Posted by Power.
There were opening speeches. The curators were told that the exhibition were to be opened by a conservative politician (Per Kristian Foss) and an artist, an elderly painter, that were not participating in the show. Why these were chosen, and by whom, I never knew – I still don’t know anything about it, but that the politician was already invited, that much I got. At that point I had never heard his name, being Swedish and all, so I didn’t think so much about it, neither did I have any influence at that point as he was already invited, so I instead insisted on the things I could possibly have an influence on: for instance having an artist that actually had some relation to the exhibition to speak. In this the curators were heard thankfully, and Victor Lind who is participating in Erlend’s exhibition held a very nice speech relating to a political situation today which is unfortunately exceedingly looking like the one in the 20s and 30s, something Lind is engaged in within his artwork for the biennial too. Then Foss came on, who is of course one of the responsible politicians for the unfortunate political situation for the minority groups that Lind was speaking about in Norway at the moment, to speak about his political standpoints about contemporary art. He was supporting less state support, and in those cases that state support were to be given, the politicians should be comfortable taking a position in “arms length”, i.e. not engaging themselves in artistic choices. For a great deal of the audience who has taken part in the recent (Norwegian) heated discussion about the so called “Christian Frederik Monument” in Oslo where three renowned art professionals resigned from their advisory role in protest for exactly the reason of political involvement (by Mr. Foss and another politician) where the politicians with contorted manners insisted on a figurative statue, claiming to have the majority of the voters to back them in doing so. It seemed almost like slap-stick. Was this guy for real? Really?
A comment on this by an acclaimed Norwegian curator on their Facebook-wall stated “The Conservative Partyʼs cultural politics is given free passage at the Momentum opening. An unfortunate and embarrassing choice.”.
The only comfort is that Victor Lind was heard too. Otherwise it was a bit uncomfortable.