The experience of periphery as a geopolitical and cultural zone that may seem to be the rear of the world – where nothing happens and life fades out slowly, but nevertheless a part of a whole that is in continuous change, where new human geographies demand a rethinking of social production of space and culture.

A Space of Freedom

The project Tingvoll kunsthall lasted eight months (from June 16th to Dec 29th 2007) and opened the possibility to exhibit interdisciplinary contemporary art in Northwest Norway. Due to the geographic location the topics that the exhibitions faced were not determined by chance but related to the outskirts as cultural phenomena and mental construction.
The basic idea for the project arose from the experience of periphery as a geopolitical and cultural zone that very often seems to be like the rear of the world – where nothing happens and life fades out slowly, disintegrated. But nevertheless the outskirts are part of a whole that is in continuous change, where new human geographies demand a rethinking of social production of space and culture. Tingvoll kunsthall had two aims: The one was to prepare a larger exhibition (Arrivals/Departures) concerning a complex subject difficult to grasp; the other was to problematize a context and little enough move something into change.
Because it was interesting to know how people think about and react to their own specific environment within a modern globalized society, the invited artists were mainly local artists. But to balance a point of view in danger to be too local and circumscribed, in addition to those local, two international artists were invited to expand the field of vision with their contributions.
During its time the kunsthall functioned like a gallery but it was actually something really different: nothing to buy or sell, but on the contrary nine spring-board exhibitions and talks that pointed out several aspects inherent in our present time.
The Art Space in the Middle of Nowhere
has been a space of freedom and in this space artists and visitors met each other in a common need to make sense of their surroundings.

Links to Tingvoll kunsthall curatorial project on this site
Tingvoll kunsthall on Rescuezone.weblogg
Erlend Hammer: Imagining Tingvoll


June 16th/ July 7th 2007
Cristina David (Bucharest, 1979) comes from a non-central country, in the Western European sense. Her cultural references are nevertheless shared by an increasing number of people, and these are references defining our world as a global society. Tingvoll Kunsthall presented three videos where conceptions in connections with mass media engages with experienced reality, unveiling a gap between reality and our conception of it.
She discloses the conditions of our existence in a simple, direct and poetic manner.
Her contribution to the project has been crucial.

August 8th/August 25th 2007
Magnar Fjørtoft (Norway, 1957)
Because rain is pouring and winds from the ocean are raging in the western parts of Norway, the walls facing southwest are seldom equipped with windows. When Magnar points at this aspect through a series of pictures depicting closed-off walls and well-kept gardens, our attention is drawn towards our environmental surroundings. The walls’ astonishing incommunicability lead us spontaneously to suspect that the photos truly comment the people’s attitude towards the world. This impression deepens when we understand that these pictures show areas threatened by depopulation: Perhaps behind those walls the void one is alone, because the daily life disappearing from the outskirts is substituted by an unstable presence – the one which a holiday place can offer.

September 1st/September 15th 2007
Britt Sorte (Norway, 1957)
An investigation of the rural environment : The women who set local life into motion. Britt has portrait the women who with their engagement influence on the local environment. All of them, each bringing her own experiences, origin and social position – from the kindergarten assistant and the lady at the checkout counter, to the politician and the administrator – they trace the outlines of a rural society in constant development: the limited geographic space where different localities, like those these persons represent, are met. Britt’s portraits takes us on a journey between different realities, expanding our experience of the world we inhabit.

September 22th/October 6th 2007 
Heidi Rødstøl (Norway, 1973) has sewn women’s dresses using camouflage material, and the patterns which were originally produced for hunting and sporting return in the daily clothing in an unexpected way. The camouflage thought in metaphorical sense and adopted to the human society suddenly can acquire an other value, from an ideological, political or economical camouflage, to the individual need or desire to disappear into the background, vanish. Or perhaps it is the imprint of a social imaginary which in the landscape finds a shelter from a too complicated present.

Tuesday October 9th 2007 – 6 pm
DoingThem All: Siri Skjerve/Toril Redalen
Happening: A parody of the art wold at the opening of an exhibition
SIDEPROSJEKT: En problematisering av forestillingen som omgir kunst
«Dette er to jenters vindusshopping sett fra innsiden av ruten. Vår egen dropin-time på utstilling. Fra hjemstedene våre vil vi så gjerne røre i den globale gryten, smake til med salt og syrlig.
Forminske verden og forstørre kunsten. Vi har forstørret oss selv. Et unikt par i flere eksemplarer. En reisende på slakk line med stramt budsjett. En reisende på geografisk og kulturell shopping. Travelling light. Hvor har du vært, ikke hva du har sett. En fiktiv dokumentasjon eller en realisert drøm? En vernissasje. Noe er utvilsomt på display. Er det en fotoserie? Er det vi? Er det oppmøte?»

(Fra kunstnernes egen beskrivelse)

October 13th/ October 27th 2007
Anne Berntsen (Norway, 1967)
The camera’s eye shoots a steel bullet through the room where the individual is the investigated object. Home is here the platform where individuality becomes deformed itself, in the attempt to find an existential stability. We watch through the key-hole, turned into voyeurs, stuck inside the chaos of everyday life, submitted to myriads of inputs to which we do not lend more attention because too familiar to be notice, too usual. And like our glances, we too are fleeting, open to all seductions from a world that don’t waste sweetness really, knowing that this is all we are, and that we are it in a ridiculously short time-span.

November 3rd/November 17th 2007
M. S. (Norway, 1958)
Location exercise: I home (norw: m1 heim – from norr heimr): the world. II a. An environment offering security and happiness. b. A valued place regarded as a refuge or place of origin.
The global displacement of populations from rural to urban areas – from agriculture to industry – shapes new geographies, and people in motion form hybrid territories and localities mingling with the old, cultural homogenous boarders. What is «home» in a world of global connections where every center or home is someone else’s periphery or Diaspora? Returning home involves movement to and from places: Towards one place belonging to recollection, from another which is the present (but which soon will return to memory). You find yourself searching in the dust of an out-dated vocabulary. «Home» becomes a misunderstanding from muddled experiences, events, meetings, places where we find ourselves in constant dislocation : A non-place. Maybe that’s where we all belong.

December 1st/December 13th 2007
Gunn N. Morstøl (Norway, 1963) documented on video her friendship with Karl Wærås, a man living a frugal life at his overgrown farm, entertaining his guests with old stories and old hymns sung with empathy – with the certainty that his life soon will turn into dust. The project has taken some years, and testifies a world bygone and lost. The video not only testifies a local world attached to farming, with a taste of fairy-tale because it belongs to a lost era. The story about Karl and his special way of life, suggests a perspective in a time without a sense of past like the present age, where we are transformed in better and better units of consumption.

December 15th/December 29th 2007;
Paolo Manfredi (Italy, 1968), curator
«The borderline work of culture demands an encounter with “newness” that is not part of the continuum of past and present. It creates a sense of the new as an insurgent act of cultural translation. Such art does not merely recall the past as social cause or aesthetic precedent; it renews the past, refiguring it as contingent ‘in-between’ space, that innovates and interrupts the performance of the present. The “past-present” becomes part of the necessity, not the nostalgia, of living.»
H. K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture, 1994

«Nowhere» er vår tids mental tilstand
The Art Space in the Middle of Nowhere har siden åpningen den 16. juni 07, problematisert utkanten som et av supermodernitetens nøkkel-fenomener. Gjennom utstillinger og foredrag har kunsthallen etablert en dinamysk arena for visning av samtidskunst i overbevisningen om at kunst, ved å tydeliggjøre motsetningene som følger av sosiale og kulturelle endringer, kan bidra til forståelse og forsoning. Kunsthallen var et sosialt prosjekt som har samlet kunstnere og publikum rundt refleksjonen om det lokale – dvs. det geografiske begrensede området som er bakgrunnen til våre handlinger – som del av den globale virkelighet. Det er dette som gjorde kunsthallen til noe helt annet og annerledes. Dette gjorde en betydelig forskjell sammenlignet med andre galleri- og kunstprosjekter: det klarte, om enn for en liten stund, å snu opp ned forholdet mellom det globale og det lokale… og utkanten ble plutselig til et spennende sted å være i.

Min deltagelse som kunstner på Tingvoll kunsthall ble en video- readymade-installasjon. Ved åpningen min holdte jeg en monolog på 45 min. om kunst, musikk og mye annet. Målet med utstillingen var å prøve ut komposisjoner og løsninger for neste steg i mitt kuratoriske prosjekt, utstillingen Arrivals/Departures


Edited February 2012