MFA Graduation Show 2015 - In the usual direction of travel
In the flat field, acrylic on silk canvas, 2015, by Stein Are Kjærås Dahl
19 Artists working in many different artistic mediums: not only Khio’s official four craft areas – ceramics, printmaking, textiles, metal work and jewelery – but also video, installation, sculpture, painting, sound, performance and interactive works. Patrik Berg Christian Magnus Tømmeraas Berg Maia Birkeland Matilda Björkne Stine Bråthen Stein Are Kjærås Dahl Emil Gustafsson Jeanett Gustavsen hÅkon gÅre Jørgen Frederik Scheel Haarstad Anita Hanch-Hansen Elin Hedberg Andrea Wikhammer Heir Steinar Laumann Aron-Irving Li Tina Lindvall Rebecca Szabo Onstad Zahra Rashid Hege Cathrine Hauge Thoresen
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Kurator: Jennifer Allen «In the Usual Direction of Travel» manifests the movement at the heart of this exhibition. Visitors will be invited to walk across the Khio campus and follow an itinerary to see the show: from the inside to the outside, from one artwork to the next, from the Seilduken gallery right down to the shore of Akerselva. This itinerary is very much “in the usual direction of travel” for the artists – both students and professors – who use the campus daily. But most do not associate walking across these well-worn paths with taking a trip. With the word “travel,” the exhibition title adds the sense of accomplishing a voyage, wandering, expedition, trek or adventure – even if the destinations are nearby. Travel – a Norwegian neologism taken from the French travail (work) – is also about having a great deal to do. That is how many of the MFA artists have experienced their studies, their work with diverse materials and, above all, their collaborations and exchanges with each other over the past two years. Making art can be a way of travelling – with little displacement but a lot of discovery: on a wood block, in a ceramic glaze, in a copper wire, on a thread. Of course, as the degree show, this exhibition is an end – and a beginning – of a journey over time. While marking their own rite of passage, the artists will present the public with works that challenge our perceptions of everyday life.
Installation view, Stein Are Kjærås Dahl
Inspirations also include imaginary travels, such Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1978-80), Marguerite Yourcenar’s A Coin in Nine Hands (1934) and J.G. Ballard’s Concrete Island (1973), and real travels that involved little movement: Xavier de Maistre’s Voyage Around My Room (1794), Jean Cocteau’s Opium (1930), Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space (1958), Aleksandr R. Luria’s The Mind of a Mnemonist: A Little Book about a Vast Memory (1968), George Perec’s Species of Spaces (1974) and even Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book (1002) which articulates an elaborate, intensive and immediate aesthetic experience of materials, from textiles to paper. Curator’s Bio Based in Berlin since 1995, Jennifer Allen (1965, Toronto, Canada) has been working with the Nordic contemporary art scene for well over a decade – both in Scandinavia and in Berlin with the migrant community of Nordic artists who started coming to the German capital in the 1990s. In addition to being awarded a residency at IASPIS, Allen wrote the catalogue essay for the Nordic Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005. In Norway, she has lectured at the academies in Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim and participated in conferences at Kunstnernes Hus as well as community art projects at the Sørfinnset Skole (Artistic Interruptions) and in Levanger. Allen already curated a master’s degree final exhibition – at the Kunstakademiet i Trondheim in 2003 – and co-curated “The Fire Project,” about a fire that destroyed part of the city, with the artist Hans Hamid Rasmussen at the Trondheim Kunstmuseum in 2004. She has lectured at many art academies across Europe in English, French and German and has written for a host of international publications, including Artforum (New York), frieze (London) as well as Mousse (Milan). In 2009, Allen was awarded the German prize for art criticism from ADKV-Art Cologne. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Curator’s Statement It is a honour for me to be asked by the MFA artists to curate their final degree exhibition. I met many of them during a lecture which was organized last year in Berlin by Professor Hans Hamid Rasmussen and actually took place in the living room of my little apartment. This year’s degree exhibition has historical significance for Khio because the Class of 2015 is the first class to be awarded an MFA instead of the traditional MA. This shift is a recognition of the high degree of skills, ingenuity and aesthetics in the field of Medium and Material Based Art. And it’s a recognition that the “Conceptual Turn” has long taken place in crafts. Today, craft can include not only a traditional ceramic work but also an unconventional one, like the ceramics used to insulate high-voltage power lines. A textile artist may weave a cloth but end up using it as a video projection screen. Metals works are no longer isolated pieces but come with their own installations while interacting with the viewers. Jewelry may still have a smaller scale, but, today, the potential wearer might be asked to fill out a form or to play a dice game with others in order to make the final jewel. These are just a few examples of the works which will be exhibited in June 2015 and which challenge our ideas about how we interact with the world, whether with the everyday object or with the artwork. I feel at home in the Nordic countries, especially in Norway, which, much like my native Canada, has a history of colonization and a very complex relationship to languages. Raised bilingually, I have always been fascinated by the politics of language: what we speak, with whom we speak, how people understand (and misunderstand) us. Everybody gets tired of the snow and the ice. But I think they are great because we don’t see much of them in Berlin anymore. Like people who prefer lakes to swimming pools, I love to skate on outdoor rinks. I was happy to have had a couple chances during my visits to Oslo over the past winter to take a spin on the ice.