It was fortunate to start showing my work in the mid-70’s, catching a wave of awareness on photographic artists.
In 1975, I was accepted at Statens Høstutstilling (the annual salon d’automne here in Norway). My first solo-show in 1977 (Galleri 7, Oslo) , surprisingly, received good reviews in the main national newspapers. In 1979 I was asked to sit on the jury of the Høstutstilling on behalf of FFF. So things moved fast (..in my eyes at least)
In the mid-80’s I began having gallery shows that opened with only empty frames. New motifs were found every day. Film developed, dried, and a 50×60 cm baryta print made during the night. These would then appear daily in one of the pre-hung empty glass clip-frames in the exhibition period. A friend suggested calling this practice “deadline-art”. Exhibitions with “daily” deadlines, became a norm for a while. Often with poets or writers who produced their pieces on the same terms.
In the late 80’s and the very beginning of the 90’s I started investigating the advances in high tech/low cost technology that had become accessible for artists. Using desktop computers to mix and match images, text and sound in timeline-based projects.
Around 2000 and in the following decade, I began performing these live via MIDI-controllers in cinema halls, utilizing the newly installed digital projectors. I also started mixing analog and digital texture onto largish prints with graphite, pastels and acrylics.
From 2010 to 2020 my main project was a monthly delivery of large prints in a personal “covert” art-project, the LHK, here in Oslo. Investigating the smallest imprint necessary for an artistic practice. As well as turning found objects into short poetic film loops. Sequels, and sometimes prequels to large, printed, still images. Timeline-based expressions coming to standstill, handing over the narrative and the timing of events to the viewer. The “secretive” 10-year project has now been flipped around into a very visible 5-year project, and I expect there will be a 2,5-year project after that. The years are coming more frequent now, and, with the diminishing time and energy, I try to be in tune.
I have often been moved to question the predictable or the foreseeable. Not content with a static product I knew would change and morph into something else the next day, it always felt right to challenge viewers to look past the mythologies and actively into the artistic practice. To join me on the journey.
The constant change and insistence on reworking my subject matter in an unpredictable manner, that became my practice, has in many ways complicated the building of a normal artist career. Luckily, chance projects always came my way when times seemed the most bleak, and I have been able to continue on this fragile journey. Focusing on the work, and a realisation of responsibility to live an intelligent life.
It has also always been important for me to be “hands-on”. Whether in producing filmbased work, text, animation, soundscapes or still photography. Not from a love of craft, but to be able to engineer serendipity. The lack of an “expert touch” allows me, at times, to nurture and follow the lucky mistakes.
On some level, this practice is often also what I look for in other artists work.
Still images are now typically digital remixes of analog negatives, based on quality scans from the different negative-formats in the many projects over the years. Stripping them of time, place and context they become fragments in new composites, belonging only to themselves.
The moving imagery are mostly made with digital still-cameras. Sequenced and reworked in different software. Predominately presented as loops, meant to run continuously, approximately indefinite, until the hardware breaks down. Some so slow in revealing themselves that they give the impression of being projected still images.
Not waiting for approval, or financing, gives opportunity to observe and learn from the gentle fragmentations and de-fragmentation in these intuitive processes.
And again, ..and always !! Hoping to stumble across something I realise is beyond my capacity.
Learning something new and something old ..at the same time.