Toril Johannessen to exhibit at Documenta
'I've just finished installing my own work and the exhibition has opened, so now I'm looking forward to seeing the rest,' says Toril Johannessen. She is one of two former KHiB students who have been selected to take part in this year's Documenta exhibition in Kassel, which opened on 9 June 2012. Documenta is open until 16 September.
You are in Kassel now,
what's it like?
'It's fantastic to be here! I've just been at a lecture given by someone who really inspires me.'
What have you been up to since you finished your studies at
KHiB in 2008?
'Since graduating, I've worked on my art. I've been active, also abroad, since I graduated. I had a solo exhibition at Oslo Kunstforening six months after taking my final exam. I found it useful to have something concrete to work towards. In 2011, I went on a three-month study trip to Los Angeles. I attended the Mountain School of Art, which was really educational.'
What goals do you have now that you have exhibited at
Documenta so early in your career as an artist?
'To be old and wise, which I hope I will be one day. I'm not just going to stop because I'm exhibiting at Documenta, quite the reverse. For me, it's important to keep on developing what I'm doing.'
Do you have any advice to students at Bergen Academy of Art
and Design and newly-graduated artists?
'I don't have any general tips that I think apply to everyone, but generally speaking I think it's important to give your work priority and take yourself seriously as an artist. When I had finished studying, I chose not to work on anything other than my art as far as possible. That meant that I had time to both work and day-dream. It all boils down to establishing yourself as an artist and being dedicated and really wanting it, and I don't primarily mean being an artist, but creating something that you want to share with the world, to put it in rather pompous terms. I think it's important not to see the exam as a final goal.'
This Bergen-based thirty-four-year-old graduated from Bergen Academy of Art and Design with an MA in fine art in 2008.
'KHiB is very proud of the fact that two former students have
been selected to contribute to such an important exhibition,' says
Paula Crabtree, Rector of Bergen Academy of Art and Design.
The other former KHiB student participating at Documenta (13) is Matias Faldbakken. He graduated from the diploma programme at the Department of Fine Art in 1998.
Toril Johannessen is showing an installation that consists of a more than three-metre high and two-and-a-half-metre wide projector showing an image of the sun. The machine runs on oil. She broaches big and difficult topical issues such as environmental protection, energy and the financial crisis. In addition to the installation, she is also showing four silk screen prints and a video featuring her in dialogue with a clairvoyant and the deceased physicist Niels Bohr.
Documenta opens on 9 June 2012. It is considered to be one of the most important events in the contemporary art world with contributions from 150 artists. This is the thirteenth Documenta exhibition. The exhibition, which is held every five years, was first held in 1955.