Main Building

“when I discovered the end I wanted to live really long”

  • A K Dolven

Amazon, 2005

It is with pleasure Kunsthal 44 Møen opens season 2013 with a number of new works by one of Norway’s most internationally acclaimed artists A K Dolven.

A K Dolven’s work covers a large terrain of subjects and values, materials and media, which are of acute importance for our understanding of how the world functions in our time.
In an ongoing artistic search for a sense of balance, personally, politically and philosophically, – she explores the human condition through a wide range of issues. Such as the mechanisms of human perception, the subconscious functioning of memory and emotions, the beauty of the human form and the passage of time, the echoes of our past found in historical artefacts and the traditions connected with them. She shows as well an active engagement with current affairs, todays society. Recent years has seen A K Dolven break new ground across her entire oeuvre, with new departures in sculpture, painting, film and sound art.

when I discovered the end I wanted to live really long. The title of the exhibition comes from a film installation where two white glossy walls, standing free, shaping a V-form in the exhibition space, lead us towards an end where a back projection of a black and white 16mm film appears on a small sized screen. The film shows the artist performing in the arctic winter, captured by a 16 mm camera positioned behind her. Due to the cold weather the film runs at variable speed, the flashing frames and over-exposed material refers to the extreme situation on site. The location is Vestvågøy, Lofoten, above the arctic in Norway, February 2012. The situation, both technical and practical, informs the nature of the work. The whiteness in the film turns into nervous movements of a freezing body – the rhythm is taken from Henry Purcell’s “Cold Genius”– aria in his opera “King Arthur”: “Let me, let me freeze again to death”. The work is mute, however.

JA, as long as I can, 2012. The sound work is a transatlantic dialogue, – a duet with A K Dolven and John Giorno as performers. Both utter and vary the word “ja”, the Norwegian equivalent of “yes”, for as long as their energy spans to give the word different shades of colour, of energy and meaning.

amazon, 2005 is a 16 mm film projection of an androgynous figure shooting a bow and arrow. A fast edit gives this minute and a half long film the sense of a single shot. For the most part, the camera is tight on the body – neck, chest and arm muscles snap between tension and rest. When it jumps back the camera exposes the torso as that of a single-breasted woman.
amazon was conceptually edited after the second movement, Allegro Molto, of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No.8b In C Minor, Op. 110; a score composed following a visit to Dresden where Shostakovich was confronted with the devastating effects of the bombing of the city during the war. In the end, however, the film is mute. Music extracted, the remaining sound in this installation is the disturbing noise produced by the 16 mm projector.

Dolven shows a series of oil paintings based on performance in the atelier from 2013. Furthermore she shows the video Selfportrait from Berlin February 1989 – Lofoten august 2009. Seven Voices from 2011, a sound installation where a cry baby pedal can be activated by the spectator and one can e hear the worlds most translated hymn, L’Internationale from 1871 – here sung by seven young Norwegians in their own language.

A K Dolven is born in Oslo, 1953 (NO). She lives and work in Lofoten (NO) and London (UK).
The exhibition is a co-production with CCC in Tours (FR) og IKON i Birmingham (GB) and supported by OCA and Statens Kunstråd