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New look at own biography 

No autumn without the Autumn Exhibition in Oslo. This year, it is the relationship between man, nature and culture that is interpreted in the many works of art, visual artist Marte Aas tells Ny Tid. 


This year's perhaps most visited art exhibition opens on Saturday 8. September, and according to the artist Marte Aas is a composite story with different layers and themes that play together. Aas is one of the six artists who sit on the jury for this year's Autumn Exhibition.

- Can you reveal some of the themes in this year's exhibition?

“There is clearly a willingness and desire to thematize a new understanding of both the concept of nature and the place of man on earth. It can be direct imagery, whether in painting, conceptual works or photography. There may also be works that theme a changed concept of nature that is linked to the climate threat and the anthropocene age we are in. ”

"The fact that we see man as the yardstick of all things is perhaps one of the reasons why we end up where we are now."

The anthropocene age is an interpretation of the current geological age, where man is at the center and where the differences between nature and culture are experienced as blurred.  

National identity and what Aas calls "the vulnerability of the body" are also the themes of several of the artists in this year's exhibition. Aas also highlights themes related to Norwegian and European history and identity, such as "one looks with new eyes and is often put together with one's own biography".

Forty five

Installation, Damian Heinisch.

One of this year's exhibitors is the German photographer Damian Heinisch. The work carries the title Forty five and manufactures a train journey from Oslo to Debalzewo in Ukraine. The background for this work is based on the travels of the grandfather and the father – where one journey led to death, the other to freedom. All three traveled there the year they turned 45. "It's such a beautiful work: It vibrates, and the images are suggestive," says Aas. 

The autumn exhibition is the State's annual art exhibition and is being organized this year for 131. time. Anyone can apply if you are a Norwegian artist, but also a foreign artist living in Norway. In other words, a democratic arrangement, which is a great strength, Aas believes.

- What does it mean for an artist to attend the Autumn Exhibition?

“My impression is that it gives recognition. One is subjected to enormous selection; Only a few percent of all applicants come. The autumn exhibition takes a kind of pulse on the art field in Norway. ”

But there are many considerations that must be taken before a work is adopted. "We have been concerned with inclusion and diversity, at all levels. The exhibition will reflect a breadth of what moves in the art field, "she says. 

Man is the yardstick of all things

Juror Marte Aas.
Photo: Line Bøhmer Løkken.

When asked where she draws inspiration for her own work, she brings out this year's film program which is to see the next five weeks at the Artist's house. 

This year the program consists of 15 video works: «Here there are many good film artists and filmmakers with a lot of interesting angles. I get inspiration from here  because I'm currently completing a movie myself, and will also be making a new one this fall. "

- One of the themes that has recurred in your work is landscape. Why?

“I've been concerned with defining landscapes more as a situation than a place. Like a verb – a word of action – because the landscape is created through the way we use it. ” 

The clearest thematic line in this year's exhibition has also long engaged the visual artist:

“The contradiction between culture and nature is changing, as the concept of anthropocene shows us. If man is a geological force similar to a volcanic eruption or earthquake, then we ourselves are part of nature – not separated from it. At the same time, this narcissistic self-mythologizing is part of the problem. The fact that we see man as the yardstick of all things is perhaps one of the reasons why we have ended up where we are now – with a climate out of control, ”concludes Aas.

The State Art Exhibition, The Autumn Exhibition. 8. September 14. October

Kaisa Ytterhaug
Kaisa Ytterhaug
Ytterhaug is a freelancer in Ny Tid.

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