“Young Pioneers”

Kunsthall Oslo
Trelastgata 3
May 9, 2015–June 19, 2015

Kjell Varvin, Unstable Variable 29th April 2015, 2015, welded iron, dimensions variable.

A group exhibition curated by Elisabeth Byre, “Young Pioneers” exhibits a diverse array of new art from Oslo-based artists who reinforce the notion that the progressive city demands more attention in the face of being usurped in international standing by others cities that are equally forward-thinking and conscientious. In conjunction with Oslo’s multiple current initiatives revolving around brand-management strategies, the Kunsthall and other organizations have been invited to collectively respond by showcasing the city’s emerging and fresh talent of tomorrow.

The works presented in the exhibition examine this theme utilizing a range of mediums including architecture, sculpture, video, archival photographs, and even documentation of the Norwegian Communist Youth, locally known as the Unge Pionerer. Many works harbor a raw energy and edgy determination to dominate or push themselves into one’s view, such as in Kjell Varvin's royal-blue sculpture Unstable Variable 29th April 2015, 2015, which consists of an angular standing design enforcing its own logic. The structure is seemingly imbalanced yet manages to gracefully hold attention with its domineering stance. Another enticing work on display is Benjamin Alexander Huseby’s black-and-white C-print diptych The Stuntwoman I & II, 2014, which depicts the Dutch stuntwoman Vanessa Wieduwilt in the midst of either jumping from a high-rise or dangerously hanging from one. This visual dichotomy draws attention to an existing tension present in Oslo’s youth, a reminder that one can either choose to move forward into the future or sheepishly resign oneself to a well-trodden path.

— Jacquelyn Davis