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pOTSYd  2013

WORLD WAR II BUNKER IN THE BOWELS OF BERGEN.

pOTSYD poster

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Entrance from above (Galgebakken). Photo: Ellen Ringstad.

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pOTSYMPOSIUm. Curator talk, commissioned by the Bergen National Academy of the Arts (now: KMD), for the project 'Topographies of the Obsolete' by Corrina Thornton. Photo: Rasmus Hungnes

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pOTSYD poster

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Click images  or thumbnails to enlarge. Scroll down for more information, videos and 360 views.

Your Royal Highness, Mr. Prime Minister, Your Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.


Greetings! - and welcome to these magnificent bowels of Bergen, where slow drippings from immature stalactites keep the corridors lubricated even on rare cloudless days deprived of local precipitation.


Tracing the distant echo of Holberg's Niels Klim's underground travels (1741) – the first Scandinavian sci-fi-novel, depicting the fabled travels of Niels Klim, distinguished Baccalaureus, who accidentally plummets into a cave on top of the towering giant watching tirelessly over our humble town, Mount Fløyen, serendipitously discovering the utopian state of Potu – a group of artists hope to rediscover this golden land of opportunity and adventure. Along their long and tiresome journey they stumble upon a bomb shelter lying underneath the Holberg-berg (as named by certain locals – Holberget to be more natively tongued) and acquiesce to the dystopian state of Potsyd instead.


The clocks tick in circles until, inevitably, their batteries run out. However, we personally guarantee that Potsyd will prevail throughout the duration of the international triennial Bergen Assembly.

Whilst the triennial claims to focus on research, Potsyd claims to focus on exploration. Its artists, who don't mind investigating moist and dirty conditions, are: Anja Carr, Thomas Pihl, Gabriel Kvendseth, Veronica Rebecca Johansen, Eric Wangel, Jonas Ib F. H. Jensen, Bjørn Mortensen, Øyvind Mellbye, Ellen Ringstad and Rasmus Hungnes. And last but not least, a special guest appearance by Judas van der Berg. 

With all good wishes to a great patron of scholarship, who is also among the glories of this age (i).

Ellen Ringstad and Rasmus Hungnes

 



Thus reads the mythology of pOTSYd,  from the exhibition booklet [download pdf here or click images below].

 

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pOTSYd (dystop[ia] spelled in reverse) was explored by  Ellen Ringstad and Rasmus Hungnes (artist-curators), with invited guests Anja Carr, Thomas Pihl, Gabriel Kvendseth, Veronica Rebecca Johansen, Eric Wangel, Jonas Ib F. H. Jensen, Bjørn Mortensen, Øyvind Mellbye and Judas van der Berg as a parasitical happening, clinging like a David vs Goliath to its mastodontic host body - the first ever Bergen Triennial in 2013  'Bergen Assembly' - sharing its general vicinity and opening hours with the triennial. 

pOTSYd was set in a 'cave' in 'the bowels of Bergen' in an attempt to create a mythical and magical arena outside of the local fine art institutions, all of which were occupied by Bergen Assembly - who imported loads of international artists, but hardly showcased any local - despite Bergen's vibrant professional art scene - causing a disappointed murmur, as many felt the city was overrun by an alien occupying force: both the curators - or as they preferred: conveners (ii)were based in Moscow and the curatorial concept had a sniff of Soviet nostalgia.

Intended as an symbol of rebellion, we searched and found a World War II bomb shelter under the city centre - the literal underground - that was forgotten by most (it had been closed off for decades) and incorporated site specific works by Bergen-related artists into an immersive gesamt-narrative. In the true spirit of opposition, we tweaked the curatorial concepts of the Assembly to fit a local, subversive chronicle.

 

Whilst their Monday Begins on Saturday - the title borrowed from a sci-fi novel by the Soviet Strugatsky brothers - pOTSYd drew upon one of the first science fiction novels ever written: Niels Klim's Underground Travels (1741) by exile-Norwegian Ludvig Holberg - born in Bergen. The novel chronicled a young scientist's return to Bergen and his subsequent attempt at establishing himself as a player in the local scientific community, during which endeavour he stumbled into a hole in a cave on top of Mount Fløien, discovering a microcosmos within the crust of the earth – he visited, among other wondrous places, the utopian state of Potu (≈utop[ia] spelled backwards). One memorable passage worth noting is when the protagonist Niels Klim tries to fight off a winged demon with his CV, to no avail.
 

Furthermore, the Assembly pitched the buzzwords 'artistic research', which assumably implied some kind of white-cube, laboratory-like aesthetics. Expatriated from the local white cubes, pOTSYd turned towards sensory artistic exploration in rough and dirty conditions instead. 

The exhibition received financial support from the Municipality of Bergen (Bergen Kommune), BKK, The Relief Fund for Visual Artists (Bildende Kunstneres Hjelpefond), Plantasjen, Scanner Grafisk, and was nominated for best art 2013 by national newspaper Natt & Dag (v).

pOTSYd poster
pOTSYd poster
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Entrance from above (Galgebakken). Photo: Ellen Ringstad.
Entrance from above (Galgebakken). Photo: Ellen Ringstad.
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Entrance from below (Nykirkealmenningen). Photo: Ellen Ringstad.

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Jonas Ib F. H. Jensen. Clockwork: Tikk, tusen jævla takk (Kappløpet mot tiden har tilspisset seg) / The race against time hots up, 2013, & Road Sign: Det tapte land er tapt (Monument over det tredje millenium) /The lost land is lost (Monument to the third millennium), 2013. Photo: Jonas Ib F. H. Jensen.

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Jonas Ib F. H. Jensen. Clockwork: Tikk, tusen jævla takk (Kappløpet mot tiden har tilspisset seg) /
Jonas Ib F. H. Jensen. Clockwork: Tikk, tusen jævla takk (Kappløpet mot tiden har tilspisset seg) /
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Left: Ellen Ringstad. Everything began and ended (2013). Site-specific mixed-media installation. Found objects, most collected on-site, video projection, UV-lights, fluorescent spray-paint on soil. ​ Right: Veronica Rebecca Johansen. A romantic at heart (2013). Slide-projector, slides. Photo: Ellen Ringstad

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Ellen Ringstad. Everything began and ended (2013). Site-specific mixed-media installation. Found objects, most recovered on-site, video projection, UV-lights, fluorescent spray-paint on soil. ​ Photo: Ellen Ringstad

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Foreground: Ellen Ringstad. Everything began and ended (2013). Site-specific mixed-media installation. Found objects, most from on-site, video projection, UV-lights, fluorescent spray-paint on soil. Behind, left: Øyvind Melbye. Water, sand and gravel (2013). Cast concrete, rope, block and round sling. Behind right: Thomas Pihl. Untitled (under) (2013) Site-specific installation. Found objects, acrylic. Background: Veronica Rebecca Johansen. Untitled (2013). 21 prints and acrylic on wall. Pho

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Thomas Pihl. Untitled (under) (2013) Site-specific installation. Found objects, acrylic. Photo: Ellen Ringstad

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Middle and Right: Thomas Pihl. Untitled (under) (2013) Site-specific installation. Found objects, acrylic. Øyvind Melbye. Water, sand and gravel (2013). Cast concrete, rope, block and round sling. Photo: Ellen Ringstad

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Left: Thomas Pihl. Untitled (under) (2013) Site-specific installation. Found objects, acrylic. Øyvind Melbye. Water, sand and gravel (2013). Cast concrete, rope, block and round sling. ​ Rasmus Hungnes: Real fake (2013) Mixed-media installation. Found objects, synthetic plants, video, television screens. Special guest star: Judas van der Berg: Insubordinate Ars (2013). Background: Eric Wangel. Final Future (2013) Site-specific video-installation Photo: Ellen Ringstad

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Rasmus Hungnes: Real fake (2013) Mixed-media installation. Found objects, synthetic plants, video, television screens. Special guest star: Judas van der Berg: Insubordinate Ars (2013). Photo: Rasmus Hungnes

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Rasmus Hungnes: Real fake (2013) Mixed-media installation. Found objects, synthetic plants, video, television screens. Special guest star: Judas van der Berg: Insubordinate Ars (2013). Photo: Rasmus Hungnes

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Rasmus Hungnes: Real fake (2013) Mixed-media installation. Found objects, synthetic plants, video, television screens. Special guest star: Judas van der Berg: Insubordinate Ars (2013). Photo: Rasmus Hungnes

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Eric Wangel. Final Future (2013) Site-specific video-installation Photo: Eric Wangel

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Ringstad's silhouette watching Eric Wangel. Final Future (2013) Site-specific video-installation Photo: Rasmus Hungnes.

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Veronica Rebecca Johansen. Untitled (2013). 21 prints and acrylic on wall. Photo: Ellen Ringstad

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Hanging: Ellen Ringstad. Meltdown (2013) Suspended fondage: reappropriated plastic waste. Right: Veronica Rebecca Johansen. Before I forget to do this, Sir, here are directions to my house (2013) Video installation. Video, television, painted stones, shoes, dress. Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. Background: Gabriel Johann Kvendseth. Disintegration Situation (2013). Performative site-specific installation. Photo: Ellen Ringstad

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Veronica Rebecca Johansen. Before I forget to do this, Sir, here are directions to my house (2013). Detail. Video installation. Video, television, painted stones, shoes, dress. Photo: Ellen Ringstad

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Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. Background: Gabriel Johann Kvendseth. Disintegration Situation (2013). Performative site-specific installation. Photo: Ellen Ringstad

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Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. Photo: Bjørn Mortensen

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Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. Photo: Bjørn Mortensen

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Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. Photo: Bjørn Mortensen

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Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. Photo: Bjørn Mortensen

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Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. Photo: Bjørn Mortensen

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Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. Background: Gabriel Johann Kvendseth. Disintegration Situation (2013). Performative site-specific installation. Photo: Ellen Ringstad

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Gabriel Johann Kvendseth. Disintegration Situation (2013). Performative site-specific installation. Photo: Ellen Ringstad

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Gabriel Johann Kvendseth. Disintegration Situation (2013). Performative site-specific installation. Detail. Photo: Ellen Ringstad

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Anja Carr. Pig in the middle / Between me and you / Between now and then (2013) Site-specific video-installation. Video 04:11 min. loop with pigs from Bergen. TV, lamp, pig's excrement from Bergen, boxing glove. Photo: Anja Carr

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pOTSYMPOSIUm. Curator talk, commissioned by the Bergen National Academy of the Arts (now: KMD), for the project 'Topographies of the Obsolete' by Corrina Thornton. Photo: Rasmus Hungnes

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Catalogue: [Download PDF]

360 degree virtual tour from news article in regional newspaper Bergens Tidende:

Supported by:

Logo_plantasjen_avdeling Os.gif

Article in regional newspaper Bergens Tidende 29.08.2013. Title translation: Young artists tickle the giant's feet (iv)

Entrance from above (Galgebakken).
Photo: Ellen Ringstad.

Entrance from below (Nykirkealmenningen). 

Photo: Ellen Ringstad.

Jonas Ib F. H. Jensen. Clockwork: Tikk, tusen jævla takk (Kappløpet mot tiden har tilspisset seg) / The race against time hots up, 2013, & Road Sign: Det tapte land er tapt (Monument over det tredje millenium) /The lost land is lost (Monument to the third millennium), 2013.

Photo: Jonas Ib F. H. Jensen.

Jonas Ib F. H. Jensen. Clockwork: Tikk, tusen jævla takk (Kappløpet mot tiden har tilspisset seg) / The race against time hots up (2013).

Photo: Jonas Ib F. H. Jensen.

360 / Panorama view by BT.no [click image to navigate].

Jonas Ib F. H. Jensen. Clockwork: Tikk, tusen jævla takk (Kappløpet mot tiden har tilspisset seg) / The race against time hots up (2013), & Road Sign: Det tapte land er tapt (Monument over det tredje millenium) /The lost land is lost (Monument to the third millennium) (2013).

Left: Ellen Ringstad. Everything began and ended (2013). Site-specific mixed-media installation. Found objects, most collected on-site, video projection, UV-lights, fluorescent spray-paint on soil.

Right: Veronica Rebecca Johansen. A romantic at heart (2013). Slide-projector, slides.

Photo: Ellen Ringstad

360 / Panorama view BT.no [click image to navigate]
 

Ellen Ringstad. Everything began and ended (2013). Site-specific mixed-media installation Found objects, most collected on-site, video projection, UV-lights, fluorescent spray-paint on soil.

Right: Veronica Rebecca Johansen. A romantic at heart (2013). Slide-projector, slides.

Excerpt from: Veronica Rebecca Johansen. A romantic at heart (2013) Slide-projector, slides.

Photo: Ellen Ringstad

Ellen Ringstad. Everything began and ended (2013). Site-specific mixed-media installation. Found objects, most recovered on-site, video projection, UV-lights, fluorescent spray-paint on soil.

Photo: Ellen Ringstad

Foreground: Ellen Ringstad. Everything began and ended (2013). Site-specific mixed-media installation. Found objects, most from on-site, video projection, UV-lights, fluorescent spray-paint on soil.


Behind, left: Øyvind Melbye. Water, sand and gravel (2013). Cast concrete, rope, block and round sling.

Behind right: Thomas Pihl. Untitled (under) (2013) Site-specific installation. Found objects, acrylic.

Background: Veronica Rebecca Johansen. Untitled (2013). 21 prints and acrylic on wall.

Photo: Ellen 
Ringstad

Thomas Pihl. Untitled (under) (2013) Site-specific installation. Found objects, acrylic.

Photo: Ellen 
Ringstad

Middle and Right: Thomas Pihl. Untitled (under) (2013) Site-specific installation. Found objects, acrylic.
 

Øyvind Melbye. Water, sand and gravel (2013). Cast concrete, rope, block and round sling.


Photo: Ellen Ringstad

Left: Thomas Pihl. Untitled (under) (2013) Site-specific installation. Found objects, acrylic.
 

Øyvind Melbye. Water, sand and gravel (2013). Cast concrete, rope, block and round sling.

Rasmus Hungnes: Real fake (2013) Mixed-media installation. Found objects, synthetic plants, video, television screens. Special guest star: Judas van der Berg: Insubordinate Ars (2013).

Background: Eric Wangel. Final Future (2013) Site-specific video-installation

Photo: Ellen Ringstad

Rasmus Hungnes: Real fake (2013) Mixed-media installation. Found objects, synthetic plants, video, television screens. Special guest star: Judas van der Berg: Insubordinate Ars (2013).

Photo: Rasmus Hungnes

Rasmus Hungnes: Real fake (2013) Mixed-media installation. Found objects, synthetic plants, video, television screens. Special guest star: Judas van der Berg: Insubordinate Ars (2013).

Photo: Rasmus Hungnes

Rasmus Hungnes: Real fake (2013) Mixed-media installation. Found objects, synthetic plants, video, television screens. Special guest star: Judas van der Berg: Insubordinate Ars (2013).

Photo: Rasmus Hungnes

360 / Panorama view by BT.no [click image to navigate]


Eric Wangel. Final Future (2013) Site-specific video-installation

Eric Wangel. Final Future (2013) Site-specific video-installation

Photo: Eric Wangel

Ringstad's silhouette watching
 
Eric Wangel. Final Future (2013) Site-specific video-installation

Photo: Rasmus Hungnes.

Veronica Rebecca Johansen. Untitled (2013). 21 prints and acrylic on wall.

Photo: Ellen 
Ringstad

Veronica Rebecca Johansen. Untitled (2013). 21 prints and acrylic on wall. Detail.

Hanging: Ellen Ringstad. Meltdown (2013) Suspended fondage: reappropriated plastic waste.

Right: Veronica Rebecca Johansen.

Before I forget to do this, Sir, here are directions to my house (2013) Video installation. Video, television, painted stones, shoes, dress.


Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. 

Background: Gabriel Johann Kvendseth. Disintegration Situation (2013). Performative site-specific installation.

Photo: Ellen Ringstad

Veronica Rebecca Johansen.

Before I forget to do this, Sir, here are directions to my house (2013). Detail. Video installation. Video, television, painted stones, shoes, dress.

Photo: Ellen Ringstad

Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. 

Background: Gabriel Johann Kvendseth. Disintegration Situation (2013). Performative site-specific installation.

Photo: Ellen Ringstad

Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. 


Photo: Bjørn Mortensen

Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. 


Photo: Bjørn Mortensen

Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. 


Photo: Bjørn Mortensen

Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. 


Photo: Bjørn Mortensen

Bjørn Mortensen. Pots on shelves (2013). Glazed ceramics, wood, paint. 

Background: Gabriel Johann Kvendseth. Disintegration Situation (2013). Performative site-specific installation.

Photo: Ellen Ringstad

Gabriel Johann Kvendseth. Disintegration Situation (2013). Performative site-specific installation.

Photo: Ellen Ringstad

Gabriel Johann Kvendseth. Disintegration Situation (2013). Performative site-specific installation. Excerpt from opening night.

Photo: Rasmus Hungnes

Gabriel Johann Kvendseth. Disintegration Situation (2013). Performative site-specific installation. Excerpt from the destruction of Ellen Ringstad's donated sculpture In-titled (2012).

Photo: Ellen Ringstad

Gabriel Johann Kvendseth. Disintegration Situation (2013). Performative site-specific installation. Detail.

Photo: Ellen Ringstad

360 / Panorama view by BT.no [click image to navigate]

Gatekeeper at entrance and

Anja Carr. 
Pig in the middle / Between me and you / Between now and then (2013) Site-specific video-installation. Video 04:11 min. loop with pigs from Bergen. TV, lamp, pig's excrement from Bergen, boxing glove.

Anja Carr. Pig in the middle / Between me and you / Between now and then (2013) Site-specific video-installation. Video 04:11 min. loop with pigs from Bergen. TV, lamp, pig's excrement from Bergen, boxing glove.

Photo: Anja Carr

pOTSYMPOSIUm. Curator talk, commissioned by the Bergen National Academy of the Arts (now: KMD), for the project 'Topographies of the Obsolete' by Corrina Thornton.

Photo: Rasmus Hungnes

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Notes and references
:

(i) Quote by Thomas Moore  - 'Utopia' (1516)

 

(ii) Biennial Foundation: Ekaterina Degot And David Riff Will Be The Conveners For The First Edition For Bergen Assembly In 2013. Published 01.01.2012. Available from URL: https://biennialfoundation.org/2012/01/a-new-name-and-new-model-for-the-planned-triennial-in-bergen/ [Accessed 21.01.2023]
 

(iii) Natt & Dag: Her er årets beste kunst i Bergen. Published 10.01.2014. Available from URL: https://nattogdag.no/2014/01/er-arets-beste-kunst-bergen/# [Accessed 21.01.2023].

(iv) Bergens Tidende: Kiler giganten under foten. 29.10.2013.

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