Cleaning the basement, I realized that the paint spotted garment hanging in the workshop was my old lab coat from tech uni, or to be specific: Faculty of Engineering, Lund University.
I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, it really mirrors who I am and what I’ve always been, being relived from the shackles of social expectation. On the other hand, I kept provoking people in these days by not restraining my playfulness and urge to stand out. There were teaching assistants who directly categorized me as the one they needed to put in his place. There were fellow-students who (rightly) thought I wanted to direct too much attention to myself. During some of these occasions, my tender heart stung, and I shed some tears on the Skåne soil. Eventually, I learned to step into line, keeping my impulses down and my mouth shut, dressing according to social expectations. In the mid-nineties, I became an obedient marketing department clone, wearing a tie and jacket every workday.
Here it is in all its tarnished glory. Unfortunately, it has taken a spin in the washing machine, and some of the textile grafitti is really hard to read.
This is my mascot Målltass Mållekyl (a deliberate misspelling of ”Moltas” – a rare Swedish name – and ”molekyl”). As you can see, he is a water molecule.
There are actually seven of his kind adorning the lab coat. This says ”Always fun!” (also spelled in a funny way).
An angry Målltass.
On one arm, there is a quote by Homeros – the first lines of the Iliad in Lagerlöf’s famous translation. On the other arm, there is a quote from a King Crimson song: ”Knowledge is a deadly friend if no one sets the rules.” (Epitath, 1969).
On the back, there is a big Målltass in native American attire (“Indijan-Målltass”). I have no idea why.
It’s probably only me in the world who can interpret this smudge. The intention is to show what Olle/Indijan-Målltass has on his mind. The person who drew it lives in Australia today.