9 December

Art to walk on, deceptive colours, and a ravaged bale of hay. Artist and contributor to Kunstkritikk Victoria Durnak lists this year’s artistic treats.

Kim Hiorthøy, Hullet i veggen, 2022. Installation view from Kunstnernes Hus. Photo: Ulli Holz.

Kim Hiorthøy, Hole in the Wall, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo

When I was in upper secondary school, I bought Kim Hiorthøy’s literary debut Du kan ikke svikte din beste venn og bli god til å synge samtidig (You can’t let down your best friend and become good at singing at the same time, 2002) on sale at my local bookstore in Lillestrøm. Ever since, I have felt an attraction towards and connection with Hiorthøy’s work. Even so, Hole in the Wall is the first of Hiorthøy’s exhibitions that I have seen in real life. In Hiorthøy’s works for the stage that I have seen, the choreography has mainly included the performers, and I liked how his exhibition at Kunstnernes Hus allowed the viewers to participate, letting us step into, onto, and through the art.

Niki de Saint Phalle, Oiseau Amoureux Fontaine, 1990. Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter.

Niki de Saint Phalle, retrospective, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo

Ever since I studied in Stockholm and passed by her colourful sculptures on Skeppsholmen on an almost weekly basis, Niki de Saint Phalle has been in my peripheral vision. Only when she figured in the novel Makta (The Power, 2021) by Heidi Furre did I become aware of the violence and trauma behind the brightly coloured figures. I took great pleasure in being able to further immerse myself in the artist’s extensive oeuvre, exploring her weapon collages, videos, perfumes, and a sizeable array of plaster characters at Henie Onstad. Saint Phalle’s work shows us how something apparently colourful can also be dark.

Monika Mørck, Goblin Market, 2022. Silk and rope. Photo: Tor Simen Ulstein / KUNSTDOK.

Monika Mørck, Goblin Market, Goblin, Kråkstad

If you were taking a walk along one of the many fields in Nordre Follo during late summer, you might easily have mistaken a mysterious art installation in a disused manure vault for a torn-up round bale of hay. Upon closer inspection, you might have realised that the white material stretched between the roof, walls, and floor with thick ropes and neat knots was not plastic, but silk. This simultaneously fragile and strong installation, part peasant-like, part occult, was created by textile artist Monika Mørck as the first in a series of shows at the artist-run exhibition venue Goblin on a small farm in Kråkstad.

Victoria Durnak is an artist and writer. She has published two collections of poetry and five novels at Flamme Forlag, the most recent being Evelyns innboks (Evelyn’s inbox) in 2021. Durnak is currently featured in the group exhibition Munch Triennale: The Machine is Us at the Munch Museum in Oslo.

For this year’s contributions to Kunstkritikk’s Advent Calendar, see here.