Per Kirkeby
Wanås, 1994

Jacob Dahlgren 
Primary Structure,
2011

Wanås

Dan Graham,
Two Different Anamorphic Surfaces, 2000

Martin Puryear
Meditation in a
Beech Wood
, 1996

Revisit 2014 – Graf Spee

Revisit 2014 – Unvergessen (Graf Spee III) Jan Håfström (Sweden), Juan Pedro Fabra Guemberena (Sweden/Uruguay), Carl Michael von Hausswolff, (Sweden). In 2007 the artist trio created the installation Graf Spee now on permanent view at Wanås Konst. As a point of departure, they used the story of the German pocket battle ship Admiral Graf Spee, which was scuttled in 1939 outside Uruguay. For the exhibition the artists travelled to Montevideo to follow the story to the bottom of the sea, to face History, themselves and each other.

Unvergessen (Graf Spee III) with Jan Håfström, Juan Pedro Fabra Guemberena and Michael von Hausswolff, 2014. Photo: Wanås Konst
Unvergessen (Graf Spee III) with Jan Håfström, Juan Pedro Fabra Guemberena and Michael von Hausswolff, 2014. Photo: Wanås Konst
Jan Håfström, Juan Pedro Fabra Guemberena and Michael von Hausswolff, Montevideo, Uruguay, 2013. Photo: Daniel Villar.
Unvergessen (Graf Spee III) with Jan Håfström, Juan Pedro Fabra Guemberena and Michael von Hausswolff, 2014. Photo: Wanås Konst
Unvergessen (Graf Spee III) with Jan Håfström, Juan Pedro Fabra Guemberena and Michael von Hausswolff, 2014. Photo: Wanås Konst

A few years ago Juan Pedro told me about his grandfather Francisco Guemberena witnessing the event. What deeply affected the anti-fascist Francisco Guemberena was the youth of the sailors. The young dead were not enemies but victims of a brutal political system. (Jan Håfström)

The German pocket battleship Graf Spee was scuttled by its crew outside of Montevideo in Uruguay. The ship had suffered casualties and severe battle damages after engaging with the British Royal Navy a few days earlier. Uruguay was neutral and international law permitted the ship maximum 72 hours in port for repairs. Estimating up to 15 days of necessary repairs to make it seaworthy, the commander Hans Langsdorff ordered the ship to be scuttled. The crew were taken off to another ship and Allied prisoners were released. Days later Langsdorff shot himself in a Buenos Aires hotel laying on top of the ship’s battle ensign.


In the Art Gallery the artists have created Unvergessen, consisting of a set of dramatic and mysterious installations; film works, sound installations as well as installations of objects. One installation is an interpretation of the bridge of the Admiral Graf Spee, including objects relating to the ship. In Unvergessen the artists give their different interpretations that reflect and nurture the narrative. Although tinged with mystery, Unvergessen is foremost a story about compassion.

In 1991 Håfström exhibited the installation The Spanish Armada, in a warehouse at Wanås Konst. The work consisted of old windows and doors that the artist had found in place at Wanås. Loss, death and sailor’s stories often figure in Håfströms work. In 2007 he invited fellow artists Juan Pedro Fabra Guemberena and Carl Michael von Hausswolff to create a permanent version of the earlier work resulting in the installation Graf Spee. Yet again found windows and doors were used, but this time together with electronic music by von Hausswolff and a film Fabra Guemberena had made at the graveyard in Montevideo were the sailors from the ship had been buried. Graf Spee is part of the permanent collection of Wanås Konst and is on view in the East Barn (East Stable).

Revisit is a series of exhibitions in the Art Gallery in which artists look back on and develop their works in the permanent collection. Previous revisits have been done by Charlotte Gyllenhammar (2011) and Sissel Tolaas (2012).