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Fredrik Værslev – as Vingen imagines him

  • Fredrik Værslev – As I Imagine Him. Photo: Vegard Kleven/Astrup Fearnley-museet

    Vingen Bar is the haute café at the far end of the Astrup Fearnley Museum with an exclusive view of the Oslo Fjord and the sculpture park just outside. Inside, the interior is Scandi-Contemporary. Round shapes, big windows, soothing wood, dignified stone. Not least, Vingen serves a new menu to match every new museum show. It is the place to eat if you want to be in touch with art. These days, paintings by the Norwegian artist Fredrik Værslev, who is often said to contemplate the dullness of middle-class life, are now at display. Vingen’s menu is just as exciting and lets you choose between gnocchi, bruschetta, or ossobuco, only to name a few. Vi ser på kunst took to Vingen to decide on the food: would it live up to the art?

    Well plated cantina food

    I felt like someone was watching me throughout the entire meal, and when I turned around, Louis Bourgeois’ sculpture, Eyes (1997), outside in the sculpture garden, saw right through me. Everyone think they are boobs, but I tend to agree with the title. Anyway, the menu corresponding to Fredrik Værslev’s Fredrik Værslev – As I Imagine Him, has no real identity. But everything seemed hearty, warming, maybe even comforting? Nothing too spicy, I know that much!

    Louis Bourgeois, Eyes (1997). Photo: Jennifer Edwards

    I had the Ossobuco and a glass of Italian red wine. It is hard for me to criticize a beef stew, because I’m a stew girl. You can’t go wrong – it’s so nutritious! I loved the crisp and coolness of alfalfa sprouts on top. It played a game of texture, temperature and freshness with my food. Better still, sprouts help clean your blood. By the very nature of stew, the dish was not without virtue. The tomatoes, however, were… prominent. If you can’t handle acidic food, don’t go for this one. Wine matched well, but I thought of dumping my glass into the bowl to create a more dimensional dish. The food lacked a sense of love, authenticity, a caring attention to flavor. Lately, I have been watching a lot of cooking shows at my mom’s house, so I am tempted to talk like the judges. That is to say: I wanted the stew to elevate itself, to elevate me. How are Fredrik Værslev’s dirty, stripey paintings not just that…? Show me with stew!

    Ramsons overload

    I settled for gnocchi with ramsons and chevre. Plus a glass of riesling. Because of the ramsons, everything was green. I too had alfalfas on top, and pumpkin seeds sprinkled about. The oiliness of my riesling went well with the olive oiled plate. I was very excited to taste the chevre with the gnocchi, and I was equally surprised to find that the two share almost the exact same texture: soft and creamy. Fredrik Værslev’s paintings, of canopies and floor tiles, are performing this trick of same but different as well. Is it art or is it a sunblind? Was I eating cheese, or were I having pasta? The first bite was good, the second one too. My pumpkin seeds added a crispy quality and a nice earthy aroma. I love goat cheese. The third bite was OK. But the pasta lacked salt. And too much ramsons made it too sour, too bitter. I was longing for balance, something sweet, thoughtful or different. The fourth bite was difficult. After the fifth, I stared down into the green abyss: 22 mouthfuls to go.

Bokutstilling på Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo

  • Kristine Jakobsen, bibliotekar på Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo, inviterte oss til å lage en utstilling om bøkene vi har i bakhodet når Vi ser på kunst 🙂 Utstillingen står i foajeen på skolen og inneholder gode biter som Andy Warhols dagbøkerAir Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy av Dave Hickey, Cruising Utopia av José Esteban Muñoz, dikt av Sylvia Plath, en bok om etikette på åpninger og ellers i kunstverdenen, m.m

The Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin menu at Vingen Bar

  • Poster, Astrup Fearnley Museet

    Vingen Bar is the haute café at the far end of the Astrup Fearnley Museum with a gorgeous view of the Oslo Fjord. As we all know. The interior is very Scandi-Contemporary. Round shapes, big windows, soothing wood, dignified stone. Chic-beige/grey colors and tableware from that trending store. The café serves a new menu to every new show – in touch with the art. Now you can have VingWings, WTFish and max cheese, among others, in the spirit of Los Angeles. We couldn’t see any quinoa though, but they do have salads on the side. Here’s what we ate:

    Meat gets in your teeth

    I got the sticky ribs: glazed lamb spare ribs, served with pumpkin hummus and nordic-something. To drink: Ringnes øl. I don’t think I’ve ever had lamb in LA, but that’s OK. It was good! The glaze was sweet and sour. The pomegranates were most pleasant and very refreshing. Good texture on the hummus I’d say, and the combination with the wild-life taste of lamb was clever. I only wish they had had more salad on top, in the end I was eating nothing but meat. I did get a coleslaw side however, but that was a letdown. Too runny, too much mayonnaise/sour cream/whatever. I wish the cabbage was crispier, and I would opt for less capers. Side dish aside, I roll a five.

     

    #sea crusty/trust fund punk

    I had the WTFish: cured trout tartar. To drink: diet coke. Good, kind of small. But actually enough. (Really sweet dressing!) The colors were vibrant. The flavor was really sophisticated and I don’t mean that in a good way. Nice foamy chips. Seaweed chunks sprinkled on top was a fun surprise. I had bread as a side and I was waiting for the guy to bring butter, but no, you buy butter as another side(!). All in all, I roll four.

Gamle og nye minner med Young Girl Reading Group

  • Mitt første møte med Egle Kulbokaite og Dorota Gaweda, jentene bak Young Girl Reading Group, var på Venezia Biennalen i 2015. Jeg og et par andre DJs var invitert til å spille på et slags kunstnerokkupert hus på øyen Lido. Jeg var blitt fortalt at vi skulle spille i et sandslott på stranden og jeg hadde relativt store forhåpninger. På reisen dit så jeg for meg et Disneyaktig megasandslott med masse glade rave kids som var ute på noe digg. Etter en ganske slitsom flytur med Ryan Air fant jeg fram til denne stranden og “Sandslottet i Venezia”. Det var en gammel bunker de hadde dekket med sand og driv-ved, max. kapasitet: ca 30 mennesker. Folk løpte rundt for å få ting ferdig til åpningen, man kan si de hadde en del tekniske utfordringer.

    Young Girl Reading Group 152: Folding City. Knipsu, Bergen. Foto: Hilde Jørgensen

    Jeg spilte et basstungt set og etter meg spilte den danske DJ-en Lisbent. Det var god stemning og vi holdt på til utpå morgenkvisten. Vi skulle få sove i det kunstnerokkuperte huset, men vakten sa at det kunne vi ikke. Etter mye diskutering lot han oss gå opp til sovesalen i andre etasje allikevel.

    Det føltes som om jeg kun hadde lukket øyene i 10 minutter idet en høy kvinnestemme skar gjennom stillheten: “You cant sleep here! This is for artists only!” skrek hun om og om igjen på gebrokkent engelsk. Jeg satte meg opp og spurte henne hva i helvete problemet var: “Have you no decency! You could at least make us some coffee if you’re going to wake us up like this!” sa jeg grettent. “I am the curator of this event and I have not given you permission to sleep here!” kjeftet hun tilbake. “If you are the curator of this shit you should know we are last nights DJs and you have not provided us with any kind of sleeping arrangement and obviously have a hard time doing your fucking job!” skrek jeg tilbake.

    Det bleike fjeset hennes skiftet til en rosa-rød farge som om jeg hadde trykket på en knapp og hun stormet hysterisk ut av rommet, ned trappene og ut på gårdsplassen hvor hun fortsatte å skrike og kjefte mens hun gikk i en stor ring rundt og rundt.

    Jeg er nokså udramatisk av natur, men ikke et morgenmenneske. Jeg tok madrassen min og pælmet den ut vinduet så den landet rett foran bena hennes mens jeg ropte “You need to book us a hotel room if you want us to sleep somewhere else!” Nå var vi våkne, det var alle andre i huset også, så vi tok tingene våres og gikk til stranden for å bade. Før vi gikk krevde jeg at de skulle fixe soveplasser til oss og de nikket usikkert mens de prøvde å roe ned den hysteriske kuratoren. “She’s actually really nice, but sometimes she gets a little worked up.” sa en apatisk italiener.

    Det var en deilig sommerdag og etter et par timer på stranden, litt mat og kaffe spaserte vi rundt på øyen. Ikke langt fra huset stod det en bulldoser langs veikanten. Duus hoppet inn i den og vi tok noen bilder, “Hey! The keys are still in this thing!” utbrøt han. “Lets bulldoze that stupid sand castle! “ sa jeg spøkende.

    Vi lo av ideen og spaserte videre ned veien mot huset, nå vi kunne se sandslottet. “It would be crazy fun to do it tho!” sa Egle. “Haha, I’m down!” sa jeg. “I mean, I doubt they will give us hotel rooms, they just totally ripped us off. I agreed to play a free set as long as I got a bed and food,” sa ´Duus. “I’m not afraid to run down that stupid sandcastle,” la Dorota til. “It would make a good story too!” sa Egle i en mer seriøs og overbevisende tone.

    Nå var vi stoppet opp. Alle fire kastet et langt blikk på sandslottet, “I’m pretty sure I won’t regret it.” sa jeg, og la til “If you feel the same way, I say we fucking go for it!” Det var ingen tvil lenger, vi beinet mot den gule bulldoseren som fire fjortiser, det var plass til alle og nøkkelen gikk rundt i det samme. Motoren rumlet litt før den braket i gang, Dorota satt ved rattet og ga gass. 

    Tariq Hindic, “Sandcastle, more like a pile of sand!”

    Bulldoseren var parkert slik at det nesten var rett fram, en liten høyresving og vi var på kollisjonskurs. Bram! De tynne betongveggene knuste som gipsplater og PA-anlegget føyk til alle kanter. Folk løp vettskremt i dekning, det var totalt kaos. Vi hylte av latter nesten synkront, hoppet av arbeidsmaskinen og løp vår vei før noen i kunstkolonien fikk samlet seg. Det var et sykt kick og selv om jeg og Duus måtte sove på forskjellige hustak i Venezia et par dager var det verdt det.

    Etter en slik opplevelse er det ikke rart jeg gledet meg til å treffe Egle og Dorota igjen. Nå under ganske rolige omstendigheter i våte mørke Bergen, langt fra palmesus og psykopatiske kuratorer fra Berlin. Folk sitter spredt på gulvet og snakker lavt når jeg kommer inn i det mørke utstillingsrommet på Knipsu. Et rødt metallstativ er boltet til gulvet ca 1,5 meter fra veggen og en projeksjon skjærer gjennom mørket ovenfra og treffer stativet og veggen bak. Projisert er en video av pene unge mennesker i store t-skjorter som leser fra smartphones stripset fast til ulike kroppsdeler. Et stemningstungt soundtrack spilles fra to høyttalere i taket. Det er en avslappet følelse som kommer over meg, men også litt stivt på en måte. Blandingen av vakre melodier og rare maskinlyder flyter rundt hodet mitt og jeg setter meg ned langs en vegg.

    Etter ca. 30 min kommer de fram fra et bakrom. Begge kledd i svart, hver med en smartphone stripset til armen. Lydene og melodiene blir høyere, men det overdøver ikke Egle og Dorota i det de begynner å lese fra de lysende mobilskjermene. Til å begynne med er det vanskelig å sette seg inn i det de leser. De bytter på å lese for hvert avsnitt med en udramatisk nesten monoton stemme. De klatrer sakte opp og ned på stativet, henger fra bena, legger seg på gulvet. Alt med rolige, lette bevegelser, mens de leser fra Hao Jingfangs Folding Beijing. En novelette om et framtidig Bejing inndelt i tre samfunnsklasser som må leve adskilt og dele på den gigantiske byen. Det er så mange mennesker på samme landområde at kun én av gruppene kan være våken om gangen, mens de andre blir satt i dvale. Overklassen får selvfølgelig mest tid å boltre seg på, hele 24 timer, mens middelklassen og arbeiderklassen må dele de resterende timene. Når det er tid for å bytte brettes bydelen sammen under jorden og den neste brettes ut opp på overflaten.

    Etter 10-15 minutter er jeg slukt inn i fortellingen, den dystopiske stemningen passer bra med vintermørket som har senket seg utenfor. De enkle virkemidlene skaper en performance som er interresant og tankevekkende, uten å føles invaderende. En halvtime senere er Dorota ferdig å lese og trekker seg tilbake. Egle leser det siste avsnittet og sitter lent mot det røde stativet et par minutter, helt stille, før hun også sakte og rolig forsvinner.

    (YGRG) er et nomadisk konsept iverksatt av Dorota Gaweda og Egle Kulbokaite i Berlin 2013. Det begynnte med en felles interesse for tekst og språk, og har utviklet seg videre derfra. I en kunstscene som beveger seg mer og mer mot det digitale har YGRG satt sitt spor på en måte som får tilskueren til å tenke over forholdet mellom kunst og teknologi. Man kan fort sette Dorota og Egle i en “Post-Internet” bås, men det er kanskje heller et pre “Post-Internet” spektrum de beveger seg i.

Jule Listicle

  • The year of 2017 is coming to a close and it’s the season to make peace with the year that has passed. What did you do? What happened? What was best? What was worst? Who did you make friends with? Who are your new enemies? While you ponder all of this, we have compiled a nonsensical listicle for your juletid-enjoyment.  🙂 

    1.  #mangekvinner

    Mean Girls, art edition

    2.  Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond

    Jim and Andy and the Great Beyond, video still

    This documentary follows Jim Carrey fully transformed into Andy Kaufmann on the set of Man in the Moon. The film is a bio pic about the comedian, and now, FINALLY, a recognized artist. There is mystery as to weather or not Andy Kaufmann faked his own death. When it’s over, everybody form conspiracy theories. BONUS** 2013 posthumous Andy Kaufmann art exhibition

    3.  Full-on Ingmar Bergman Movie MARATHON

    Fanny and Alexander, video still

    ** Project your year of feelings through the TV.

    4.  READ THIS: Did Kevin From ‘Home Alone’ Grow Up to Be Jigsaw? and then watch Home Alone and Home Alone 2 with a fresh new perspective 

    Harry gets toasted in Home Alone

    5.  Jørn Hoel

    Jørn Hoel, Varme ut av is

    6.  Confront your uncle with that #metoo situation

    Lars Von Trier

    7.  Acquire a Squatty Potty

    Squatty Potty: how it works

    8.  Gato Negro and your mum

    Gato Negro

    9.  Verden er ikke bra nok vi er perfekt

    Silent Night

Release and talkshow with Vi ser på kunst

  • On November 30, we’re celebrating the launch of our new magazine with a talkshow hosted by Amir Asgharnejad. The evening’s guests are Sandra Mujinga, Geir Tore Holm and Marthe Ramm Fortun. With a special appearance by Kirsty Kross.

    “If there’s a crisis in art criticism, it might pertain to what and how to say something about art, or why say anything at all. We want to spark conversations less constipated by art speak and pompous analysis. More like a creative diarrhea.”

    Free entrance! Everyone is welcome! Magazine for sale, 50NOKs only!

     


     

    •   In our first issue we’re reporting from documenta14 in Athens:

    We arrived late last night. Today we go looking for the Acropolis. 


    •   Several sami artists traveled to documenta as well. We interviewed Geir Tore Holm to learn more:

    How to be a sami artist – Street art or vegetable farming?


    •   Agatha Wara reflects on new beginnings:

    # notsuicide


    •   We asked several painters to describe How to make a painting. Henrik Olai Kaarstein:

    Concerning breaks, when I need to use the toilet I always flush early, wanting my last drop of urine to be in synch with the last pull of water going down. 

     


     

    Heartfelt thanks to: Goro Tronsmo, Jennie Hagevik Bringaker, Christopher Rogne Helberg, Tor Erik Bøe, Charlie Roberts, Anders Braathen, SentralenMat, Martin Skauen, Tove Sivertsen, Agatha Wara, Marianne Hurum, Henrik Kaarstein, Zadie Xa, Nathalie Fucia Sanchez, Geir Tore Holm, Maret Anne Sara, Kim Erlandsen. Special thanks to the Arts Council Norway for generous support!

    Vi ser på kunst is edited by Andreas Breivik and Victoria Duffee

    Victoria is an American artist based in Oslo. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in NYC and is now an MFA candidate at Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited in Oslo, New York City and Los Angeles, as well as at Yale University in Connecticut.

    Andreas is a writer and critic, educated in aesthetics and comparative literature at UiO and UCLA.

    Vi ser på kunst is designed by Sara Risvaag

    Sara is a graphic designer based in Oslo, with a BA in graphic design from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. 

Learning from Athens

  • Last week we visited Athens just in time to catch the final days of this year’s mega exhibition documenta14. We hardly knew any of the artists in the show, and we were a bit afraid that the ones we had come to see had already been moved to Kassel. Because Kassel, a small German town, is usually where Documenta is happening every 5 years. But this year, artistic director Adam Szymczyk, decided to divide the exhibition between the two cities, giving documenta14 the title “Learning from Athens”. In the exhibition catalog, Szymczyk explains how Athens is a city “that has become emblematic of global contemporary crises”, in terms of economy, neo-liberal politics, and the countless refugees daily arriving in Greece. Another text in the catalog is the poem “To the Reader” by Mahmoud Darwish. “O my reader”, he writes, “do not ask me to whisper / do not except musical delight.”, and we quickly figured that documenta14 was more about gloomy considerations and sombre topics than flashy visuals. But what might we learn from a city in distress? Can an art exhibition do anything to the better, or does it risk becoming an instance of “crisis tourism” as some locals would have it? Toiling through the tourist packed streets and un-air-conditioned venues of Athens, looking at each and every one of the artworks was a most demanding task. Nevertheless, we thought hard and looked closely at most of the works we encountered, and in the following weeks we will be presenting our findings in neat and uncomplicated articles.

Archive

November 2018

Fredrik Værslev – as Vingen imagines him

April 2018

Bokutstilling på Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo

March 2018

The Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin menu at Vingen Bar

February 2018

Gamle og nye minner med Young Girl Reading Group

January 2018

Overheard at STANDARD (OSLO)

December 2017

Jule Listicle

Vi ser på kunst på julemarked

Første utgave av “Vi ser på kunst” er i salg nå!

November 2017

Release and talkshow with Vi ser på kunst

July 2017

Learning from Athens