Inaugural programme

Inaugural programme

Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Photo: OCA / Marta Buso.

May 2, 2015

Camille Norment

9 May–22 November 2015

Press and professional preview: 6–8 May
Opening: 6 May, 2:30pm

The Nordic Pavilion 
Giardini di Castello

Commissioner: Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA)
Curator: Katya García-Antón, Director, OCA, in collaboration with Antonio Cataldo, Senior Programmer, OCA

Inaugural programme

Wednesday 6 May 
Official inauguration by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
Inaugural speech by OCA’s Director Katya García-Antón
Performance by the Camille Norment Trio 

Thursday 7 May
Performance by the Camille Norment Trio 

Friday 8 May
Camille Norment in conversation with artists Joan Jonas and Pamela Rosenkranz, moderated by Tim Marlow
(Venue: Teatro Piccolo Arsenale)
Performance by Camille Norment and David Toop 

Rapture is Norway’s contribution to the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2015. Developed by artist Camille Norment, the project encompasses a site-specific sculptural and sonic intervention, which unfolds into a series of performances in the pavilion echoing elements in the installation, and a three-part publication exploring the broader contextual framework of her investigations.

About the installation in the Nordic Pavilion
Inside the Nordic Pavilion, Rapture explores the visceral relationship between the human body and sound, through the visual, the sonic, and the architectural body of the pavilion, in a sensory experience that is both physical and mental. For the installation the American-born, Oslo-based artist Camille Norment works with the glass armonica—a legendary 18th-century instrument invented by Benjamin Franklin that creates ethereal music from glass and water—and a chorus of female voices. Weaving these elements together with the resonances of the pavilion itself, Norment develops a new composition based on the unresolved notes of the much censored “devils’s” tritone that correspond to the notes of the glass armonica and creates an immersive, multi-sensory space, which reflects upon the history of sound, contemporary concepts of consonance and dissonance, and the water, glass and light of Venice.

About the performance by the Camille Norment Trio
The Camille Norment Trio consist of the glass armonica, played by Norment; the Hardanger fiddle, played by Vegar Vårdal; and the electric guitar, played by Håvard Skaset. Each of these instruments was thought, at various points in history, to invoke a socially and sexually transgressive experience in the body, especially the female body, and subsequently banned. In these performances Norment will perform new compositions with her trio whose instrumentation parallels the artist’s investigations into the relationship between vibration and the body as perceived during the Enlightenment period, and today through social and scientific discussions. 

About the performance by Camille Norment and David Toop
Camille Norment and David Toop present an abstracted “performance lecture,” encompassing text, the voice and sound, in relation to vibration, the body and hysteria. Hysteria, long deemed a female disease, extended to “an epidemic of male hysteria” with the effects of shell shock during WWI and continues to be pertinent in post-war syndromes today as well as in other instances of socially and culturally induced forms of collective-hysteria. The performance also draws from American poet Sara Teasdale’s poem “There Will Come Soft Rains,” written after WW1 and reflecting upon the resilience of nature to outlive the catastrophic exploits of humanity.

The performances are co-produced by OCA, nyMusikk and Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival.

About the publications
Rapture includes a three-part publication that reflects upon the relationship between sound and the visual arts, across time, as well as how it complicates the hegemony of vision in contemporary theory and art practice. In the first launching for the opening of the Biennale, authors David Toop, María del Pilar Blanco and Rob Stone contribute essays reflecting on how sounds shapes our environment, our bodies and our minds. This first publication also includes a discussion between curators Katya García-Antón and Antonio Cataldo with artist Camille Norment, unfolding her artistic perspective on how sound has the power to act as a mediator of cultural experience.

Visit our website for more information and to see a short documentary of Camille Norment and the Nordic Pavilion. 

For international media enquiries and interview opportunities please contact:
Sarah Greenberg, on T +44 (0) 7866 543 242 or sgreenberg [​at​], 

For media enquiries in Norway please contact OCA’s Communications Manager,
Tara Hassel on T +47 90 080554 or tara.hassel [​at​],

About Camille Norment
Camille Norment (b. 1970, Silver Spring, Maryland, lives and works in Oslo) works as an artist, musician and composer. Norment has exhibited and performed extensively, including at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), New York (2013); The Kitchen, New York (2013); Transformer Station (The Cleveland Museum of Art), Cleveland (2013); The Museum of Contemporary Art (The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design), Oslo (2012, the museum commissioned a new performance to accompany the exhibition tour in Norway); The Thessaloniki Biennale, (2007); Kunsthalle Bern (2009); UKS, Oslo (2004); Bildmuseet, Umeå (2004); the Charlottenborg Fonden, Copenhagen (2003); Radioartemobile, Venice Biennale (2003); The Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2001); and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2001). Among several public artwork commissions, a permanent outdoor sound installation was commissioned by the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK), Høvikodden (outside Oslo), in 2011.

About the Camille Norment Trio 
Camille Norment Trio,constituted by Vegar Vårdal, Håvard Skaset, and Camille Norment, investigates the visceral qualities of resonance, noise, and overtone. Their performances are an organic movement between the composed and the improvised, creating a dynamic soundscape that defies a fixed genre reference. The Camille Norment Trio’s performance credits include The Kitchen, New York; Cleveland Museum of Art; Ultima New Music Festival, Oslo; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo; and the Henie Onstad Art Center. Their first release, Toll, is available on Prisma Records. Reviews of their work have appeared in The Wire, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Aftenposten and KuNordische Musik. 

About David Toop
David Toop is a composer, author, curator and Professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation at the London College of Communication. He has published extensively. His first book, Rap Attack, is now in its third edition. Since the publication Ocean of Sound in 1995 he had recorded five solo albums, including Screen Ceremonies, Pink Noir and Spirit World and published Exotica: fabricated Sound-scapes in a Real World

About Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA)
OCA is a foundation created by the Norwegian Ministries of Culture and of Foreign Affairs in 2001 with the aim of developing cultural collaborations between Norway and the international arts scene. OCA aims to become one of the main organs in the international contemporary arts debate through initiatives such as exhibitions, seminars and publications, as well as by providing support to Norwegian artists for their activities in the international art arena, and by inviting international curators and artists to Norway. OCA has been responsible for Norway’s contribution to the visual arts section of the Venice Biennale since 2001.

Inaugural programme at The Nordic Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale
RSVP for Inaugural programme
Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
May 2, 2015

Thank you for your RSVP.

Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.