Nybroplan, Stockholm, Sweden
It’s to this spot outside Stockholm’s Royal Dramatic Theatre that actor Margaretha Krook would escape for her cigarette breaks. A bit of time-out during rehearsals. Or a moment to herself before a performance. By 1974, when Margaretha was 51-years-old and she’d been the proud receipient of the Eugene O’Neill Acting Award, Margaretha was already one of Sweden’s most famous and most loved actors. She appeared in films, on the television, and often trod the boards at the Royal Dramatic Theatre. Serious roles, comedy roles, she excelled in them all. And the recordings she made of Eva Bexell’s trilogy of children’s books about the summer spent by two young boys at their grandparents’ house (Prostens barnbarn, Kalabalik hos morfar prosten, and Upp och hoppa morfar prosten!) are bought on CD and download via the internet to this day, 30-years after they were made in 1976. Before Margaretha died of cancer in the spring of 2001 at the age of 75, her fellow actors told her of their intention to put up a statue of her, in honour of her work and her talent. Margaretha told them not to. Statues are cold. And Margaretha didn’t want to be associated with anything that was cold. But soon after she’d passed away, those actors hatched a cunning plan. They loved Margaretha so much, they decided they’d go ahead with their idea for a statue. Only, it would be a heated statue. Warmed internally to the ideal human body temperature of 37degrees. Which perhaps accounts for the golden sheen of the statue’s nose and belly…people rubbing the statue to warm their hands. A statue, it would seem, with a beating heart.