whose: Stian Burgen (38)
what or what: Artist
Why: You have an art exhibition at Old Veum Hospital this weekend
Well, there is a lot of stuff here, so let’s start with the site. You and Vigaard Blomberg are having an exhibition at the old Fiume Hospital?
– This is correct! We were nearby, and we had a showroom in Moss, where we were in an old car factory. There’s just something about doing this in something that isn’t a gallery, that doesn’t have these fixed frameworks for how to present a gallery. There are many different types of rooms here, giving you the feeling of having 20 galleries in one.
Yes, you changed the building too?
– I had a dream … This place actually reminds me of the main farm of Jarlsberg in Tonsberg, where I come from. The hospital is big and luxurious, something you don’t let in, so it was very exciting to get in there. It is a palace, like a great castle in the bottom of England. We have made some large living rooms, and a very large bedroom with a fireplace, so it will be nice and cozy.
I saw that fireplace plate!
It’s fun to work with this kind of gallery.
And during the preparations, you lived in each of your mobile homes. Why don’t you just sleep at home?
– It happens now that I live very far away, in Aremark. But I have my studio and all of my work here in Fredrikstad, so I feel like I live in Fredrikstad. When we were here, the days would be long. I was up until two in the evening yesterday, and then back again at eight in the morning. It will be a few hours! Then you will not have time to go home. There’s just something about the fact that when you get into it, it turns out really well too. You’re generating new ideas, seeing things you haven’t seen before.
Are you going to be a traveling artist now?
– No, but you want to move a little. It would be enough to have the main base here, but it’s fun to have exhibits in other places as well. A few years ago I was in the US, and I’ve been to Bangkok a few times. I didn’t show there, but I’m trying to work on something. And then it’s going to be a little bit about Norway.
How does it feel to be an artist in Fredrikstad?
– I guess you weren’t better than that! I feel we have a very unique environment here in Fredrikstad. In terms of quality, it is close to Oslo. It’s a different kind of professional environment here, and I’m also lucky to have a studio in the middle of where most people are.
What will you show at the exhibition?
– I did a little work on the fixtures, and the rooms turned out to be different fixtures. My art has really gone from just being wall art to being a lot about the room and how to present it. We have an upside-down room, for example, and many different types of rooms. I’ve also worked a lot with videos and photographing streets, roads, people and the urban environment.
It makes going to the show so exciting!
– It’s not an ordinary A4 gallery where there is only one room to view pictures, right on the wall. It’s about the composition of the rooms and images, the rhythm, and it’s exciting to go through, and see something new.
What makes you happy?
– Get started with art! This is what makes me happier and more tired.
What is the book that means the most to you?
– I would say that Jean-Eric Veil’s books meant a lot.
What do you do when you defecate?
– Then I think I’m already lying on the couch and watching TV a lot.
Is there anything you regret?
– No, not really! I feel like you do a lot of stupid things, but you shouldn’t regret it. You learn and become wiser.
What do you like most about yourself?
– It’s tough. I never give up at the time, so this must be the quality I like the most. Although things can be difficult, I don’t stop. Through thick and thin!
Who are the three guests you would like to invite to dinner?
– Oh! I think I should have invited an artist. Jean-Michel Basquiat! He is a role model when it comes to graffiti. I also think we should have brought the King, because you never took him to dinner. And most recently, Jean-Eric Vigil, because we really want to go to dinner with the King. Then we sorted it out!
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