The exhibition Front with works by Vegard Vindenes, can be seen this Saturday, and this Saturday only. It is a one-day exhibition in Anders Sletvold Moe´s new gallery space, The Guest Room. KUNSTforum asked Sletvold Moe some questions about his newfound curatorial practice and what inspires him.
What´s this exhibition about?
´This is the first exhibition at Gjesterommet. The name means “the guest room” in Norwegian, and that is exactly what it is: it is a room in my apartment, located in the Grünerløkka area in Oslo.´
´Renovating the room into a guest room seemed to be taking forever, so in order to give myself a deadline I had the idea that I could make it into a combined guest room and exhibition space. The first exhibition will be a solo show with the artist Vegard Vindenes, consisting of selected works from his painting series called Front.´
What are you currently working on?
´At the moment, I finishing the last parts of the renovation in the Guest room, before Vegard Vindenes, who lives in Bergen, arrives in Oslo by train the on Friday, the day before the opening.
´In my own practice I am currently working on a public commission for NHH (Norwegian School of Economics) in Bergen, as well as several other exhibitions and projects in Norway and Sweden.´
´It was on a trip to Bergen, working on the NHH project, that I first discovered the works of Vindenes at the venue Bergen Open. Thinking about the exhibition space in my apartment, and what to do for the opening exhibition, his works came to my mind. I wrote him a message on Facebook, asking if he was interested in doing a show in my apartment in Oslo, and I am glad that he liked the idea!´
Can you give a brief description of your curatorial practice? The process from idea to exhibition?
´I don’t know if it’s even right to call it a curatorial practice at this time – maybe it will develop into a more clear situation and a curatorial statement after a while – but the simple idea behind the guest room is to present good and interesting artworks by artists that I like and admire myself. To make an unpretentious meeting place in the sense that it is in my own apartment, but to have a very strong focus on the quality of the art that is shown there. That’s the goal! So in a sense you could say that it is a very personal curatorial statement that will reflect what art I consider is worth looking at and present to others.´
´I´ve lived in Malmö for over 10 years before moving to Oslo. Still being a part of the Swedish art scene, I will definitely invite artists from Sweden to show at the guestroom. There are a lot of good artists in Sweden that don’t get much recognition here in Norway (and vice versa), so I am looking forward to introducing them to my friends and colleagues in Oslo. Of course, it’s also very practical that you can transform the exhibition space into a normal guestroom for the invited artists to stay in!´
What are your main concerns when creating an exhibition?
´To get it as good as possible within the frame of the concept. Since this is the first exhibition I am organizing without taking part in the exhibition myself as an artist, I guess I just have to go for the “learning by doing” concept. However, I want to stress that, even if you are doing a small one-day exhibition, the goal – whether you’re an artist or a curator – always has to be to make the most out of it. That’s important. These days, I feel there is generally too much of an attitude showing the opposite.´
Can you name a curator/ curatorial team or exhibition that has inspired you?
´Since I´m mainly an artist myself, I´m more interested in other artists’ works. I try to see as much as possible, both in Oslo and when I’m out traveling. From last year, Leonard Rickhard at OSL Contemporary, Ane Mette Hol at Kunstnerforbundet, Camilla Løw at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Per Inge Bjørlo at Henie Onstad kunstsenter, Gerhard Richters retrospective and Josef Albers painting on paper both at the Center Pompidou in Paris, are the first to pop up in my head right now.´
´In relation to starting “the guest room”, it’s inspiring to see that you can do interesting and well-planned exhibitions in small spaces, like Joakim Borda is doing with The Boiler room in Oslo.´
Can you name a writer or book, fiction or theory that has inspired your curatorial practice?
´I don’t read that much. I like to devote my time into making art, looking at art, listening to music and going to concerts, hanging out with friends and playing chess.´
´When I do read, it’s mainly artist monographs and biographies. Right now I am reading Daybook: The Journal of an Artist by Anne Truitt. She was a very interesting artist associated with the minimalist movement in the 60s. She had a very personal and sensitive relation to sculpture and the use of color, and she wrote well about the artistic process and life in general.´
Why is art important?
´For me personally it is important because I don’t want to think that I spend all my time on something unimportant. But art is not important to everyone, and I think that is a healthy thing.´
Up until 35 I had a slightly skewed world-view. I honestly believed everybody in the world wanted to make abstract paintings, and people only became lawyers and doctors and brokers and things because they couldn’t make abstract paintings.
– Frank Stella