Q&A with Cato Løland

Last week, Cato Løland opened an exhibition at Galleri Giga, Stord. KUNSTforum asked him some questions about his art and what inspires him.

Exhibition view of 'Sol brenn skodde bort'. Photo: Cato Løland

Exhibition view of ‘Sol brenn skodde bort’ (tr. ‘Sun burns fog off’). Photo: Cato Løland

What are you currently working on?
‘I`ve just opened my new show SOL BRENN SKODDE BORT (SUN BURNS FOG OFF), if translated to English) at Galleri Giga as we speak. It’s an exhibition that consists of new paper and textile works, combined with site specific pieces I produced while staying at the gallery some days in advance.’
‘I’m showing works from my ongoing investigation were I’m subtracting or draining colors from different materials by using bleach to reveal the colors not seen.  By adding that chemical, a process starts inside each material that makes it weaker and the structure gets damaged. I find the contrast from the damaging process to the beautiful result from this brutal but subtle deconstruction very interesting. Sometimes it feels like magic and I’m the magician!  Lately I have also used the sun as a resource for bleaching paper, but since I’m living in Norway that’s obviously a summertime project!’

'Inni' (tr. 'Within') Photo: Cato Løland

‘Inni’ (tr. ‘Within’) Photo: Cato Løland

‘All of the works in the show is in some way changing or being transformed into something different from the origin.’
‘One of the site specific pieces is a three meter long silk cloth that is hanging from the ceiling in front of the heat pump of the gallery. That pump make that piece a constantly moving and changing element in the exhibition.
‘My next project will be in connection to the celebration of Edward Munch’s 150 year’s birthday. That project will take place in the city of Kragerø, which is the city where he painted some of his most famous paintings. It’s a site specific project curated by Ane Sagatun. Each artist will work outside in the city or the nearby surroundings to produce works somehow inspired by Munch. This will take place in the end of July. After that, I have a solo show at Haugesund Kunstforening.’

'Når enden er svart er allting vondt' ('When the end is black, everything is painful')

‘Når enden er svart er allting vondt’ (tr. ‘When the end is dark, everything is painful’) Photo: Cato Løland

Can you describe your work process from idea to work?
‘Most of the time I start with continuing some of the aspects from my recent projects to get started, and from there on I research and explore by playing around in the studio. I’m trying everything that comes to me just to be sure I’m not missing anything interesting. And when I find something, the focus is more concentrated and I go on developing.’
‘I often have different things going on at the same time, just to keep my tension alive. I sort of have two ways of working; one being producing works in the studio, and one by making site specific works where I’m responding directly to the space I occupy. By doing that I have to consider the context I’m in and start from there. I’m most satisfied when I get the opportunity to do a combination, like I have done in recent exhibitions.’
‘I’m also working a lot with merging the title and the piece itself. Sometimes I feel it’s as important as the physical work.’

'Sol brenn skodde bort # 3' ( 'Sun burns fog off') Photo: Cato Løland

‘Sol brenn skodde bort # 3’ (tr. ‘Sun burns fog off #3’) Photo: Cato Løland

What are your main influences when creating a work of art?
‘I can’t say I have a main influence, it’s more like a big mash-up of observations from my daily life; things I see in the city, music, things I read, watch on TV etc.’

Can you name an artist/artwork or exhibition that has inspired you?
‘I find the movement Arte Povera very inspiring, and reading my book about Jessica Stockholder always gets me inspired to start working.’  

Can you name a writer or book, fiction or theory that has inspired your works?
‘I find the book The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa by Michael Kimmelmann very inspiring to read. It’s a book you can choose to read from cover to cover or just one chapter at a time to get inspired. It’s timeless.’

Exhibition view of 'Sol brenn skodde bort'. Photo: Cato Løland

Exhibition view of ‘Sol brenn skodde bort’ (tr. ‘Sun burns fog off’). Photo: Cato Løland

Why is art important?
‘It’s important because you can say something about something that’s not already been said, and hopefully give a new perspective to one person, or maybe several people. And it’s important because making art is my job and that’s what makes me part of who I am. It sound so cliché, but that’s my truth.

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