TOBIAS BERNSTRUP, MARTIN JACOBSON AND LENA JOHANSSON [group-exhibition] at Vessfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Norway, 2017
IF YOU DON’T LIKE ART, GOODBYE, FUCK OFF, GO HOME …
Art from Nordic Contemporary Art Collection – NoCo, curated by Göran Christenson
Is it actually possible to observe and take the pulse of contemporary art almost at the moment it comes into being? Many would regard it as an impossible task, as contemporary art is as fluid as the moment in which it has been produced. Of all the art collections we have presented at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, NoCo (Nordic Contemporary Art Collection) is the first that attempts to do just that, being a curated selection of works that have been produced and collected in our own time. The collection can be regarded as a ‘time capsule’ – a specific cross-section of contemporary art as it was at that given moment.
NoCo is a private collection assembled from 2013 to 2015 by art historian Göran Christenson. He has considerable expertise in the collecting of art, having served for 25 years as Director of the prestigious Malmö Art Museum. In 2013, Christenson was engaged by a group of private art collectors and tasked with developing a significant new collection. Today it consists of 80 works by 38 artists and the exhibition at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium will be the first time the whole collection is shown together. The ‘Nordic’ limitation to the collection might be regarded as being purely for practical purposes, for the Scandinavian names who are represented here are all respected actors on the international art scene.
The collection embraces a wide spectrum of works in a dazzling variety of media and expressions. Despite the breadth in visual vocabulary the artists all demonstrate in their expressions a marked awareness of the traditions to which they belong, and of the expectations that always greet visual art. One such expectation is that contemporary art should be able to say something about contemporary life. Another is that it should relate to issues that are prevalent in contemporary society. Indeed, it is with a sense of heightened expectation that we present a collection which, having been assembled in a short space of time, can perhaps be taken as a statement about contemporary life. The question also has to be raised: Are collectors’ close proximity to their own time really any sort of guarantee of knowledge about that time? Or is this a strategy that is bound to confirm that anyone collecting contemporary art should let expectations lie, and instead try once more to let that old notion of ‘art for art’s sake’ thrive?
Christian Andersson (1973/SE), Hans Andersson (1979/SE), Leontine Arvidsson (1974/SE), Tobias Bernstrup (1970/SE), Martin Berring (1983/SE), Alfred Boman (1981/SE), Aida Chehrehgosha (1980/IR), Dit-Cilinn (1983/SE), Gardar Eide Einarsson (1976/NO), Olafur Eliasson (1967/IS), Elmgreen & Dragset – Michael Elmgreen (1961/DK) and Ingar Dragset (1969/NO), Johan Furåker (1978/SE), Tiril Hasselknippe (1983/NO), Yngve Holen (1982/NO), Sofia Hultén (1972/SE), IC-98 – Patrik Söderlund (1974/FI) and Visa Suonpää (1968/FI) , Olof Inger (1979/SE), Martin Jacobson (1978/SE), Lena Johansson (1975/SE), Jesper Just (1974/DEN), Steinar Haga Kristensen (1981/NO), Runo Lagomarsino (1977/SE), Lars Laumann (1975/NO), Tilda Lovell (1972/SE), Bjarne Melgaard (1967/NO), Truls Melin (1958/SE), Sirous Namazi (1970/SE), Henrik Olai Kaarstein (1989/NO), Pauliina Pietilä (1982/FI), Andreas Poppelier (1973/SE), Emanuel Röhss (1985/SE), Jakob Simonson (1974/SE), Morten Skrøder Lund (1980/DEN), Danilo Stankovic (1981/SE), Superflex – Jakob Fenger (1968/DK), Rasmus Nielsen (1969/DK) and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen (1969/DK), Jim Thorell (1981/SE), Fredrik Værslev (1979/NO), Sandra Vaka Olsen (1980/NO)