The Gynecological Cinema Chair

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Fri, 01/03/2020 - 10:50 -- Nick Dager

Welcome to The Gynecological Cinema Chair at Göteborg Film Festival.The organizers of the upcoming Göteborg Film Festival have posed a question: Do you have what it takes to put yourself in a woman’s position? In a unique interactive film experience created by celebrated artist and filmmaker Anna Odell, powerful men such as hockey legend Börje Salming, a former president of Interpol and a Swedish former minister of justice are offered the chance to undergo gynecological exams as a way of showing their vulnerability. Welcome to The Gynecological Cinema Chair at Göteborg Film Festival.

The whole experience is interactive, open for anyone with a ticket, and during the screening you yourself will have to make a bold choice if you want to see the whole story fold out.

“I dare promise that no similar experience has ever taken place at the Göteborg Film Festival, or any other film festival for that matter,” says Jonas Holmberg, artistic director, Göteborg Film Festival. “The work explores issues that are personal, political and extremely relevant to this year’s festival focus on equality and feminism.”

Odell is one of Sweden’s most famous and influential artists. Her film The Reunion was presented at the Venice Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI award for best debut in the side sections Orrizonte and Critics’ Week. She also incited extensive debate in Sweden after faking and filming a suicide attempt as part of her film Okänd, kvinna 2009-349701.

At Göteborg Film Festival 2020 she will for the first time show her work Undersökningen (The Examination), specially made for the festival. In the film, the artist explores the gynecologist’s chair as a metaphor for vulnerability.

“You get up in the chair voluntarily, but I dare say that no one feels comfortable in it. It is also a chair that is used exclusively for examining women, which perhaps makes it even more suitable for the project,” says Odell. “On the other hand, I think the position is quite familiar to many men. They often sit with their legs spread widely, taking up a lot of space. The position in a gynecological chair is basically the same, you just tilt it backwards.”

The participating men featured in the film are:

Börje Salming, hockey legend, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Thomas Bodström, former Swedish minister of justice
Björn Eriksson, former director of the Swedish police and former president of Interpol.
Robert Aschberg, journalist and TV host
Jan Guillou, author and journalist
Mark Levengood, journalist, author and TV host
Michael Dahlén, professor of marketing and consumer behaviour at the Stockholm School of Economics
Mårten Castenfors, head of Liljevalchs konsthall, one of Sweden’s leading art galleries
Stefan Larsson, director and former head of multiple Swedish theatres
Göran Greider, author, poet and editor-in-chief of Swedish newspaper Dala-Demokraten
Anders Palmér, artist

The Gynecological Cinema Chair will take place January 25 – February 2.

For more information visit: