RE/ACT the Art of breaking and building

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Exhibition with Paul Brody, Veronica Brovall, Emil Holmer, Eva Grøttum, Aage Langhelle, Randi Nygård, Wojciech Olejnik, Soft Turns, Munan Øvrelid.

Opening: December 11 th. 2015, 8 - 10 PM
Paul Brody plays music. Glühwein included.
Within the framework of the exhibition, Nathaniel Levtow will present a short talk (in English) about his forthcoming book, “War of Words,” on the destruction of writing and images in ancient religion. He will compare his research with the artistic practices that can be seen in this exhibition of contemporary art. The intention with this kind of reading is to see the artistic practices in a cultural historical perspective.
Levtow is Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Montana, USA. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at Humboldt University in Berlin and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow.

Exhibition period: December 12 - 19. 2015

Opening hours (by appointment): Tuesday to Friday 2 - 6 PM, Saturday 1 - 5 PM.
For appointments and questions please contact Aage Langhelle’s cell phone 0049-173-6035317
or send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About the Exhibition: The exhibition wants to examine how artists within the field of contemporary art today adopt, modify and re-contextualize texts, images and objects so that a new meaning is formed. The works in the exhibition comprise a wide spectrum of techniques and content. It may be in the form of appropriation, quoting, recycling, reuse, collage, recoating or restructuring of a material. The artists often combine digital tools with classical techniques such as photography, graphics, painting and sculpture in a complex artistic practice
Since ancient times people have strategically changed and recontextualised artifacts to give them another meaning or to ab/use them in conflicts of interest. Today's iconoclasm, the attacks of representations of political and religious power by using violence or publicly symbolic violence clearly shows an interaction between politics, religion and object (text / image).
Aage Langhelle, Curator

History begins with words and images engraved on publically displayed objects. When the inscribed iconography of ancient Mesopotamia was unearthed from the sands of modern Iraq and Syria, it was taken to Europe and displayed as art. But for the ancients who created and interacted with them, these artifacts embodied the beings and events they represented. They were given personal names, fed sacrificial foods, anointed with oil, and installed in sacred houses. They were understood to be alive. Word, image, material, and meaning blended together in artifactual form. In the first cities, at the dawn of literacy, all representation was participation.
Ancient artifacts had long and difficult biographies. They were abducted, displaced, and transformed; burned, smashed, and buried; their engraved images were mutilated, their inscribed words were erased and overwritten. They were inscribed with violent protective curses warning their viewer not to do these things. The ancient evidence of strategically violated artifacts suggests the need for these curses, if not their success. The earliest text-artifacts rightly predict their own violation and destruction.
After resting in the earth for thousands of years, these same objects are actively engaged in the social-political world today. The monuments of ancient Iraq and Syria are targeted again because of the rival identities they embody. They are on public display once more, as their destruction is recorded on digital video for all the world to see.
The human mind evolved to distinguish between different kinds of being, each with its own essence: Animal, Plant, Person, Natural Object, and Artifact. In antiquity, rituals of creation and destruction could violate and blend these categories. Living artifacts were created alongside artifactual living things. Texts and images were brought to life as plants, animals, and humans were instrumentalized. The essence of forms was fluid and changeable. This was more than a religion or symbolic system. It was a language of languages, which somehow articulated and negotiated the links between the human experience and the non-human world. This ancient insight was more than pre-scientific: the mutation of representations transforms social, psychological, and natural worlds.
Nathaniel Levtow


The exhibition is supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Berlin.

 system nygard

A System Is More than the Sum of Its Parts 5. Zum Neuem Leben Erwacht/Elefanten in Deutschland/Asiens Tierhändler Mafia.
Nygård 2013.

Randi Nygård
In my work I wonder about basic but complex relations that are impossible to see directly, but that we can imagine through images; traces, recordings and forms, examples are our experience and knowledge of time, the climate, psychology and ecology.

“A System Is More than the Sum of Its Parts 4 and 5” are made by cutting into the layered pages of two magazines, following the outlines of figures and patterns, one image through  another. While lines emerge inside the objects, potent and organic shapes grow out of them. Through new openings inner connections that were invisible come forth.

The flat becomes spatial, the figurative moves towards abstraction, the calculated turns random, the surfaces open up, the pictures expand and figures are found to contain layer upon layer of new forms, making the destructive constructive at the same time. A vital force comes forward from within the material itself.

I would like to create a sense of poetic and intuitive relations, but with rational information as starting points, to understand the world`s connections in a more open manner.

We cannot know the world fully and the gaps between objects and appearances, things and words and meanings and signifiers, make language flexible, constructive, playful and poetic.
We can think of nature as a language of patterns, patterns of geology, biology, evolution and meteorology. Our cultural constructions can be seen as part of these energy flows in plants, animals, materials and landscapes, materializing various potentials. We are a living and thinking thought within natures self-expression.
At the same time we are in many ways now influencing and changing the languages we are part of, through for example, high carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Even if our minds are not detached from the natural world, nature enables us to think, feel and speak about how we can coexist within it.

The two drawings «Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions and Everyday Life», inside and outside.» are made by rubbing charcoal over thin paper placed on top of the cover of the book, so that the traces after the reading come forth and create the images.
Randi Nygård


Soundinstallation. Paul Brody.

Paul Brody
Art Accompanying Noise
All movement is sound. The sounds an artist makes while working reveals the physicality of the art being created. It makes a sonic blueprint of the artist’s actions that is generally ignored and lost as the noises disappear. 

My mini-installations involve composing with the recorded noises of three contrasting artists: a glass collage sculptor, a painter who heats and cools paint, and a poet. Completing the sound-compositions accompanied by the displays of the artwork are the fragmented voices of the artists explaining their methodology. 
Paul Brody

stillatwork a

Still at work. Veronica Brovall

Veronica Brovall
The sculptures in glazed ceramics that Veronica Brovall unites under the title Expose The Bait form a coherent ensemble due to several recurring motifs. The artist appeals to our imagination when she combines hands with the thumb extended upward, tongues, goblets, chains and the words ‘Fuck here’ and reuses these motifs frequently. Due to their shape, colour, and texture, the sculptures look like baked chaos, rustic and uncontrolled. Yet their titles and the motifs used suggest all kinds of associations. The artist prefers that her sculptures generate a very direct effect without imposing a concrete message or interpretation on the observer.
Tanguy Eeckhout  

 print1 red liten

Neptune writings. Emil Holmer

Emil Holmer

I have for some time used mechanical processes to achieve another type of imprint than my own hand. The prints are based on a method of reflection and copying. In an initial state I work with metallic mirror foil wich is burnt, perforated, folded and heated with hot glue, fire, plastic etc to create different structures. When scanned, the mirror foil throws the light back into the scanner and creates a visual disturbance, it can be seen as an equivalent of aucoustic feedback; an overload of input in circuit. These visual waveforms constitute a structure in the images.
The final compositions are enlarged, rasterized and printed with silkscreen print on paper.
My work in general draws inspiration from existential themes. As a painter and printmaker, my work is about inventing forms, signs and methods that can incorporate the unliveable into itself.
Emil Holmer


Aina Mahal. Eva Grøttum

Eva Grøttum
Man kann ihre geometrischen Ornamente auf dem ersten Blick als Ordnungen des Sichtbaren begreifen: Das macht Sinn wenn man dem Ursprung des Ornaments als Kunstform nachgeht, der zum Großteil auf das Bilderverbot inder islamischen Kunst zurückzuführen ist. Doch auf dem zweiten Blick wird deutlich, dass es sich bei den Ornamenten von Eva Grøttum eigentlich um Ordnungen des Unsichtbaren handelt. Eva Grøttum will in die Tiefe unter die Oberfläche, sie bildet nichts Sichtbares ab, sondern sie strukturiert Sichtbarkeit. Dabei isoliert oder auch extrahiert sie einzelne in sich als vollkommen anzusehende Formen, die sie wiederum zu einer neuen Textur verwebt – einer Textur, die zwischen Fläche und Raum oszilliert.

All ihre geometrischen Ornamente sind sehr dicht. Wir sehen komplexe Muster: symmetrische Anordnungen universeller Formen, die in rhythmischen Abfolgen gleichmäßig die Bildfläche überziehen: Kreise, Quadrate, Rechtecke, runde Formen und solche, die einen rechten Winkel bilden, werden vielfach repetiert und variiert. Der rechte Winkel als raumbildendes Element spielt hier eine wichtige Rolle. Bezugspunkt dieser Arbeiten ist wie schon gesagt der indische Palast „Ania Mahal“: Besonders fasziniert war die Künstlerin hier von einem Architekturelement, dem Jali, das man mit „Netz“ und auch „Gitter“ übersetzen kann. Ein Jali kann man mit einem gotischen Maßwerk vergleichen, das meist aus fein gearbeiteten geometrischen Ornamenten oder aus floralen Motiven besteht.
Karin Rase

uncertain maps

Uncertain Maps. Aage Langhelle

Aage Langhelle
Langhelle’s image space is removing itself from its referential starting point and demonstrates that photography always will be a space for negotiations between different characters and wills, figurative and conceptual. Its claimed neutrality and clear causality haslong been problematized, not least as a result of linguistic and semiotic theories, and became, with the digitalisation, even more unusable as characterisation. Also, a pure recording of visuality assumes a selection, and the silenced excerpt, whose initial information has been pushed into the background, is being used to achieve something, if only a meaning-bearing expression.

In certain ways, both Uncertain Maps and Whiteout Maps are dealing with the current position of photography as a complex medium, squeezed between artistic recognition and specialisation on one side and the image flow of everyday life on the other. Photographs are very easily accessible through Internet, not least as a base for further visual production. To a certain degree this enormous selection makes the camera redundant. Google’s search engines present the images we search for in a flash,systemised by theme. The material processing of photography that Langhelle’s two series represent is, in that respect, resolute in its expression — they insist on a genuine presence in the free play of the ink. Even though they are photographed, they indicate a strong tactility, like visual traces that area result of the layering of effects.
Line Ulekleiv


Cityplan.Wojciech Olejnik

Wojciech Olejnik
In recent drawings, I have been creasing and folding paper to render objects and architectural spaces.  The folded image gives the impression of forcing itself into the space; the way buildings force themselves into bedrock or a city block.  These folds extend beyond the perimeter of the imprinted object, seeming to radiate its presence, while simultaneously masking the very objects they endeavour to depict.  Washes of pigment further conceal the already faint image, as I saturate the paper with mixes of paint, beach-sand and water.  The resulting images develop from the unresolved tension between the force of the folds and the flattening (and wrinkling) effect of earth and water. 
Wojciech Olejnik


 Fluorescence. Viedostill. Soft Turns

Soft Turns
We began developing the video installation, Fluorescence, as a residency/commission project for Trinity Square Video, Toronto, but always intended to expand it to a larger installation (of eight or more channels). Our source material, the university textbook, “Biology of Plants,” provided us with many interesting subjects as well as intriguing variations on their presentation as images. Across the eight editions published between 1970-2012, the same microscopic subjects appear again and again, though every so often they are presented in a slightly altered magnification, or depicted using a different kind of microscope. Some of these photographs have noticeably yellowed, or were printed in warmer or cooler tones; others have been cropped, or introduce helpful symbols (such as arrows). As our videos flip through versions of the same image from different editions, sometimes the change is so slight, it is seen only in how creases in the page catch the reflected light of the laptop screen. For us, it is as though each iteration presents a unique specimen with which to build a more complex understanding of the various features of a species. Yet overall, as one image progresses to the next, what most catches the eye are the differences in iridescence, which has nothing to do with the image’s age, but rather, the manual way the ink was printed and absorbed by the paper, as well as the particular angle of light reflecting from a handheld laptop. And so what is left for the viewer’s scrutiny are aspects usually perceivable by a more sensitive apparatus than the eye. These are the kinds of things we want to bring awareness to: what is subtle, barely interesting, like the amount of light emitted from a monitor’s screen. Our installation employs a variety of recent and older makes of monitors, and the sheen on their surfaces and varying reflectiveness of their displays mirror the visuals depicted in the videos. Meanwhile, the monitors emit a light that pulses in tune with the moving laptop light, as it approaches, and pulls away from its subjects. At times, there is just enough light emitted for photosynthesis to take place. All of this is meant to draw viewers into a contemplative, reflective response to the imagery, where expectations can be challenged through active engagement.
Soft Turns

Supported by:

2014 OAC BK JPG logo


12 4hodenrknust

A Sense of a Beginning. Videostill. Munan Øvrelid

Munan Øvrelid

A sense of a beginning 
The video shows a series of reproductions of a neo-classisistic bust of Friedrich Schiller, the German antimodern romantic poet. These white sculptures move slowly forward on a assembly line, and fall in slow motion from its end and break.This process repeats itself over and over, every time the sculptures break in to smaller and smaller pieces. In the end there is only white powder left. The white powder pours down in a thin line, creating a white mountain of dust, like a timeglass that has run out of time. Sentences from On naive and sentimental poetry, a text by Schiller runs as subtitles.
The text describes a sublime form in nature that cant be mediated through culture. The text ends with the line time shall seize to exist, and the world shall again be one.
Munan Øvrelid


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