Materials: Private documents, wood glue, pedestal.
Installation views from the National Academy of the Arts, Department of Fine Arts BA-graduate exhibition KHIB Bachelorutstillingen 2012, Avd. Kunstakademiet (i). Within this exhibition context, In-titled was connected to two other pieces, Whiteout II (2012) at the Bergen Town Square and Agnosia (2012) at the Bergen Old Prison.
The sculpture was destroyed, 2013, in Gabriel Kvendseth's performance Disintegration Situation, at pOTSYd (see video below).
«I bring them to our River Lethe (…) from which, as soon as they have drunk down a long forgetfulness, they wash away by degrees the perplexity of their minds, and so wax young again»
– Desiderius Erasmus’ The Praise of Folly (1515)
In-titled is a dynamic sculpture consisting of my private documents, rolled up and glued together. The title refers to the (un)fortunate unplanned incident when I glued the working notes and title suggestions for this particular sculpture inside itself.
In-titled is a compromise, rendering the information unavailable and simultaneously reminding me of its past existence. This piece was intended to gradually accumulate the weight of all my paper documents until the day of my death, as ritual purgatory for that inhibiting sense of nostalgia, symptomatic of compulsive memory squirrels who struggle with letting go of their earthly attachements (ii). The piece was inspired in part by conceptualist Roman Opalka's "existential" number paintings: "Starting in the top left-hand corner of the canvas and finishing in the bottom right-hand corner, the tiny numbers were painted in horizontal rows. Each new canvas, which the artist called a 'detail', took up counting where the last left off. Each 'detail' is the same size (196 x 135 cm), the dimension of his studio door in Warsaw. All details have the same title, "1965 / 1 – ∞"; the project had no definable end, and the artist pledged his life to its ongoing execution: 'All my work is a single thing, the description from number one to infinity. A single thing, a single life', 'the problem is that we are, and are about not to be' "(iii).
After its first public viewing, I was convinced that such a sacrificial act would be a waste of life and the project became a burden, conceptually and materially. Lacking the motivation to continue, I concluded that the sculpture needed to be "set free" in some form of ritual ceremony. In 2013 it was donated to Gabriel Kvendseth's performance Disintegration Situation at the exibition pOTSYd, an exhibition curated by myself and Rasmus Hungnes, held in an abandonned bomb shelter in Bergen. Below is a cathartic 44'14'' video of the destruction (iv).
Installation view from the group show KHIB Bachelorutstillingen 2012, Avd. Kunstakademiet at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts, Department of Fine Arts (i).
Agnosia (2012), Site-specific installation produced for my BA-graduate exhibition, located at the Bergen Old Prison.
Whiteout II (2012), Site-specific installation produced for my BA-graduate exhibition, located inside a freight container at the Bergen Town Square.
"Nostalgia Sucks", 26.08.2011, reflections on "In-titled" Published on www.refusetobeacoward.com, 26.08.2011.
Click images or thumbnails to enlarge
Notes and references:
(i) Depicted installation views include works by the following artists: Maria Therese Fernander Smit, Anders Elsrud Hultgren and Sofia Eliasson.
(ii) Ellen Ringstad. "Nostalgia Sucks", 26.08.2011, Available online from:
http://refusetobeacoward.com/2011/08/26/nostalgia-sucks/ [Accessed 2015-03-10 ]
(iii) Wikipedia.org. "Roman O´Palka". Available online from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Opałka [Accessed 2015-03-10 ]
(iv) The destruction took much longer, about 1,5 hours, but only about 45 minutes were captured, which explains various dissolves and jump cuts in the video.