Arbete i hemmet (2017) [housework] is a video montage and an installation of looping film sequences from Husmorsfilm AB (Housewife’s film ltd) during the years 1956-1961. Housewife’s films were educational advertising clips (infomercials) that were produced between 1951-1976 and shown for free at Swedish cinemas. The films mixed the latest scientific and technological findings with product placements and advertising aimed at modern housewives. Besides marketing products for the home, the films did also broadcast the ideology of the era, which was characterized by optimism and the pursuit of better conditions.
The Housewife’s films are an important documentation of the post-war period, when various institutions with an authoritarian and educative undertone conveyed a message about what women should do, how they should behave and what they should consume to fit into the prevailing housewife ideal. The work embodies a history of women’s unpaid work in the home. A story that often has been subordinate and not told in the room of art.
Petra Hultman (b. 1983) graduated from the Royal College of Art in Stockholm 2017 and has previously been exhibited at the Gothenburg Art Hall and the Color Factory in Stockholm. The work Arbete i hemmet was included in the Västerås Art Museum’s collection 2018.