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Main Building

Back to Basics


Curated by Mari F. Sundet

This year's exhibition was called Back to Basics and was an examination of the mandate which is at the very heart of the Kunstlaboratoriet: to bring together contemporary art and its public.

In Back to Basics the point of departure was our belief that art is not first and foremost material objects, but places where reality is subjected to examination. To find out how these 'art places' function, Back to Basics turned the spotlight on the various actors involved in filling them with meaning – the artist, the art worker, and the public.

It is the artists who are the fulcrum of each "art place", since they not only investigate reality, but also create new expressions of what they have investigated. Investigation is the modus operandi of the artist and is the lowest common denominator for all art. What is investigated, and how, is wholly up to the individual artist, and the artwork, as physical object, is the concrete evidence of the investigation having taken place.

To illuminate this process we therefore invited seven artists to prepare solo exhibitions which were shown simultaneously.

The artist were:

  • Anders Eiebakke (1970/NO)
  • Britta Thie (1985/DE)
  • Sandra Mujinga (1989/NO)
  • Sissel Blystad (1944/NO)
  • Tiril Hasselknippe (1984/NO)
  • Lars Paalgard (1955/NO)
  • Bjørn Ransve (1944/NO)

Curator Mari F. Sundet introduced the project as a whole with a group exhibition on the ground floor. A book was also published to accompany the project – the result of collaboration between the artists, the curator, and photographer/designer Nina Ansten.

Back to Basics opened its doors to the public on 10 May 2014. At the moment the public enters the exhibitions the curator is no longer the sovereign holder of an opinion about the projects filling the old factory buildings this summer. And the artists are no longer the sole arbiters of what defines the content of their artworks. It is also at this moment that the art arena's potential to produce meaning is fulfilled. Just as the artist and the curator have their spaces in Back to Basics, so too does the public: the Inforeactor. This was an information point where artists and curator provided visitors with further information about thought processes and work methods, and about the exhibition itself or production of the book. The Inforeactor would also be a space where visitors could give their reactions to individual artists' contributions, or Back to Basics as a whole. A PC was available for visitors, where they could write their comments; these was published on our webpage as long as the exhibition was open. Visitors were also offered a visual way to react to the exhibitions, and contributions were presented as part of a large exhibition on the theme of art mediation the following year (2015). The Inforeactor was a room which both initiated and summarized Back to Basics as an art arena: a place where meaning comes into being.


Installation photos: Vegard Kleven

Participating artists

  • Anders Eiebakke
  • Britta Thie
  • Sandra Mujinga
  • Sissel Blystad
  • Tiril Hasselknippe
  • Lars Paalgard
  • Bjørn Ransve