Cameron Stalheim creates mixed-media sculptures that indulge the stuff of nightmares. His most recent work, and then I saw Colby on the Street and my fantasy died, is a striking depiction of a collapsed merman taking his last breaths. Several times longer than human height, the sculpture confronts us with an image of death: in this case, the death of our collective childhood fantasies (who didn’t want to live among the mermaids when they were young?). Read more on Hi-Fructose.
How long do you need to look at a painting to really appreciate it? There are many answers to this question. As long as you like, is one. Longer than you think, is another. The art historian James Elkins wrote that it took him about 100 hours, over three years, to learn to really see a Mondrian painting. He recounts meeting a woman who had spent an hour looking at the same Rembrandt work four times a week for at least two decades – or about 3,000 hours.
The project European Attraction Limited, by artists Fadlabi og Lars Cuzner is a remake of the Congo village, originally a part of the fun fair of the jubilee exhibition for Norway in 1914; 80 People from Senegal was shown purporting to live an authentic life for five months in Frognerparken (The Vigeland Park)– for visiting Norwegians enjoyment. The show was at the time described as great success by the press and the show attracted huge numbers of visitors. This happened at a time where exhibitions like this were very popular and common in Europe. But today this exhibition and its history are hardly known.
With their project Fadlabi og Lars Cuzner highlights several ethical and political questions, which have instigated an intense and active debate in Norwegian and International media. This highlights relevant questions concerning racism, antiracism, representation and cultural dominance. Witch creates tensions between then and now.
The rebuilding of the Congo village and the project as such indicates a historical pedagogical goal and potential. In line with the jubilee for the constitution 2014, the artists wish to contribute to the reflection of what changes that actually have taken place during the last 100 years, and not at least shed light over parts of our history that have been suppressed.
The rebuilding can be regarded as a monument over the collective loss of memory of a shameful part of our history and a platform for discussion of this historical event, contrasting Norway today, and the importance of artistic freedom of expression.
In contrast to the original village from 1914, the artists have chosen to send out and international request for voluntary participants for the reenactment of the Congo village 2014, where anyone from anywhere is welcome to participate.
European Attraction Limited is part of the national official program for the Constitution jubilee, and is produced by Public Art Norway.
The art-project will be exhibited in Frognerparken until 31th of August, 2014