Cold Current. Norwegian Contemporary Art

The Cold Current Norwegian Contemporary Art exhibition is the result of the collaboration between two culturally active European cities: the city of Reggio Emilia, and the city of Bergen and its Academy of Fine Arts. The cultural exchange involves the presentation of artworks by a group of 13 professional artists from Norway and based in Bergen, inside the exhibition spaces of four art institutions in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Curators of the exhibition project are Helene Førde and Manuel Portioli.
As Førde pointed out in her vigorous introduction to the exhibition, the initiative’s aim is to shed light on Norway‘s artistic energy surplus – a result of the Scandinavian nation’s policy about art. Norway’s government has in fact been investing in art and culture for a very long time now, thus creating a nourishing climate for arts and artists, who in turn get to live in a less competitive and more collaborative environment. Since school, young artists are incited to be independent, and not to bend to market-related pressures on their artistic production.


Hans Kristian Borchgrevink Hansen

Hans Kristian Borchgrevink Hansen, Wonders in the Livingroom (video)


Each one of the artists presented in Cold Current usually engages with several different media, and isn’t therefore bound to a specific mean or process.
The exhibiting artists traveled to Italy, where many of them realized site-specific artworks by relating themselves to the hosting venues’ spaces.
For instance, Lewis & Taggart (“Assisted Collection”) asked 8 citizens of Reggio Emilia to choose a chair from their own house and lend it to the artists for the duration of the show. In sets of two, the chairs are located in all 4 exhibiting spaces: Spazio Gerra, Officina delle Arti, Chiesa di San Carlo, and Mauriziano.


Lewis & Taggart

Lewis & Taggart, Assisted Collection, Italian chairs, 2014


Spazio Gerra hosts performance and video artworks by Hilde Skveik and Hans Kristian Borchgrevink Hansen, installations by Jonas Jensen, Lewis & Taggart and Linda Soh Trengereid, and paintings by Vegard Vindenes.
In her “Interrupted Migration” video piece, Hilde Skveik juxtaposes scenes of objects – found or created by the artist – undergoing different processes with other, mysterious takes of migrating groups of animals, seen from far above.
Vegard Vindenes’ paintings portray geometric objects, whose models were previously built by the artist, thus creating handcrafted though abstract composited scenarios.


Hilde Skveik

Hilde Skveik, Interrupted Migration (video)

Vegard Vindenes

Vegard Vindenes, Front (painting)


Officina delle Arti‘s spaces host the artworks of Hans Kristian Borchgrevink Hansen, Lewis & Taggart, Bjørn Mortensen, Hilde Kjønniksen, and Håkon Holm-Olsen.
Among the artworks, Håkon Holm-Olsen’s piece is a composite of many different images, the artist’s response to Norwegian science-fiction pioneers Jon Bing and Tor Åge Bringsværd, who in 1976 called out for readers’ versions of their “Stasjon Nexus” – a space station but also an interdimensional portal.


Håkon Holm-Olsen

Håkon Holm-Olsen, Stasjon Nexus (installation/collage)


The artworks showcased at San Carlo’s Church are by Lewis & Taggart and Anne Marthe Dyvi.
Anne Marthe Dyvi’s installation “Markør/Marker” is a reflective flag, a way to underline the importance of movement and reflection; while her other installation, Moment of Instability. Homage to Agatha” is the result of a site-specific dialog with Saint Agata as a way to reflect religion’s influence on history and our present.


Anne Marthe Dyvi

Anne Marthe Dyvi, Markør/Marker (installation, reflective flag)

Linda Soh Trengereid

Linda Soh Trengereid (painting)


Lastly, the artworks presented at Mauriziano are by Anne Marthe Dyvi, Lewis & Taggart, Linda Soh Trengereid, Cecilia Jonsson, Mathijs van Geest, and Signe Lidén.
“The Iron Ring” by Cecilia Jonsson investigates environmental issues and shows how a 2-kilogram iron ring can be extracted from a 24-kilogram bundle of grass from heavy-metal contaminated fields.
Signe Lidén’s sound installation “past tracks” contains the memory of the Benevento-Avellino railway. The rail line’s path used to travel through hills, vineyards and old mining cities before it was closed in 2012, as part of a bigger scenario of public transportation dismantling in that area – then opposed in vain by transportation workers and the local population.


Cecilia Jonsson

Cecilia Jonsson, The Iron Ring Project (installation)


Cold Current might be the first of a series of projects, and the organizers hope that this experience will spring into a new joint cultural collaboration between the two cities of Bergen and Reggio Emilia.
As curator Manuel Portioli points out, a fruitful exchange might come out from the encounter of two very different, and historically separated cultures – where the long history of Italian art meets the “absolute youth” of Norway’s artistic scene.

Cold Current Norwegian Contemporary Art, Spazio Gerra | Officina delle Arti | Chiesa di San Carlo | Mauriziano, Reggio Emilia, through March 9, 2014


Signe Lidén

Signe Lidén, past tracks (sound installation)

Mathijs van Geest

Mathijs van Geest, Her tears and the tides, (site-specific installation)

Discussion Un commento

  1. October 25, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    […] “Stasjon Nexus”, Detalj / Detail Info om Cold Current her: […]

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by Matilde Soligno
in Focus on Europe

Wed Development by Digital Art Factory