Jonatan Habib Engqvist
Hrafnhildur Arnardottir a.k.a Shoplifter (IS/US), Brody Condon (MX/US), Steingrimur Eyfjord (IS), Valia Fetisov & Dzina Zhuk & Nicolay Spesivtsev (RU/BLR), Johanna Heldebro (SE), Minna L. Henriksson (FI), Sofia Hultén (SE/DE), Ferdinand Ahm Krag (DK), Agnieszka Kurant (PL/US), Cristóbal Lehyt (CL/US), Eva Löfdahl (SE), Joanna Lombard (DZA/SE), Lundahl & Seitl (SE), Fujiko Nakaya (JP), Christine Ödlund (SE), Ola Pehrson (SE), Edward Shenk (US), Daniel Steegmann Mangrané (ES/BR), Bjarni H. Thorarinsson (IS), Sissel Tolaas (NO/DE), Ryan Trecartin (US), Steina (Steina Vasulka) (IS/US), Emanuel Vigeland (NO), Julius von Bismarck (DE), Zhala (SE)
The 8th Momentum Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art explores tunnel vision as a cultural and artistic condition. Today’s networked culture not only generates hyper connectivity, but also various disconnects. People and communities can thrive in bubbles of their own. Momentum 8 focuses on artists and cultural producers who inhabit worlds of their own logic and follow their thoughts all the way through.
Although the biennial is international in scope, Momentum 8 also digs into a Nordic sentiment of geographic and cultural seclusion. The biennial takes place in Moss, a small city just outside of Oslo where Edvard Munch withdrew for four years. The relative solitude that he enjoyed there, and which helped to cultivate his eclectic and highly personal practice, is not exceptional. Rather, it is exemplary. Tunnel vision might be prone to cultural condemnation as alarmingly asocial, but it has for a long time also lent itself to artistic celebration as disarmingly eccentric. While Momentum 8 addresses phenomena symptomatic of contemporary society and culture, it also deals with the persistent idea of ‘a room of one’s own’ as a premise for artistic practice.
Immersion in self-referential loops is echoed in a renewed interest in psychotropic substances in society at large. Whereas the psychedelic movement of the 1960s was concerned with mind expansion, what interests us here are experiences of a narrowing-down of the mind – a state similar to that which one might achieve through trance or meditation. Such a centering might for instance take the form of obsessive claustrophobia, where insights seem lucid simply because everything else is blanked out. Submerged in a constant flow of information, we find that multitasking and directed concentration are in demand simultaneously. At present, new chemicals, drugs and technologies are used in order to create a tunnel vision that narrows down this spectrum of information and our access to it.
Addressing conspiracy theories, paranoia and altered states of mind, the exhibition explores what might be called compressed consciousness, that may appear incestuous, navel-gazing or idiosyncratic.
At Momentum 8, the theme of tunnel vision will unfold as a multisensory experience triggering altered states of mind and physical awareness. The exhibition aims at creating an atmosphere that appeals to all six senses, and which ties the various venues and events together across time and space.
Curator team Momentum 8
Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Birta Gudjonsdottir, Stefanie Hessler, Toke Lykkeberg
Momentum 8 brings together a manifestation and expressions of artistic and curatorial ideas and a degree of concentration that is rare if not unparalleled in Norway and the Nordic region. The curatorial team’s concept and crossover theme, Tunnel Vision, trigger both reflections and a certain sensuality.
Even though Momentum maintains a strong interest in engagement in “Nordicness” this has not limited the choice of artists that are included to the Nordic region. We think this would have been somewhat exclusive and narrow-minded. This sense of openness can also be found amongst contemporary artists themselves who think in a more global manner and do not define themselves as belonging to any particular place but more as a part of the international art circuit.
Many thanks to the curators Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Birta Gudjonsdottir, Stefanie Hessler and Toke Lykkeberg, and all the artists from the many countries across many continents for bringing us Momentum 8 – Tunnel Vision.
Without the annual financial support and enthusiasm of the city of Moss, the county of Østfold and the Ministry of Culture, the biennial could not exist. We are also thankful to our many supporters.
Director of Punkt Ø – Galleri F 15 & Momentum
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