Lately artist run exhibition platforms have gained new momentum on the Scandinavian art scene.
The spaces come in different sizes, have different lifespans and at times very different ideological pursuits. Common for them all, though, is that they depend on the goodwill of artists ready to invest their time in creating alternatives to the commercial galleries and government institutions.
Artist run spaces can be difficult to spot when browsing mainstream media so in every issue of Opaque we’ll give a short presentation of a space that we think you should pay a visit to.
– This week we’ve been in touch with Oslo based NoPlace.
NoPlace is run on a conservative, socialist and anarchistic mandate. Conservative graphic aesthetics, socialist in that everyone is included and heard and anarchistic to the extent that everything is permitted within the limits created.
The framework is a room and that’s it.
One can say that the site’s function is to be a place of neutrality. By this we mean not an artistic or political neutrality, because the artists we exhibit have strong positions, but because by putting totally different projects up against each other (though never in conflict) we are able to create a chronology in which variations constitute a harmony.
We try to gather the field, but not mask the fact that there are differences and that these differences always will on some level be present.
There is no agenda, which is underlined in the title of the space. We are not a place. We are a platform where people with the need to say anything or do anything living up to a quality criterion that we can live with, can unfold. It’s that simple. What we do is to offer everything we have the capacity to deliver and put whatever comes out of the collaborations into a netral but still subjective framework.
Why did you open NoPlace?
NP: “The question is not why we opened NoPlace. The question is why should we not have opened NoPlace. Why should we not take control of our own situation in our own scene?
Why should we not create a place to meet and become older together and show each other what we’re able to do without the censorship that the art world (controlled with an iron glove by gallerists and curators), represents?
Why should we not create a website summarising in great extent whatever happened in this epoch in our own city in our own country?
Why should we not create a container?
Why should we not define ourselves?
There are many reasons for not doing it, and sometimes we wish we didn’t, but in the end we said fuck it and did it. Because the Latin meaning of the word art is: to do or be able to do. So we decided to… do it. And now we’ve done it for a while and we still haven’t asked ourselves why. We have only asked ourselves why not. And still we haven’t found a reason not to do it.
So we continue doing it. Until we don’t.”
Please elaborate on the curatorial considerations / concept of NoPlace.
NP: “NoPlace has no concept except the specific tastes of the different members at the different times which varies a lot, but as the place continues it is becoming more and more predictable we guess, we just don’t notice because we’re not that self-conscious. The reason for this is probably that we’re getting older and less curious and less egocentric. We need each other more now.”
What are your thoughts on the recent development on the artist run scene in Oslo?
NP: “More or less great people do more or less great things and these people mostly don’t give a toss about what other people think. If they do they are not artists. They are ethical and aesthetic slaves.”
What are the future aspirations of NoPlace?
NP: “We have no future. Like you have no future. Because life is a circle.”