Constructing Structures. About age, and age in the art world, first and foremost from a female perspective

The fourth edition. (Covid-19 limited).

In the fourth edition we focused on AGE and age in the art world and the unfair treatment of male and female art workers taking place today. Artists and curators were invited to reflect on the matters of age, gender equality, and how to improve the situation. We also focused on the lack of buildings to house the history of female artists, and how it affects the female legacy, not being housed.

Who builds, who constructs and who owns?

Curated by founder Tanja Sæter.
International program was cancelled due to Covid-19.

Location: Hovedøya, in the Oslo fjord.
Dates: 15.09-18.10.2020

Covid-19 turned this into a different edition, with a shortened conference program and an extended exhibition period, welcoming thousands of visiting Oslo locals who traveled by ferry to the island.

A Glitch in The System

It is a fact that the art scene is one of the least equal places to work when a woman reaches the age of 35-45.
The work situation is often lightly to change in connection with childbirth. Growing older is a general threat to a woman’s future career and many drop out of the arts in silence and in shame for not managing to balance their artist career with having children or just the fact that they became older, childbirth or not. Does the belief in talent, the free market and in ”free art” make life an unfair survival of the fittest game for most women in the arts?

Program for Female Artists

Coast Contemporary launched the beginning of a new program, aiming to improve gender inequality in the arts and to make it easier to survive as a ”female artist”. Our program encourages artists to travel with children and we tailor the program to suit the participating artist with child. The development, implementation and adjustments will continue to 2024 and is supported by Norsk Kulturråd / The Arts Council. If you wish to contribute or share your experiences and thoughts please email office@coastcontemporary.no

Artists 2020: Jennie Bringaker, Tonje Bøe Birkeland, Esra Düzen, Una Mathiesen Gjerde, Olivia Hernaïz (BR), Ingunn Hvalø Hansen, Marin Håskjold, Anne Karin Jortveit, Åse Løvgren, Janine Magelssen, Zoë Miller (GE), Wencke Mühleisen, Karen Nikgol, Magnhild Øen Nordahl, Maria Pasenau, Nicole Rafiki, Inger Johanne Rasmussen, Peder Simonsen, Ane Barstad Solvang, Kari Steihaug, Anne-Lise Stenseth, Kristin Tårnesvik og Lene Baadsvig Ørmen.

Constructing Structures Program
Catalogue: Constructing Structures – 2020

Painting and photo by Maria Pasenau. 
Commissioned for the fourth edition in 2020.
Photo: Jan Khür

Maria Pasenau

Maria Pasenau (B. 1994 in Mjøndalen, lives and works in Odda and in Oslo). For Coast Contemporary´s fourth edition Pasenau presented a series of new commissions consisting of photography and paintings installed in Lavetthuset at Hovedøya. Pasenau also participated in an artist talk with photographer Nicole Rafiki.

In 2018 Pasenau published her first photo book Whit Kind Regrets Pasenau. In 2019 in connection with her exhibition at Fotogalleriet, she published her second photo book Pasenau and the Devil, and in 2020 her third book THE HOPLESNESS OF BEEING ALIVE.

She is one of the youngest artists to have had work acquired by the Norwegian National Museum for their permanent collection.

«Wedding» (2017)

Esra Düzen

Esra Düzen presented a comic story about transition and adaptation to motherhood and change in human life for Coasts fourth edition, and she gave a self presentation at Hovedøya.

In my practice I reinterpret societal norms, rituals, language, and my cultural heritage through modes of speculative storytelling, symbolism and myth making. These narratives take place in an alternative reality where my characters imitate our human experiences. Through this subversion of our reality I try to create a new perspective and language. I prefer to turn drama into a painful laughter by going to the bottom of it.

Jennie Bringaker mounting sculptures. Photo: Jan Khür

Jennie Bringaker

Bringaker presented the new sculptures series “Number 1-9”, commissioned for Coasts fourth edition, relating to Hovedøya island’s history, she also participated in an artist talk with gallerist Jenny Kinge and Kinges gallery FEMTENSESSE.

I work in the field of figurative sculpture employing a range of different media such as stone, earthenware, textiles, and metal. The works are motivated by personal experiences but are also inspired by ancient fertility cults and how these manifested themselves in sculpture, relief, and murals. The exhibition space plays an important part in the development of both the concepts and the design of my works, and I consider my sculptures performative actors in the space, frozen in time.

Performative reading by Ane Barstad Solvang, commissioned for Constructing Structures. Photo Jan Khür, Coast Contemporary

Ane Barstad Solvang

Ane Barstad Solvang was our resident artist in 2020, and she developed a series of new paintings and a performance for the fourth edition.

Ane Barstad Solvang works with painting, text, and comics. Her graphic novel Fear & Pity was published by No Comprendo Press in 2018. The work explores the use of dark comedy to release social tension resulting from keeping both a child and a grotesque birth a secret.

Economy of Borders

Zoë Miller

Miller co-founded the Berlin Art Prize in 2013 and the Society for Matriarchal World Domination in 2019 and contributed with posterst from the SWWD-series. Zoë could not join us in Oslo, as all travel was Covid-cancelled.

Much of her political work takes place within the framework of bbk berlin (the professional association for visual artists in Berlin), for which she is a spokesperson. bbk berlin focuses primarily on political issues pertaining to artists’ rights, working conditions and infrastructure on both local and national levels, but is also engaged in related issues and struggles, such as those of gender equality, antigentrification and antifascism.

AA11XXX (2020). Photo Jan Khür.

Lene Baadsvig Ørmen

Baadsvig Ørmen presented three new commissioned sound sculptures for the fourth edition of Coast Contemporary, in collaboration with Peder Simonsen, in the monastery ruins.

Peder Simonsen composed a site specific sound installation with basis in the harmonic content of the materials used in Ørmens sculptures.

Ørmen and Simonsen also contributed with two public listening walks with servings and “meet the artists” at Hovedøya. – From a distance, this was the first year of Covid, after all…

Wencke Mühleisen and curator Una Mathiesen Gjerde in conversation at Hovedøya. Photo: Jan Khür.

Wencke Mühleisen

Wencke Mühleisen is a Norwegian-Austrian writer, gender and media studies scholar, and former performance artist, who currently works as an independent scholar and writer. The primary focus of Wencke Mühleisens media studies research is the field of queer theory and perspectives on gender and sexuality.

Mühleisen participated in a conversation with Art Historian and the curator of the exhibition SYKLUS, Una Mathisen Gjerde, about their collaboration in SYKLUS, age and menopause, and Mühleisen’s latest book Redd deg selv, lille hjerte, published in the spring of 2020.

Character #IV 
Anna Aurora Astrup (1871–1968)
Among Virgin Mountains. Plate # 18 Across from Kangerdlugssuaq (2015). Photography: digital c-print, oak frame, 128x193 cm

Tonje Bøe Birkeland

Birkeland works with photography and installation. Through THE CHARACTERS, she has given women a position within the landscape while exploring the authenticity of history.

While the romantic motives of the male wanderer have been well-documented, in Birkeland’s project, female explorers are staged in Unknown Territory. In front of the heroine looms a grand exploration; beneath her, history is formed.

Tonje contributed with her book THE CARACHTERS and a self presentation at Hovedøya.

Olivia Hernaïz, Art & My Career, 2019.

Olivia Hernaïz

Hernaïz board game ART & MY CAREER (L’ART & MA CARRIÈRE) was presented during our fourth edition.

Addressing the issue of under-representation of women in the art world, the board game Art & My Career, based on hundred of testimonies, features different careers in the art world. From artist to museum curator, players are invited to put themselves in their shoes in order to better understand their struggle.

Olivia could not join us due to cancellation of all travels during Covid.

Reading the River, performance with Rural Reading Group

Kristin Tårnesvik

The artists Åse Løvgren and Kristin Tårnesvik participated with the sound walk Oceanus Tale, made in collaboration for Coasts fourth edition.

Throughout her artistic practice Tårnesvik has consistently sought out new media and techniques to provide resistance in the production process and lead to new movements in unexpected directions.

Nicole Rafiki in conversation with Maria Pasenau at Hovedøya.

Nicole Rafiki

Nicole Rafiki is a visual artist, writer, and editor. She contributed with a series of selected photography and in an artist talk with colleague Maria Pasenau.

Rafiki´s experiences with migration and exile are the inspiration and driving force behind her art. As an interdisciplinary artist, she uses symbolism to re-imagine and challenge stereotypical depictions of the spaces, contexts, and identities of people who are affected by Global Migration.

Mona Holm

Mona Holm

Mona Holm is a curator at NMF and museum director at the Women’s Museum in Kongsvinger. Holm is a co-founder of The International Association of Women’s Museums (IAWM), 2012, and has since served on IAWM’s board, and since 2016 as president.

Holm was the project manager for the exhibition HYSJ! Stories about abortion and sexuality

Holm contributed with a presentation of IAWM and the upcoming program at the Womans Museum, together with Thea Aarbakke.

Una Mathisen Gjerde. Photo by Jan Khür.

Una Mathiesen Gjerde

Una Mathiesen Gjerde is a producer, critic, and curator. Gjerde participated in a conversation with artist Wencke Mühleisen and presented the project SYKLUS during Coasts fourth edition.

SYKLUS is an on-going research project, focusing on female bodies and bodily fluids in art, especially menstruation, as a concrete artistic tool and a symbol of female abjection.

Through the inclusion of female artists from different generations and practices, SYKLUS aims to tell multiple stories of menstrual experience, of both being and not being menstrual, and how this relates to the experience of feeling – or not feeling – female. SYKLUS demonstrate the diversity within Scandinavian menstrual art.

Film still from "What is a Woman?" (2020).

Marin Håskjold

Håskjolds contributed with her latest film What is a woman? during Constructing Structures at Hovedøya. The film aims to explore existential questions regarding gender and identity. Marin was also a part of SYKLUS with an installation the film “Talkshow” – a film about menstruation (2020). SYKLUS was curated by Una Mathisen Gjerde.

What is a woman? is about a discussion that occurs in a woman’s locker room when someone asks a transgender woman to leave. Issues concerning gender and trans’ rights bring to light philosophical questions inscribed in societal structures dictating our everyday life and behavior regarding the perception of our bodies. The film asks: Who can define who is a woman and who is not? Is gender biologically or socially conditioned?

No title (under construction)

Anne Karin Jortveit

Jortveit participated with a hand spun and woven warp and a studio visit. Her studio is located in Lavetthuset, the building we were in.

A concept that has started to appear in public recently, and which has also become part of my own artistic vocabulary, is ecological grief. Grief can be associated with powerlessness and the absence of action, but for me this concept is first and foremost connected to something strong and productive.

When we face the loss of nature, we are not alone.

Fatal ecological changes affect everyone. In this sense, ecological grief is as collective as it is individual. This can inspire new dialogues and conversations.

1 dalen

Åse Løvgren

The artists Kristin Tårnesvik and Åse Løvgren participated in Coast Contemporary with the sound walk Oceanus Tale developed in collaboration and with an artist talk with curator Marte Danielsen Jølbo.

Åse Løvgren is an artist working with a wide range of strategies and formats, often with collaboration at the core. Her current project The Valley, in collaboration with artist Stine Gonsholt, uses a rural setting on the west coast of Norway as a prism for viewing transitions in global production and economy and how this alters our understanding of the meaning of place.

Recently a server farm was established inside an old textile factory, mining for Bitcoin.

Img 2560

Ingunn Hvalø Hansen

4.color relief 7

Janine Magelssen

Maria, oil on canvas (2020)

Karen Nikgol

Secret Support. Photo Jan Khür

Magnhild Øen Nordahl

"The Forest" and Inger Johanne Rasmussen in her studio at Hovedøya.

Inger Johanne Rasmussen

Peder Simonsen and Microtub. Photo by Ian Stenhouse.

Peder Simonsen

"After The Market" 2009.
Installation, unravelled knitted wool clothes / knitted image after the painting The Gleaners  (1857) Jean-Francois Millet. Photo: M.Tomaszewicz. Courtesy: The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Norway.

Kari Steihaug

Filmstill from Qvela Peri - Ara Peri Project from Notes On Political Economy

Anne-Lise Stenseth

Janne Wilberg at Hovedøya

Janne Wilberg