02 December 2013

Morten Viskum

Morten Viskum
Kunstgalleriet, Stavanger
Installations, paintings, collages

Again Morten Viskum flirts with death. But in contrast to earlier works, when he has been painting with a anonymous dead man's hand, now he has quite obvious hints to who this dead person may be. The pop art on the walls, the stuffed chimpanzee, the clothes and coke can, and not least the displayed interview with Michael Jackson lead most of us to a conclusion to who may be hidden under the blanket. But then again we know that can not really be the case. The title "I'm crazy about Liza, we get on the phone and just gossip, gossip, gossip" is a quote from the interview featured on the wall. Somehow I feel this is more a mocking than a hommage to the diseased. Which leads to the question: why is it morally acceptable to mock a living person, but not a dead one?

Our icons are dead, whether it is Michael Jackson, Mao or Marilyn. Or Andy Warhol, the author of the bloodstained artworks. The only one left sitting upright is the chimpanzee Bubbles. Even he seems a bit stuffed. We are probably left on our own.

Morten Viskum: I'm crazy about Liza, we get on the phone and just gossip, gossip, gossip
I'm crazy about Liza, we get on the phone and just gossip, gossip, gossip

Morten Viskum: I'm crazy about Liza, we get on the phone and just gossip, gossip, gossip
I'm crazy about Liza, we get on the phone and just gossip, gossip, gossip

Morten Viskum: Olav

The dead hand is also present in these works, Viskum has been painting the usual patterns with it, but now on a mannequin. But the strokes of a dead hand can not bring life to a plastic person, not even with lively colors.

Morten Viskum: Istanbul I-V
Istanbul I-V

And the dead hand is also present in the monocrome, or almost monocrome paintings, obviously painted with the same hand.

Morten Viskum: Monochrome

Morten Viskum: I hate Haugar
I hate Haugar

Upstairs are prints of collages containing a dead baby rat in the pose of Munch's Scream, in front of famous artworks. This one is especially interesting, as the background picture is not Munch's Scream but Andy Warhol's version of it. This points to an exhibition at Haugar art centre in Vestfold called "Munch by others", where artwork by both Viskum and Warhol were featured. 

Morten Viskum: I hate art
I hate art

The other collages are less specific, stating the general "I hate art". Leaving it up to the public to decide if the hater is the artist or the dead baby rat. Featured are artwork by Mondrian, Liechtenstein, Matisse and others. There may be quite a lot of people that would be indifferent to these artworks, but it would be difficult to find someone who really hates them. The baby rat may have a purpose to ruin the artworks, but the idea may also be to make them better. At least they do not make me hate art.

01 December 2013

Chosil Kil: Man of Tomorrow

Man of Tomorrow
Chosil Kil

Galleri Opdahl, Stavanger

Every time I visit an exhibition I hope to get a moment of magic, of enlightenment, of surprise or of joy. Today at Gallery Opdahl I really experienced a moment of magic.

Sometimes the descriptions and teasers for exhibitions seem promising, but then the exhibition itself does not quite live up to it. At Opdahl it was the other way around. On beforehand I saw photos of large balloons floating in mid-air, connected to some items on the ground by strings. At first I admired the balloons as almost impossible sculptures as they were, not sinking, not rising. But then magic happened. As I was moving through the room, the slight movements in the air made the balloons move, and dragged their metal anchors gently along the floor, and the sound of celestial bells rang. As I moved around and between the balloons, the chime sound increased, and I became part of the cinetic installations. The title "Ballroom" may point to the air-filled balls in the air, but just as much to my urge to dance among the balloons.

The exhibition also contains interesting sculptures, a balloon cast in aluminium and a water filled balloon, and a collage of lambskins. But this time the floating balloons got all my attention. 

Chosil Kil: Exhibition view
Exhibition view

Chosil Kil: Ballroom

Chosil Kil: Dog Paddle
Dog Paddle

Chosil Kil: Dog Paddle
Dog Paddle

Chosil Kil: Goalkeeper