Category Archives: Oslo

NORWEGIAN WOOD

Net stroll: 3rd of September 2012, Børre Sæthre (Norway)

The Norwegian artist Børre Sæthre is known for his art installations that remind the viewer of the settings of science-fiction films — bringing each visitor into a fantastic and dreamlike universe.

His spaces are usually sculptural and reconstructed environments that includes; light, soundscapes or moving images. Reflection from his Nordic homeland and childhood memories can easily been recognized in his work — along with some selection of art, film, design and architectural history.

The artist is a brilliance — when it comes to building a negotiation strategy between; chaos and control — beauty and ugliness.

Photographs taken from google image

Børre Sæthre was born in 1967 in Oslo, Norway. He lives and works in New York and Oslo. He has had several solo exhibitions including; “From  Someone Who Nearly Died But Survived”, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway, “I’ve Been Guilty of Hanging Around”, Participant Inc, New York, “Powered by Zero”, Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris and “Module for Mood”, Thread Waxing Space. His work has also been displayed in numerous of group shows.

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Filed under Art, Installation, Light installation, Oslo, Solo exhibit, Uncategorized

KJERRINGEN OG RÚSÍ SÆNG

Vernissage: 31st of August 2012, Tidens Krav (Oslo)

The opening of Kjerringen og Rúsí will open — just about now …

In the fall of 2011, Tidens Krav announced an open call for calls. Artists and curators were invited to submit a project proposal orally, through calling Tidens Krav’s automated tele-application service. The rules were simple: the caller could only use the spoken word to convey their project proposal. Any reference to visual material or documentation of their work or practice, was disregarded. This left Tidens Krav fumbling in the dark, with a sometimes clear, other times muffled, singing, drunken or stuttering voice as its only guidance. Proposals by the following artists and curators were accepted:

Birta Gudjonsdottir (IS)
Chris Succo (UK)
Jasper Griepink (NL)
James Hoff & Børre Sæthre (US/NO)
Mom & Jerry (DK/DK)
Rachid Laachir (BE)
Vemund Thoe (NO)

The following Icelandic artists will display their work tonight.

Helgi Thorsson & Steingrimur Eyfjörd 

Photo by Birta Gudjonsdottir

About the artists:

Helgi Thorsson

Helgi Thorsson exhibits new works made in his studio in Reykjavik and at Tidens Krav, specifically for this exhibition. His installations are composed of oil paintings on wood and found material and sculptures made from paper-maché, plaster, and found material from flee-markets. His color palette relates to the 1970s and many of his motives as well, with references to music and TV culture of the time. Many of his works relate to an excessive drinking- and party culture often related to the image of Iceland.

Steingrimur Eyfjörd

Steingrimur Eyfjörd exhibits new works made in his studio in Dale in Sunnfjord, Norway, where he has resided with his family the past two years. As an Icelandic resident in Norway, his identity as such has become a red thread through his most recent works, an ensemble of various works titled „Kellingin”(kjerringa/the old hag). Along with drawings, sculptures and instructional works, revealing his processing and somewhat criticism of Icelandic and Norwegian society and culture, he presents a 2.000 pages bookwork-diary spanning the time from when he moved to Norway until now, a part of his vast, ongoing collection of browse-through texts & images, based on his dreams and recollections, and interviews with elderly Icelanders.

 

Date: 31st of August – 16th of September 2012

Artists: Steingrimur Eyfjörd and Helgi Thorsson

Curator: Birta Gudjonsdottir

Place: Tidens Krav, Skippergata 18, Oslo

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Filed under Art, Oslo, Uncategorized

“I LIKE ALL KIND OF TUBES. THE YOUTUBE AND THE WHITE CUBE”

– Interview with Jacopo Saltarelli (Norway)

When did you start curating? Tell us something about your educational background?

I was born in Firenze in 1459. I know this may sound strange, but it all makes perfect sense. You see, I started out as an apprentice goldsmith. Soon, however, I found that prostitution was something I felt comfortable with, and liberated by. Through my work, I befriended Leonardo da Vinci, and became a model for many of his masterpieces. At the age of seventeen, they payed to sodomize me in public, and I spent two month in jail together with da Vinci and three of his friends.This became a turning point for me. After we were released, I discovered a paradox in the space-time continuum, contained in Leonardo’s asshole. I traveled through it, and was catapulted forward in time to a small cabin by the Norwegian coastline. Some young artists from the city of Oslo happened to find me, and after a bit of small-talk, they invited me to be the curator of a new gallery space. So here I am, back from the past to talk about the future.

What is the artistic field of your curatorial practice?

This is a question of specifying some form of limit to curatorial practice, something which I believe contradicts the basic non-meaning of the term. If you’re a curator who only curates video art, or collage for that matter, you’re already a stuck up, pretentious kind of guy, who seeks artists who adapt to his or hers designated niché one way or the other, and the exhibitions you create will end up fetishistic at best.

I like to curate artists which relate to some of my personal perspectives. Including, but not exclusive to, sexuality, scientific negation, blasphemy, perfection, beauty, rebelliousness, time, space and immortality. And also, things. You could say I’m a bit of a fetishist myself.

Saltarelli Salong

Is there a difference in curating different field of arts, etc. paintings, videos, interactive works or a piece of net art?

There is no reason why we should separate these fields and exhibit them as different practices. This is artes vulgares thinking at its most anal, and I dont think the material should be considered superior to the idea and context of a given artwork. In my youth the church was the only place to rock. Today, I find strict categorization close to impossible with the new, transmutational practices in this android age.

What kind of qualities do you think a curator should have?

Sadly, a curators traits is of an obnoxious charater. Public relation and sale, contextualization through media, projections of personal insecurities and so on. Overly charismatic and slick. A demigod wannabe. I think the curator is something which has emerged through the artists need to be collaborative, while still standing like a lone ranger on an heroic cliff. The lonely artistic genius is exactly that, a lonely arrogant man. Nothing gives us a greater thrill than satisfying our sense of exhaustion and ennui by polishing the bars of our prison cell. As jail, the museum leads to isolation.

Do you think that new and digital media used in contemporary art has brought new aspects to arts and curating? Yes or no, explain why?

BWPWAP? Yes, for me, I prefer keyboards over sloppy handwriting. It’s a way of immortalizing our own monologues. #YOLO

Work by Frido Evers / Saltarelli Salong

In times of “You Tube” and the Internet, do you think a curator is still needed?

I like all kind of tubes.The YouTube and the White Cube. One doesn’t necessarily exclude the other.

What are your curatorial plans for the future? What are your personal wishes, hopes and perspectives in curating?

Exploring the depths and caveats of art through Saltarelli Salong I also wish to materialize myself in a 3D hologram, exhibit works in a church, and travel back to Italy to see the social change of the last 500 years and feel the salt of the earth once more. The intestinal wormhole of da Vinci has taught me that money is a means to and end, the end being death.

“The Man and the Tree” / In SALT’s latest exhibition, Geir Backe Altern plants an illegal tree outside of the gallery

Photographs belong to Saltarelli Salong

What is the future of professional curating from your point of view?

Why so serious? That is my biggest concern. Art should not be dull or afraid of its shortcomings. Let’s leave behind this slick, slimy, unreasonably complex sociolect which contemporary art personifies to the point of neurosis. Contemporary art as presented today is the tragedy of perfection. The curator is often blamed as the legitimatizing force for commoditizing an ostensibly unapproachable field of useless innovation. But this is of course not the curators fault.

SALT (Saltarelli Salong) operate through weekend exhibitions, happenings, screenings, concerts and workshops mainly focsed on exhibiting young artists based in Oslo.

SALT is named after Jacobo Saltarelli, an apprentice goldsmith and notorious male prostitute who lived in Firenze during the renaissance. In 1476 Leonardo Da Vinci was arrested, spending two months in jail, along with several young companions, on the charge of sodomy with the then 17-years-old Jacopo.

Jacopo Saltarelli is now the founder, curator and gallerist of SALT. He was in his own time accused of being ‘party to many wretched affairs and consents to please those persons who request such wickedness of him. SALT believes this to be much the same service delivered by the majority of contemporary art.

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Filed under Art, Curator, Curator Talk, Konsthopp, Oslo, Performance, Political Art, Visual Art

CURATING IS AN INTUITIVE & MAGICAL PROCESS

— Interview with Thale Fastvold and Tanja Thorjussen, LOCUS (Norway)

When did you start curating? Tell us something about your educational background?

LOCUS: We met while studying curating at Telemark University College in 2006, and seeing as we both are artists, we discovered that we had a many common denominators in our views on curating as well. Thale is trained in photography/text from Rome and Oslo, and Tanja in drawing/painting from Bergen and New York. We decided to work together, and founded LOCUS art and curator group. The first thing we curated was a series of video art events in Oslo and Trondheim. Since then we have curated and collaborated on smaller and bigger art shows in Oslo, Voss, Nissedal and New York. We work as curators, artists, art consultants (for KORO/Public Art Norway) and writers. In 2009 LOCUS published the book “Kurator?” an anthology of interviews with, and texts by curators working in Norway.

What is the artistic field of your curatorial practice?

LOCUS: The most important aspect of curating is threefold, 1) the theme 2) the artwork and 3) how it is conveyed/contextualized within the given space.

We normally have a clear vision and focus regarding the theme of the exhibitions. Often it has been inspired by political, scientific or spiritual events. Developing a theme, we work very intuitively, and in some respects almost scientifically. We do a lot of research on the topic; we attempt to explore and excavate the theme, and we do not have all the answers until the exhibition/project is over. For example, in our book project “Kurator?”, we investigated how curators work in Norway today, and we didn’t know from the outset what we were going to find. When we curate, we invite artists we believe will respond to, and create an interesting dialogue based on the given theme. We look at a lot of artists and follow their work, so when we invite somebody to participate in a project we trust them and their process of working.

How an artwork or the theme is conveyed is also an important part of our work. For instance, for the video art events we curated, we decided to make the screening of the videos a “one time only”-event, over the course of one evening. Our intention was that the audience should view the entire work in a focused setting, not see the work broken up in parts, which often happen when video is showed in a loop and you walk in on a work in progress.

As to the artistic field of curating, we will always bring with us our background as artists. When we work with art projects, whether the outcome is a curated show, our own exhibition, or a book, the process will always be colored by our background/experience.

Yonder” in Galleri 69, Oslo (2008)

Yonder” in Galleri 69, Oslo (2008)

Is there a difference in curating different field of arts, etc. paintings, videos, interactive works or a piece of net art?

LOCUS: Yes, and no! We started curating video art since the media is easy to transport, and we could easily make pop up video art exhibitions in borrowed spaces.

It requires much more preparation organizing a bigger exhibition space with large paintings and installations, and it can be more expensive to produce, but in essence the process is the same. We are a nomadic curator group, we do not have our own gallery space and we never know in advance if we will get public funding for a project, so we are used to finding creative solutions to different obstacles. Other elements in preparing a show – the planning, applying for funding, writing project outlines, press releases, shipping and installation – are not very different from show to show, everything needs to be done. After 6 years of collaboration we have experienced that being two does not just double our capacity, it quadruples it and often makes us more efficient than working solo. We discuss, plan and organize, and the project never suffers since one of us can always fill in and back up if the other is preoccupied. We trust each other, communicate easily and are very much in unison with the projects we work on.

What kind of qualities do you think a curator should have?

Thale: A curator needs to be open minded, flexible and good with editing, both when it comes to artworks and text!

Tanja: And be a good mediator and have a functional toolbox.

Blackening.” Galleri 69, Oslo (2008)

Blackening.” Galleri 69, Oslo (2008)

Do you think that new and digital media used in contemporary art has brought new aspects to arts and curating? Yes or no, explain why?

LOCUS: It has opened up a wider area in which to explore and experience art. Artists always question the status quo, and now digital media is just that. But it is important to create the best way to present an artwork, as everything surrounding the work has a context, now video has established the black box, painting the white cube etc. so it will be interesting to see how digital media art will best be conveyed. Experiencing artwork is really very private, it is you and the work, and so is our interaction with our computer. It is especially interesting with the new Google art project, which makes museums and art available to the public through the computer, but for a curator it is also a great tool for studying curatorial decisions.

In times of “You Tube” and the Internet, do you think a curator is still needed?

LOCUS: Yes, definitely. The curator is often the conveyor of meaning, the translator and the person who can help both audience and artists in forming a closer and better relationship with one another. The curator is also of great help to the artists; many artists want to focus solely on creating the work and don’t always wish to spend valuable time conveying their art to the audience.

What are your curatorial plans for the future? What are your personal wishes, hopes and perspectives in curating?

LOCUS: Right now we are working on a show presenting our own work at the project space at Tegneforbundet in Oslo (which opens Sept. 27, 2012) where we through drawing, photo and installation investigate what happens to the soul after death, before next life cycle. We are very conscious about the space, lighting, sound etc, and want to create a very specific mood in the room. When we create a show with our own art we can be freer or more immediate in how we alter the room. When we work with presenting other people’s art, we have to work with the artist to find out what they want to achieve, and how the essence in their artwork can be most adeptly expressed. Placing meaningful objects like art in a room is very hands-on and instinctual, and as curators we try to be true to the artworks.

It is easy to discuss curating in an academic way, but it is very much an intuitive process, and a magical process, and we hope that these aspects of curating will be explored further in the future.

Thale: I started a window box gallery in Oslo last year, within the Pushwagner gallery, where each month I curate smaller shows with emerging artists, and I will continue that project. When I curate shows or work as an art consultant, I aim at including 50% male and female artists, and I also wish to showcase younger artists. Of course, the most important thing for me is to curate interesting shows, which to me are shows that arouse something in its viewers, and give the audience a new perspective, whether this is on society, contemporary art or both.

Tanja: Through art projects and curatorial projects alike I explore something I don’t know, but which stirs my interest.

Now I am working on a Performance Laboratorium (co-curated with Gudrun Flatebø), which will be held at the cultural space Galleri 69 & Kafe MIR at Lufthavna in Oslo this fall. Initially I thought it would be interesting to create a performance lab because I did not know much about performance, I did not think I fully understood the history of performance and what performance is, it is a very mysterious art form as it is so hard to define.

Kurator?” A book by Thale Fastvold and Tanja Thorjussen / LOCUS (2009)

PHOTOGRAPHS BELONG TO LOCUS

What is the future of professional curating from your point of view?

LOCUS: In 2004 two curatorial study programs were established in Norway, and since then we have seen an escalating professionalization of the Norwegian curator. Before there where mostly artists or art historians who did this job. Last year the Norwegian Association of Curators was founded, which is an important step in professionalization, and we think the society and the art world in particular is increasingly starting to see the value of the curator. There is a great interest in contemporary art, but with conceptualism, postmodernism and all the other —isms of the last 40 years, the audience sometimes depends on someone to convey the art. Curators can have this and many other functions. There are so many ways of curating and so many venues of discussing curating, like Konsthopp, so we think the future of curating is very positive and exciting!

LOCUS is an art and curator group established in 2006 by Thale Fastvold and Tanja Thorjussen.Both educated as artists and curators we have exhibited in New York, Oslo, Trondheim, Reykjavik and Zurich. LOCUS have curated video-art events, exhibitions and are collaborators on various art projects in Norway and abroad.

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Filed under Art, Artist books, Curator, Curator Talk, Konsthopp, Oslo, Uncategorized, Video Art, Visual Art

TOP TEN ART EVENTS OF 2011

Highlights of the year

The first year of Konsthopp has been challenging, exciting and certainly eventful. Over the last couple of months we have visit over two hundred art exhibitions in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland and U.K. These exhibitions have been in three descriptive words; wicked, weird and wild. The list below, our highlights of the passing year, includes the three w — and everything in between.

We are already turning our eyes to 2012 and looking forward to it.

Dear readers, thank you for your trusty support and happy new year!

/Írena & Ingunn

#1 Suitable Suits

(Elin Eng; Galleri KG52)

#2 Dreams of Salikon

(Lindalovisa Fernqvist; Meeting ROOM)

#3 Lord of the castle itch yes

(Leif Holmstrand; CHRYSTAL)

#4 De gamla grekiskorna

(Christian Sandell; ID:I galleri)

#5 Back and Forth

(Gatëan Rusquet; ANTI Festival)

#6 Dance Drawings

(Meghann Snow; Young Art)

#7 Devoured

(Johnny Boy Eriksson; Wetterling gallery)

#8 Pure Evil

(Pure Evil; The Scarlett Gallery)

#9 Help Young Worlds

(Ad de Jong; Gallery 1857)

#10 Again words will pass through our bodies, above our heads

(Jenny Grönvall; Studio 44)

Photographs by Konsthopp

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Filed under Art, Art festival, Artist Talk, Copenhagen, Design, Drawings, Fashion, Fine Art, Illustrations, Installation, Konsthopp, Live art, Oslo, Performance, Reykjavík, Solo exhibit, Stockholm, Street Art, Textile Art, Video Art, Visual Art, Young Art

FAITHFUL COPY

Closed: 25th of September 2011, RAM gallery (Oslo)

It may sound strange but exhibitions featuring furniture design is usually a rare sight in Nordic art galleries.

Amy Hunting, the product designer behind the project “Faithful copy,” studied in the departement of furniture and room design at Danmarks Designskole. In this exhibition, she displays drawings, objects and handmade furnitures.

Gudrun Eidsvik, the manager director of RAM Gallery, kindly guided us through Amy Hunting’s exhibition. She told us the story behind the drawings hanging on the walls, were the motive was taken from a black & white photography of parents with three children, sitting on a bike. According to Eidsvik, Hunting drew about one picture every day for 50 days. In the end of the series, the spectator can sense the artist´s tiredness with each repetition — as the picture becomes more simple and basic.

Photographs by Konsthopp

Despite young age, Amy Hunting (1984) has established her own studio in London, were she currently lives and examines the disciplines of design, illustration and drawing. Hunting is also the founder and owner of “Norwegian Prototypes,” featuring modern Norwegian design and is a part of the annual “London Design Festival“. 

We are already looking forward to keep an eye on this talent in the future!

Artist: Amy Hunting

Date: 20th of August – 25th of September 2011

Place: RAM Galleri, Kongens Gate 3, Oslo

Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday, 11.00 – 17.00 ; Saturday – Sunday, 12.00 – 16.00

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Filed under Art, Design, Drawings, Oslo, Solo exhibit, Visual Art

THE NEW LANDS

On-going: 2nd of September – 16th of October 2011, UKS (Oslo)

“Living human beings of beauty” — George Kuchar (1942 – 2011)

Photograph by Konsthopp

Still carrying my luggage, holding my heavy camera and a street map — trying every now and then to figure out wherever I was — I finally arrived to UKS, just five minutes before closing.

When I walked through the hallway, I encountered white candles and a photograph of a familiar face. The man on the photo was George Kuchar, one of the artist behind “The new lands”, who sadly passed away few weeks ago.

For those who didn´t know him, George Kuchar was an American filmmaker, who inspired underground film directors like John Waters and David Lynch in the 1960’s. His ability to make movies on a shoestring was a point of pride for him, and a motivation to several generations of young filmmakers.

P. Adams Sitney, a founder of Anthology Film Archives said recently in a NY-times interview dedicated to Kuchar:

  “His influence is incalculable — the whole world of YouTube is where you see it”

In spite of my little time and the confusion over Mr. Kuchar death, I didn´t have a spare moment to consider, understand or accept the exhibition. Instead, I snapped several photos which you can see here!

If you haven´t discovered George Kuchar yet, I encourage you to check out  his experimental films and videos. May he rest in peace.

Date: 2nd of September – 16th of October 2011

Artists: Eva DrangsholtGeorge Kuchar and Paul Gauguin

Place: UKS, Lakkegata 55D, Oslo

Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10.00 – 17.00 ; Saturday – Sunday, 12.00 – 17.00

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Filed under Art, Digital Art, Group exhibit, Konsthopp, Oslo, Uncategorized, Video Art, Visual Art