Soft City 4th-6th September

Soft City

  4th–6th September 2014

See images from Soft City here

Chto Delat, Keren Cytter, Maria Hassabi, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Steinar Haga Kristensen, Ignas Krunglevičius, Øyvind Mellbye, Sandra Mujinga, Sult with Greg Pope, Tidens Krav.

Kunsthall Oslo is pleased to present Soft City, a three day programme of performances, concerts and screenings around the city of Oslo.

Soft City presents works by artists which in different ways subvert the established conventions of existing genres of performance, including opera, theatre, dance, film, popular music and TV-drama. Venues for the events include Kanonhallen, Oslo City Hall, Black Box Theatre, Blitz, Cinemateket and Kunsthall Oslo. Soft City also includes two new commissions for public space.

We invite you to join us for a reception to celebrate the start of the Soft City programme and the opening of Keren Cytter’s project on Thursday September 4th at 6pm, at Kunsthall Oslo’s new gallery space at Trelastgata 17 in Bjørvika, two blocks down from our previous location. Refreshments will be served.

 At 8pm there will be a free bus to Kanonhallen for the premiere of HEX UBU, a new performance work by Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, with drinks and music afterwards. Return transport via a free bus at 11pm or from Sinsen T-bane station. 

All Soft City events are free, but please note that places are strictly limited for Steinar Haga Kristensen’s project at Oslo City Hall, and tickets must be booked and collected in advance.

The Soft City programme is curated and produced by Kunsthall Oslo.


Launch of Soft City
Kunsthall Oslo, Thursday September 4th 6pm
Refreshments will be served.

Keren Cytter, Vengeance & Rose Garden
Kunsthall Oslo, Thursday September 4th 6.30pm
Vengeance is a seven-part film in the style of a warped daytime TV soap opera, an intense, fragmented epic saga of glamour and backstabbing in the advertising industry. Vengeance nails the genre conventions even as it breaks them open in a deadpan but merciless satire of the reduction of life to material aspiration. Cytter will also show a new film work, Rose Garden, that takes scenes from Luis Buñuel’s Golden Age as its starting point. The artist will be present.

Keren Cytter was born in 1977 in Tel Aviv and lives and works in New York. She works with film, photography, performance, dance, theatre and poetry and has also published three well-received novels. Her most recent exhibitions include the solo exhibitions MOP VENGEANCE at Pilar Corrias in London, Video Art Manual at Diverse Works Art Space in Houston, Texas, Based on a True Story at Oakville Galleries in Oakville, USA, and participation in the Marrakech Biennial 2014.

Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, HEX UBU
Kanonhallen, Thursday September 4th 8.30pm.
Bus from Kunsthall Oslo 8pm.
Jakobsen’s new-commissioned work is a carnivalesque theatre performance that starts with six figures on a hexagonal stage, a living sculpture acting out a ritual game that draws on Alfred Jarry, Samuel Beckett and European folk traditions. With the audience surrounding the performers on all sides, Jakobsen begins to play with the unexpected possibilities of the situation. A live soundtrack comes from the Danish experimental musician Gæoudjiparl, while Oslo-based contemporary dancers and performing artists make up the cast.

Performed by Henrik Plenge Jakobsen with Paulucci Araujo Bakke, Gæoudjiparl, Snorre Hvamen, Ann Kristin Kongsness, Marte Reithaug Sterud, Sigrid Marie Kittelsaa Vesaas and Lila Wilson.

Henrik Plenge Jakobsen was born in 1967 and lives and works in Copenhagen. He was educated at the Copenhagen Art Academy and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Jakobsen has a wide-ranging art practice that centres on sculpture, installation and performance. His most recent exhibitions are Kapital at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, A Thing of the Mind at Galerie Patricia Dorfmann, Paris, Tournament d’Objet at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen and the group show Social Goth at the Scandinavian Institute in New York. His work is currently on show in the exhibition Divorce at the Great Poor Farm Experiment VI in Wisconsin, USA.

Ignas Krunglevicius, Dark Pool.
Kunstnernes Hus, Friday September 5th, 5pm

Krunglevicius trained as a composer of contemporary music. His work Dark Pool involves an accomplice wandering the city carrying a hidden radio frequency jammer that disrupts 3G, GSM and WiFi signals; digital mobile communication within 10m of the anonymous performer will be impossible. As Krunglevicius says, “When you have device like this in your hands, almost nothing can disturb you or reveal where you are.” At Kunstnernes Hus he will also present a new video work that sets the context for the ongoing Dark Pool performance.

Ignas Krunglevicius was born in 1979 in Kaunas, Lithuania, and lives and works in Oslo. He recently exhibited in the Nordic pavilion at the Venice Biennial of Architecture, 2014, Crime in Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow, and at You Imagine What You Desire, the 19th Sydney Biennial, 2014.

Steinar Haga Kristensen, The Loneliness of the Index Finger (Part II)
Oslo City Hall, Friday 5th and Saturday 6th September 8pm
Steinar Haga Kristensenhas worked for several months to create a large-scale fresco at Oslo City Hall as the backdrop to a new opera, The Loneliness of the Index Finger (Part II): The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Conceptual State into Stabilized Theatrical Sensibility (Consensus Image). The libretto, written by Haga Kristensen, revolves around the conflict between the artist (tenor), the power of the state (soprano), and the people (choir). “An artist struggles to produce a monumental public work, a fresco on a giant scale that must reflect contemporary reality. As he attempts to find a form for the piece, the artist is hurt by the people’s contempt for monumentality, and pained by his own disdain for the transient. Caught between the demands of the State and the ridicule of the people, progress seems impossible. Slowly, however, an idea reveals itself. The work must be a self-portrait, narcissistic, fractured, triumphant; the truest expression of late-capitalist sensibility. The people are enraptured. With satirical grandiosity the picture is constructed from the artist’s own earlier works, a monumental staging of the premature historicism that characterises the current condition. The fresco will be overpainted as soon as it is completed, deliberately so, and sent into the darkness of our unknown future. Encapsulated in the walls of Oslo City Hall, the work will use the building as a time machine.”

The piece will be performed by two of Norway’s leading opera singers, Nils Harald Sødal and Helene Wold, and the choir conducted by Stefan Ibsen Zlatanos. The score is by Morten Norbye Halvorsen with Steinar Haga Kristensen and Trond Reinholdtsen, and will be performed on the City Hall’s carillon by the carilloniste Laura Marie Rueslåtten Olseng and percussionist Håkon Stene. The opera is the second part in a series that began in 2009 at UKS, Oslo.

Advance booking required, places are strictly limited. To reserve a ticket, please send an email with your full name to by September 1st. One ticket per person. Please state whether you prefer Friday 5th or Saturday 6th, or could attend on either date. The event is fully booked. 

Steinar Haga Kristensenwas born in 1980 and lives and works in Oslo. He graduated from the Oslo National Academy of Arts in 2009.  Recent solo exhibitions include the Contemporary Art Centre Art Centre in Vilnius, Galleri Johan Berggren in Malmø, Etablissement d’en Face Projects in Brussels, Kunsthall Oslo og UKS, Oslo.

Sult with Greg Pope, Skeleton.
Kunsthall Oslo, Friday 5th September 10pm
Sult are a Norwegian/American quartet who play improvised acoustic and electro-acoustic music. For Soft City they will collaborate with the film maker Greg Pope to present an immersive sound/light performance, with amplified ultra-bass from steel cables installed across the gallery and stroboscopic visuals.

Sult are Jacob Felix Heule, percussion, Guro Skumsnes Moe, double bass, Håvard Skaset, guitar. Greg Pope works with film, installation and live performance, and runs the experimental film night The Dream That Kicks at Cinemtateket.

Øyvind Mellbye, Slepebrøler
Kuba Park, Saturday 6th September 12pm
Slepebrøler is a functional cast-concrete ghetto-blaster with added bass cabinets, installed at Kuba park in Grünerløkka. Anyone with a mobile music device and Bluetooth capability or a mini-jack output can connect and dramatically amplify the sounds of their choice. Refreshments will be served, and the artist will be present.

Øyvind Mellbye was born in 1985 in Oslo, where he lives and works. He was educated at Bergen Art Academy (2010) and works primarily with sculpture, sound and installation- His recent projects include Paint Everything, a solo exhibition at Hammerfest National Art Festival, 2013, Fjellseilas (Mountain Voyage), a permanent outdoor work at Andørja, Norway, and Sølveplene at the Piksel festival for electronic art, Bergen, Norway.

Chto Delat, A Border Musical
Cinemateket Saturday 6th September 2pm
A Border Musical (50 mins, 2013) by Chto Delat concerns the tribulations of a Russian woman who falls in love with a Norwegian man on the Arctic border between the two coutries; Tanja’s problems begin when she has to choose where their son should grow up. Chto Delat’s film is a darkly comic tragedy in a Brechtian style, critical geopolitics on a human scale with sharp dialogue and beautiful, melodramatic musical numbers. Olga Egorova and Dmitry Vilensky of Chto Delat will introduce the film in conversation with the producer Jesper Alvær.

Direction/Screenplay: Chto Delat (Tsaplya /Olga Egorova/, Dmitry Vilensky) in cooperation with Jesper Alvær.
Photography: Artyom Ignatov
Actors: Anna Bulavina, Haldor Lægreid, Ketil Høegh, Maryon Eilertsen, Kristine Henriksen, Camilla Wiig Revholt, Ann Christin Elverum, Egor Semenkov, Nikolay Kurbatov, Mikhail Baranov, Andrey Molodchinin
Composer: Mikhail Krutik.
Choreographer: Nina Gasteva.
Producer: Pikene på Broen, in cooperation with FilmCamp, Filmgården, Bergen Assembly, Border Aesthetics (UiT), and many others.

The collective Chto Delat (What is to be done?) is a group of artists, critics, philosophers and writers formed in St. Petersburg in 2003.

Maria Hassabi, SHOW
Black Box Teater, Saturday 6th September 4pm
Maria Hassabi’s Show has been brought back to New York twice since it premiered there in 2011. This will be the first performance of the work in Scandinavia. “SHOW develops as an in inquiry between audience and performer, performance space and emotional space. The audience members, who have become unwitting participants in the event, can barely take their eyes off the dancers – except when looking at each other. Show is a brilliant, often erotically charged piece performed by two dynamic dancers unafraid to take risks.”

Directed by Maria Hassabi
. Performers Hristoula Harakas, Maria Hassabi
. Sound Design: Alex Waterman
. Lighting Design: Maria Hassabi, Joe Levasseur. 
Dramaturgy: Scott Lyal
. Technical advisor: Randi Rivera.

Maria Hassabi is a choreographer and performance artist born in Cyprus in 1973 and living in New York. Hassabi trained at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles and the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York. Her work has recently been presented at The Kitchen, New York, PS1 MOMA, the Performa Biennial, and at many venues and festivals around Europe and the US. She represented Cyprus at the 55th Venice Biennial. 
For more information see

Collection As Allocated Objects
Tidens Krav, Saturday September 6th 6pm onwards
As part of Soft City, the artist-run space Tidens Krav and the artist Sverre Gullesen will present the project Collection As Allocated Objects. An open call for artists, curators and gallerists to “submit yourself, alongside a work that you have at hand, as part of an ongoing meditation on redistribution” leads to a winner-takes-all poker tournament to be played live on Saturday night, with an art collection as the prize. Participants: Bjørn Bjarre, Constance Tenvik via Vanessa Ohlraun, David Bernstein, Ina Hagen, Lars Monrad Vaage, Marius Engh via Jorunn Hancke Øgstad, Morten Viskum, Nils Wogsted, Nasjonalmuseet, Tora Dolven Balke via ghostplayer. Narrators: Kåre Magnus Bergh, Sverre Gullesen, and Anders Dahl Monsen.

The performance starts Saturday the 6th of September at 18:00, and lasts for an unknown period of time. It will also be streamed live to your nearest internet. Please visit  the day of the event.


For more information visit

Sandra Mujinga, I Can Delete It, It Is Not Happening Now
Blitz, Saturday 6th September 10pm
NaEE RoBErts is the music, video and performance alter-ego of the artist Sandra Mujinga. RoBErts plays a distorted, industrial mutation of hip hop electronica with improvised, processed vocals. Her video works mine the same subculture, deconstructing and innovating in equal measure. Mujinga will present a new NaEE RoBErts performance for Soft City, a live concert accompanied by a subverted catwalk fashion show of the artist’s own designs. With Sandra Mujinga, Jibril Bojang, Korgba Kanu and Nana Maxwell Yaw.

Sandra Mujinga was born in 1989 in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, and educated at the Art Academy in Malmö, Sweden, where she lives and works. Her recent shows include Back To Basic, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Face Time/Facetime- Real Time/Realtime, Oslo Kunstforeningand Like Me Like You, CEO Gallery, Malmö. Mujinga won the Sparebankstiftelse/DNB Art Award in 2013.

Soft City is funded by Nordic Culture Point, the Nordic Culture Fund, KORO, The Norwegian Arts Council, FFUK, The Danish Arts Foundation, Norske Billedkunstnere, The Freedom of Expression Foundation and the City of Oslo. Kunsthall Oslo is supported by The Norwegian Arts Council, OSU, Hav Eiendom, and the City of Oslo.

The first part of Soft City took place in May this year, with a performance of the play Laksespelet – allmenningens tragedie by Trine Falch, Mona Solhaug and Bo Krister Wallström, and a concert exchange between Kunsthall Oslo and Mayhem in Copenhagen featuring performances by Puce Mary, Gud er kvinde, T. R. Kirstein, Family Underground, Kjetil Hansen, Alexander Rishaug, Dag Erik Knedal Andersen and Agnes Hvizdalek, and Jon Wesseltoft.