Wergelandsveien 17, Oslo, Norway
Throughout my time in Kunstnernes Hus I have invited artists to my studio for open-ended, in-depth collaborations spanning from one to two months at a time. The invitations are based on a mix of necessity, impulse and thematic or formal interest, where the artists have been invited to work on a project or interest with me as their assistant, collaborator, discussion partner, curator, fellow artist and friend.
My request in return is a willingness to discuss the surrounding problematics of our collaboration: the division of labour and gift economy imbedded; the question and problem of copyright and authorship; premises for showing and experiencing works of art, IRL and in documentation. What is the artist as subjectivity in society and in life?
I have hope for the risks and hardship, as well as the generosity and humour. No work is too small, big, invisible or visible, meaningful or meaningless, intuitive or analyzing.
An open office consulting agency for art-related questions and concerns.
Reality Rehearsal #1
They look at me with devotion in their eyes, longing, and with a sincerity reserved only for characters with a deep connection to a larger cosmic order. They have a past, a future and a destiny - no meeting is coincidental, and all of it is reflected in the generic, almost expressionless contour of a face. I know them already: the naive, socially liberated and free minded hero; the complex, tormented charmer, not shy of manipulating others; the innocent yet lonely, in direct contact with a transcendent existence.
"Revolutionary Girl Utena" is a new universe to me. I just started watching it after Viktor Pedersen introduced me to his planned performance “Bonfire of Dreams”, which became the reason for my inviting him.
To watch Anime in Norway is either an isolating act, or an immersive social investment. The appeal of anime is ever increasing but the core audience is still to be considered a sub-culture. Cosplayers are an even smaller segment of this group where the individuals aptness to live and relay a fictional character defines one's acceptance into the group. This can be a daily exercise or reserved for special occasions and involves many hours of preparations. A large part of cosplay is the costume, explaining the components Costume(Cos)-Play of which the name consists. There is a lot of prestige in homemade costumes, whether these are successful or not is secondary to many.
Through June, 2015, Viktor and I have been using my studio for preparations, loosely referred to as 'Reality Rehearsals'. A sowing machine generously donated, a bust and a wig. Paint, buttons, coloured ribbons. A white suit. Together we have scrutinized our selves, our investment in and love for the characters (Cosplay's main ingredient), our patience and our creativity. A work that searches for an expression which allows us to channel two foreign personalities in the best possible way. It requires balance between visual resemblance and mental trigger - it’s not enough to be visually similar of one isn’t performing by being.
There is total freedom of expression, gender
and sexual orientation.
Cosplay allows me to be more
myself than I am able to be in daily life.
Photo by Desucon 2015
The month of collaboration included a screening of Hiroshi Teshigahara's The Face of Another, followed by an open discussion about the underlying assumption of the project that roleplay in itself enables freedom of expression.
At the end of the month our efforts culminated in two days of immersion into the cosplay convention Desucon in Lillestrøm, Norway. The largest convention of its kind in Norway.
Photo by participant at Desucon 2015, found online
For a month in 2015, Linda Lerseth and I met for regular conversations on meaninglessness, uselessness and unproductivity. The core anchor point for the conversations was the sculptural and conceptual qualities of a specific bottle cap that seems to defy functionality. Our exchange included lessons in Lerseth's modified casting techniques.