QUI VIVE! - An Exhibition Trilogy

Welcome to “QUI VIVE!” Part II of the exhibition trilogy taking place at Kunstplass from September to December 2019.

VERNISSAGE Part II: Thursday 10 October 18.00-20.00
EXHIBITION PERIOD: 10 October – 10 November
ARTISTS: Shi Tou (China), Berni Searle (South Africa) and Bente Sommerfeldt-Colberg (Norway).

Kunstplass is proud to present:

SHI TOU: At Kunstplass Shi Tou will exhibit pictures from three photo series “Under Water”, “Together” and “Yue fen pai / Family”. Shi Tou has created the photos together with her partner Ming Ming, and they serve as a documentation of their own lives, encounters, feelings, and dedication. The works contain (in)direct comments on (eco)feminism, LGBTI issues, over-consumption, environmental protection, social control and lack of freedom of expression. It is worth mentioning that in 2019, it is 30 years since the peaceful student protests and the dream of democracy was violently stopped by the authorities at Tiananmen Square. Hailed as “one of the most outstanding female artists in contemporary China” the pioneering and versatile Shi Tou, a professional painter-photographer-filmmaker, has been actively performing and exhibiting internationally since 1992.

BERNI SEARLE will exhibit two video installations at Kunstplass. Black smoke rising trilogy (2009-10), comprising Lull, Gateway and Moonlight and shown consecutively as single-screen projections was sparked by the rising levels of discontent in the South Africa. An insidious by product of these frustrations played itself out in the brutal wave of attacks against foreigners in 2008. The double screen projection Mute is a response to these xenophobic attacks. In 2019 it is 25 years since Apartheid fell, but South Africa is still characterized by racism and segregation. Born in in Cape Town in 1964, Berni Searle works with photography and the moving image. Often, but not exclusively, using herself in her work, she performs for the camera, producing works that explore issues of self-representation, the relationship between personal and collective identity and narratives connected to history, memory and place. Berne Searle is an international renowned artist born in Cape Town with an impressive bio including Venice Biennale, MOMA, Brooklyn Museum and numerous awards.

BENTE SOMMERFELDT-COLBERG’S installation “Time” is inspired by an hourglass and will be a supporting element throughout the exhibition period. The hourglass is traditionally a visualization of the past, present and future. The work “Time” symbolizes both hope and uncertainty as the sand flows over a glass sphere and spreads around the work. Sommerfeldt-Colberg got her education at the Art Academy in Bergen. She has had numerous solo and group exhibitions including Kunstnerforbundet, Sogn og Fjordane Kunstmuseum, Oslo Kunstforening, Kongsberg Kunstforening, Østfold Kunstnersenter, Soft and seven times at The National Annual Autumn Exhibition at Kunstnernes hus.

Kunstplass is proud to present the following artists Shi Tou (China), Berni Searle (South Africa), Heidi Kilpeläinen (Finland), Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (Marshall Islands), Aka Niviâna (Greenland), Dan Lin (Hawaii), from Norway Maria Sundby, Bente Sommerfeldt-Colberg, Vanna Bowles, Unn Sønju and a curated outside video program by HÆRK.

The French saying “QUI VIVE!” can be translated directly into “Whose side do you support?”. Today the proverb has evolved to have a broader meaning “To observe attentively, to look for the problems, solutions or opportunities”. In this exhibition trilogy we have invited artists from around the world and the audience to be especially vigilant, keep an eye on what is happening to our planet and point to alternative directions and solutions, and hence the exclamation mark instead of a question mark.

The exhibition concept is based on the fact that we must wake up, and jointly address global issues that affect each of us, across national borders, such as the climate crisis.

There are obvious inter-linkages between sustainable development, environmental issues and the climate crisis globally. Kunstplass places special emphasis on the UN’s sustainability goals: gender equality (goal 5), responsible consumption and production (goal 12), stop climate change (goal 13), peace and justice (goal 16) and of course cooperation goal17).

Kunstplass is for the second year in a row collaborating with Oslo World Music Festival 29 October to 3 November. The two internationally renowned artists Shi Tou (China) and Berni Searle (South Africa) are this year’s Oslo World’s festival artists at Kunstplass. Shi Tou also exhibits a large satirical picture “Breathe” at Kulturhuset.

The artists who are invited to participate in this project are inspired by both political issues and human phenomena, such as 25 years of democracy in South Africa – a country still affected by xenophobia and segregation (Berni Searle), ecofeminism, LGBTI issues and the gender equality backlash in China (Shi Tou), over-consumption and litter in the Oslo Fjord (Maria Sundby ), anti-war sentiments (Unn Sønju), rage and discomfort (Heidi Kilpeläinen), beautiful dystopia (Vanna Bowles) and hope and uncertainty (Bente Sommefeldt-Colberg).

These feelings and themes can undoubtedly find their mirror image elsewhere on earth, because everything is connected.

In this project, we are particularly inspired by the poem “Rise: From One Island To Another” by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner from the Marshall Islands and Aka Niviâna from Greenland made into a film by Dan Lin from Hawaii. The message is simply put: there is not a “them” and “us”, but a common “we”. We are connected with the world and the world is connected to us.

The artists and Kunstplass are both impatient and sleepless, and carries with it a critique of power from the grasroots. We believe artists through their art can inspire and contribute with their creative strengths to positive changes.

PART I: 5 September to 5 October
Artists: Maria Sundby, Bente Sommerfeldt-Colberg, Vanna Bowles, Dan Lin, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner and Aka Niviâna. Public video program outside curated by HÆRK.
Included Oslo Art Weekend 12- 15 September, Oslo Culture Night 13 September and HÆRK-event 28 September.

PART III: 21 November – 15 November
Artists: Unn Sønju, Heidi Kilpeläinen, + HÆRK video program outside

QUI VIVE! is supported by: Kulturrådet, Kulturetaten and Stiftelsen Fritt Ord.

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