21 April – 7 May 2023
Artists: Maryam Abbasi, Erla Audunsdottir, Lise Ulvedahl Carlsen, Courtney Coombs , Benedicte Dahm, Jesse Enqvist, Anna Kristin Ferking, Roland Goksøyr, NILIA, Erik Hjorth, Mikael Jacobsson, Lars Jonsson, Tobias Kvendseth, Su Liao, Sigrid H. Magnesen, Ivi Melts, Dominique Nachi, Henna Kristiina Nerg, Steffen André Nilsen, Jack O’Flynn, Bas Ruis, Mette Sandfær, Johan Severin, Sara Larsen Stiansen, Oda Tungodden, Sangría Valentino, Alina Vergnano, Joe Welch, Lexy Liangzi Xiao, Carmilly Yeung, Veronika Öberg
Bergen Kunsthall hosts the annual graduation exhibition for the Master’s Programme in Fine Art of the Art Academy - Department of Contemporary Art, Faculty of Art, Music and Design (KMD), University of Bergen. Curated by Scott Elliott.
The exhibition title ‘Nudge it — Kick it — Prod it — Push it —‘ is an excerpt from Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven’s poem, ‘A Dozen Cocktails—Please’ (1927), a text that is a request for more. Insatiable, the nonconformist libertine navigates the erotics of agency and embraces the power of transmitting the absurd.
The maximalist approach suggested by the poem can be seen in many of the exhibition’s works, several of which question the architectural confines of the Kunsthall’s spaces, seemingly wanting to push through them. Many of the works both ask and offer their neighbours, ‘Can I have a little space here, or do you want some of mine?’ as they employ the languages of both confidence and care, and at times, manifest as collective organising.
Leaning into the space in a way that is site-sensitive rather than site-specific, the exhibition traces out themes of protest, speculation, invitation, and mobilisation, and resists a thematic classification of the works. Preparing for a path following graduation, this presentation of thirty-two practices exemplifies the necessity for dialogue in exhibition making and shared occupation of space, each work complimenting and elevating its neighbours.
This year, the graduation exhibition takes a fresh approach to the definition of ‘exhibition catalogue’ through a deconstructed, interactive format that occupies one half of Bergen Kunsthall’s bookstore. This presentation addresses issues of sustainability within publishing in connection to periodic exhibitions and presents a diverse range of publications across printed matter, editions, audio pieces, and artists’ books.
This exhibition has been made possible by the collaborative efforts of the teams at Landmark and Bergen Kunsthall, the Faculty of Art, Music and Design (KMD) at the University of Bergen, and the MA class of 2023, who in addition to presenting their work have been responsible for coordinating events, tours, production, communications, and the presentation of the catalogue installation. The opening night on Friday the 21st of April at Bergen Kunsthall is additionally supported by students from the class of 2024.
Scott Elliott is a curator, publisher and artist based between Bergen and Athens. His first award-winning artist novel, ‘The El Dorado Commission’ was released in 2017 and was the recipient of the Scorpion and Felix Award from Publication Studio Vancouver. His second artist novel ‘Slippery’, was released by Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo in June 2023 as part of the exhibition ‘Jeg Kaller Det Kunst’. He has worked in a curatorial role at Bergen Kunsthall and Hordaland Kunstsenter, and is the founder and editor of Coda Press, a publishing initiative centred around developing the work of artists working with text as a central medium. He also co-founded and now directs 'Weekend Server,’ a curatorial platform that creates alternative contexts for the circulation of art.