Farting in new tones

Is the new generation of artists any good? Not really, are we to believe impressionist gonzo arts correspondent Eric Perdue. Read on to catch the latest gossip from New voices in art, the travelling arts exhibition last seen at Knudepunkt.

Things are about to happen in the world of art, baby. While some dinosaurs slide steadily towards extinction, new species are evolving. With the idea of timeless art being lost in some bygone age, art having ling since become as time-bound as fish or mobile phones, it’s time to find out who’s hot and who’s not on the scene of contemporary art.

The place to be right now is at New voices in art, that exhibition for up-and-coming young talents you have heard so much about lately. The doors will not open for you until tonight, but we snuck into the pre-exhibition party for the artists and their groupies to give you a taste of what is to come.

An attempt to generalise from the twelve works that have made it into the exhibition hall would conclude with something like this: political art of the anarchist/autonomous blend, while having enjoyed a brief renaissance in the wake of the activist rampages of Seattle, Genoa and the like, is writhing in its death-throes, but defiantly refuses to lie down just yet. In its wake, artist are turning towards conceptions of a more personal character, namely, good old-fashioned fucking.

One dinosaur, venerable sculptor Arvid Falch, is less than impressed.

«Most of these works are either too sexual, too political, or just too blatant», he says, aware that his musings run the risk of making him all too resemblant of a bitter old fart.

«There are way too many trying to become artists without having the urge to produce something of value. They want to appear like artists without actually producing art.»«Some of my sculptures are sexualised as well, but there is a fine balance between implying and screaming out loud», he insists, the two of us making our way between a collection of used condoms and a ring-tossing game consisting of a collection of vaginas being thrown at penises.

The sculptor moves his glass of red wine over in his left hand and grabs one of the vaginas. Upon discovering that it belongs to a five-year-old girl, he tosses it away in disgust, scoring a perfect hit on a black cock with the physical dimensions resembling that of a small pony.

«There is a kind of disease in society», Falch grovels. Something tells me it isn’t AIDS he is talking about. «We have become too privileged. There are way too many trying to become artists without having the urge to produce something of value. They want to appear like artists without actually producing art.»

Fuck this old whiner. Let’s check out what the new generation has to offer. I turn my attention to Axel Löfving, a well-mannered, soft-spoken young gentleman, who obviously gets a kick out of arranging for five-year-old-pussies to be impaled by black stallion phalluses.

«This shows how no one, especially women, can escape being a part of the game, regardless of age», he explains. Not with you around, they can’t. «To me these women are objects in a very literal sense», Löfving continues. I somehow believe that is supposed to sound feminist, although I fail to get the exact connection.

I ask about the implication of the pussies actually being the active part in this perverse display.

{mosimage}«They are being thrown towards the men», he emphasizes. «The man is standing still, the female moves, but not by her own action. She is in a forced movement». Note that he said «the female», not «the woman». The median age of his impaled females, by the way, is seventeen and a half. And that’s counting the 92-year-old.

I leave the artist and his pussies alone. While working my way around the gallery, I am nearly blinded by a sudden flash of light emitting from a projector. On a white sheet on a wall, I make out some obscure spots, a short glimpse of something that might be a nipple, then more obscenety.

«It’s supposed to be a bit obscene», admints a sleazy guy who identifies himself as the artist. Upon discovering that I am a journalist, his gaze starts to flutter towards the crowd. Muttering something incomprehensible, he vanishes in the direction of the booze and is not seen again. Later, I leard that this was supposed to be some sort of artsy porn flick.

On the far end of the room, some pervert has displayed a collection of 51 used condoms on a clothesline, some of them still reeking of semen and pussy juice, or worse. «The median age of his impaled females, by the way, is seventeen and a half. And that’s counting the 92-year-old.»

«I asked men to send them to me and attach a story», Johan Söderberg intimates. He has obvolusly been unable to carry out 51 fucks of his own accord. The stories, however, are nowhere in sight. Due to fire regulations, they were removed from the display by the exhibitors. «Now everyone is misinterpreting it», Söderberg gripes. I try to no avail to conjure forth some degree of compassion for the artist. Is he really such a sucker for attention that he prefers some janitor to vandalize his piece instead of withdrawing it from the exhibition?

«I don’t think that is a very valid question», Söderberg snaps; adding, after a moment of thought, «And I would prefer if you did not write that».

Jesus Christ. I must be getting old. These artists remind me of a bunch of sexually frustrated teenagers. Much as I hate to admit it, I’m ready to grant that old bozo Falch a point or two.

Faced with all these blatant displays of unfettered sexuality, I turn to religion. Noticing a picture of the Buddha on the other wall, I make my way there. Upon arrival, I discover that the Buddha is a nude woman, positioned next to a transvestite. Above her is a photo of a statue of a grotesque-faced guy fucking a woman in the ass.

«This does not have to be sexual in a pornographic manner», photographer Anneli Henriksson insists. «It is completely natural. People have fucked each other at all times. Things were much more natural back in the old days when they did not have to live in this fake society.»

I turn away, and all of a sudden I am assaulted by a gigantic gay-fascist mural depicting a posse of white aryan homies engaging in a communal moment of muscle-flexing & male bonding along the entirety of one of the walls. «Sieg heil», I mutter, reaching for another glass.

«I feel like I am in the presence of greatness», says photographer Margrethe Raaum, one of the young hopefuls. Her work, two photos from Kenya and Nigeria draped on a blue slik parachute, can best be described as a mixture of an orientalist vision of Africa, layered with a acidish, Wild Palms-esque aestethic.

A short molotov-toss away, her colleague Britta Bergersen crows about being the only one of the exhibitors that actually has made money on her art (apart from the generous state stipends that they are all sucking up to, of course), a photography of a butterfly laser-etched into a piece of glass. «I will not elaborate on my work beause I do not want to give people preconceptions», Bergersen says dismissively. Getting professional, I see.

By now, your correspondent has had the time to imbibe significant quantities of artsy white wine; sufficient, in fact, to produce a certain dizzyness, only held in check by that slight nausea and the piss-like aftertaste that often accompanies too sweet and cheap alcoholic beverages. Thus equipped, I take a deep breath and dive head first into the more political part of the exhibition.

I land next to a charming and excessively drunk young woman. We are sitting in a pair of chairs, on top of a couple of rustic-bourgeois cross-stitched pillows adorned with pop icons Che Guevara and Osama bin Laden. The artist, Håken Lid, has created them as a homage to his grandmother. Now he is tugging feverishly on my arm and bitching about my sitting on his beloved works of art.

«This is something I camp up with in a really, really drunk, I mean creative moment»«Fuck you», I sneer. I’ve seen him inviting others to sit on his goddamn pillows, predominantly young women of a slightly Lolita-like appearance. But I can sod off, it seems. Did I mention that his stitching is really crappy?

I scutter away with my charming new aquaintance, who turns out to be the concept artist Stina Almerød. Her piece, a fordist opinion-creating machine crewed by some poor blue-collar misfit (rather like this magazine, it seems is the only one that speaks any sense in this madhouse. The machine consists of an overhead projector and a couple of boxes with different words in them. Every few minutes, the misfit reaches into his boxes, and a new opinion – in the imperative tense – appears on the wall, seemingly at random. Right now, it’s «Love The Headline».

«This is something I camp up with in a really, really drunk, I mean creative moment», Ms. Almerød explains. Clutching her arm, I stumble towards the bar. Perhaps there is hope for the future of art after all.

This article refers to the LARP event New Voices In Art being held at Knudepunkt in Helsinge, Denmark in february 2007. While the persons mentioned are real, they are acting in character and all quotes must be concidered as fiction. Likewise, all opinions expressed by the author does not necessarily coincide with his real-life opinions.

A little less conversation…

… a little more action

Lei av alt tørrpreiket på laiv? Løsningen trenger ikke å være å løpe ut i skogen for å klaske enda et troll med gummisverdet ditt. Nå kan du prøve kontaktimpro. ‘,’

Ivrige lesere av Imagonem husker kanskje at vi nevnte kontaktimprovisasjon som ett av høydepunktene under årets Knudepunkt i Danmark. Det er snakk om en danseform der man bruker kroppskontakt, vekt og balanse som verktøy for improvisasjon. Høres ut som pretensiøst artyfarty, sier du? Ganske riktig! Og det er derfor vi selverklærte avantgardistsnobber i Imagonem digger det.

En annen som også ble inspirert av workshopen på Knutepunkt er Tor Kjetil Edland, mannen bak «mini»-laivene Limbo, New Voices in Art og den norske versjonen av Club Felis. Den første helga i Juni har han derfor invitert Gabriel Widing til Oslo for å holde workshop i kontaktimpro for laivere. Imagonem har slått av en prat med Edland.

– Hva er din erfaring med kontaktimpro?
– Jeg ble introdusert for det gjennom Gabriels workshops på knutepunkt i 2006 og 2007. De tok utgangspunkt i at man på laiv ofte bare sitter og snakker og ikke tar kroppens vokabular i bruk. Kontaktimpro er en måte å våge å utforske fysisk interasksjon også. Etter knutepukt meldte jeg meg på et kontaktimprokurs her i Oslo i påsken og har også vært innom søndagsjammen på kulturhuset Hausmania.

– Hvordan vil du sammenligne Widings workshops med det du har prøvd i Oslo?
– Det er mye av det samme, særlig oppvarmingsøvelsene. Forskjellen ligger i bakgrunnen til de som var med. I Oslo hadde de fleste bakgrunn fra dans, mens på Knutepunkt var det ganske vanlige laivere. I tillegg er Widing opptatt av å bruke kontaktimpro i rollespill. På Knudepunkt i Danmark var
siste del av workshopen en laiv. Halvparten av spillerne hadde spilt en minilaiv og avsluttet laiven med ca en times kontaktimpro med samme roller.

– Hva får deltagerne på den annonserte workshopen for pengene?
– Workshopen varer fra lørdag til søndag, til sammen ca 15 timer. Instruktøren er den Gabriel Widing og hele greia foregår på dansestudioet Rom for Dans på Oslos beste Østkant. Det kreves ingen forkunnskaper og helga avsluttes med minilaiven Limbo Redux.

– Redux?
– Gabriel deltok på Limbo da jeg satte det opp på Knutepunkt i ’06, og fikk ideen til å gjøre samme laiv, men helt uten dialog. Jeg skal også delta og er veldig spent på hvordan det går.

Limbo ble opprinnelig spilt tre ganger i fjor våren. Det er en blackbox-laiv der deltagerne kan spille seg selv svevende mellom livet og døden. Laiven har blitt godt mottatt både i Norge og Sverige, og har blitt beskrevet som en meget sterk opplevelse av flere deltagere.

workshopen foregår 2-3. juni og koster 150,- mer info finner du her

Utålmodig? Søndagsjam holdes hver uke på Hausmania

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