18 November – 18 December 2005
Marianne Heier’s solo exhibition at UKS presents a series of works booted by Cracking Concrete in 2000, and which now culminates in her new project CREW. The main focus in the exhibition is an exploration of concepts of values and conventions.
Background for the project CREW was that the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design Autumn 2004, advertised 60 positions for museum hosts. No specific qualifications were required from the candidates. The hosts were part of the National Museum’s new image and replaced earlier forms of surveillance. The Museum received over 600 applications. The vast number of applicants made it possible for the National Museum to hire people with especially high cultural and academic competence, which now in most cases are occupied by people with high ambitions and long educations within culture and academia. Most of them consider the job a temporary solution on their way to another job or position in their working life. Heier was herself employed at the Museum as a host from October 2004 to May 2005.
CREW is a group video portrait of Heier’s colleagues at the Museum. The work focuses on the very special environment that occurred among the newly appointed hosts. It is a paradox for the National Museum that they who are considered low in the institutional hierarchy, often have better insight when it comes to the institution’s own field of subject than their superiors. CREW discusses the situation from another angle and uses the Museum as a point of departure for criticizing constructed hierarchies. In this way, Heier emphasizes the relation (and distance) between cultural and economical capital.
These problematics are further explored in the video installation Construction Site, which documents the redecoration process of the museum host’s lunchroom at the National Gallery. The refurbishment as an initiative from Heier who has hired and paid the artisans and two of Norway’s best architects to draw the room and the furnishings. Through this investment Heier tries to activate an equation between the Museum’s visible and invisible reality.