Bodil Furu

Kunsthall Oslo is pleased to invite you to the opening of Alnaelva, a new two-part documentary film project by the artist Bodil Furu.
Friday 17th August 7pm

Alnaelva I is a large-scale film and audio installation structured around a series of field recordings made along the river Alna from Ammerud to the Oslofjord. Its richly-detailed, monumental cinematic scenes and precisely captured location sound bring an intense and poetic attention to parts of the city which pass mostly unseen and unremarked. Alnaelva II is a documentary that follows seven different figures – a city planner, a sociologist, a landscape architect, an engineer, a property developer, a local historian and a spokesman for the Friends of the river – as they offer contrasting views of the river’s significance and future role. Like characters in a courtroom drama they each present their case, a patchwork of views that is as fragmented as the contested landscape itself.

The Alna valley plays a key role in the official redevelopment plans for Oslo’s industrial east, and the river itself is claimed by many different parties. Furu’s decision to show the landscape in two very different cinematic languages mirrors the way in which competing visions for the development of the river represent conflicting interests and ideologies. There are disagreements over what the river means, who the river serves, what is natural to the river, what is true to the river’s history, what is best for the river. Is the water a natural habitat to be conserved or an amenity to be developed? Should public regeneration be planned to benefit private developers? To the planners, the Alna appears as a talismanic force through which the landscape will potentially be transformed, and at the same time as a proxy for the people themselves, who must be dredged and filtered and pumped into new channels, before their lives will sparkle.

Bodil Furu (born 1976) was educated at the Oslo National Academy of Art. She has shown video works in exhibitions and film festivals in Europe, Africa, Asia and the USA, including at MoMA, NY; the 10th Istanbul Biennial; the 4th Ars Baltica triennial; the 2007 Busan biennial; the Beijing Contemporary Art Museum; Kunsthalle Budapest and Johannesburg Art Gallery. Her most recent solo exhibition was at Tromsø Kunstforening in January 2012, and her last film Fjell som faller [Mountains That Fall] premiered at the Tromsø Film Festival 2012.