UKS in 2023
Martin White / Jules Fischer / Kvae & Bark / Damir Avdagic
UKS focuses its annual exhibition program on a series of solo exhibitions, each of which molds the institution to the particular artistic process. In 2023 Martin White, Jules Fischer, Kvae & Bark, and Damir Avdagic will exhibit new productions at UKS.
Since 2016, Martin White has researched the archives of the experimental psychosurgery conducted by Norwegian psychiatrist Carl Wilhelm Sem-Jacobsen (1912–1991), meticulously stitching together cultural and historical artefacts, testimonies, scientific papers, and government documents into the serialized artist’s book Big Science. At UKS his research will come to life through the release of a new chapter of the book and an immersive installation that probes the politics of exploration, exploitation, and consent as it plays out in and through the human body.
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.
In their first large-scale performance in Norway, Jules Fischer translates the baroque love for drama and movement into a reflection on transition. An ambivalent emotional landscape of death and rebirth comes to life as local performers play out a collage of pop music, dance, and digital composition set in a dark and dreamy queer-trash universe.
Jules Fischer (b. 1988, DK) lives and works in Copenhagen. Fischer is a graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts with studies at the Danish School of Performing Arts, and Art and Social Practice at Portland State University, Oregon. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include VANITAS at Den Frie, Copenhagen (2022); the exhibition and performance The most beautiful part of your body is where it’s headed at Bikubenfonden, København (2021) and Willumsens Museum, Frederikssund (2022). They choreographed Dryppende stof at the Glyptotek Copenhagen (2021).
Kvae & Bark smoke, salt, ferment, rot, and dry their materials to engage nature and nourishment in a discussion about the relationship between food and art. The duo’s site-responsive and seasonal practice will invite audiences at UKS to smell and savor their surroundings as narratives of ecology and embodiment unfold through cooking.
Kvae & Bark is an artist duo consisting of Karoline Sætre (b. 1992, NO) and Øyvind Novak Jenssen (b. 1988, NO). Sætre is a graduate of Trondheim Art Academy and Malmö Art Academy while Novak Jenssen is a graduate of Trondheim Art Academy and Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Their recent projects and performances include Taxi Take Away avd. Oslo at Høstutstillingen at Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2021); Ormer tære all min saft at Destiny’s, Oslo (2021); and Strukturer for ytelser og gjenytelser at Terminal B, Kirkenes (2021).
The act of bearing witness is central to the work of Damir Avdagic, whose performative film works are testaments to the microhistories of migration, familial relationships, and diasporic experience set against the historical backdrop of conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Avdagic’s presentation at UKS will re-enact refugee histories and locate their resonance in the present through a large-scale performance and video installation.
Damir Avdagic (b. 1987, BA) lives and works in Oslo. Avdagic is a graduate from University of California (UCLA), Los Angeles and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Recent solo exhibitions and screenings include Repriza/Uzvracanje (Reprise/Response) at 18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica, California (2020) and To prosjekter i samtale at Oppland Kunstsenter, Lillehammer (2020). His work has been shown at KRAK – Center for Contemporary Culture, Bihac (2021); Kunsthall Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2019); and Kristiansand Kunsthall, Kristiansand (2018).
Main image: Jules Fischer, Untitled (stilleben), 2021. Photo by Loui Ladegaard.