Jonas Hassen Khemiri

Jonas Hassen Khemiri

On Facing the Blank Page

For Swedish author and playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri facing the blank page is always “a kind of revenge.” Hear why the acclaimed author – who has been praised by Joyce Carol Oates – considers starting anew as a chance to do even better.

“I like the panic of it, realising ‘OK, here I am again’, the feeling of doubt,” says Jonas Hassen Khemiri. But while the prospect of starting a new project can be daunting, the blank page is not only a challenging acquaintance, Hassen Khemiri explains. It holds “the sense of endless possibilities” and the promise that “I may not have succeeded yet, but maybe next time. There’s always that hope.”

Jonas Hassen Khemiri (b. 1978) is a Swedish author and playwright who is considered one of the most important writers of his generation in Sweden. His best-selling novels have been awarded multiple prizes, among others the prestigious P.O. Enquist Literary Prize for his second novel ‘Montecore: The Silence of the Tiger’, (2006), the 2015 August Prize for best Swedish Fiction Book of the Year for his third novel ‘Everything I don’t Remember’, 2015. His first play, ‘Invasion!’ was awarded a Village Voice Obie Award when it premiered in New York in 2011 and his play ‘≈(Almost Equal To)’ premiered in 2014 at Sweden’s National Theatre Dramaten in Stockholm to raving reviews. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages.

Jonas Hassen Khemiri was interviewed by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen during the Louisiana Literature festival at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, in August 2016.

Camera: Klaus Elmer
Edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Riad Sattouf

    On 'The Arab of the Future'

    Franco-Syrian Riad Sattouf here discusses his emotionally honest graphic memoir, praised as ”a classic within its genre.” Sparked by the civil war in Syria, it is told from a child’s perspective, humorously balancing between two cultures.

  • Joyce Pensato

    Advice to the Young

    Homer, Mickey, Batman! Joyce Pensato – known for her unique work inspired by cartoon and comic book characters – here advises young artists to keep at it, love what they’re doing and, most importantly, “show your work, get it out there!”

  • Ulay

    Advice to the Young

    “If you want and need inspiration – go behind the central station.” The iconic artist – and self-proclaimed anarchist – Ulay here advises young artists to avoid art institutions and to make works that meet their own needs rather than that of the audience.

  • George Condo

    The Artist at Work

    The mind of American artist George Condo has been referred to as a place where “Picasso meets Looney Tunes.” Watch him at work in his New York-studio where he draws and paints his take on a 19th century painting by Manet.

  • Ulay

    Under My Skin

    This is the story of legendary artist Ulay, famous for his collaboration with Marina Abramović. As a solo artist in search for his identity, Ulay’s radical works have pushed the limits of photography and performance using his own body as material.

  • Olga Tokarczuk

    I Absorb Stories

    Olga Tokarczuk – one of the most important Polish writers of her generation – here shares how she draws inspiration from others: “People tell amazing micro-stories or even bigger stories. I seize them, absorb them and transform them in my books.”

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.

  • Bill Viola

    Cameras are Soul Keepers

    When video artist Bill Viola was 6 years old he fell into a lake, all the way to the bottom, to a place which seemed like paradise. "There's more than just the surface of life." Viola explains. "The real things are under the surface".

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Nick Cave

    The World is my Skin

    Have you ever wished that you could put on a suit which would open up the imagination and take you to the world of your dreams? In this video artist Nick Cave presents his wearable sculptures, the 'Soundsuits', made from discarded everyday materials.

  • Gerhard Richter

    In Art We Find Beauty and Comfort

    “I don’t really believe art has power. But it does have value. Those who take an interest in it find solace in art. It gives them huge comfort.” Gerhard Richter, one of the greatest painters of our time, discusses beauty in the era of the internet.