24 March – 7 May 2023
UKS, Keysers gate 1
MARTIN WHITE: BIG SCIENCE: VOLUME 1
Opening: Friday 24 March, 7–10pm
Exhibition: 25 March – 7 May 2023
From 1956 to 1977, freewheeling Norwegian psychiatrist Dr. Carl Wilhelm Sem-Jacobsen experimented on patients at Oslo’s Gaustad Hospital by implanting electrodes into their brains, without their consent. For the past six years, Martin White has combed through the archive of Dr. Sem-Jacobsen, carefully building a story that bears witness to the dense entanglement of Gaustad Psychiatric Hospital, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the US Military, Airforce and Navy, NASA and the Psycho Pirate, a comic book character.
At UKS, with the passionate precision of an archivo-philliac, White draws us into an intricate web of his research into Sem-Jacobsen with Big Science: Volume 1, which collects issues #01 – #04 of the serialised artist book Big Science. Prints from hand-drawn 1:1 recreations of archival material are accompanied by notes and annotations, stickers, trading cards and posters. Big Science: Volume 1 is a sprawling, underground, dispersed and illicit print project that reveals the chaotic, interdependent and haphazard structures of power, psychiatry, propaganda, influence and ideology.
Martin White (b. 1978, AU) lives and works in Oslo. He is a graduate from Oslo National Academy of the Arts, RMIT University in Melbourne, and Victorian College of the Arts at the University of Melbourne. Recent exhibitions include Is this OK? at Oslo Kunstforening (2019) and Dust Biter at Tokonoma at Melk, Oslo (2018). White’s work has been included in Høstutstillingen at Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2021) and Making Sense Together at Norsk Teknisk Museum, Oslo (2017). Prior to his life as a visual artist, White directed performance, film, and television. He also writes essays and reviews alongside researching and teaching.
*Martin White, “Big Science Issue #003”, 2023. Detail: scan of ink and pencil drawing from the archive of Dr. C.W. Sem-Jacobsen.