I have spent the last semester on exchange at Oslo and Akershus University College Of Applied Sciences (Norway). Oslo city is full of diverse public art pieces and events and also has a very lively contemporary art scene. Almost every week there is an opening of a new exhibition at different venues. By luck, I happened to get my summer internship at the Oslo based public art production company Kulturbyrået Mesén (http://www.mesen.no). Thanks to that, I prolonged my stay in Norway and got the opportunity to get more closely acquainted with the Nordic art market, as well as delve into the details of public art production processes. Thus, my suggestions will be concentrated on the events and happenings in Norway (primarily in Oslo).
The Lost Museum – Department of Humans (Nordic Section) – Oslo, Norway
Exhibition period: September 9th – November 5th
Venue: Munchmuseet on the Move – Kunsthall Oslo
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 12.00-17.00
Dronning Eufemias gate 34, Oslo, Norway
The Lost Museum is a pop-up museum, curated by Charles Esche (born 1963, England), who is an internationally recognised curator and the director of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The Lost Museum is travelling from one country to another, but the content and form of each edition is different every time according to the particularities of the place, which makes every edition unique. However, the concept of the project remains unchangeable: to challenge the very idea of the museum, the cabinet of curiosity, the white cube, and so on. Through the course of several months the curator along with a team of experts examine the country’s specificities and history in search for art, historical documentation, everyday objects and curiosities to be displayed side by side in order to break established categories and unveil hidden narratives.
The Oslo edition The Lost Museum – Department of Humans (Nordic Section) is focusing on the interrelations of human and non-human, the way in which it was defined and redefined in the Northern European context. A troll painting by Theodor Kittelsen, a carnival mask of a polar bear, depictions of diseases, photographs from the laboratory of racial studies, demonical mural drawings from inside a medieval church, siamese twins’ skeletons and a lot of other objects from various archives and museum collections from all across Norway are gathered together in this exhibition in order to redefine their previous classifications and generate new perspectives.
I really recommend to visit this exhibition
The Last Testament by Jonas Bendiksen – Oslo, Norway
Exhibition period: September 9th – November 5th
Venue: Shoot Galley
Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 12-17. Monday closed
Address: Trelastgaten 17, Oslo, Norway
Jonas Bendiksen is the Norwegian photographer (born 1977) and a member of Magnum Photos. He has spent the last three years following seven men who all claim to be the biblical Messiah. Throughout this project he collects different types of material for the narrative: observations, interviews, photographs of daily life as well as portraits. This was the basis for his newly published book The Last Testament, the exhibition of the same title at Shoot Gallery in Oslo and a very interesting documentary series for NRK channel (in Norwegian only). I would recommend to visit the exhibition for everyone and watch the series for those who understand Norwegian language. It is very interesting to see all those very different people which claim to be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, their lifestyle and followers. One of the cases happened to be in Russian Siberia, which initially made me very curious about the project.
Thomas Hirschhorn exhibition at Fotogalleriet – Oslo, Norway
Exhibition period: September 1st – October 22d
Opening hours: Wed.-Fri.-Sat.-Sun. 12.00 – 17.00; Thu. 12.00 – 19.00; Mon.-Tue. closed
Address: Møllergata 34, Oslo, Norway
I have never been a huge fan of Thomas Hirschhorn’s art, but this exhibition made me change my mind. After attending the exhibition opening, I came to realize that the impression derived from reading reviews or viewing reproductions of Hirschhorn’s art can instill a different and possibly misleading understanding compared to a first-hand experience of his work. In the exhibition at Fotogalleriet along with photographic pixel-collages, Thomas Hirschhorn presents his research, which provides the theoretical frame for the artworks and is inseparable from it. By presenting a collection of his essays, articles of different authors and other collected data material about the censorship and pixelation of violent images in media, Hirschhorn invites us on a journey through the rhizomes of the artworks production processes, which brings it to a totally new level. I strongly recommend for all to visit this exhibition and reserve enough time to go through Hirschhorn’s research materials!
Thomas Hirschhorn states:
“I think that ‘pixelation’ or blurring, masking and furthermore censorship or self-censorship, is a growing and insidious problematic, also in regard to the new social media. Obviously I don’t accept what has been pixelated in my place ‘to protect me’. I consequently don’t pixelate what is usually concealed or removed and meant to frustrate, censor or make non-visible. I can, I want and I need to use my own eyes as an act of emancipation – this is the detonator of ‘De-Pixelation’. De-Pixelation is the term I want to use to manifest that pixelating is no longer necessary. The pixels, the blurring and the masking, and in general all kinds of censorships, can no longer prevent us from fake-news, facts, opinions and comments. We have definitely entered the post-truth world, and pixelation is the form of the agreement in this post-truth world.”
Momentum 9 – Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art – Moss, Norway
Exhibition period: June 17th – October 11th
Venue: Momentum 9:Alienation can be seen in Momentum kunsthall, Vannverket and House // of // Foundation in Møllebyen in Moss, in Parkteateret in Moss city center as well as at Gallery F 15 and the Naturhuset at Jeløy (Moss, Norway)
Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 11:00 to 17:00. (Note: Parkteateret is only open Sundays from 14:00 until 15:00).
Momentum is the Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art, which features mainly the works of young Scandinavian artists but also profiles international art scene. Momentum operates from and within a Nordic context. The ways in which “Nordic” as a term or concept is approached has differed since the first edition in 1998. The ninth edition of the Momentum Biennial takes the notion of alienation as its starting point. By alienation the curators refer to a contemporary world where alien processes and entities are becoming an integrated part of our lives through technological, ecological and social transformations. M9 insists on searching for new tools for greater understanding of the human condition through cross-pollination of methods, categories and disciplines. The collection of artworks exhibited in M9 is very diverse and varied in forms: sculptures, sound- and video-installations, mixed-media, paintings, graphics and wall drawings. The Museum of Nonhumanity, for example, presents the history of distinction between humans and other animals, and the way that this boundary has been used to oppress human and nonhuman beings. Missing Time by Olga Bergman and Anna Hallis deal with biology; genetics and ecosystems in which all sorts of classifications, from genetic mappings to historical registrations, are questioned; the artists present a fictional narration in factual manner; addressing speculative futures as well as alternative pasts. These are only few examples of the art works exhibited in this edition of the biennial.
Kistefos-Museet and Ekebergparken – Jevnaker and Oso, Norway
Both places are basically natural parks filled with a lot of interesting artworks. While Ekebergparken is situated in Oslo, Kistefos museum is not easy to reach without a car. The latter is situated in Jevnaker municipality about 70km from Oslo. Both places are equally interesting to visit if you are keen on nature, art and history. Ekebergparken is open for everyone at any time and day of the year and is free of charge. This season, Kistefos-Museet is only open to the public between Tuesday-Sunday 11am til 5pm until the 8th of October. I would recommend a visit to both places, as they are both very exciting and interesting. Kistefos-Museet is situated at the premises of the former wood pulp factory A/S Kistefos Træsliberi. The museum was founded in 1996 by Christen Sveaas, who is the grandson of the factory owner. The Kistefos-Museet is comprised of the Industrial Museum, the Art Hall and the Sculpture Park.The sculpture park is part of the abundant park area belonging to Kistefos Museum, and consists of sculptures by influential Norwegian and international contemporary artists. Several of the sculptures provide an interactive and playful experience. This season, Kistefos-Museet also presents the exhibition Human Nature: Doing, Undoing and Redoing by the internationally renowned artist Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), who is one of the 20th century’s most notable and influential artists. The exhibition (curated by Luise Faurschou) gives an exceptional insight into her lifelong examination of the human condition. She addresses fundamental experiences like growth, amputation and regrowth inherent in relationships with others as part of human internal processes and emotions.
One work of Louise Bourgeois – The Couple – can also be found in Ekebergparken, as well as works of such artists as Auguste Rodin and Salvador Dali, Damien Hirst, Tony Cragg, Marina Abramović and many of the others, which gives the park a glimpse of the eclectic, but undoubtedly provides an inspiring and exciting experience. Ekebergparken is the public sculpture park created for the people of Oslo in 2013 by the philanthropist and art collector Christian Ringnes.
Alexandra Stroganova (born 1990 in Moscow, Russia) is a second year Nordic Visual Studies and Art Education Master’s student at Aalto University, School of Art Design and Architecture, Department of Art (Finland). She has a background in Fine Arts from Moscow City University (former Moscow City Teachers’ Training University). Alexandra has about 5 years working experience as an Art Teacher in several different schools in Moscow and St-Petersburg, Russia. Her main interest is currently focused on contemporary art and art in public spaces.
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