an artist-run exhibition space for contemporary art, is organised as an
independent foundation owned by Norwegian artists. Kunstnernes Hus opened
in 1930, since when it has been one of Norways chief venues for
the presentation of Norwegian and international contemporary art. The
1,100 m2 exhibition area comprises four main spaces: two monumental, downlit
halls on the first floor, and two smaller spaces on the ground floor.
At the back of the building, which formerly housed the art academy, there
are five large artist studios, four of which will become part of the Office
for Contemporary Art Norway artist-in-residence programme for international
artists, which will be inaugurated in 2003.
Although the history of Norwegian art is relatively short, Norway has
nevertheless managed to make its mark in the international art world.
This achievement is due not least to a worldwide network of artist-in-residence
studios, which has offered artists the possibility of short stays abroad
and functioned as a kind of access point to the international arena. The
numerous artist-in-residence programmes around the world enable meetings
and provide a source of inspiration, artistic exchange, contacts, logistic
support, new ways of thinking, the understanding of art, language
The exhibition project "Rest in Space" consists of nine different
sections, covering approaches from the real to the virtual, and encompassing
both pieces made specially for the exhibition, and older works. Two of
the rooms make use of display architecture specially constructed for the
exhibition. In addition to the internet projects and videos, the exhibition
includes 21 works in a variety of techniques. Artists of several generations
are taking part, many of whom are coming to Oslo to install their works
In "Rest in Space" we give an indication of the possibilities
offered by artist-in-residence programmes through a presentation of five
Norwegian artists that have participated in such programmes on five continents,
three of them under the management of Kunstnernes Hus. The locations
New York (USA), Rotterdam (Holland), New Delhi (India), Kellerberrin (Australia),
and Johannesburg (South Africa) have been chosen with a view to
contrast and variety. This section consists primarily of works that have
been made specially for "Rest in Space". It has been exciting
to follow this process from close up, and we look forward to showing the
results. We are also aware that the residencies have at times been highly
demanding, that it can take time get ones bearings in a new setting,
and to digest new impressions.
Langhelle, Lotte Konow Lund, Thomas Pihl, Anne Lise Stenseth, Hanne Tyrmi,
The two Norwegian artists who had residencies in South Africa and India,
Langhelle and Tyrmi, were asked to invite one colleague each from their
respective host localities to undertake residencies in Oslo, Norway. The
two guest artists have been here this autumn and their works are presented
in the exhibition. Dube has already been producing art for many years,
while Madikida has only recently graduated from art academy.
Dube, India; Churchill Madikida, South Africa
We have invited four established, international artists who in the course
of the year have had residencies in other countries (Finland, Sweden and
Germany) to contribute new works. Some of them have previously participated
in artist-in-residence programmes elsewhere. Alves and subReal are preparing
special contributions to the seminar (see section 9).
Artists: Maria Thereza Alves, Brazil; subReal with Calin Dan and Josif
Kiraly, Romania; Chiharu Shiota, Japan
This section presents no less than the "frame" in which the
first three sections are presented: a modular system created by Matthias
Lengner. The flexible system of panels emphasises and enhances the image
of "the nomadic camp", while at the same time enabling the participating
artist to create his/her own "room within a room" in the right
downlit hall. The system is flexible and will be easily adapted to new
spaces when the exhibition moves on to other venues.
This part of "Rest in Space" is characterised by a more reflective
attitude. For this room we have brought together a range of older works,
which are presented so as to articulate the artists travel experiences
and to show various aspects of what it means to be in motion, aspects
that might be mental or mythological as much as physical: in the space
out of the space. This section occupies one of the large downlit
halls on the first floor and the rooms on the ground floor.
Abramovic, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; Basserode, France; Los Carpinteros,
Cuba; Gordon Monahan, Canada; Therese Nordtvedt, Norway; Peter Robinson,
New Zealand; Mitsuko Miwa, Japan; Alex Flemming, Brazil
"Rest in Space" offers a compact little programme of films and
videos that will be shown in the intermedial room. Atle Aas has designed
a seating arrangement with cushions to cater not least for showings of
Ulrike Ottingers 16mm films, which are long and require calm and
concentration of their viewers. Ottingers eight hour long films
will be shown on the weekends, spread over two days. Shorter videos by
some of the other participating artists will be shown on weekdays.
Ottinger, Germany (films); Marina Abramovic, Chiharu Shiota, Lotte Konow
Lund, Maria Thereza Alves (videos); Atle Aas, Norway (design)
The idea of nomadism and of global mobility tends to lead immediately
to thoughts of the internet and its potential for connecting people independent
of time and space. We have therefore set up a "virtual nomadic camp"
which enables artists around the world to contribute with their works.
These works can be either material or immaterial in nature. In addition
we have installed a mailing list that functions as a communication platform
a virtual marketplace for the exchange of ideas, news and experience.
For a while now "Rest in Space" has been collecting information
for an extensive library, where visitors will find information about more
than 300 artists participating in artist-in-residence programmes around
the world. The material includes books, catalogues, brochures and web
pages. We have also made a map for 2002 of the worldwide network of residential
houses and art centres on which the various stations and routes of the
travelling artists are plotted to help visualisation of their journeys.
With this we wanted to discover whether there was any tendency for movements
to converge, but now we see that directions change constantly. The places
that were in a few years ago might be utterly out today, and vice versa.
Sonja Wiik has written a text specially for "Rest in Space",
which considers various aspects of artist-in-residence programmes.
The last part of "Rest in Space" will consist of a symposium
based on talks by the artists participating in the exhibition. This symposium
will take place at Kunstnernes Hus on the day after the opening, Saturday
19th October. Almost all the participating artists will be present. We
hope this arrangement will provide some insight into what residencies
abroad have meant for the various artists, what kind of encounters and
experiences they have had on their wanderings, and not least, what their
travels mean for their artistic production. We also look forward to some
feedback and discussion about our own concept.
information about Kunstnernes Hus: http://www.kunstnerneshus.no