In summer 2023, the Vigeland Museum presents a group exhibition, in collaboration with Eckbos Legat and Kulturbyrået Mesén, featuring the artists Andrea Scholze, Einar Grinde, Lin Wang, and the duo Ellinor Aurora Aasgaard and Zayne Armstrong. The exhibition is on view in Rooms 7, 11 and 12.
This year’s summer exhibition marks Eckbos Legat’s centennial jubilee. The four art projects were selected amongst 109 applicants. During the course of the exhibition the jury will choose which one of the projects that will receive a grant in the amount of Nok 200 000.
In Room 7 Lin Wang (b. 1985) shows the work Still Life – Gaze from the East – a three-dimensional contemporary still life painting seen from an oriental perspective. The work consists of painted porcelain objects arranged to form a unified installation. With this work, Wang wishes to illuminate the various aspects of the shared history between the West and the Orient. Einar Grinde’s (b. 1989) work A borrowed horse one must soon dismount, consisting of several inflatable horses, is also shown in Room 7. The work is inspired by Gustav Vigeland’s clay sculpture, Nidstang (1923), which depicts a horse draped over a pole crowned by a carved male head. One of Grinde’s horses is placed on a pedestal, while the others lie strewn about the floor in a crippled state. They breathe – each in their own tempo. His work is dystopic and an expression of social criticism – but is also humorous.
The installations by Ellinor Aurora Aasgaard (b. 1991) and Zayne Armstrong (b. 1986) in Room 11 also contain elements of social criticism. The Grind is a scenic installation that invites the viewer to reflect on what the artists describe as “the hyper-commodified, mass-mediated and performance-driven conditions in which we live”.
Andrea Scholze (b. 1988) presents her works in Room 12, where she invites us into a world peopled by ceramic figures resembling humans. The group sculpture Sensing existence concerns our internal emotional lives and the reactions that can surface between us. The creatures give rise to existential reflections around our perceptions of ourselves as part of nature, and how this experience has evolved since the beginning of time.
The four projects find their common ground in looking to the past, both the recent and a more distant past, in order to prepare us for the future. In this common ground we find a humorous twist combined with a form of gravity that is worth reflecting upon. Einar Grinde focuses on the horse. It was not more than a few generations ago that it was the most important domestic animal that contributed in maintaining the primary industries of agriculture and forestry. This was before the arrival of the tractor and forestry equipment. Andrea Scholze presents us with primitive man, a condition we may very well return to if we do not take serious action in curbing our consumerism. This is what Aasgaard/Armstrong refer to in their installation; our consumption habits and consumer society. It is a form of trade that has evolved far from the economic system Grinde refers to in his use of the horse as a symbolic element in his work. In this context Lin Wang represents an outsider’s gaze, as she dwells on the theme of how the West has historically exchanged and exploited its position to gain access to trade in the Orient.
About Eckbos Legat
Eckbos Legat is a private non-profit organisation. In 1923, Major Eivind Eckbo, who was also a lawyer, established the first of a total of eleven endowment funds. Eckbos legat contributes grants annually to individuals, organisations, research projects and others, who fall under the organisation’s various objectives, among them art and culture.
About the jury
The jury of art experts is composed of Jarle Strømodden (chair), Ahmed Umar, Azar Alsharif, Kristine K. Wessel and Mona Gjessing.