«to bee or not to be» reflekterer rundt forholdet mellom mennesker og miljø. Vårt antroposentriske verdensbilde utfordres; altså at mennesket er midtpunkt, målestokk og formål for alt. Hvorvidt vår tids omfattende biedød er en god anledning til å tenke over Albert Einsteins bekymring; «dersom biene dør, vil mennesket kun ha fire års levetid igjen», er usikkert. Men hans engstelse er som en dirrende undertone i utstillingen.
Ti internasjonale kunstnere tar tak i problemstillingen, hver med ulike kunstneriske tilnærminger, fra rent konseptuelle til visuelle og alternativ-pragmatiske. Poetiske, så vel som tydelig politiske strategier, kan spores i verkene som vises i den gamle herregården på Jeløya og i den praktfulle barokkhagen. Det sentrale spørsmålet i «to bee or not to be» er hvorvidt kunsten evner å formulere alternative konsepter i forhold til det eksisterende verdensbildet, selv om det betyr å utfordre oss selv.
Marianne Zamecznik (NO) og Raimar Stange (DE)
Cevdet Erek (TR), Peter Friedl (AT), Bethan Huws (UK), Oslo Apiary & Aviary (NO), Oliver Ressler (AT), Alessandro Sau (IT), Anders Smebye & Vikram Uchida-Khanna (NO), Jennifer Teets (USA), Johannes Wohnseifer (DE)
Marianne Zamecznik, born in 1972 in Trondheim, is an artist, curator, and exhibition designer. She is director of the art festival Oslo Open since 2015. Recent projects include the performance program “A midsummer Night’s Scream” at De Appel in Amsterdam, “Magic Language /// Game of Whispers” at Revelations in Paris, and “Secondo Stile/Tent” at Cite des Arts in Paris. Mainly focusing on exhibition making and the exhibition as a medium, her practice overlaps the ﬁelds of art, design and craft. She is a member of the Institute of Usership, a joint research project at the Department of Art and Craft at Oslo National Academy of the Arts, aiming at establishing a new set of terms for user-driven practices. Zamecznik constitutes half of ZAMAAS, an exhibition design studio established together with artist Øystein Aasan in Berlin.
Raimar Stange, born in 1960 in Hannover (Germany), studied German philology, philosophy, and journalism at Leibniz University Hannover. He works as a free-lance curator and art critic based in Berlin. His texts appear regularly in publications such as ArtReview (London), Kunstforum Inter-national (Cologne), and Kunst-Bulletin (Zurich). He has curated numerous exhibitions on the subject of “art and climate change,” namely, among others: “Moralische Fantasien” at Kunstmuseum Thurgau/Kartause Ittingen in Warth (Switzerland; 2008) and at Museum Morsbroich in Leverkusen (Germany; 2009), “Apokalypse now. Kunst zur Klimakatastrophe” at Kunst verein Hamburg (Germany; 2010),”Erhöhte Temperatur. Kunst und Klima” at Salzburger Kunstverein and at Landesgalerie Linz (Austria; 2012), “Climate changes everything I.” at Kunsthaus Wien (Austria; 2015) and „Climate changes everything II.” (ibid.; 2016).
Cevdet Erek, born in Istanbul in 1974. During and after studying architecture at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts (Istanbul), Erek worked at various architectural practices as well as in the music band “Nekropsi.” Erek’s installations and performances, focusing on sound, space, and rhythm, were shown in dOCUMENTA (13) (2012), Istanbul Biennial (2003, 2013, and 2015), Sidney Biennial (2016), Sharjah Biennial (2013), Stedelijk Museum (2014), MAXXI (2014 and 2015), Istanbul Modern (2014, 2015, and 2016), Arter (2011), SALT (2012–2015) and others. Major solo exhibitions of his work were organized by Spike Island in Bristol (2014) and Kunsthalle Basel (2012). He was the recipient of the Nam June Paik Award for Media Art given by Kunststiftung NRW (2012). Among his most recent sound/music work are: sound and music direction for Kaan Müjdeci’s featurelength ﬁlm “Sivas”. (71st Venice Film Festival, Special Jury Prize; 2014), music and sound co-design for Emin Alper’s feature- length ﬁlm “Frenzy” (72nd Venice Film Festival, Special Jury Prize; 2015). Erek will represent Turkey at the Venice Biennial 2017.
Peter Friedl, born in 1960 in Oberneukirchen (Austria), works as a conceptual artist in situ. He has participated in two documenta exhibitions and contributed to the Austrian Pavilion in Venice. Retrospectively arranged exhibitions of his work were shown at the MACBA (Barcelona), the Miami Art Museum, and the Musée d’Art Contemporain (Marseille).
Bethan Huws, born in 1961 in Bangor (Wales), studied ﬁne art at the Middlesex Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art in London. Today, she works in Paris and Berlin. Her work has been shown in museums all around the world since the early 1990’s, including the Tate Modern (London), the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, and the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht.
Oslo Apiary & Aviary
Oslo Apiary & Aviary has existed since 2013 when it evolved from Marius Presterud’s (born in 1980) and Mikkel Dagestad’s (born in 1990) shared interest in work ethics, anthropocentric implications, situationism, and immersed observation of the systems of exchange that make up everyday city life. A consistent line running through their work is the questioning of the theoretical separation of “urbanity” and “nature” as well as the “private” and “public” domain. They explore these questions through a brand that mimics contemporary eco-services, capitalizing on green optimism and shared space. By reintroducing plants, birds, and bees in the city, they raise the question of how city life is constituted and can/can’t be reimagined and reconstituted within and against processes of capitalist urbanization. By subjugating themselves to urban husbandry, they explore the range of their own cross-species tolerance and bonding.
Oliver Ressler, born in 1970 in Knittelfeld (Austria), attended the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Today, he is represented in art exhibitions worldwide, but also shows his pieces at international ﬁlm festivals and in other contexts, for example, that of anti- globalization protests. He frequently cooperates with other artists such as Ines Doujak, Gregory Sholette, and Martin Krenn.
Alessandro Sau, born 1981 in Cagliari (Italy), studied at the School of Fine Arts in Rome and in Milan. He earned his MFA degree from Transart Institute (Berlin/New York). His artistic practice is mainly based on paintings and sculptures with the creative and destructive involvement of animals such as mice, snails, bees. Sau is also the co-founder (together with Enrico Piras) of “Monte cristo Project,” an exhibition space created in 2016 on a deserted island along the Sardinian coasts. This project is the result of artistic and theoretical research aimed at an alternative practice of display, presentation, and documentation of artworks. Currently, he lives and works in Sardinia.
Anders Smebye & Vikram Uchida-Khanna
Anders Smebye’s interdiscip linary practice takes as its subject of inquiry an excavation of the ideology and symbolism of charged historical and phenomenological events. Smebye, born in 1975 in Oslo, is educated at Chelsea College of Art in London, at UdK (Berlin University of the Arts), and at Statens Kunstakademi in Oslo. He recently had the solo presentation “Two-Face” at Space 4235 in Genoa (Italy). Smebye was the founder and director of the project space Bastard (2005–2010), a member of the artist collective “The Parallel Action” from 2009–2011, and an associate professor at the National Academy of the Arts in Oslo (2013–2014). His ﬁrst book of poetry Flikk-flakk gjennom Flick was just released through Lord Jim Publishing in Kristiansand (Norway). Smebye lives and works in Oslo and Rendalen.
Vikram Uchida-Khanna, born in 1989 in Vancouver (Canada), lives and works in Oslo. He studied visual art at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, at Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), and at the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo (Norway). He has participated in exhibitions at the Audain Gallery in Vancouver, at Gallery D.O.R. in Brussels, and at NoPlace in Oslo. His writing has appeared in Billedkunst journal (Oslo). When he is not co-writing plays about human history from the point-of-view of dogs, plants, and rocks, he is working with mask carvers in the Northwest of Canada to create surrealist masks or studying Proto-In-do-European.
Jennifer Teets is a contemporary art curator, writer, researcher, and performer born in 1978 in Houston, Texas (USA), living and working from Paris. She is known for her research on cheese, mud, and terra sigillata – their transitioning towards materiality and entity and their ability to become something else when put in an exhibition or an essay. Her research and writing combines inquiry, sciences studies, philosophy, and ﬁctocritique, and performs as an interrogative springboard for her curatorial practice.
Johannes Wohnseifer, born in 1967 in Cologne (Germany), lives and works in Cologne. Since the 1990’s, he has participated as a “self-taught artist” in numerous national and international exhibitions such as the “German open,” a survey of contemporary German art shown at the Wolfsburg Art Museum in 1999/2000.