Digital Darkroom

01.01.2013, by alette

Need something printed or scanned?

Flaggfabrikken has a workshop with a digital darkroom that includes a Imacon scanner and Epson 9900 printer that is open for the public to use after appointment. Read more

Marthe Elise Stramrud receives The Norwegian Association of Art Societies awards Debutant Prize!

06.10.2012, by alette

This year’s winner of the Norwegian Association of Art Societies’ Debutant Prize is Marthe Elise Stramrud. She won the prize for her photo series ‘Livingroom Poetics’.

The prize is awarded each year to a debutant at Høstutstillingen, Norway’s annual National Art Exhibition. In addition to prize money of NOK 50,000, the winner is given an opportunity to hold an exhibition at selected art societies in Norway, in collaboration with the Norwegian Association of Art Societies. A catalogue is produced, artist talks are organised and an information package is developed in connection with the exhibition tour. The aim of the prize is to turn the spotlight on young Norwegian contemporary artists.

‘I am very flattered, not to mention surprised! It’s a great honour to win the prize and I’m looking forward to working on my first solo exhibition,’ says prizewinner Marthe Elise Stramrud.

Excerpt from the jury’s grounds
‘The series consists of seven photographs, in which familiar everyday objects are removed from their intended context and rearranged into pure compositions that come across as sensitive, authentic and ostensibly simple. The compositions reveal the everyday objects’ inherent potential to serve as architecture, figures, landscape or fantastic creatures. The neutral photographic approach in this small format creates a uniquely intimate space that invites the viewer to closely observe form, texture and materiality, light and shadow. Interesting meeting points arise in informal connections in Marthe Elise Stramrud’s work.’

Flaggfabrikken is oh, so very proud..!!

Toril Johannessen in Cape Town

01.10.2012, by alette

Machine Worries, Machine Hearts

This group exhibition is about a mode in which machine forms and processes and human forms and processes begin to blur.

Pedro Gómez-Egaña (Co/De), Donna Kukama (SA), Cameron MacLeod (Ca/No), Toril Johannessen (No), James Webb (SA), Phillip Raiford Johnson (UK/SA), Magnhild Øen Nordahl (Se/No)

Press release:
Machine Worries, Machine Hearts is a group exhibition about the possibilities of human-machine empathy. Featuring works by artists from Norway, Sweden, Colombia, South Africa, Canada and the United Kingdom, the exhibition is inspired by an ancient Chinese story.

In the fourth century B.C.E., the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi, wrote a fable of a traveling scholar who encountered a farmer struggling to retrieve water from a well to irrigate his crops. The farmer’s toils were exacerbated by his refusal to use a simple mechanical process to extract the water. He explained his position to the scholar as follows: “I heard my teacher say that where there are machines, there are bound to be machine worries; where there are machine worries there are bound to be machine hearts. With a machine heart in your breast you’ve destroyed what was pure and simple… It’s not that I don’t know about your machine. I would be ashamed to use it!”

The farmer in this story is wary of the ways in which machines might corrupt some essentially human quality in him. This anxiety, and the territory of human-machine relations more broadly, is well-explored in science fiction and cybernetics, and also in recent exhibitions. However, in this exhibition, we take the phrases “machine worries” and “machine hearts” at face value and imagine them as real emotional states or ways of feeling. What are “machine worries”, or what might it be like for a machine to “worry”? Can we imagine our way into the “hearts” of machines?

The suggestion of machines possessing emotions is tethered to much larger questions concerning signification and communication, the mechanisms of feeling, and the idea of ‘being’ as a uniquely human quality. In this exhibition, different works imply processes or states such as demise, competition, confusion, expression, antagonism and affection in ways that narrow the gap between human and machine subjectivity.

Machine Worries, Machine Hearts is generously supported by the Office for Contemporary Art in Norway, the Contemporary Art Development Trust in South Africa, and blank projects.

Curated by Anthea Buys

Flaggfabrikken at What a Mess in Fredrikstad

23.08.2012, by alette


Flaggfabrikken attends Norway’s first art fair What a Mess in Fredrikstad:

Alette Schei Rørvik is Flaggfabrikkens representative and exhibits her resent work Spell/Bound.

Marthe Elise Stramrud is represented by MELK (Oslo) with her work Livingroom Poetics.

KNIPSU (by Maya Økland and Hilde Jørgensen) shows work from Ingrid Askeland.

An impossible distance

03.08.2012, by maya


An Impossible Distance

Barbara Ess, Nishiko, Duane Linklater, Sena Basoz, Sean Dockray, Daniel Gustav Cramer, Marley Freeman, Ian Cheng, Jeanne Liotta, John Sisley, Michaela Gleave, Ed Steck/ Natalie Häusler, Toril Johannessen, Antoni Wojtyra, Lisa Rave, Claudia Sola, Giuseppe Licari, Oraib Toukan, Penelope Umbrico, Alice Ladenburg, Cameron MacLeod, Frank Heath, Natalie Häusler/ Ed Steck, Zach Houston.

An Impossible Distance is a distributed exhibition of 24 works by 24 artists contained inside a cheap photo-envelope. Each work is 4? x 6?, the US standard size for consumer photographs. The exhibition is distributed using file uploading software found on the photo department web pages of chain drugstores.

This is basically how it works:

- I am where I am.
- You are where you are.
- I upload the files from where I am to a website (where is this?) that sends them to a printer in a store near where you are.
- You walk to the printer.
- They are there, waiting for you.

How to see the exhibition:

1- Send an email to both (me) and (Matthew)
2- In the subject of the email write: an impossible distance.
3- In the body of the email write either your home address or the address of the location you want the prints to be sent near to.
4- The nearest drugstore photo printer near you will be located.
5- Files will be sent to that store.
6- You will receive an e-mail stating when they will be ready for pick up.
7- Walk to the store and pick them up. You will have to pay for the prints (unless you are sneaky). Prices vary at each store. It will probably cost somewhere from $3-$6.

The title, An Impossible Distance, comes from an interview I did with Lumi Tan (the interview can be found in here). In the interview the idea of the impossibility of looking into distance (at the sea) online comes up. Not only that the screen is just a few inches away from our eyes, which makes literal spatial distance pertaining to vision disappear. But also, the constant stream of content makes it impossible to just stare out. When you stare your vision extends outward into a field of space, with no distractions. Online, continuously produced content makes distraction a constant. I asked each of the artists to give an image that somehow related to the sea, whether direct or broad. This is being launched in the summer, and in a sense, it is like a day-trip to the beach. To go and look at the water. Or, maybe, it is that the beach takes a day-trip to you. These seas come to you.

These will be sent to as many countries as possible. If you live in a country outside the US there may be trouble locating a website for a store near you. I may ask you for suggestions. Also, if you live in a country outside of the US and would like to help distributing this exhibition in your country, send me an email: I will send you the high-res files and put you in charge of local distributor.

This project is currently on exhibit at Border in Mexico City curated by Violeta Horcasitas and Fernanda D´Agostino.The exhibition is called A Room for Two and Many More. If you live in Mexico and would like the exhibition to be sent to a location near you, you can make a request from Violeta:

New members at Flaggfabrikken!

01.08.2012, by alette

Aleksander Andreassen (born 1982)

Azar Alsharif (born 1984)

Vilde Salhus Røed (born 1981)

Oh, happy day!

Toril Johannessen at dOCUMENTA (13) !

10.06.2012, by alette


Toril Johannessen is one of three Norwegian artists to attend dOCUMENTA (13)


Extraordinary Popular Delusions, installation view

Marthe Elise Stramrud receives grant

14.04.2012, by alette


Sørlandsutstillingen 2012 gives their annual traveling grant to Marthe Elise Stramrud for her work Livingroom Poetics, and the jury says the following (in Norwegian):

Det første møtet med Marthe Elise Stramrud sine bilder resulterte i et unisont – dette vil vi se mer av! Med en finurlig vri vekket de tre innsendte fotografiene en nysjerrighet som umiddelbart traff oss. Juryen opplever at Stramrud, med de utvalgte bildene fra serien LIVINGROOM POETICS, balanserer det tilsynelatende enkle og lette med et tilstedeværende alvor. I disse fotografiene fremstår både de praktiske og upraktiske hverdagsobjektene som spektakulære og poetisk ladede. Arbeidene synes å bevege seg i en fototradisjon med referanser til arkiv-fotografiets nøytrale og sobre språk mest kjent brukt i vitenskaplige studier av natur. Vi mener at Marthe Elise Stramrud anvender dette til å skape et sjeldent, vart, undrende og undersøkende utrykk. Fotografiene viser kombinasjonen av valgte objekter i ulike enkle oppstillinger som på slik måte omdannes til skulpturer. Bildene er bærere av et blikk og en form for en pågående oppmerksom studie som også betrakteren får ta del i.
Kunstnerens tilstedeværelse, det åpenbare håndverksmessige i fotografiet og komposisjonen i både det tredimensjonale så vel som todimensjonale rommet, vitner om et kunstnerisk talent vi gleder oss til å følge inn i fremtiden.

Jury: Sveinung Unneland, Karolin Tampere, Aleksi Wildhagen

Toril Johannessen in Paris

21.03.2012, by maya

Beyond Growth
An ideal capitalism…

Michel Blazy, Maxime Bondu, Simon Boudvin,
Mark Boulos, Blanca Casas Brullet,
Charlie Jeffery, Toril Johannessen, Gustav Metzger,
Dan Peterman, Thorsten Streichardt,
Simon Starling, Superflex, Lois Weinberger

exhibition March 24 – July 22, 2012

Opening Saturday March, 24 from 3 p.m.

Free shuttle by reservation at 2.30 p.m. / Opera house-Bastille

Sunday June, 17 at 3 p.m. : lecture and screening by Simon Boudvin

Contemporary Art Center La Ferme du Buisson
Alle?e de la Ferme
77186 Noisiel
+33 (1) 64 62 77 77

Beyond Growth : An ideal capitalism…

« Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad – or an economist.»
Kenneth Boulding, The Economy of Love and Fear: A Preface to Grants Economics, 1973

« Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t »
Shakespeare, Hamlet, circa 1599

A model farm, La Ferme du Buisson fed for almost a century a model factory, The Menier chocolate factory, which was one of the great industrial empires of the nineteenth century. In 1848, sensing that the industrial revolution would come along with a social revolution, the Menier dynasty attempted to establish a form of “ideal” capitalism, unique in the history of industry. The production of chocolate grew at a spectacular rate due to technical, architectural and commercial innovations, the invention of advertising and a multinational strategy. Concurrently, Menier campaigned for a tax on capital and built a workers housing development for everyone’s well being, including lodging, a cafeteria, free health care, a school, co-op stores, a savings bank, etc. “It is thus that all of us, leaning on one another, will move forward with an undivided driving force towards progress. It is thus that revolutions and revolts will give way to a constant evolution, continuously replacing the good with the better.”

In the midst of a worldwide economic and ecological crisis, can we still believe in unlimited growth? The notion of growth, inseparable from the ideas, laws and practices of modernity, is generally perceived as positive, associated with prosperity and progress seen from the perspective of western humanism. Profit, productivity, accumulation and expansion became established fundamental values and the myth of growth and development spread throughout five continents. But it is interesting to remember that at the same time as the world shifted towards a system founded on productivism and excess, one part of artistic modernity endorsed an altogether different creed: less is more.

A century later, how do artists address this idea of growth? Many artists investigate the idea of growth, whether in relation to economics, urbanism, physics, biology or botany, but they also use it as a way to question their own working methods. Echoing a series of exhibitions in Switzerland and Germany in 2011*, Beyond Growth brings together artists who explore the ambivalence of this notion through experiments in physics, biological cycles, mathematical formulas and critiques of the globalized economy.

Watching a famous American fast food chain being gradually swallowed up by water, we catch sight of a boat slowly crossing a lake as it self-destructs; while exogenous plants overrun the ruins of western cities, fishermen in the Niger Delta attempt to protect their resources from the havoc wreaked by oil companies and Danish households invest in real estate thanks to hurricane Katrina…

Recalling what Naomi Klein termed “disaster capitalism”, these works deal with local as well as international crises while simultaneously reflecting on production and artistic productivity. The artists appropriate the rationale of growth, exploiting its possibilities, such as organic processes of mutation, movement, excess, desire for proliferation and self-creation as well as its limits, such as saturation, overflow, pollution, loss of control and alienated work. While neoliberal economics ignore the phenomena of unproductive expenditure and entropy, i.e. the irreversibility of transformations in energy and matter, these artists place them at the center of their preoccupations to raise questions which are as aesthetic as they are economic, ecological and political.

*On the Metaphor of Growth, Kunsthalle Baseland (Basel), Frankfurter Kunstverein (Frankfurt), Kunstverein Hannover (Hanover)

Julie Pellegrin

Heidi Nikolaisen at KNIPSU

10.03.2012, by alette


The Chosen

The starting point of Existentialism was an acknowledgment that life is meaningless, and that the individual must seek his or her own meaning. Neither nature, society or God has determined the kind of life we shall have. In «The Myth of Sisyfos», the French author Albert Camus established that salvation through religion or sense is by no means the only way to accept an unreasonable fate. Sisyfos had insulted the Gods, and the punishment he was given was to roll a boulder up a steep hill. And every time the boulder reached the top it rolled back down the hill again. However, Camus distinguishes that Sisyfos could be concieved as blessed, because he managed to create meaning in his own absurd existence.
In his labour he understands what he has to do, although the labour lacks any higher significance. Sisyfos realizes the meaninglessness of existence but accepts it´s conditions with human dignity. Camus writes that becoming aware of our useless existence enables a deeper insignificance. Human life is absurd, and the human quest for profound connotation is in vain, he states. But when we become conscious of hope being an illusion, we experience an emancipating capability which enlivens us.

The exhibition «The Chosen» mirrors today´s hunger for self-realisation and our wish to appear as unique and outstanding human beings. Many experience this as an existential driving force– to be «a chosen» gives pleasure to one´s consciousness. One is then met with expectations and progress, enjoys recognition from others and gains the possibility to realize ambitions and achieve experiences that feel heightened. When the pursuit ends with a positive result, one can at last appreciate the floodlighted moments, either they come from your closest,– or even better from the public sphere.

The exhibition consists of new works by Heidi Nikolaisen, Steingrimur Eyfjord and Mona Nordaas. Each in their own way they discuss how one´s choices influence existence´ meaningfullness. Nikolaisen deals with different religious mythologies as a base for societybuilding, identity and social constructions. The viewer is confronted with claims of doomsday as well as a searching for a new existence. Eyfjord approaches a more commercial aspect and turns his attention towards the audience. We are all a chosen one. Nordaas problematizes the consequences of being an outsider, as a result of the term «the chosen» being a justifying tool for suppression and abuse.