When I started writing art criticism in the early 2000s, it was like that Port Sither Right on everyone’s lips. He’s been the young shooting star of the millennium scene, creating exciting debate with his gorgeous film-inspired installations, weaving together art history, mythology, popular culture, fiction, and reality.
In his lounge-like interiors, he used lighting and often stuffed animals to evoke a sense of alienation. Inspired by film directors such as Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch, he was also interested in shipping his expressions of underlying turmoil.
In the Norwegian artistic life, he liked something completely new, and quickly established himself as a very central artist: just two years after graduating from the Norwegian Academy of Fine Arts, he made significant progress with the wonderful work “Masturbating with the Gods” at Kunstnernes Hus in 1998. Since the beginning of Millennium Until he was selected as a showrunner at a festival in Bergen in 2007, great works and exhibitions went hand in hand.
long awaited event
So it’s a long-awaited big event when the Nitja Center for Contemporary Art now presents its first solo exhibition with Børre Sæthre in Norway in 10 years.
I was actually a bit worried when I walked in The new signaling building in LillestrømBecause my expectations were too low. It is very painful when the great heroes fall.
But fortunately, Bor Sither still going strong. Without stuffed animals, but with a powerful ability intact, to evoke the experience of the darkness lurking behind a glamorous facade. The Sound of the Atom Split installation fills the large exhibition hall of the Arts Center on the second floor.
Like an empty disco
Here we enter a sparkling room where the walls are filled with blue and green sequins that shimmer and reflect light from a large number of flashing electric lamps that surround a large stage resembling a theater or a dance floor.
A shapeless beeswax statue suspended from a rope from the ceiling. The statue has something bodily about it, and it makes me think of a tumor, or maybe a huge accumulation of frozen semen.
A perfect replica is placed on the platform Urinal in Stensparken In Oslo, which has remained a symbol of forbidden love, as for many years it was a meeting place for gays.
The urinal is covered with a mirror that catches the twinkling light from the installation. Blinking lights around the large platform make the green and blue sequins covering the walls shine and flash.
Aesthetically speaking, references to Cuban-American artist Felix Gonzalez Torres abound. Børre Sæthre’s rope coils from the ceiling, combined with light bulbs, can make us think of Gonzales-Torres’ famous light clusters, and the blue-green sequins on the walls are reminiscent of his famous fixtures with shimmering turquoise drops, wrapped in cellophane. Through his drops, Torres identified the spread of infection, but also weight loss and death. He lost his girlfriend first in what was then called bullying homse – AIDS – before he too was forced to succumb to the deadly 1996 disease.
These clear references in Sæthre’s artwork reinforce the experience that AIDS is a central theme in the installation.
Chills and palpitations
I get goosebumps and throbbing as I stand amidst Børre Sæthre’s powerful installations depicting a longing for beauty and a fear of death. Like a frightening recurring chorus, the great bell rings again and again, like an acoustic panel reminding all the notions of AIDS as God’s merciless punishment for a sinful life.
It’s been a long time since I had an artistic experience. What a wonderful encounter with an artist that I hope to see a lot more of in the coming years.
All comments and recommendations from NRK can be found at nrk.no/anmeldelser.
Additional reading recommended:
“Infuriatingly humble web fan. Writer. Alcohol geek. Passionate explorer. Evil problem solver. Incurable zombie expert.”