Forrige uke åpnet Kunstakademiet i Tromsø sine avgangsutstillinger for masterstudentene. KUNSTforum presenterer her avgangsprosjektene, sammen med studentenes egne ord om prosjektene.
The Geology of Morals is an installation composed of a 4-channel video projections and sound that interacts with the industrial architecture of a local MACK brewery. Jelly fishes, volcano eruptions, minerals, horns, red lights, shadows move through the magnetic atmosphere.
“It was a Deep Time. I was born in the dark. I grew up surrounded by wet stalactites and stalagmites, constantly copulating. The sweaty water scrolled over our bodies, continuously.”
Emilija Skarnulyte and Tanya Busse
Hollow Earth is a visual meditation and examination of contemporary resource conditions within the circumpolar areas of the North. Combining research material, landscape shots and archival footage, this short film reflects over the changing image of the north, as a site where violence, desire, greed, and emotions are played out. This project has been screened at Festspillene i Nord-Norge, Harstad, Kaunas International Film Festival, Lithuania, and will be a part of Se Kunst i Nord-Norge: Avtrykk in 2014.
In The Observer´s Meridian I have re-visited and re-photographed different film locations, in the tropics and in the arctic, that are described as elsewhere; real or imaginary spaces. Shot over the past year and woven together in the form of an auto-ethnography, my project looks into the relationship between place and land, and what transpires between these and their visual representations.
The location for the film Invisible Waves is a few miles outside Tromsø. This location has for centuries been a traditional North Norwegian farming area combined with a small-scale fishing production. In the film we can see an artist painting performing an old tradition in the history of art, the plain-air painting. Historically the plein-air painter was occupied with light and landscape.
In the project Science Speaks for Nature, Science Speaks to Power is an ongoing investigation on how energy as a physical phenomenon – like the electromagnetic energy of the earth – and the spiritual and mythical phenomenon of energy as the northern lights, and on the contrary, the demand for the energy resources that still can be found in the circumpolar area of the north, can form a different way of argumentation into the debate of climate change.
For my final master’s project for Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art at Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, I researched and illustrated the impact on Norwegian and German rural and urban landscapes during the Second World War until today. An interdisciplinary between art and anthropology visible in an exhibition consisted of found objects, photographic works, and watercolor paintings.
COULD WEAVING A PUTIPUTI INTO AN ILLUSTRATION OF POSTWAR LANDSCAPES HELP THE HEALING PROCESS?
Using the art of presentation, I chose to weave and arrange different sized prints of the analogue photo series of postwar landscapes into one piece with the intention of applying another level of meaning to the photographs within the series. The object and the photo motif transform into something else and are brought to life in a different sense. Old meanings transform into new ones. I was tought this traditional weaving method by my Maori partner Rawiri (Maori for David) while I was living in New Zealand doing my civil service for one and a half years. It is called a Putiputi, Maori for flower. Traditionally, love couples weave a Putiputi on a leaf of a New Zealand flax plant (lat. Phormium tenax) before they get married. If a couple weaves a Putiputi, it should be done from a leaf that is surrounded by two bigger ones representing its parents.The indigneous Phormium tenax, in Maori Harakeke or Wharariki, is distinct from the Northern Hemisphere flax plant and has played an important part in the cultural and economic history of New Zealand both for the indigenous Maori and the European settlers. The photographic image of postwar landscape, something already transformed, is transformed again by the art of presentation. It can be understood as a poetic interpretation of dealing with the relics of the Second World War and the effects of mankind on landscape.
ARTIFACTS FROM HÅKØYA BEACH
The artifacts were taken from Håkøya beach located next to the wreck of the Tirpitz. Rusted metal parts and an old leather boot are displayed in a custom-made archive box containing wood wool. It is unclear whether the boot is a German soldier’s from the Second World War or the rusted metal parts are originally of the Tirpitz. Collecting items from a research site is strictly prohibited if you work under the principles of the ethnographer. These pieces and the way they are displayed question the method of investigation followed in the ethnographic artistic fieldwork. In this case, it is more an act of a tourist than a researcher. By doing so, this act could be interpreted as a critical protest against the sincerity of ‘The Artist as Ethnographer’, (Hal Foster) the artistic criticism of itself.
Islands is a simplified, pictorial water-coloured image of the landscape of an island. It is contoured on a white background using two sheets of handmade paper. The three paintings compose a triptych – a three-panel display made popular by early Christian art for altar paintings from the Middle Ages – showing an island from different angles in a bird’s eye view. The original photographic motifs were chosen from different Norwegian and German newspaper websites. The series of images are displayed in three silver-grey driftwood frames. The wood was collected at Tromsø beaches. Metaphorically, Islands could represent Norway – which has resisted absorption into the EU itself and being seen as an increasingly remote island within the ‘European Sea’. It also refers to art in relation to power, portraying an artistic representation of war or terror instantly narrated by today’s mass media machine. In his book Art Power media theorist and art critic Boris Groys argues that the artist has long lost the battle of image production against mass media – it appears that the warrior or terrorist himself.
Georg Rohlfings project can be viewed at the project room at Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum 7th of December 2013–26th of January 2014.
Liv Bangsunds project can be viewed in Kunstakademiets Black box until 13th of December.
Tanya Busses project can be viewed in Kunstakademiets gallery until 13th of December.
Emilja Skarnulytes installation was presented in Macks old warehouse.