The pandemic year. Even so, it was probably one of my most successful years artistically and productively, where my residency at Nordic Artists' Centre Dale and two major solo exhibitions at Kunstparken in Risør and Husby Konsthall in Stockholm stands out. And perhaps even more important is my initiated collaboration with the newly founded Buer Gallery, who now represents my work in Oslo. Also this year I recieved a substantial grant from BKH.
In January I, Malin Ida Eriksson and Lars Göran Nilsson opened our joint exhibition Fluke at Galleri Rostrum in Malmö. We met during the "Att låta det obetydliga tala" exhibitions curated by Yngve Brothén in 2018. The exhibition was well attended, and I had so much fun during installation and at the opening. I basically showed works from the Paper Cups series. After the exhibition, I sold one of the big pieces to my cousin who lives nearby Malmö.
In February I made an exhibition titled Equal In The End at Lørenskog Kunstforening. They run a gallery space in Lørensskog house of culture. Here I executed a participatory event, which later turned into the Passage works, the first in the Platform series.
For the first time, I also had the chance to exhibit the complete Equal In The End series and the five earliest Turned Table works. Both series were produced during participatory events during exhibitions in 2019.
In March, I started my three-month residency at Nordic Artists' Centre Dale. It was arranged together with Tegnerforbundet and was called "Tegning of tekst". I was selected from an Open Call together with Kirsten Opstad, Torgeir Husevaag, Sebastian Larsmo and Ebba Bring. Getting to know them all was one of the best things about the whole experience. Shortly after we arrived at the beautiful place up on a mountain hovering over Dale's small village, the pandemic broke loose, and the harsh lockdown of Norway was commenced. We felt safe where we were, and I think going through this together tightened us as a group. Read more about the stay in my Artlog post here.
The whole experience was terrific and really meant a lot to me both personally and artistically. During the stay, I produced 16 works in the Tablet series.
The residency ended with a group exhibition at Tegnerforbundets gallery at the beginning of June in Oslo. The lockdown was lifted, but still, public life was restricted—only 50 persons were allowed at the same time inside the gallery. There was a long line outside!
I could only show a few of the works I did in Dale, but I was delighted with how the exhibition turned out, both for me and as a whole. I also got to do a TABLES event resulting in #282 Turned Table - Review. Read more about the show here.
In June I did an exhibition at Kragerø Kunstforening called Shadow Government. They run a small gallery in the centre of the beautiful but slightly touristified coastal city. Since my exhibition at Husby Konsthall was postponed, I decided to show some of that show's ready prepared works already here. They might have been a little bit too demanding for the typical Kragerø viewer. I don't know. But the opening was lovely, and I managed to make a small holiday out of it for my family. We rented an apartment above Galleri Sagesund, an hour drive from Kragerø and had a lovely stay. I also used the opportunity to inspect Kunstparken in Risør for my upcoming show there.
My solo exhibition titled Tablet at Risør Kunstpark started in June. I knew from the photos on their website that the gallery was big, so from the beginning, I planned to do a significant dissemination of the Tablet series that had expended considerably during the residency in Dale. After inspecting the gallery in June, I realised that this probably would be my most ambitious exhibition to this day. But since all the works were already finished, I could use the summer to start up other new projects and finish the book about the Res Ipsa exhibitions in 2019.
I had a perfect time installing the works. The gallery is located in an old school building which also has studios for local artists. I could use a very comfortable apartment adjacent to the gallery. Risør is a picturesque small village by the sea and every day I had dinner at various excellent restaurants.
I managed to show the complete Tablet series except for The Three No's and the previously sold works. I made a floor installation that resulted in the #293 Words Will Never Hurt Me work, and I executed a TABLES participatory event that produced the work #294 Turned Table - Tag. Accompanying the show was a small book called Lexicon with sketches and thoughts around the works. Read more about my exhibition Tablet here.
Also in September, I opened Shadow Government, another major solo exhibition at Husby Konsthall right outside Stockholm. Most of the works for this show were prepared before the Dale residency because it was initially scheduled for March. But due to Covid-19, it was postponed. For a long time, I wanted to make a solo exhibition in Sweden, my birth country, so I was immensely pleased when I finally got the opportunity. I lived in Stockholm before moving to Norway in the 90s, and I still have many friends there. For the opening, a lot of them turned up, including a few I hadn't seen in 25 years. I booked a large table at one of my favourite restaurants - Pelikan, and it turned out to be a most memorable evening.
Except for some recent works made during the summer and the older Distal Object works, I showed the big Bilderberg installation on the sizeable free-standing wall in the gallery and the entire Shadow Government series that titled the exhibition. I also did a TABLES event that turned into #296 Turned Table - Wishing Well. Husby Konsthall had applied for fundings and paid me for transport and work. I also got a small grant from Sveriges Konstföreningar and actually sold three pieces, so financially this was a seldom successful event.
I was simultaneously part of yet another exhibition in September, and that was the inaugural show of Buer Gallery, called Konstellasjoner. Tonje Buer, the founder, had contacted me earlier in the summer, and after a studio visit, offered me to be part of the affiliated artist group. It has been a long time dream of mine to have a proper gallerist, and now it finally has come true! Unfortunately, I could not attend the opening because I was quarantined after visiting Sweden, but I know there was a long line outside the gallery. The exhibition was great, and I'm very proud to exhibit with so many exciting and talented artists. I showed #163 Dotted Line and #162 Res Ipsa which are now in commission with the gallery together other works.
The last solo exhibition was at Sarpsborg Kunstforening in October. It was another, smaller iteration of Tablet. I rented a room at a nice hotel for my travel companion and me during the installation and opening. It was enjoyable, and I got the chance to do one final participatory TABLES event that produced - #297 Turned Table - Dots And Pixels.
In December Buer Gallery made a second collective exhibition, Desemberkonstellasjoner, which I was part of. This time there were new Covid-19 restriction and thus no ordinary opening. I got to exhibit all four Membrane works, and once again, it was an exciting and versatile show.