Not Art, Not Music, Not Fashion, Not Performance: Just Grebnellaw

Paulina Wallenberg-Olsson’s artistic vehicle – an explosion in red and white, electronic sounds and fantastical costumes – is her name spelt backwards, and it makes for an intriguing spectacle. As we cannot really define what Grebnellaw is, we decided to find out directly from the source, while at the same time getting a peak into Grebnellaw’s universe.

It’s pretty hard to label you. Art, music, performance art. How do you define what you do?

On my website my slogan is ‘Not Art Not Music Not Fashion Not Performance’ – I guess it’s a provocative statement saying, that maybe my work is a hybrid of all those disciplines. In Grebnellaw I work with all those genres but for me the core is song-writing. The songs are what make the wheels spin and that generate all the performance activities.

What’s behind the colour code? What’s with the red and white theme that goes through so much of what you do?

I think while growing up I had a volume of The Red and the Black by Stendahl in my bookshelf and later it was referenced by Jacques Brel in his song ‘Me Me Quitte Pas’. I actually never read the book, but I was intrigued by the title, the anarchist colours. For me, I thought red and white would make a more relevant marriage – it’s minimalistic, a reduction, a way to deal with the multiple choices of capitalism. It’s also saying we’re pretty – but don’t eat us, we are deadly!

You created something called the New Population. Some aliens characters that populated a parallel universe. Are they all still alive and prosperous?

Thanks for asking. Yes of course they are still alive and continue to have their internet home on Tumblr. Their spirit has become integrated in my music performances. Grebnellaws are more linked to the organic world, as opposed to New Population that are put together from the garbage of consumer society. Grebnellaws are climate refugees that have arrived on Planet Earth, carrying the cosmic seed, a sperm of hope.

What do you have planned over the course of the following year?

Grebnellaw will kick off the year with an optimistic performance, a celebration of hope, called Sperming the Planet for the web-based exhibition Acclimatize at Moderna Museet on the 14th of January.
All earthly living organisms will be invited to an ecstatic celebration of biodiversity to some fresh new electronic sounds. The seed will be put in the most fertile and special we can find, giving birth to new forms, shapes, animals and humans.

Could you give me your current view on Stockholm’s art and music scene?

It’s quite exciting. I’m a part of Upfront Producer Network, co-founded by Anna Ingler and AmberValent. It’s a female network formed in the fall of 2015. The network’s aim is to show the music industry that there are many talented music producers who are women. There are so many interesting things in music – off the top of my head I think about AM Kosman, Juliann Julian, Drömfakulteten, Tami Tamaki, Systraskap….
There are things happening all the time in events, galleries and clubs. Clubs in particular have become very important cultural venues. New venues to look out for are Kunst and SquirtSquirt.

For 2017, what do you think are the new trends, important events and interesting names to look out for?

The most important trend of 2017 will be the increased awareness of climate change and how to create a sustainable future. I’m creatively connected to the performance artists Butcherqueen and Leffe Crumlove, the stylist Helena Ekström, Chinese artist Tianzhou Chen, artist and music producer AM Kosman, designer Sara-Lovise Ewertson, and of course everybody who is a part of Grebnellaw. Right now I keep an eye on Aisha Devi, Sevdaliza, Pussykrew and the visual work of Sam Ro

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