A striking survey of the vibrant contemporary Norwegian video art and experimental film scene. The seven artists represented in the program consist of both newcomers and established artists, including the internationally renowned Knut Åsdam and Bodil Furu. The works explore political and social issues with both humor and gravity: the Social Democracy of yore, the meeting points between cinema and performance, art and architecture, and the clashing of cultures (European versus American, old concepts of “the Orient” versus “the Occident”). All works in the program are U.S. premieres. Curated by Maria Fosheim Lund.
Bodil Furu, 2008; 12m; 35mm
The Norwegian folk opera was established in 1935 during the early Social Democracy, as a theater for the working classes, offering art at reasonable prices. In 2008 a new Oslo Opera House building was ready, and the folk opera building abandoned. Furu’s film pays tribute to the old building and its staff, turning the usual hierarchy of opera production upside down. Here, the backstage staff is in front of the camera, the performers are unseen.
Marte Aas, 2010; 4m; 16mm
The ancient Indian dance Bharatanatyam (here performed by dancer Rukmini Chatterjee) has many gestural similarities to the expressive mimic and body language found in silent and experimental films of the early 20th century. Cinéma is a mediation and negotiation of the two arts, where the Occident clash with the Orient.
Unn Fahlstrøm, 2008; 8m; Blu-ray
Nature’s rhythms and cycles are still perceptible in the marshlands of Linum outside Berlin, where different bird species meet every autumn before they migrate south for the winter. Fahlstrøm contrasts raw footage from Linum with a soundtrack based on Arne Nordheim’s composition Listen, from 1972. These partially abstract images echo early Norwegian video art.
Knut Åsdam, 2008; 13m; HD
Oblique, which premiered for Manifesta 7, is a hybrid narrative of cinema and architecture. Åsdam invites the spectator to a journey through a continuous “city” built up from cities and regions of diverse political, economic, cultural and social landscapes. The characters are traveling in a suspended generic space in-between the realities of various places.
Marius Mørch, 2006; 6m
The opening images from Jean Cocteau’s Orphée sets the tone in Mørch’s sampling work. With Orpheus entering the underworld, a dizzying journey through the world of American B-movies begins…
Blessed Blessed Oblivion
Jumana Manna, 2010; 23m
Gaining access to hyper masculine environments in her hometown of East Jerusalem: the auto repair shop, barbershop and the gym, Manna portrays young Palestinian men in a particular zone of political conflict.
Ignas Krunglevicius, 2009; 13m
On the shortlist for the 2010 Nam June Paik award, this split-screen video work is based on an interrogation transcript recounting the details of a pastor’s wife who one day decided to kill her husband.