Diorama
Sannergata 25, 0557 Oslo, Norway
Open Saturdays 12 — 4 pm & by appointment
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10 Exhibition A 025: Jakob Weidemann


09 Exhibition Y 003: Multiples


08 Exhibition Y 009: International Photography & Conceptual Art


07 Calle Segelberg: Logo till 30-åriga kriget


06 Sanna Helena Berger: The edge must be scalloped


05 Lise Soskolne: Bethenny


04 Nils Rundgren: The Underbidder


03 Sigmund Skard: Plommer i egget

Nothing is added for distractive effect, no redundant visuals. By meager means Sigmund Skard's works open onto and demonstrate their own workings. Skard performs, his body absent or not, the insignificance of the performing body, its disappearance in the relations that produce the work. The body is only one of several interlocking functions. It's kept inexpressive, predictable, its movements meted to meet a specific pace dictated by the materials and mechanical principles involved. In Plommer i egget (Yolks in the Egg) — a construction consisting of two hammocks and a system of rope and pulleys extending lengthwise across the exhibition space at Diorama — this idea of giving up the expressive body to carefully measured, synchronized movement is extended to the audience and their interaction with the work. To enter the space of the work is to become part of its mechanics. The prospect of respite is here framed in a way that suggests how even an invitation to rest is nested inside systems that extract value, even if this value is simply the weight of the body.

Shunning a tactic of distraction, Skard's objects and performances are tailed by the shadow of their own scheming, so to speak. The polished silver cutlery set in Samansveist (Welded Together) makes a symbolic display of these shadows by merging with their mirrored double. Even when they denounce their explicit use value these objects do so in a way that echo the language of production – here in the form of repetition and symmetry. The fact that they no longer fit their original function speaks only to a confusion of what our place is in relation to the object. Rather than tools for transporting sustenance to our mouths they now suggest product-chains that pay no heed to demands outside their own proliferative activity. They depict value as it sheds its affiliations with us(e), in the act of cloning itself.

The vacuum cleaner used in the performance Ytring (Utterance) sucks air in through a hose attached to one end and blows it out the other. In the gap between the two hoses a harmonica is held, and with the help of the circulating air Skard tries to conjure a musical performance. The work combines the social and aesthetic space of the concert with a demonstration of the principle of circulation. The concert becomes something precarious, half disappeared in the noise made by the vacuumer-engine. The sound of the harmonica is an accident both circulated and produced by this circulation — a by-product. Related to the way Plommer... challenges the idea of leisure as time apart from the demands and discipline of work, Ytring literally vacuums culture from the space of the exhibition, offering us the sound of music as it disappears in circulation.

Perhaps the work on show at Diorama that's most conducive of guessing games as to what it means is Flugetekst (Fly-text), where a vitrine keeps a fly captured and hovering over a disconnected computer keyboard. The motif has a parallel in Knut Hamsun's short story En ganske almindelig flue av middels størrelse (Just an Ordinary Fly of Average Size), where a man is interrupted by a fly as he tries to write and ends up befriending it. The fly also figure briefly in the video-documentation of Skard's performance Å byggja med lys (To Build with Light/Candles), where it — both drawn to and repelled by the candle flames — circles his torso a few times. In Flugetekst the writer (or artist) is absent, and with him all ambition of committing the whispers of the soul to text. It's unlikely that the fly will accomplish anything with the keyboard (even if he possessed the will and weight to do so it would still remain disconnected). The title's silly proposal of such a product caricature our body's relation to the computer keyboard, the tool we us to record our interpretations — incidentally also one of the chief means with which we interface with the contemporary space of production.

—Sigmund Skard: Plommer i egget, 2 May - 15 June 2014, Diorama, Sannergata 25 N-0557 Oslo


02 Axel Ekwall: Big Sur


01 Andreas Slominski: A Hunt for Optimism