Camille Norment’s Rapture

Camille Norment’s Rapture

Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

February 23, 2015

Camille Norment

9 May–22 November 2015

Press and professional preview: 6–8 May 2015 

The Nordic Pavilion

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

Norway is the sole commissioner of the Nordic Pavillon in the Giardini for the 56th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, for the first time in its history. For this unprecedented occasion, the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) has selected artist Camille Norment.

“Camille Norment is one of the most exciting artists working in Norway today, creating work to be experienced viscerally and poetically. Her practice is unusual in that it crosses the fields of art and music, mining historical and sonic dichotomies to trace unresolved social dialogues that continue today,” says Katya García-Antón, curator of the project.

Camille Norment has developed a new project titled Rapture, a multi-sensory space structured in three parts: a site-specific sculptural and sonic installation; a set of performances by musicians and vocalists unfolding during the opening days and at specific times during the Biennale; and a series of three publications. Included, amongst other elements in the project, is a special composition by a chorus of 12 voices, and a new performance by the artist’s ensemble including the rare glass armonica. This 18th-century instrument creates music from the seductive touch of fingers on glass and water that has mesmerized the listener, as well as been feared and even banned.

The artist comments, “I am interested in how music has long been used to facilitate both the forging and transgressing of cultural norms. Sound permeates all borders. Throughout history, fear has been associated with the paradoxical effects music has on the body and mind, and its power as a reward-giving de-centraliser of control. Recognised as capable of inducing states akin to sex and drugs, music is still seen by many in the world as an experience to be controlled—especially in relation to the female body—and yet it is also increasingly used as a tool for control under the justification of war.”

American-born and Oslo based, Norment’s practice spans performance, installation, drawing and sound. Her work explores how the body is connected through sound with our environment, and reflects upon the power of dissonance to carve out a space for new, affirmative thinking.

In the Nordic Pavilion, Rapture will explore the relationship between the human body and sound, through the visual, the sonic and the architectural body, in a multi-sensory experience. The excitation of the body in our times is a site of contestation, as much a space of misuse, military and other, as it is of affirmation, as in the performative utterance of free speech, and the power of the body to assert its very existence. If, as the Norwegian experimental composer Arne Nordheim commented, “Music lives in the span between poetry and catastrophe” the visitor to the Nordic Pavilion will walk into such a space of conflicting forces, a place torn between poetry and catastrophe, a space between a body in trauma and a body in rapture.

For all international press inquiries, interview opportunities and images, please contact: Sarah Greenberg: T +44 (0) 7866 543 242 or sgreenberg [​at​]

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

About Camille Norment
Camille Norment (b. 1970, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA lives and works in Oslo, Norway) works as an artist, musician and composer. She performs solo, with other musicians in selected projects, and with her ensemble, the Camille Norment Trio, consisting of Vegar Vårdal (Norwegian hardanger fiddle), Håvard Skaset (electric guitar), and Camille Norment (glass harmonica). Norment has exhibited and performed extensively in cultural events and institutions, including MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), New York, NY, USA (2013); The Kitchen, New York (2013); Transformer Station (The Cleveland Museum of Art), Cleveland, OH, USA (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, Thessaloniki, Greece (2007); Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland (2009); UKS, Oslo (2004); Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden (2004); the Charlottenborg Fonden, Copenhagen, Denmark (2003); Radioartemobile, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2003); The Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2001); and The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York (2001). Amongst several public artwork commissions, a permanent outdoor multi-channel sound installation was produced for the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK), in Høvikodden outside Oslo, in 2011.

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. The foundation 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. OCA has been responsible for Norway’s contribution to the visual arts section of the Venice Biennale since 2001.

The Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale: Camille Norment's Rapture
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Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
February 23, 2015

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