Each of the four artists nominated for the third edition of the Lorck Schive Kunstpris, Norway’s biggest art prize, produced installations for an exhibition that evinced their distinct stylistic sensibilities, coalescing into portrayals of personal and collective histories while imparting a sense of romanticism derailed. Mattias Härenstam’s Begrensning (Limitation; all works 2017) consisted of a birch tree being dragged around the perimeter of a strikingly antiseptic, even anesthetic modernist space, a trail of leaves tracing the path of its nearly imperceptible progress and inexorable deterioration. Noosed carelessly by a thin blue rope attached to a mechanized pulley like those that convey slaughterhouse carcasses, the bedraggled birch evoked the human condition. An unhealthy tree is a portentous sign, not least because in Norse lore the first two humans were fashioned from tree
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