes very little. 

Carl Sagan said that the cosmos knows itself through us. It is beautiful that the universe came to observe itself through the lense of a creature that is so petty, funny, violent and caring. In this way, the Nobel prize reflects humanity. Like a patchwork or a Kaleidoscope, it is simultaneously the noble pursuit of knowing the universe, it is a spectacle, and it is dynamite. The human is ephemeral, but this impermanence is constant. And as the years pass, something is built from this short-lived, restless curiosity that humanity is. Nothing truly disappears. It becomes a monument.

Architecturally, Tysta Marigången can be compared to a church. It is an elongated room with an impressively high ceiling. All lines and shapes are straight and rigid, yet harmonic. Just like the placement of the windows, they are carefully planned. As you walk in from the heavily trafficked street outside the sounds mute and the lights dim. It is like walking into a basilica or a cavern. It is like walking into a silent tunnel. 

The space is a failure. It is hidden, unprofitable and an excellent place for those who wish stay out of sight. It is an appendix on the city, which is why it was inevitable that it would be torn down. The plans for what is to replace it reflects the times, in the same way that the original architecture did when it was new. Instead of a cave: clean glass, panoptical lights and (if the visionary illustrations are  to be trusted) full of happy, healthy people. In this way Tysta Mari is forgotten and replaced by a generic mall-street. And naturally, this street too will disappear one day. But as we have already concluded, nothing ever truly disappears, it forms a mass on which the new is built. 

The Nobel Prize celebrates the monument of humanity, I celebrate Tysta Marigången; a monument to the city.

On the street outside runs the rat of the future.

                                                                                                                      – Linnea Lindberg