29 May 2012

I Helheim

I Helheim
Event No 1
Sidsel Christensen, Susanne Christensen, Tove Kommedal, Kenneth Varpe
Prosjektrom Normanns, Stavanger
Performance, reading, installations - inspired by the novel "Haugtussa" by Arne Garborg

We all have our bag of references, our backdrop for perceiving our impressions. Some are imposed on us through our education, some we have actively gained ourselves. One issue of the imposed impressions is the literature we are supposed to read and analyze in school. Most indigenous Rogalandese have been through the poetry in "Haugtussa" by Arne Garborg. As a domestic immigrant, I have not. Thus I do not have the mental context that is the inspiration of the project "I Helheim" (In Hell) at Prosjektrom Normanns. What is then the outcome?

The project by Sidsel Christensen, Susanne Christensen, Tove Kommedal and Kenneth Varpe, consists of public events based on or inspired by Haugtussa. Event no 1 consisted of opening talk, exhibition, reading of extracts from Haugtussa, and performance. 

It was frustrating not to have a clue what it is all about when extracts from the book was read. It is kind of mbarrassing admitting that I really have not read this cornerstone of Rogaland literature. So I stick with the impressions of an exhibition with the artwork as they are, isolated from their context.

Tove Kommedal: Definisjonsmakt I , II
Tove Kommedal: Definisjonsmakt I , II

Two dead birds, on different stages of decay. The crow is still having the same features as alive, at least the parts that are visible in its positure. The other bird is unrecognizable, only the bones remain. Only a specialist can tell if this was a crow too, or another bird. In identity and taxonomically both may be equal, but in chronology they are different. Both can easily be defined as birds, corpses, decomposing material. It is all up to the viewer. The birds would be totally indifferent to how we define them.

Kenneth Varpe: Dilutions, delusions
Kenneth Varpe: Dilutions, delusions

An animation of waves flushing over a rock, manipulated to be an almost abstract session.

Sidsel Christensen: Mary Anne Atwood - Full Circle
Exhibition view with installation by Sidsel Christensen: Mary Anne Atwood - Full Circle

The background and installation for the performance, where the artist went swinging in the large metal ring.

Kenneth Varpe: Dilutions, delusions
Kenneth Varpe: Dilutions, delusions

A bunch of papers containing scenes similar to the video above by Kenneth Varpe. All held together by a measuring device.

Reading performance + Susanne Christensen: Down Under
Reading performance: Kenneth Varpe read extracts from "Haugtussa"
Video projection: Susanne Christensen: Down Under

The circular video show a movement through a nighttime forest, where there is no way out, and it it hard to tell what is up or down. This is like a claustrophobic horror movie, until you realize that this what makes it so weird is that it is upside down. The witch-like forest becomes an interesting journey on the floor of the forest. The fear is defeated.