24 April – 1 June 2020
Nora Joung, Natalie Price Hafslund, Victoria Pihl Lind
While UKS was temporarily closed to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, we dug into the last few years of programming and found some video gems by local artists Nora Joung, Natalie Price Hafslund, and Victoria Pihl Lind—and made them available to stream until 1 June 2020.
All works were originally shown at or commissioned by UKS, presented in radically different architectural setups. Click the links below get more information on each work’s initial exhibition context.
A visual artist and critical writer, Nora Joung (b. 1989, Norway) reflects the prosaic and popular powers seeping through the seams of even our most intimate words and expressions. As part of her grand solo show DING DONG in 2018, Joung presented a triptych of three, narrative video works at UKS:
- Windows (2018) ponders architect and Viennese turn-of-the- century thinker Adolf Loos’ (1870–1933) amusing and dated bridging of clothing, applied design, and the private house to aspects of male and female bodily withdrawal and exposition.
- Stepping Out (2017) floats through moving images outdoors, mirroring a juvenile longing for other frameworks than the home, while using a bootleg soundtrack of a pop tune.
- Call (2018) returns to living spaces. Through a phone call complemented by images of a customized dollhouse, viewers follow the considerations around buying a middle-class house, including speculations on school districts and drinking water. Today the designed performativity of the living quarters is no longer a revelation but bleeds through every part of personal space. That the home is a significant stage is a premise in Joung’s world. Everyone entering is playing their part.
In her visual art practice, Natalie Price Hafslund (b. 1987, UK) pushes at the borders of normativity and psychosis, disturbing inherited ideas of sociological conditioning and disputing perpetual abuses of power. As part of her solo exhibition CLEAN CRIMINAL in 2018, Hafslund presented three succinct living images at UKS:
- In Assassin (2018), Hafslund highlights immoral systematic abuses of (male) power. Having created a DIY-bust of actor and director Woody Allen—notoriously accused of sexual misconduct within his own family—and having studied the classical trick of shooting down someone with a (playing) card, Hafslund tirelessly repeats this gesture using her iPhone.
- In Silver Woman (2018), Hafslund plays the role of the desired female object; and yet, silver-plated, she is shining back, returning the gaze of the viewer.
- With a soundtrack consisting of an incessant, rhythmic banjo line taken from the award-winning American wilderness thriller Deliverance (1970), Hafslund’s Hollywood Forever (2018) finds the protagonist in a netherworld under a famous Los Angeles graveyard. Hidden in a fresh burial pit dug between graves of the creators of the movie industry—the authors, producers, financiers—the hunky man/woman protagonist channels a (hidden) frenzied pleasure submerged under the regulated stream of entertainment.
In both her video works and her recent expansion into theater and performance, visual artist Victoria Pihl Lind (b. 1981, Norway) has circled notions that are at the core of our existence, such as birth, sleep, love, and death. In her 2019 UKS solo show To Be Born Is Like This, a middle-aged man floats under water and falling bodies spin in mid-air:
- At the center of Happy Shock (2019) is the notion of birth, both in the physical sense and as a metaphor for the becoming of art. The Video assembles a sequence of moving and still images: We see a middle-aged man floating under water and then hovering above its surface at Frognerbadet in Oslo. Scenes of teenage boys jumping from the diving boards—their masculine bodies falling, spinning mid-air—seem to give a jolt to a sequence of images taken from art history that slide and rotate into view. Not unlike a newborn finding its way through the birth canal, the main character falls through a spiralling tunnel of art historical references. Interspersed scenes of total blackness suggest a pause or a transition, forming a corridor that connects the moment before and the birth of the idea, of the artwork, of life. Here, the happy shock itself, is born.
Video stills from: Nora Joung, Stepping Out (2017); Natalie Price Hafslund, Silver Woman (2018); Victoria Pihl Lind, Happy Shock (2019)