Incubators of Creativity

The List’s Art Editor, Agnieszka Foltyn, recently wrote a feature about the accessibility of art (2018 Volume 4, October-December). Agnieszka, known to many of us as ‘Mishi’, explores the diverse set of skills and experiences involved in the participation of art and its observers. With Trondheim Open kunstbiennale having just wrapped, we revisit a longer version of her article, with three previously unpublished interviews with three artists working in Trondheim. 

Incubators of Creativity by Agnieszka Foltyn

(featured image: Magdaléna Manderlová, by Kristoffer Lislegaard)

Art is accessible. Not because it sheds its complexities to the lowest common denominator, but that it uses imagination and response as its main components of relation and understanding. It promotes dialogue, a challenging of your response to what you are experiencing. It makes you ask “Why do I feel this way? What is it that I see?”

There are many moments in a work of art that can speak to a viewer. It can be the texture, the discipline, the subject, the context or the material. It can be the company or an emotional state. It can be a political issue. It can be a colour. All of these moments of relation serve to make connections, to bridge experiences, history, and geography. The spaces in which art is shown or can be experienced are spaces of social negotiation. They bridge different levels of expertise, age, social and economic status, and interest. They build community. Art spaces are not limited to productive output. They are spaces for time and experience. They foster a deeper understanding of the world around us, and one that can be shared with others.

They symbolise an area in which critical thinking and an openness to understanding form the essential expectation of the experience of art. When coming to an opening, for example, there is the expectation of discussion about the artwork on hand and the multiple and varied experiences it generates. Places for art are places of nuanced and sustained debate about the world around us. They address politics of belonging and co-existence.

Exchange is the foundational element of the artistic community. It is through moments of meeting that artists and art lovers, unexpected visitors and guests, join a common discussion in which art is the mediator of experience. These moments serve as spaces of critical dialogue, where provocative stances can be discussed within a situation that is open to a variety of perspectives. These discussions allow viewers to negotiate the permutations and changes to our realities.

Art employs a diverse skill set in its experience. As a viewer, you move around the space. You sense its boundaries, the work, the light, the sound, and others who might also be there. You respond to the experience and think, trying to understand your reaction. You employ cognitive and analytical skills. You respond not only mentally but also emotionally and physically. And you employ social skills, speaking about your time and navigating around the others in the space with you. Places for art are places of knowledge production. They give the public the ability to develop skills to generate further knowledge.

There are many different types of spaces dedicated to artistic practice. Some traditional spaces include museums such as the Trondheim Kunstmuseum and the Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimseum, and art galleries such as Trøndelag Senter for Samtidskunst, galleri blunk, Kunsthall Trondheim, RAKE visningsrom, Dropsfabrikken, Galleri KiT, Babel visningsrom for kunst, and Trondhjems Kunstforening. There are commercial art galleries such as Galleri Ismene and Galleri SG. There are also festivals dedicated to culture and artistic production such as Kulturnatt Trondheim and Trondheim Open. And there are non-traditional spaces in which art fuses into the existing fabric of the site for a specific period of time. What all of these places have in common is that they engage people. People from completely different backgrounds can come together to share an experience of art. People who have an experience with art have thoughts about what they have experienced and take those thoughts with them into the future. 

It is the physical presence and gathering of people within an art space that brings to life the role of the institution as a space for critical discourse. It is a place to make sense of the world and a place to share that with others. Places for art are places for the development of shared values. They promote public discourse. They allow us to penetrate each other’s communities. They connect across disciplines, experience, social, political, and geographical boundaries. They are sites of struggle and of renewal. They build community. 

Increasingly, spaces for art house activities that have lost their place in contemporary society. They provide opportunities outside of the curriculum for children to learn about culture. They are spaces for leisure and relaxation. They are meeting places for common interests and goals. They are spaces for disagreement. They are spaces for the development of skills through workshops and classes. They even serve as spaces for other recreational activities, such as yoga in a sculpture room. Artistic institutions increasingly host independent forms of production from outside of the traditional institutional artistic sphere such as screenings, political meetings, and performances. 

The format in which art is shown varies greatly. It can be an exhibition, a presentation or a talk. It can be a hands-on workshop, a guerilla intervention or a public performance. Presentations of art have some expectation of viewing. Exhibitions host vernissages (openings) and often finissages (closings), talks and seminars, and other types of public programming to invite the public to experience art. 

These gatherings are the root of the artistic community. 

The artistic community has many layers. It has production communities through artist studio collectives. It has working communities through other positions and jobs. It has artists working independently. And it has times in which different combinations of facets of this community gather to share, to talk, and to celebrate the moment in which a work is opened to the public. These meetings through spaces for art allow us the opportunity to come together. These are moments for social negotiation, conversations about life and art, and a re-solidification of a common interest. It is where multiple perspectives, experiences, and lives can meet for the purpose of exchange. They transcend the monetary value of experience. Moments of leisure are proven to be incubators of creative thought. Sharing our experience allows us to categorize our thoughts and challenges us to know what we really mean by communicating it to the world. It no wonder that we often find solutions during casual meetings with friends or periods of rest. 

Because much of artistic production is done independently or through small collectives, exhibitions and events form the social aspect of the job itself. As most people go to collective work places, spaces for art function as meeting places for artists who often work alone or in closed workshops. They form a large part of the social aspect of artistic production. Places of dissemination are gatherings of transdisciplinary skills sets. It’s where artists, administrators, curators, directors, organizers, technicians, labourers, teachers, and other visitors meet. 

Art is a vehicle for feeling. It allows us to empathise across borders. It can motivate us from thinking into doing. In gatherings of such a diverse crowd of skill sets and abilities, there are possibilities for countless new collaborations. It is through discussions that we learn about each other. As the best ideas tend to come from conversations, spaces for art are perfect for just that.

Artist Interviews


Yanir Shani, by Lena Katrine Sokki

YANIR SHANI

I’m a photographer and artist from Tel Aviv, Israel. My artistic process is dedicated to exploring the possibilities of photographic abstraction. By manipulating traditional methods of production in photography during the printing process in the darkroom, I create large-scale analog images that deal with distraction, disappearance, and obscure landscapes. I started taking pictures in my early twenties, mostly of day-to-day life from places I have traveled or lived. I came to Norway to see it for myself. This is what I like to do. I like to go to new places and look at things. It’s a very serious business – to look at things, really look. Upon graduating, I was fortunate to receive a studio space at Lademoen Kunstnerversteder, and now share a space with two other artists in the studio collective. I feel that sharing a studio with other artists is very beneficial for me. Although my studio space is not too big I am very pleased. I love the building and the neighbourhood and all the workshops this place offers. I also enjoy being around other artists and creators. The best ideas come mostly from talking to other people over a coffee or a beer. It’s important to create in a positive and supportive environment. It makes art better, and life better.

To make my art I need a camera, a darkroom, chemicals, inspiration, and discipline. Making art and providing for yourself is probably one of the hardest career choices someone could make. Most artists work in different jobs in order to make a living, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for creation. That is the place where discipline comes in. That and true love for what you do. 

Helene Kjær Bremseth. self portrait

HELENE KJÆR BREMSETH

Originally from an industrial city called Grenland in Telemark, I have spent the last nine years living in Trondheim working as an architect and an artist. I see myself as an object finder or definer. For me ‘Object’ means something defined, and my task is to use time and energy on objects of interest both to me and the public. My practice is open and linked to the everyday world around me. It is very important to have time to look at what I find and to work further with it. This is what I use my studio for: to look, think, glue, bend, cut, carve, and move.

I just moved into a new architecture studio collective in Nyhavna. It has an office, a kitchen, a meeting room part, and a workshop part. I will get my own corner there. They will put up some walls for me so I can have my little studio inside the workshop. It’s not optimal, but I am so happy to have a place to work in. For my practice, it is essential to have four basic things: time, space, tools, and people. I only know that I want to continue making things. In Trondheim, I have people I like to work with, both within art and architecture. I am lucky that I now have a studio or this pursuing would not have been much pursuing at all.

Magdaléna Manderlová, by Kristoffer Lislegaard

MAGDALÉNA MANDERLOVÁ

I am an artist and a musician. I currently work in the field of sound art. It is based on field work, meaning that I spend a lot of time outside – listening, moving, looking around, and collecting sounds and field recordings. 

Looking at my career as a recent graduate, I would like to apply for larger exhibitions, festivals and projects. That requires a well-equipped studio. I need a small, fairly soundproof room for my practice. I would be very happy to share a larger space with more artists/musicians. My production process is a lot about experimenting and testing out different technologies, building small electronics, wiring, and I need a space to accommodate my needs and working conditions.

The sound art and music technology scene is lively and open in Norway and there are many funding possibilities that are so rare elsewhere. In Trondheim, I have created a great network, started a few bands, and fell in love. I feel like there is a space for me here. 

Speaking on Art

Introducing: Trondheim Open Biennial 2018
The French novelist George Sand once said that “the artist’s vocation is sending light into the human heart”. For this to happen, art must be seen, experienced and, when possible, find its way into personal collections to be treasured. Trondheim Open aims to facilitate those exact opportunities in Trøndelag.

Words – Jennifer Wold
Photos – Kristine Wathne

The art community, for many, is shrouded in mystique. Museums and galleries are the vessels through which most people experience art. Seldom does the public engage with artists in their private creative spaces, but when given the chance it is an enlightening experience into their world and their work.

Since 2011 Trondheim Open has been bringing the Trøndelag community into studio spaces for workshops and viewings, giving greater visibility to projects big and small across various venues. This year’s biennial event is different from past incarnations as it has expanded from a three-day event to ten days of art across the city and region. 

The opportunity to grow as much as they have this year is due largely to exceptional support from the Norwegian Cultural Fund, Trondheim Municipality, Trøndelag county council, The Relief Fund for Visual Artists (BKH) and The Fritt Ord Foundation. “We were able to apply for funding and stipends to support the artists creating installations for the event. This is important to us because this is their work,”  emphasises project leader Thea Meinert. 

Thea and festival coordinator Randi Heitmann Hjort are proud to be seeing how this ambitious programme is coming together. How ambitious is it? “We have four major studio collectives and 14 individual studios participating this year, in addition to many artist-initiated projects which will be presented through the festival,” says Thea proudly. 

Randi quickly estimates the number of artists participating at over 100, welcoming not only their peers but the local public to join in on the exhibitions, workshops, discussions and events surrounding this year’s them of dissemination and art language. She is keen on the start of the event as it will plant the theme in people’s minds to carry forward throughout the ten days. 

“The panel debate at the opening is going to introduce the theme of Dissemination,” reveals Randi. “We’ll discuss art language and how we talk and communicate about art, even when people do not realise they are doing so.” 

Torhid Aukan

Trøndelag’s Centre for Contemporary Art (TSSK) is hosting the festival opening and is sure to be an exciting evening. The full programme is available at trondheimopen.org soon.

Trondheim Open’s headquarters during the festival is at Kjøpmannsgata 36-38, otherwise known as Kjøpmannsgata Ung Kunst (k.u.k. for short) or Kjøpmannsgata Youth Art Centre. It is the building which the renowned artist Kjell Erik Killi Olsen purchased and is renovating as a way to give back to his home city in the form of brand-new art house. During Trondheim Open it will be filled with exhibitions, presentations of art projects, an art fair, and more. It is sure to be a beautiful edition to the city and one that both women are openly excited about. As for their excitement for the festival, they point out there is a whole team of people building it, and it’s clear there is a lot of passion and determination going into this project.

Anne Mari Hagerup

The diversity inside this festival is not only evident in the locations being used, but in the exhibitions and events themselves. “There is something for everyone to enjoy. We even have the art critics coming because their voices are important too,” Randi acknowledges, knowing that the critics often are left out, and that shouldn’t be so. They add value to the community as a voice of observation which provides more than opinion. They often bring to the art world constructive criticism, history telling, and contextualisation of artists and their work.

Although no one on the team can pick a favourite out of the programme, there are a few events which can highlight some of the range and what can be expected. Artists Arnfinn Killingtveit & Øyvind Brandtsegg are producing an installation called Metaverk which is all about sound. Metaverk is a project by TEKS – Trondheim Electronic Arts and is explained as “An exhibition which consists of several separate audible entities, each with its characteristics and expressions. The sum of these creates a holistic and dynamic sound environment; a kind of abstract sonic fauna whose expression is influenced by all that is around it.” It requires one to participate passively and actively. It is free to attend and will open on during the festival on 1 November, remaining open until 11 November.

Gregus Petter Sutton

At Cinemateket there will be a dinner and film showing by Kantinekino, that will be screening PAARA – A movie by Goutam Ghosh and Jason Havneraas. In their words this is about “A ninety-year-old, absent-minded magician looking back on his life, unable to distinguish between memories of magic and memories of reality.” 

Kantinekino is a screening programme by artists Lena Katrine Sokki and Tobias Liljedahl, which focuses on showing work by young, unestablished artists, accompanying every screening with a meal chosen by the invited artist. There are only 30 seats available, and the tickets which cover the screening and dinner are 200 NOK. Be sure to book your spot early.

There is an exciting space hidden in Kjøpmannsgata Ung Kunst centre. It is a vaulted cellar, and this was chosen for the exhibition curated by punktet visningsrom. Former and current art history students from NTNU wanted a practical way to use their education to promote talented local, young artists. They knew that they had to keep it manageable and sustainable, and from that the idea to use different locations as hosts venues came to be. In their words “the point of the project focuses on how each exhibition hall participates in shaping the individual artistic expression and thus becomes a point of intersection between theory and practice, contemporary and past, art and place.” The beautiful cellar space should bring a distinct and memorable atmosphere.

With an entire programme filled with gems like these and most days starting at 11:00 and ending at 23:00, there is plenty of time for all interested to participate and support local arts. Trondheim Open, the artists and studios are waiting to welcome you into the vibrant art community of Trøndelag. 

The List Magazine
Gregus Petter Sutton

www.trondheimopen.org
27 October – 04 November

Pstereo 2017: Day 1 gets twisted

Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine

It’s that time of year again: summer coming to an end, the sun is shrivelling up, streets filling with students… all of which can only mean one thing. Pstereo is back.

Every year the same. Back to work, start thinking that this year’s summer fun is all over and then BANG! Up comes Pstereo and brings those summer vibes right back. The fine weather yesterday helped get day one off to a flyer. Time spent with good friends, music, food and drink. This is what August in Trondheim is all about.

Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine

My performance of the night: Kano. Perhaps not a household name, but in the Grime scene of the UK, and especially London, Kano is considered somewhat a legend. Regarded by many as one of the early influencers of the genre, Kane Brett Robinson (aka Kano) brought over 10 years of experience to stage. The crowd was a little hesitant at first but many loosened up during one of Kano’s most familiar tracks, P’s and Q’s. He ended his performance with getting down from the stage and doing an entire song as part of the crowd, Kano made sure he left an impression.

Pstereo (and Trondheim) are still getting used to Thursday night starts – for those of us due in the office on Friday morning it’s a game of stick or twist. If you can hear my raspy voice through these words, and feel my struggle at getting out of bed this morning, you’ll know I twisted. Looking forward to checking out the new Forte club concept tonight. See you at Pstereo later for more twisting :p

words by Matias Bretteville-Jensen

all photos by Mr Yoshi @yoshi2406
Pstereo day 1 Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography Pstereo day 1 Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography Pstereo day 1 Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography Pstereo day 1 Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography

Pstereo day 1 Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography Pstereo day 1 Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography Pstereo day 1 Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography Pstereo day 1 Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography Pstereo day 1 Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography Pstereo day 1 Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography Pstereo day 1 Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography Pstereo day 1 Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine Pstereo day 1, Thursday 2017 Trondheim Mr Yoshi photography for The List Magazine

#5: enjoy the festival experience

June and August are the big festival months, and about the only time of year the weather in Trondheim allows for outdoor concerts. Personally, I like the smaller and more esoteric festivals. My top recommendations for festivals this summer are Rotvollfestivalen in August and Ladehammerfestivalen in June. July is a quiet month this summer, unfortunately. If I had choice, I would work July and have my vacation in the weeks before and after instead.

Simon W. Lie, Project Manger at NTNU Bridge

Links:

Ladehammerfestivalen, come and gone!

Rotvollfestivalen, 26 August 2017

Pstereo, 17-19 August 2017

Olavsfestdagene, 28 July – 5 August 2017

Oi! Trøndersk Food Festival and Brewers Festival, 3-5 August 2017

Klimafestival, 26 August – 2 September 2017

Drivhusfestivalen, 3-6 August 2017

 

 

 

 

#8: Rotvoll

The shoreline of Rotvoll, on the eastern side of Trondheim, holds some of the most beautiful green areas in the city. In the area you will find The Organic House (Den Økologisk Hus) and Kristoffertunet. Known as the green and organic part of town, it certainly lives up to that title. At Kristoffertunet youll find a biodynamic working farm complete with a greenhouse, herb and vegetable garden, bakery, saft makers, weavers, and even a shop. Its the only area in the city that has sheep, hens, horses, chickens, and Rufus the donkey! Dont forget the family festival on 26 August, Rotvollfestivalen, organized by the enthusiastic residents of the area.

Words by Tanja Holmen, CEO at Fretex Midt-Norge

Photo by Jarle Hagen

#22: Bondens marked

Literally, there is no better place to get a taste of Trøndelag than at the farmers market held on selected Saturdays at the main square in Trondheim (Torvet). Here you can get your hands on, for example, the award winning wild sheep skank with seaweed seasoning from Dalpro, the amazing fresh chevré from Grindal cheese factory, or lefse (‘læns’ in trøndersk) from Heimebakst or Lefsebua. Whatever your taste, I bet you will be able to find something that will make your mouth water; all while supporting farmers in their endeavor to produce award winning food based on tradition and local access to foodstuffs.

Tove Eivindsen 2., Parliamentary candidate, Venstre

#36: Like a Viking

When I was a child, one single accessory could provide me with enough of a theatrical alibi to change my persona and my take on the world. Over the years, I have developed a particular interest in dressing up, being someone else and doing something different. I spend most of my summer dressed as a Viking – living outdoors, hiking, crafting, and sleeping in a tent. It is a playground for my alter ego. This summer I urge you to dress up and be playful. Dare to change your persona and your take on the world.

Words by Ingrid Galadriel, co-founder at Hands on History

Photo by Hands on History

#91: Sour leaves

Did you know that there are lots of edible plants growing free in the region? One of the most easy to recognize is Engsyre, or Common Sorrel. Sorrel is a sour plant, and Norwegian children love eating the leaves. In the old times it was used as a medicine and is thought to be both diuretic and antiseptic. This summer my three-year-old actually introduced me to another variant, the Wood Sorrel (Gjøksyre). Use both variants as garnish on a salad or in soups to add flavor, the white flowers look really pretty on a salad too. Be aware though, both plants contains a lot of Oxalic Acid which can lead to poisoning if eaten in abundance. Wash or poach the plants to remove the oxalic acid if you plan on using large amounts. Happy foraging!

Ida Bondø Lee-Wrigh, Consultant at Headspin Advertising

#13: Paintball summer adrenaline

Just 15 minutes outside the city centre of Trondheim, the guys from NTNUI Paintball have their home field. For only 250 NOK you can enjoy the paintball action on a full size professional field. If you’re lucky they might even fire up the BBQ and make a party out of it. There is no better way to spend the summer afternoon than shooting your friends in the face! 

 Check out @NTNUIPB on Facebook or visit www.ntnui.com for more information. 

Words by Fredrik Ive Pedersen, Marketing Executive at Heat Experience

Photo by Torald Kateraas

#61: City walk

In summer, everyone should make a day for a stroll around the city without a specific plan. For a day like this, I suggest meeting up at Ravnkloa for ice cream or fish cakes, or to have the Fløttmann row you over to Troll and Kafé Skuret. Maybe walk along Brattøra to E.C. Dahls Pub and Brewery, continuing on to Ladekaia, Sponhuset or Land og Strand (remember to book a table there). Walk or stop when you want; mix in some boules, volleyball or taking a swim whether its a cloudy or sunny to have a great, food-filled, day!

Words by Kristine Rise, Oi mat Project Manager

Photo by Wil Lee-Wright