2015, UKS, Oslo, March 26 – April 26
This is a collaborative fiction, sort of.
Unge Kunstneres Samfund is proud to announce the international group exhibition In Search of an Author by curators Chiara Giovando and Andrew Berardini. Here the artists become characters in a drama they make up as they go along. A comedian, a designer, a filmmaker, a painter, and two less easily classifiable artists meet in an art gallery in Oslo, hilarity ensues, or so we hope, in this the final chapter of the UKS winter program 2015 and the curtain closing of the institution’s sojourn at its current space at Tullinløkka.
Loosely inspired by the 1921 play Six Characters In Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello, the curators invited these artists, performers, and practitioners to become characters in story, conceived by the their hosts but defined and finished by its subjects. The gallery turned into a set, we’re hoping to reveal its bones physically as well as the fictions that make up a white cube. These newly freed characters work together and against each other in this particular context to create the necessary tension and delight of any good show.
In Pirandello's play, the author abandons the characters and their lurid, familial drama. The characters overthrow the author, setting out to find a director and actors to tell their tale. The actors dissatisfy the characters. The director is compelled but frustrated with the lot of them. It ends in tragedy, or comedy depending on your sense of the melodramatic. This dance is done to delight an audience, sometimes under the myth that they aren't really there.
We, the curators, might say this exhibition was metafictive, a self-aware dispensation of tradition, an attempt at making visible the layers from which we create, born out of the imaginary but clearly manifested in reality with all the unruly chance and distributed authorship that shapes existence. Or we would prefer you to see it that way, and perhaps even find a dollop of meaning in the half-safety of its half-fiction.
Here we see ourselves all as players, the curators set the board as best they can and then open themselves to chance, change and co-authorship.
Like many good plays, our’s occurs in three acts. The first has happened: we’ve conceived the show, found a space to nurture it, and invited a cast of characters. The second act happens as the characters arrive to the scene. What they’ll do once assembled in Oslo is up to them, but we have a few clues.
Lucy Stein might paint wild occult orgies. Roderick Hietbrink promises to be an excellent technician but a difficult artist. Alicia Frankovich will make private bodies public, blushing in their reveal. Sara Eliassen will likely project a film whose protagonist loses herself into a history of cinematic fictions. Neil Doshi will design it all and gauge the audience’s reactions with a focus group. Kate Berlant will try to make us laugh. The opening is an intermission. The character will write Act Three and finish the story however they desire. It will end in tragedy, or comedy depending on your sense of the melodramatic.
Curated by Chiara Giovando and Andrew Berardini