The Hidingplace, 1998

Made for the exhibition Fellessentralen at Kunstnernes Hus curated by Jon Ove Steihaug.

Installation with furniture, cardboard boxes, wood, plastic bags, sheets, blankets, comics, pillows, clothes, potato-chips, popcorn, alphabetical biscuits, sweets, Lego, actionmen, lamps, TV`s, VCR, Science-Fiction movies, miniatyre-sculptures of plastecine, Super-Nintendo, stereo, LP-records. 210 x 700 x 400 cm.

I made a kind of over sized fantasy-reproduction of a teenager hut, the one I was never allowed to keep for a very long time in the basement of my parents house. The fantasy involved stealing the furniture from my parents and re-arranging them the way I pleased, filling the interior with activities to eliminate boredom. I wanted the construction to function as a free area of escape and nostalgia, a chill-out zone for the eternal teenager within...

- Bjørn Bjarre, 1998

The exhibition does not open for the obvious (if less glorious) perspective: That a younger generation of Norwegian artists mimes or repeats many of the formal traits of the “critical” art strategies of the last decades only to adapt them to their own particular concerns and fantasies. This is not a measure of the weakness of the scene: on the contrary, it is simply a question of creative misinterpretation. Despite the claims of the curator, pragmatics or institutional critique have never been particularly well understood in the younger Norwegian art milieus - I’d be hard put to name but a few dyed-in-the-wool conceptualists. In one sense the romantic paradigm, which continually changes form, shape and direction (and which can not be reduced to the myth of the single artist hero) is still with us, even if in a dramatically transformed way.
Some of the best (and also most dominant) work in the exhibition seems to express this in that their focus is not on the rifts and tears of interventionist strategies, but on the production of different kinds of complete, all-encompassing and almost monad-like spaces or topographies, which all seem to create and store up their own flows and energies, like a form of aggregates. Børre Sæthre’s space is just one example; Bjørn Bjarre’s squatter’s tent made of old mattresses, boxes and bedcovers, is another.

- Ina Blom, Siksi no.1, 1998.