Collective Oslo highlights the new wave of Norwegian creativity
Established in 2015, founders Rita Larsen and Hilde Reljin have used their artistic platform Collective Oslo to present what they describe as ”the most vibrant frequencies in artistic expressions”.
24 Sep 2022

Collective Oslo has exhibited emerging as well as established names like Sølve Sundsbø, Petra Collins, Campbell Addy, and Michal Pudelka.

— We promote our collaborating artists through initiating, curating, and producing interdisciplinary projects, exhibitions, events, talks and collaborations, Larsen and Reljin explain, continuing,

— We are always searching for the most vibrant frequency in art and culture, breaking the unwritten rules of how to do things and very often our projects take shape as experiences more than exhibitions. We have been very eager also to use new technology and are currently working with Snøhetta on a machine learning project where one of the out-takes is our new website to launch early next year. Even now after seven years, we are still a challenger in the art and culture field in Norway — we always push ourselves and the people and artists we work with, to take that extra step and create things together as a collective.

This weekend, you present the new exhibition Peeled in the historic, beautiful Akershus Fortress in Oslo. What do you show?

— Curated by us and Anders Graham, it opens brutal, honest spaces and is intuitively directed by the artists Mette Mygland, Malin Bülow, and Inti Wang. Together, we create a landscape where pain, intoxication, humour, and aesthetics are united, to explore a hidden and very emotional inner landscape with a focus on gender identity in a fluid, non-constant way.

The artists, Mette Mygland, Malin Bülow, and Inti Wang, what do you show?

Inti Wang: I’ve created what I called Hanging GMG (Genetically Modified Garments), exploring fluid identity in today’s open field of creation imaginary through unique garments made to feel and recreate form to what feels contented to the human body. GMG have the quality to be remade, transform, and enhanced to fit our own pleasure.

Mette Mygland: I started working as an artist rather late in life in my mid-forties. After suffering from depression for many years I felt a change in my life and the depression loose hold when I started working as an artist. I paint and make sculptures with birth and self-portraits as the core of my work. With PEELED, it has artists from different art fields and expressions. We all worked with ’PEELED’ as the reference — the result is an exhibition with clear links from artist to artist and we tell a magical story about the body. My work is called Birth, A Womans Portrait.

Malin Bülow: I work with visual performance art, site-specifically, and in cooperation with contemporary dancers, creating elastic sculptures, often monumental in size and in a constant state of flux. For this exhibition, I have created two live sculptures and one static. It’s a composition where I want to highlight the duality between inside and outside, in tight relation to this magic space. In cooperation with two contemporary dancers tucked inside an elastic, transparent membrane, I seek to create a hypnotic, meditative feeling in the viewer.

Inti Wang.
Mette Mygland.
Malin Bülow.

The exhibition’s soundscape is made by Lene and Gabriel McNair.

— This exhibit, Gabriel McNair explains, is happening in a chamber where I believe ammunition was manufactured and stored, so I wanted to mix metallic sounds with ambient sounds to produce a nice soundscape for the room and the visual art.

— I used my breath to create the soundscape for the exhibit, giving it life, says Lene McNair. I took control over my breath by having the mind and breath work together, giving the mind direction for the breath to act out. It lets us feel the breath, and become aware of it, all the nuances, textures, patterns, and similarities. I wanted to trigger emotions — make you aware of the breath. If we can create it, we can also remove it — this is where art can heal. 

This weekend, Collective Oslo also presents Unwrapped — an exhibition curated by Malin Molden, to draw attention and showcase the new breed of young artists in Oslo.

— Malin went straight to social media and looked through the people she followed on Instagram and started conceptualizing and reaching out, says Rita Larsen and Hilde Reljin. Many of the artists exhibiting for the first time at this event and among them, we have 3D visualization, macrame, knitting, tufting, illustrations, painting, a fashion designer, and a drag queen performer and stylist.

The selected artists — Coline Cherry, Daniel Steien, Gjermund Eskedal, Henrik Bach Mortensen, Kristofer Mattson, Leon Lindgren, and Johanna Warberg (Sosialantenne) — about their work:

Gjermund Eskedal: I work as a 3D artist in Oslo. The piece chosen for the exhibition is a collection of scenes exploring and experimenting with procedurally generated architecture in motion. Most of them are generated based on real-world buildings from all over the world, deconstructed and recombined to generate new modular structures. The structures are animated to various inputs, such as audio and other generated textures.

Gjermund Eskedal.

Coline Cherry: This exhibition is a two-parter; Racks is meant to depict the never-ending stream of clothing ready to be shipped, sold, picked up at the store and consumed — always adding new products and fresh profit through recycled trends. The glass tapestry is a timeline of creative effort and fatigue. It’s about how designers need to constantly play catch-up to the future to cater to this ever-moving cyclic structure. I try to convey the mental state and attitude that you must take on — how the entire process leads to a sort of fragmentation of our world experience, as you’re never allowed the time to really absorb the moment.

Daniel Steien: For the last 8 years, I’ve been working as a hairstylist. This summer, I graduated KHIO with a BA in Fashion Design. My outfits here are part of an alternate universe existing in the music of Vaarin’s (Norwegian singer-songwriter, Ed’s note) next album. I’ve been exploring a quieter world with a closer relationship with nature, a throwback way of making clothes with humans connecting to plants becoming part of the organism. Also, clothes that are a living creature, inspired by magical mushrooms of the forest, animals and reflections of the sea and colours of poison and bacteria.

Johanna Warberg (Sosialantenne): I create posters and prints in all different sizes and motives, which I sell in my online shop and I also make rugs and handmade fluffy mirrors, using the technique of tufting. I’ve been tufting for 1,5 years, and I love it. It is very rewarding to create three-dimensional pieces of art, which people can have in their homes. For the exhibition, I showcased six tufted art pieces and three art prints. Two of the tufted pieces were a bit abstract, while the others were more playful and based on summer.

Leon Lindgren: While studying fashion and costume design, I found a deep interest in embroidery and textile image-making. For this exhibition, I’m showing my graduate collection from Oslo National Academy of the Arts, called ’Thank You so Much’, telling the story of a diva on tour. 

Henrik Bach Mortensen: Here, I wanted to showcase that hair can be pieces of art, and not just Hollywood curls, and ponytails. The highlight is my little fire bob, but the updo with horns also has a special place in my art. 

Kristofer Mattson: This exhibition felt very collaborative and fun as we all cheered for each other. It was an exhibition where we’re we can show our work together and that gives it more power in a way. The things I present are mostly portraits, drawings made of oil, and dry pastels. The highlight of my work must be the portrait of my grandmother.