The Sacred Fear

The Sacred Fear

Karin Erixon, Ahmed Ghossein, Petter Napstad, Lina Norell, Oscar Qvale, Jon Benjamin Lund Tallerås. Curated by Mohamed Ali Fadlabi.

tirsdag 18. januar
Ahmed Ghossein: Kandaka shop, Markveien 56 C, 17.00
Karin Erixon: Galleri Blå, Brenneriveien 9 C, 18.00
Oscar Qvale: Turkish Delight, Torggata 35, 20.00

torsdag 20. januar
Lina Norell: Advokatfirmaet Kirkholm, Akersgata 43, 9.00 – 16.00
Petter Napstad: Semikolon, Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo. Fossveien 24, 17.00
Jon Benjamin Lund Tallerås: One Night Only, UKS, Lakkegata 55 D, 20.00

I was so happy when Kunsthall Oslo asked me to curate a show. I couldn’t sleep that night. I wanted to do a good job so I googled the meaning of the word curator, and found this in Wikipedia: “(from Latin cura, care), means manager, overseer. Traditionally, a curator or keeper of a cultural heritage institution (e.g. gallery, museum, library or archive) is a content specialist responsible for an institution’s collections. The object of a traditional curator’s concern necessarily involves tangible objects of some sort, whether it be inter alia artwork, collectibles, historic items or scientific collections. More recently, new kinds of curators are emerging: curators of digital data objects, and biocurators.” 

Amongst the many definitions, that which shocked me most was under education and training:  “Curators generally hold a higher academic degree in their subject, typically a Doctor of Philosophy or a master’s degree in subjects such as history, history of art, archaeology, anthropology, or classics. Curators are also expected to have contributed to their academic field, for example, by delivering public talks, publishing articles or presenting at specialist academic conferences. It is important that curators have knowledge of the current collecting market for their area of expertise, and are aware of current ethical practices and laws that may impact their organization’s collecting.”

Holy mother of Jesus! Are they kidding me? Do they expect me to know this stuff before the show? I never thought I was a curator. I am not even sure I am an artist yet. And here comes a real institution asking me to curate a show. Well, for some reason I found my self doing it anyway. Probably because of my African upbringing. We were taught to listen and respect those who know better. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a very personal show. I have chosen locations I am familiar with in Oslo and invited friends to show their art.

I’d like to tell you stories about each space and each artist that I picked.

Ahmed Ghossein, Faces Applauding Alone, video, 7 min, 2008
Kandaka klesbutikk, Markveien 56 C, opening 18.01 kl17
I know Kandaka cause the guys running it are from Sudan. Mustafa and Ibrahim spent last November painting the place and fixing it for their imported goods from Asia. They sell cloth and small nice things. And they are hardworking men and like art a lot. It wasn’t difficult to make them lend me a window to project Ahmed’s film. 

Ahmed Ghossein is from Lebanon. He graduated from the Lebanese University with a diploma in theatre. He has worked in film and video as well as contemporary dance.  I have invited Ahmed to show “Faces Applauding Alone”. What I like about this work is the story. It’s not about the war as you may think. It’s not about the letters Ahmed found in some old cassette tapes. It’s not about what is being said between his mom and his dad on those recordings. It’s not about the little stories they tell to eachother, about work and home and relatives. I think personally this work is about something we all really know, but we can’t point it out. This is a very sad and beautiful work. Just like anything else in the Middle East. 

Karin Erixon, The eyes of my house
Galleri Blå, Brenneriveien 9 C, opening 18.01 kl18
I established Gallery Blå about a year ago. What’s challenging with the space is the fact that it is one of Oslo’s most busy night clubs. The challenge has been making the shows survive the crowded concerts over a period of two months. Moreover, the lighting is far from ideal. But the light guys at Blå are always helpful. And somehow, Gallery Blå had so far, five successful shows and Karin’s will be the sixth.  

Karin Erixon, født 1985 in Luleå, Sweden, lives and works in Oslo, Norway.
I see Karin as a historian of objects. Karin knows how to pay attention to objects in her surroundings. She studies them and paints them, recognizes how they manage to trap all that history within them. For each object is a history book. A drinking cup or a decorative object or a table, Karin analyzes that, producing a very personal and interesting story.  I’ve seen Karin documenting her grandmother’s flat, then making maps out of her movement through the space , just to paint fractions and details from some dusty shelf. Nobody knows how to paint like Karin. She is extremely talented and has an extremely powerful technique. Nothing she sees seems to be hard to paint.

Oscar Qvale:  Escape Velocity / It´s Some Sort of Tune, video, 12 min, 2010
Turkish Delight, Torggata 35, opening 18.01 kl20
Turkish delight is a small bar in Torggata. I know the space because I have worked in the past with Patrick, the guy who runs the bar now. Patrick is a footballer, a bartender, a DJ and a very polite man. I found their store window to be a perfect screen for Oscar’s short film. 

Oscar Quale, born 1985 in Oslo, studied photography at Bergen National Academy of the Arts, Norway and Hochschule fúr Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig, Germany (HGB). Sometimes he takes his camera with him when is meeting friends and he just lets it role. Then, he starts editing what he recorded. While editing, he composes short Sci- Fi stories about his friends. Sometimes they seem to invade another planet. He does that in a very smart way, using their little conversations about sound or computers as a sound track. I love his cinematic language and how good he is with his camera,  and the little touch of documentary film he gives to his works.

Lina Norell, Paradise, photo series, 2010
Advokatfirmaet Kirkholm, Akersgata 43, open 20.01 kl 9.00 – 16.00
The first time I entered Kirkholm, I was looking for help to change my automatically given status, since I am a foreign male, from a sperm donor to a father.  After being there several times, at some point I became friend with my lawyer, Robert, who has helped me greatly, and his partner André. I never laugh so much as I do when I am with them. In my graduation show, André showed up with red pants that screamed RED!. He is crazy, funny and good at what he does. Robert had a bottle of Champaign for me. Both were forced to watch my performance and were polite enough not to laugh since I dedicated it to my father who died a couple of months before the show.
Lina Norell, born 1982 in Karlstad, Sweden, she lives and works in London, UK and Oslo, Norway. She holds a BA in Fine Art & History of Art from Goldsmiths College. Honestly, I haven’t seen many of Lina’s paintings. But the few I have seen were great. They had something digital. Many times you see the same character appearing twice in the painting. And since she is a very good painter, it feels like she just pushes ctrl+c and then ctrl+v to make the same character appear again. For this show, she wanted to show some photos about paradise. These photos are so poetic in a sentimental way.

Petter Napstad, Skammens kapittel, 2010
Semikolon, Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo. Fossveien 24, opening 20.01 kl17
After SKA (Statens Kunstakademi) became a part of KHIO, students had almost no place to show their art. They lost Galleri 21.24 and 21.25 and the architects who designed the new student gallery, didn’t do a good job. Malie Robb, Siri Leira and Karin Erixon decided to give KHIO and it’s architects a lesson. They established a much better showroom under a staircase. They called it Semikolon.
Petter Napstad, born 1982, lives and works in Oslo. He is a storyteller that in a generous way provides his subjects not only with time, but also with a voice. Thus giving them the chance to unfold and reveal themselves in a way that their true colors are shown. Colors which might ordinarily never have been seen. This often leads to narrative descriptions that expose the mysterious but yet romantic relationships man has towards nature and loneliness, with constant humorous undertones.  Napstad´s field of experience lies mainly within short filmmaking. He has previously attended Nordland College of Art and Film and is now a final year student at The Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo.

Jon Benjamin Lund Tallerås, Sky Blue Sky , Super 8 installation 7.23 min, 2010
One Night Only at UKS, Lakkegata 55 D, opening 20.01 kl20
One Night Only (ONO) is a gallery my classmate, Eirik Senje and I started two years ago. In his stead, Tito Frey, Erlend Grytbakk Wold and Jon Benjamin Lund Tallerås joined the team. When the academy moved to Seilduken and join the rest of the faculties at KHIO, we lost our gallery space. Thanks to UKS, (Unge Kunstnerens Samfunn) we got offered the opportunity to continue running ONO in their building.
Jon Benjamin Lund Tallerås, born 1984, Oslo. Since he started working at ONO, he made our web page. He made all our posters. He stood there helping people to install their shows, made food for guests and in the face of all this, he never stopped making art. What is fascinating about this young man is how calm and yet full of energy his work is. In many of his works, he “plays” with letters. Jon doesn’t think about letters the way I do. I saw him building 3D letters, designing his own, writing them with his left hand, spraying some and washing them away and taking photo of their traces. I saw him using marble dust to write a word on the floor (he called that one a sculpture). I think he knows something I don’t know about letters. And I think that Jon is a researcher, a designer and a philosopher, maybe…

I hope you will enjoy this show. It’s going to be a great show, I promise!

Fadlabi, January 2011