February 9, 2018 - Kunsthall Trondheim - Oddvar I.N. Daren: Local Land
February 9, 2018

Kunsthall Trondheim

Oddvar I.N. Daren, Måling av Snødybde [Measuring the Depth of the Snow], 1981 (detail). © the artist.

Oddvar I.N. Daren
Local Land
February 10–April 6, 2018

Opening and artist talk: February 10, 6:30pm

Kunsthall Trondheim
Kongens gate 2
7011 Trondheim
Hours: Wednesday–Saturday 1–5pm

T +47 485 00 100

Facebook / Instagram

Could art be an action of seeing? Not an object, not even an idea, but the sole action of observing and acknowledging. This question is at the core of the practise of the Norwegian artist Oddvar I.N. Daren. This spring Kunsthall Trondheim presents a generous selection of works, some of which are made in collaboration with Lars Paalgard (Norway), of Daren’s rich and special oeuvre.

Oddvar I.N. Daren, who has been active since the late 1970s, works within a wide range of genres—installation, sculpture, public art—but in this exhibition, we have chosen to focus on the works that connects to land art, performance and film. These works aim to make visible situations that in themselves already exist, to observe a moment in an on-going process—often in nature and with a sense of unpretentious humour. When something is added, as the artist’s body (in Måling av snødybde [Measuring the Depth of the Snow], 1981) it is done in order to make visible what can otherwise not be seen. When the artist’s body is gradually sinking in the snow, the depth of the snow becomes visible.

In 1983 Daren, together with his colleague Lars Paalgard, wrote the 1 st. Manifesto Ars Situare. They stated the ground for their practise, under the name Gruppen [the group], as “the act and the manifestation of human creativity, springing from the desire to point out the ambiguity of everything which surrounds us/---/Ars Situare is a philosophy of perception which aim is to/---/ make possible an active communication between subject and object.” By then, they had practised similar ideas, as students at Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, as individual artists as well as in the earlier group Nye Alle Fem [New All Five], for a few years already. When Paalgard came to join Daren at Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, they found an old factory, which would be the base for a number of projects under the title Ars Situare. Ars Situare could be to observe the movement of light, marking the moving shadows with chalk. Or it could be to gently lay bare a 140 meters long line of dust and gravel along the factory floor. These actions which altered very little in the existing situation, were often marked with an Ars Situare stencil, and audience were invited to join the artists for a common moment of observation. Ars Situare could also take place in public space, for instance in the format of group walks, and at one point an effort was made to propose an alternative kind of public art—a former sawmill and the land surrounding it. A project that failed since the idea did not fit into the bureaucratic norms.

What remains of these art works are mainly documentations. The 140 meters long Humus Line now consists of real size photographic documentations and a multiple book in leporello format (of which the exhibition presents approximately 16 meters). Dust and gravel collected in bags at the original scene after the thorough documentation meter by meter, still awaits the arrival in its final destination. The artists want to complete the process initiated in Maastricht by reconstructing the line on a glacier in the former Dutch colony Svalbard in the Arctic, now a part of Norway.

Oddvar I.N. Daren’s films have a similar logic as his works in nature. Rather than originating from the desire to produce film, they seem to be found situations of flowing moments and images. Rytmer i vann (1978), as well as a new work from 2018, is filmed at Nidelven, the river that flows through Trondheim. Nidelven was once the reason for the town’s establishment, in 997. The emblematic image of the running water and the centuries old warehouses still defines much of its identity. In these works, making use of the tools of two different media ages, Oddvar I.N. Daren insists on seeing the river anew, and thus redefining the local landscape.


Kunsthall Trondheim wishes to thank Lars Paalgard for invaluable help with the exhibition.

Oddvar I.N. Daren (b. 1953, Vesterålen, Norway) lives and works in Trondheim. He has exhibited at, among other places, Museum of Contemporary Art and The Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo.

For more programs in connection with the exhibition, please visit our website.

Kunsthall Trondheim
Share - Oddvar I.N. Daren
Local Land
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York