Bronze, motion detector, wood and plasterboard
Image view: Galleri Riis, Oslo, Norway
The piece refers to the invisible exchange and interaction between the artist, the art institution and the viewer. Metaphorically the piece suggests the invisible body of meanings in contemporary artistic language.
The treasure room consists of a bronze replica of a security gate like the one we find in shops; this bronze copy was positioned at the entrance/exit of a corridor at the gallery. The narrow corridor is 60 cm wide, leading into an empty space. The security gate’s alarm will be activated when a visitor exits the corridor after leaving the empty space, thus disturbing the visitor and causing him or her to think that they have taken something valuable from the empty space.
I want to reflect on the importance of the main task of an art institution, which is not the commercial experience, but the exchange that happens between the visitor and the institution. An art institution is a place that welcomes everyone regardless of opinions. An idea that defines the democratization of art and its institutions by means of an invitation to speak a language we all know, thus including everybody.
But there are also risks. When an institution fails to sell an experience and starts selling a show and the artist as its maximum entertainment, the levels of language and meaning also change the artistic attitude. Because the museum is a place where meaning through the power of the institution and its ability to legitimize this meaning that is imposed. The effect may be that the institutions risk transforming viewers to spectators in the process of selling “the art experience” to their public.
With my piece I want the viewer exiting the exhibition to think of whether the institution has provided them with a democratic exchange or if it has been a commercial exchange. This work wants to leave the viewer with more questions than answers when leaving the art institution.
Was that experience real? Have I taken something ”valuable” out of this?