October 5, 2016 - Kunsthall Trondheim - this is a political (painting)
October 5, 2016

Kunsthall Trondheim

VALIE EXPORT, BODY TAPE (still), 1970. © Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation.

this is a political (painting)
Kajsa Dahlberg, A K Dolven, VALIE EXPORT, Claire Fontaine and Alexandra Pirici
October 20, 2016–February 26, 2017

Opening programme with party and art conversations: October 20–23

Kunsthall Trondheim
Kongens gate 2
7011 Trondheim
Norway
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–6pm,
Thursday 12–8pm

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Kunsthall Trondheim are proud to inaugurate our new permanent space with the exhibition this is a political (painting), presenting work by Kajsa Dahlberg (Sweden), A K Dolven (Norway), VALIE EXPORT (Austria), Claire Fontaine (France) and Alexandra Pirici (Romania).

The exhibition takes its title from A K Dolven's work this is a political painting (2013). The artist has filled the surface of the painting with her fingerprints in a long repetitive pattern—lines of red marks, as a text without language. The prints are fading out when the red ink wears off the finger, still the movement insistently continues, as if the body persists to remind of its existence—its place and conditions in society, the identity it carries, its relation to work and how language, or the lack of it, sets the boundaries for its potentials. The body is the place where the individual meets the society and has to negotiate its existence—therefore the body is political as is A K Dolven´s painting and the other works in the exhibition.

Claire Fontaine presents their largest instalment so far of their neon work series "Foreigners Everywhere." While consisting of a seemingly simple sentence its connotations are ambiguous. It refers to all of us being foreigners, except in a very limited part of the world, as well as to feelings of foreignness in a society that every day becomes harder to appreciate. On a political level it refers to the fact that a growing number of individuals today have to re-identify as migrants or refugees, and that there in fact are more foreigners present. Present as individuals, identities and bodies. For the exhibition, "Foreigners Everywhere" has been translated into the 15 most spoken languages in Trondheim—including the local minority language South Sami.

VALIE EXPORT's series "Body Configurations" (1972–82) and "Body Sign Action" (1970) are emblematic images of the female body´s relation to society. Since the 1960s, VALIE EXPORT has formed one of the most consistent critical oeuvres within contemporary art, constantly scrutinizing the societal structures from a feminist and conceptual viewpoint. Her practice is often based in the use of her own body as in the series of performative photography Body Configurations, in which the body is inscribed into the architecture of the city or in the landscape. VALIE EXPORT's work is never a mere description of subjugation—it always proposes negotiation and resistance. In Body Sign Actions she literally uses her own body as the field for political negotiation.

In the film Reach, Grasp, Move, Position, Apply Force (2015) Kajsa Dahlberg addresses the systemized movement of the working human body, thoroughly expressed in Methods-Time Measurement (MTM), which aims to find the standard time needed to complete a certain task. The method which was developed during the 1940s is constantly being refined and excels in today's time controlled labour—in Amazon warehouses, Apple manufacturers in China, and smaller-scale service industries such as freelance translating and parcel delivery—all commercial operations which the art world heavily rely on, with no exception for the production of Kajsa Dahlberg's film.

The changed conditions of work within our post-industrial society forms the ground for Alexandra Pirici's Monument to Work. The work builds on research on movements performed by industrial workers, movements that will be enacted to form a living monument in the exhibition space. The first edition of Monument to Work took place in Gothenburg, Sweden, a coastal town which—like Trondheim—has seen the traditional industry, shipbuilding industry and ports falling into disuse and docksides being transformed into living areas. Monument to Work reminds us of this transition and of the body's presence also in new forms of labour.

Alexandra Piricis' work is produced in collaboration with DansiT, Trondheim.
A K Dolven's work Skrapa komager (2016) was done in collaboration with Rune Johansen.
Curated by Helena Holmberg.

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