Oddly Enough 
Jeg kan veldig gjerne like Reuters side Oddly Enough . Den er full av merkelige historier om hva og hvordan, gjerne sett med et litt vestlig zoologisk skjevt blikk på resten av verden. En av de merkeligste tingene som de meldte om de siste dagene er Silent 'Piano Man' poses beach riddle.

Ifølge Aftenposten har politiet og sykehuset på mandag fått oppgitt navnet på en person som beskrives som en "sterk kandiat" .
Dette avkreftes av Guardian i det den sterke kandidaten, en svensk musiker ved navnet Martin Sturefält found to be in good spirits though a little bemused when tracked down to his Stockholm flat. Altså ingen oppklarning enda.

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There are a lot of things I wanted to write about like the opening and the last two exhibitions at the GfZK , and all the gallery openings in Baumwollspinnerei here in Leipzig. I wanted to write a txt about the catalogue to Cultural Territories since it more or less parallel my staying here in Leipzig. I also wanted to write a txt on my problems on writing which is partial practical (my spelling and grammar is rather rotten something both me and my editors have to fight with), and the problems of editors at all. But I have not managed that, they are all boiling up within the system not being let out and I am hoping to write just a little bit about them in the next two weeks. I started this blog rather strong and now I have not entered anything new for almost a month… so much for frequent updating. One could as if I am writing a blog at all or just a journal of some sort – why not keeping it in a diary off-line… I do not know. I like the fact that a) I have written something for people to read, but that are b) not know by that many people.
I am preparing a txt for Kunstkritikk on blogging. I hope they will like it.

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Tagging art in Herford 
MARTa , now that was a strange museum. After arriving there on Friday last for an interview with Cai Guo-Qiang there was an opening on Saturday with a lot of energy. The museum itself is initiated of the kitchen and furniture industry in Herford. They wanted a schaufenster for their collection and for their…furniture (the Name stands for Möbel (German for furniture) ART, and a stands for ambient). They contacted Frank Gerry and then Jan Hoet – the latter one going into retirement after opening the SMAK in Ghent. And he came – saw – and got a heart attack.

319 works of art and more than 180 artist (as far as I could tell from the catalogue) – many contemporary makes this to a rather large art happening for a city of 65.000 inhabitants. So on the opening day; first came the demonstrants – being against the new unemployment- reform of the German state, against one of the ministers (Clement, former minister of this county) and MARTa… there where quite a lot of them occupying the whole street in front of the museum. When they where gone came the visitors, blocking the whole street. All with umbrellas due to rain. And mid amongst them the work of Paolo Chiasera, a statue of Tupac Shakur placed on a pedestal five metres above the mob. Looking great. Then the was the performances.

The exhibition itself is rather good, consisting of many works a lot of them being classics. Unfortunately they are ordered rather good (thorsos over here – holes, that being vaginas or wunds, over here etc.). Anyway. Amanda Coogan sat on a couch for I do not know how many hours looking very painterly. A lovely living painting in her long blue dress. At the same time Lotte Lindner was laying behind Gavin Turks rather boring Che statue (in a t-shirt and jeans on a concrete floor – very cold I can assure) on her back with a lot of potato chips on her head, the bags of spread around her head. It looked great – and one of the other artists commented that it look like the world greatest rock concert and somebody died and in honour all the other present spilled their chips over the deceased’s head like a homage to both the concert and the reaction to it.

MARTa is preformative in its expression of architecture but one cannot move any walls – no matter how curved they are there is no chance in the world to change the rather static and square exhibition rooms. Till Steinbrenner – another performance artist shot a whole in the wall, in the concert hall. We where all waiting for it. We where in there to see it, and still we was taken by surprise as he shot. I was seated up front – expecting him to do this rather sacral and with pathos, going all the way up front. I was sort of hoping for him to shoot the grand standing there – and fantasying of him collaborating with Cai on blowing the grand up with firecrackers. And then I jumped. Till had entered the room (he is about 210cm tall) and shot his bullet into the wall in the middle of the room and was gone before I could react. Just like an assassination in public spaces. There where no real chaos but a lot of confusion.

Talking about confusion. Cai had a project for the opening – blowing up a car with fire works. The only thing was that no one wanted to take responsibility for the security and neither him nor his assistant understood German. The problem where the mob outside. The securities need much more people and a good deal of time. Cai came up with the brilliant idea of just using six guards with a security rope between them giving the car its needed 7 meters distance to spectators. “Oh, that’s a great Idea” the head of security said when he heard about it. So of the car went with a load and many firecrackers and at the entrance there was a series of really loud, colour full and bright explosions. That more or less marked the end of the opening and the party ha begun, a lot of people being very drunk.

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Good for Oslo 
There is a few things going on in Oslo right now – the never ending discussion of the role of the national museum of contemporary art (back in the nineties the discussion was on the german and later Norwegian director, now the museum is restructured and the national museum is including not only the contemporary art museum, but also the designer, architecture, the national gallery and the national museum for arts and craft – I might have forgotten a museum or two...). The discussion now is…the director, this time around a swede.
The critique this time is that he, the director does not know anything about Norwegian art history – and they are forgetting that the national museum of Norway has, to quote Nordgren “the worlds best competence on norwegian art history”. Other news is that the museum has gotten 1.600000 € for the opening of their new pavilion and the exihition Kyss frosken - forvandlingens kunst that is opening end of may in the city centre of Oslo. Today the man himself is having a talk with Norways Urbanist and gonzo writer Erling Fossen in the city of Moss, host of Momentum – the Nordic art festival . This although Momentum are first next year, but due to the celebration of Norways independency of Sweden (1905) – we are 100 years old – they have an exhibition named “Good for Moss” with artist from the city and about the city.

Also, at the same time the former director of Fotogalleriet in Oslo (a foundation and a part of the fine arts photographers association of norway) is opening his new commercial gallery named Standard (Oslo) ) . – the webpage www.standard.no is registrated by the state of Norway and is a information page for standardisation of technical formats in Norway. I haver read the press text for Start Kapital three times and I still don’t get it. Is Knut Knutsen responsible for the standard name of the gallery (I did like the concept he set up on the website for the open studio days of ISCP when he was there last year “common escape routs” or something like this. The whole web site was covered with “going… on holiday” and that sort of things and at the very end;
Eivind Furnesvik… going commercial). I guess the reason is as he himself said, about being able to realize your projects. And this is a very interesting hybrid between the commercial and the institution. There is a lot of criticts and curators out there going commercial, starting up their own galleries for reasons like wanting to be independent of the institutions, wanting to be able to realize projects within a own space witouth being force to always deal with the plutocratic needs of the institution. In Sweden you have natalia goldin gallery / stockholm , in Copenhagen the art historican Birgitte Kirkhoff with her gallery Kirkhoff Contemporary Art that did open directly after her completing her master – and she says it is about being able to work long term with certain artist instead of all the time being forced to the hit and run tactic that drives most institutions – to all the time find and use fresh and newer artists to work with. And also the UKS are opening a Nina Möntmann/NIFCA exhibition callen Opacity, and I have to admit after reading the press text that I often feel a bit lost reading their press releases as well – it often feels like stripped bare philosophical, theoretical themes prose that more or less feels like decoration. But still, there are a few things going on in Oslo this weekend and I would like to be there, also to participate in the Norwegian art critics association – and there receiving my travel grant.

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Kadoya Japan.  
I got a travel grant from the Norwegian Art Critic Association, to go to the island Naoshima (Naoshima ), which is very fucking nice for several reasons.
I do really want to go there to see what the Benesse Corporation is doing out there. This mainly because I am involved as some sort of ‚local producer‘ for my home municipality in the project Art in Nordland-Artistic interruptions (Art in Nordland - Artistic interuption ) in my home county (Nordland in Northern Norway for those who does not know). To take the AiN-project first:
In 1988 AK Dolven a Norwegian artists suggested in a roundtable on something about art (nobody knows anymore what the theme was ) that they should make “a sculpture park” of the whole county (for the record: The County of Nordland is ....square kilometres large and ...kilometres long).Said, done. They initiated a project were each of the 36 municipalities was offered to get a sculpture of a contemporary artist. There was much discussion. There where many voices speaking against it and many tax payers where not that found of that their municipality was going to waste money on rubbish that anyone could produce (to quote my uncle). The project Sculpturescape Nordland was born and was carried out in the years between 1989 and 1999. (Skulpturescape Nordland).

In Naoshima the Benesse corporation have established a art site with close connection to the nature and culture surrounding the space. They have build up a collection of art through thinking site specific, long term culture related in their projects. They are mostly concerned with artist that have the interest to do projects that are rather large and clear cut in their idea of that all works is commissioned should be in direct connection to the island and its culture and hisory. Especially should one mentioned their Art House Project where they buy houses that are not more in use but still is important for the memory of the island itself and ask artist if they can make an artwork out of it. Not restoring the houses, but making art work of the whole house, usually together with an architect. The project is in many ways to discover a community rather than to establish a collection by merely buying art.

The Sculpturescape was a grand success in terms of both artistic development and dialog with the communities. There have been discussed much and some still do not like contemporary art but do admit that this debate going on with neighbours and in the newspapers makes it possible to discuss other sides of a town and a culture than merely the issues dealing with politics, economy, elderly, children and education etc. Thus this the county initiated another project in 2002 / the Art in Nordland thing. At the same time as they wanted to continue their sculpturescape `collection`, they wanted a more flexible approach to the art side and not only sculpture. It did at that point get the largest founding from the state of Norway ever, and could more relay on this rather than seeking sponsors and partners other places.

The Naoshima Art Site is owned and run by Benesse Corporation. A rather large company who does a lot in connection to contemporary art. Since 1995 it gives out the Benesse prize at Venice Biennale.

I am looking forward to see the site itself and talk to the people being involved.
Art, nature and culture is the themes for both places.

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