Oslo National Academy of the Arts

The Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo) educates the artists of the future. This makes the selection of contemporary artworks for the academy’s premises particularly challenging, as works need to remain inspiring and relevant for each new intake of students.


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  • This Is It, Gardar Eide Einarsson. Photographer: Hilde Honerud
  • Double Dynamic, Camilla Løw.
  • This is it, Gardar Eide Einarsson.
  • Double Dynamic, Camilla Løw.
  • This is it, Gardar Eide Einarsson.
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About the project

About the project

In 2003 the academy’s theatre design department moved into Seilduksfabrikken, a former sail factory in the Grünerløkka district of Oslo. To mark the event, a photographic work that documented a performance by Vanessa Beecroft in Genoa was purchased. The academy has also purchased several artworks created by its staff and students. These include a major work by Marianne Tjønn.

To mark the relocation of the departments of visual art and design in 2010 to the Seilduksgata campus, the academy’s art committee commissioned artists Camilla Løw and Gardar Eide Einarsson to create landmark works for the site. Einarsson’s work This Is It spells out this message in large black capital letters, outlined in neon, on one of the academy’s roofs. The work is based on a scenic decoration intended for a Michael Jackson tour that was cancelled due to the singer’s death. The words This Is It provoke curiosity when placed in an everyday urban setting triggers another question: Is that all there is? The work’s location at the art academy also acknowledges how being a student in this kind of educational environment can make one feel: Now this is for real. The visual language of the sign is reminiscent of vintage advertising signs, but in this context it will become the object of a wide range of interpretations and re-interpretations far into the future.

A frequent starting point for Einarsson’s work is the idea that authority and rebellion are two sides of the same coin, and he attempts, in an unsentimental manner, to address the different power structures that exist in society today. Einarsson recycles visual materials, creating works that relate to the visual languages of both Pop Art and Minimalism.

Camilla Løw’s work Dynamic Duo was created for a large terrace area next to steps leading up from the Akerselva River to the academy’s main entrance. The steps are a popular place for students and staff to hang out when taking a break from work. The work consists of two related sculptures assembled from brightly coloured pieces of enamelled steel. Løw wanted the onlookers to be able to view the sculptures from many different angles. Each of the two sculptures, which are positioned facing each other, is formed of four triangular shapes that together are reminiscent of a notched arrowhead. One arrowhead points upwards, while the other points downwards. Viewed from the side, the two sculptures merge together to create a single, geometric form. When creating the work, Løw was particularly aware of the scale of the sculptures in relation to the surrounding architecture, and of the sculptures’ precise orientation. The interaction of the different shapes and colours alters as one moves around the work.

Løw has amassed a considerable reputation both nationally and internationally for her original and expressive sculptures. She often uses industrial materials ordinarily used in building construction – wood, metal, cement and plastic – that she modifies to reflect a personal point of view.

Gardar Eide Einarsson (born 1976) studied at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design (KHiB), the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Frankfurt and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Einarsson has distinguished himself by developing an extensive international career. This is it is his first work for KORO.

Camilla Løw (born 1976) studied at Glasgow School of Art (MFA) and has exhibited regularly in Norway and abroad since 2004. She was awarded the Statoil Prize in 2007 and has contributed to the renewed interest in sculpture both in Norway and internationally.

Facts

Facts

Address

Fossveien 24

Date completed

08.10.2012

Project manager

Elisabeth Tetens Jahn

Art consultant/Art Committee

Elisabeth Byre
Harald Fenn

Art Committee

Anders Wibstad Smebye

Building owner/developer

Statsbygg

Duration

Permanent

Accessibility

Accessible for the audience

Program

Art scheme for rented properties and older buildings owned by the government (LES)

Kunstverk

Kunstverk

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