Sjå magazine by Mørkerommet photo collecitve

Bergen

Sjå magazine is a photo and art magazine, rooted in analog photography, and explores a given theme with the help of photography and text, published twice a year by Mørkerommet photo collective. Mørkerommet photo collective is a student organization in Bergen that practices analog photography and development in darkrooms, in addition to holding exhibitions, publishing pictures in various magazines and documenting images at events.

Social distancing in the city of Bergen had loosened up, small scale meetup and events are allowed to be held. Drastic Social visited Sjå magazine’s launch this month in Bergen where their Issue #3: Senses is published.

It was being held at a small exhibition space in the city centre, VISP, the physical location of this networking organisation for the Visual Arts in Norway. The space is snugged and cosy, visitors came into an indoor grass field and sat down on the floor. Some people took their shoes off, relaxing, looking at some of the photography works on the wall while they converse with one another. Some flip through their newly published magazine while Inish’s sound work was playing in the background with some elements of techno, occasionally vibrant and at times tranquil.

One of the works in the magazine left us with a slight sore in the chest – “Smaken av metall” (The taste of metal) is a poem by Imad Alwahibi, a Palestinian artist who grew up in Syria, and it is written in Norwegian. The artist expressed the feeling of relocating from one place to another, landlord to landlord, key to key, trying to settle in a place where they find it struggling to get a sense of belonging.

A description of the magazine on the publication’s event page describes more of what’s featured in the magazine below,

“In this edition, we have explored the theme of SENSES through analog photography, art, poetry, text and sound. We will get to sense the taste of painful keys together with Imad Alwahibi in the poem The taste of metal. We will get to smell excerpts from Giulia Avella’s collection of prose poems, Cycles, in which she lets us smell her everyday life like it once was. We will get to feel love and closeness in the photo series Do you remember? by Leah Håland Solomons, in which various people lead us into their most intimate memories. We will get to feel the brutal hands that were once gentle and experience how once-loving guests can become violent in the photo series Gentle touch by Cosmo Großbach. We will get to look at the sensory dominance of sight in Erick Trondsson Kjellevold’s text on the favouritism of the eye in architecture through the ages. We will get to listen, a pulsating soundscape by Inish that can change our cognitive experience, through the forest, knife drawer and binaural beats. And finally, we will get to browse through the analog photo album Månebedotten together.”

Joar Nango The Festival Exhibition

Bergen

Quote from Bergen Kunsthall – “The Festival Exhibition 2020 at Bergen Kunsthall presents Norwegian-Sámi artist Joar Nango. Initially trained as an architect, Nango constructs his exhibitions as labora tories, investigating traditions and experiences from his cultural background in Northern Norway, characterized by flexibility, pragmatism and adaptation to nature.”

“The exhibition will be less a finished product than an arena for a social process of creating places and situations with possibilities for improvisation and collective action. Nango’s work addresses indigenous identity and decolonialization, looking at these topics not in isolation, but as an expression of the ongoing dynamics between the so-called cultural centre and its peripheries.

The exhibition is based on a theoretical frame-work that Nango has set up together with collaborators from different artistic or academic backgrounds, including art historian Mathias Danbolt, writer Candice Hopkins and anthropologist Dimitris Dalakoglou. Following Nango’s ongoing investigations of the history of Sámi architecture, his library of books on the topic will be utilized in the exhibition, as well as a series of re-appropriated historical images from the 1700s. This series of hand-coloured drawings was made in the mid-1700s and is among the first known representations of Sámi architecture. In Nango’s exhibition, the images act as historical counterpoint, and a comment on the appropriation, circulation and representative power of images from indigenous cultures.

For a large-scale projection screen, Nango makes use of dried halibut stomachs that are sewn together. The technique, called skievvar in the coastal Sami tradition, is a way of making transparent windows in outhouses and simple buildings. Several of Joar Nango’s previous projects are brought to Bergen, and re configured for the exhibition, such as the girjegumpi, a small building made as a nomadic library inspired by the Sami gumpi, a herder’s hut mounted on sleigh runners. Nango’s van, a Mercedes Sprinter which was used in the project European Everything at Documenta 14 in 2017, will also be a central element in the Festival Exhibition. The physical infrastructure, and the travel itinerary between Bergen and Tromsø, form a geographical line between two site- specific landing points in the project. For European Everything he drove the same van from Tromsø to Athens – through the length of Europe – in an excursion in which themes of migration, relocation and the nomadic became a concrete experience. In May this year, the Sprinter doubled as a mobile TV studio during the production of Post-Capitalist Architecture TV.”

Images by Bertha Chan

Me, Myself and I (2019) by Anny Wass

Vienna

Austrian artist Anny Wass uses sequence photography to re-enact the movements of labourers observed during her residency at the Jigongshan Museum in Henan province, central China.

“Drill Suits”, 2019

The Series – Me, Myself and I

Dormant and subservient, the visual language of the series reflects the evolution of the work itself.
The robotic, repetitive acts in Wass’s photographs mimic an orchestrated and purportedly harmonious culture under China’s communist rule, the enclosed museum space evoking a state censorship apparatus that shields citizens from outside voices.

Viennese Artist Anny Wass's fine art photography series " Me, myself and I" - "Escape Attempt", 2019
“Escape Attempt”, 2019
“Lotus”, 2019

Extra: Backstory

Wass had planned to adapt her 2016 interactive performance piece Piñata, in recognition of the Mexican cultural icon’s Chinese origins, but was refused permission to encourage participants to beat and smash the papier-mâché / paper decoration – which the museum feared the authorities would consider subversive. Paper crafts are also treated with respect in China, being associated with offerings for the dead.

Writer / Bertha Chan
Editor / Tom Bell