Artist: Lars Laumann
Venue: Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo
Exhibition Title: Kompendium
Date: November 27, 2015 – February 14, 2016
Note: A publication associated with the exhibition is available for download here.
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo. Photos by Christina Leithe Hansen.
The exhibition Kompendium with the Norwegian artist Lars Laumann features a selection of video works from 2006 until today. Though Laumann is one of Norway’s most internationally acclaimed artists, most of his works have rarely been shown in Norway. Kunstnernes Hus is proud of hosting this mid-career retrospective following the artist’s exhibitions at prestigious institutions such as MoMA and New Museum in New York, as well as Kunsthalle Basel and Tate Modern.
By filming, editing, and juxtaposing a mix of appropriated materials and subjectively experienced narratives, Laumann creates virtuoso, visual film collages that feature an extensive cast of characters. His collaborations with artists, filmmakers, and musicians clearly influence the final result. The artist seeks inspiration from the margins of pop culture and explores people and phenomena on the outskirts of society. With a global perspective on both pop culture icons and contemporary political events, Laumann sheds light on the more complex forces of our culture.
The exhibition contains works such as Morrissey Foretelling the Death of Diana (2006), a montage of existing film clips that evolve into an intricate and conspiratorial narrative of two pop culture icons. The exhibition also includes Laumann’s much-discussed work Berlinmuren, which he made for the 5th Berlin Biennale in 2008. The work, which takes a closer look at issues connected to animism and object-related sexuality, has been spatially reconfigured at Kunstnernes Hus and includes both video and objects. The video work Prima Secunda Africa! is a collaboration with the artist Kjersti G. Andvig made in connection with Norwegian Constitution’s bicentennial in 2014. The film, which deals with Norwegian and African coastal culture with a particular eye on the export of Norwegian stockfish, represents an odyssey through the highly dissimilar Norwegian and West African environments that are created by this industry. The work You Can’t Pretend to Be Somebody Else, You Already Are (2009-2011), a collaboration with the artist Benjamin A. Huseby based on the biography of the singer Nico, has also been featured in Kompendium.
Several of Laumann’s earlier works have dealt with themes such as obsession, sexuality, and marginalized existence. His most recent film, Season of Migration to the North (2015), explores these topics as well, even as it is linked to today’s urgent issues of mass migration, refugee policies, and LGBT-rights. In film, Eddie Esmail tells his story, having arrived in Norway from Sudan as a refugee. In a parallel story, the diary notes of Ruth Maier are being told. Maier arrived in Norway as a young refugee from Austria during the Second World War. The film is thereby given yet another dimension, connecting history to the past and the international to the local.
Cecilia Lopez, an Argentinian composer based in New York, has worked on the musical score with Lars Laumann in the artist’s last film. Lopez will be performing her piece RED at 9 pm on the opening night.
The exhibition has received support from Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Arts Council Norway, Fritt Ord Foundation and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.