26 March – 26 April 2015
UKS

GROUP EXHIBITION
IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR

VENUE: UKS
March 26 – April 26, 2015 | Opening Thursday, March 26
[NB. This exhibition took place under the auspices of former UKS Director Johanne Nordbye Wernøe—text and images follow the style sheet devised 2013–2016]

Kate Berlant (US), Neil Doshi (US), Sara Eliassen (NO), Alicia Frankovich (NZ), Roderick Hietbrink (NL), Lucy Stein (GB). Curated by Chiara Giovando and Andrew Berardini.

On opening night:

Performance by Kate Berlant 20:00

Unge Kunstneres Samfund is proud to announce the international group exhibition In Search of an Author by curators Chiara Giovando and Andrew Berardini. Here the artists become characters in a drama they make up as they go along. A comedian, a designer, a filmmaker, a painter, and two less easily classifiable artists meet in an art gallery in Oslo, hilarity ensues, or so we hope, in this the final chapter of the UKS winter program 2015 and the curtain closing of the institution’s sojourn at its current space at Tullinløkka.

Loosely inspired by the 1921 play “Six Characters In Search of an Author” by Luigi Pirandello, the curators conceived the story and invited these artists, performers, and practitioners to become characters in it. The gallery turned into a set, we’re hoping to reveal its bones physically as well as the fictions that make up a white cube. These newly freed characters work together and against each other in this particular context to create the necessary tension and delight of any good show.

In Pirandello’s play, the author abandons the characters and their lurid, familial drama. The characters overthrow the author, setting out to find a director and actors to tell their tale. The actors dissatisfy the characters. The director is compelled but frustrated with the lot of them. It ends in tragedy, or comedy depending on your sense of the melodramatic. This dance is done to delight an audience, sometimes under the myth that they aren’t really there.

We, the curators, might say this exhibition was metafictive, a self-aware dispensation of tradition, an attempt at making visible the layers from which we create, born out of the imaginary but clearly manifested in reality with all the unruly chance and distributed authorship that shapes existence. Or we would prefer you to see it that way, and perhaps even find a dollop of meaning in the half-safety of its half-fiction.

Here we see ourselves all as players, the curators set the board as best they can and then open themselves to chance, change and co-authorship.

Like many good plays, ours occurs in three acts. The first has happened: we’ve conceived the show, found a space to nurture it, and invited a cast of characters. The second act happens as the characters arrive to the scene. What they’ll do once assembled in Oslo is up to them, but we have a few clues.

Lucy Stein might paint wild occult orgies. Roderick Hietbrink, also working as the UKS’ production manager, promises to be an excellent technician but a difficult artist. Alicia Frankovich will make private bodies public, blushing in their reveal. Sara Eliassen will likely project a film whose protagonist loses herself into a history of cinematic fictions. Neil Doshi will design it all and gauge the audience’s reactions with a focus group. Kate Berlant will try to make us laugh.

The opening is an intermission. The characters will write Act Three and finish the story however they desire. It will end in tragedy, or comedy depending on your sense of the melodramatic.

– Chiara Giovando and Andrew Berardini

 

CAST OF CHARACTERS:

Kate Berlant (US) is a comedian performing across the US and in festivals such as the New York Comedy Festival and SXSW. She was recently profiled by The New York Times as a “magnetic improvisational comic” at the forefront of experimental comedy. In 2012 she was named by Time Out New York as one of New York City’s “Top Three Comics to Watch” and as one of Comedy Central’s “Comics to Watch.” Reggie Watts named her as one of his “Top Ten Stand-Up Comedians” in Time Out London.

Neil Doshi (US) is a designer based in Joshua Tree, CA. His ongoing site-work project Connections received a Creative Capital Award, he has taught design at OTIS College of Art, Pasadena Design Center and been in residence at Mont Alvo Center for Art.

Sara Eliassen (NO) is a filmmaker and artist living in Oslo. Eliassen holds an MFA in experimental filmmaking from San Francisco Art Institute and was a studio fellow at The Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in 2011. Her films have played extensively at international film festivals, amongst them Venice Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and Sundance.

Alicia Frankovich (NZ) lives and works in Berlin. Her recent solo exhibitions include Today This Technique Is the Other Way Around, Kunstverein Hildesheim, Germany, 2013 and Bodies and Situations, Starkwhite, Auckland, 2012. Frankovich has recently presented performances at the 12th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition: Le Mouvement: Performing the City, Biel/Bienne, 2012, The Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montréal, Canada, 2013 and Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt/ Main, 2012.

Roderick Hietbrink (NL) is an artist living in and working in Oslo and Amsterdam primarily with video, performance, and installation. Hietbrink´s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Centre Pompidou, Paris; De Appel, Amsterdam; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the 5th Moscow Biennale.

Lucy Stein (GB) is a London based painter, engaged in the matters of British modernist painting, feminist theory, and women’s literature. Her recent solo exhibitions include Gregor Staiger, Zurich, 2013; Orgasms in Hell, Galerie Martin Van Zomeren, Amsterdam, 2012 and Manderley, Gimpel Fils, London, 2012. Stein is a 2015 artist in residence at Tate St. Ives.

All exhibitions at the UKS are selected by the UKS Jury. The exhibition In Search of an Author is supported by Fritt Ord and Production network for electronic art, Norway (PNEK). Thanks to Comfort Hotel Grand Central and the Danish Agency for Culture.

UKS will be closed for Easter April 2 – April 6.

Image Gallery from the collective exhibition “In Search of an Author”, 2015

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