Screaming from the Mountain - Landscapes and Viewpoints

Monday, 13 February 2012 11:28

Screaming_from_the_Mountain_stortScreaming from the Montain  Landscapes and viewpoints,  Sørlandets Kunstmuseum - SKUMScreaming_from_the_Mountain1Screaming_from_the_Mountain2Screaming_from_the_Mountain3Screaming_from_the_Mountain4

SKUM, southern Norways Museum of Art held a major exhibition with Landscape as theme in the summer of 2011. The exhibition was called Screaming from the Mountain: Landscapes and Viewpoints, showing traditional and contemporary art from around the world. The exhibition received support through the module for production-based activities.

Text & interview: Bjorn Olstad

Southern Norway's Art Museum filled all of it’s three floors with the exhibition. Helena Björk worked as assistant curator at the museum.

- The theme was landscape, and the name Screaming from the Mountain: Landscapes and Viewpoints, and the idea was to mirror the Northern European landscape tradition in contemporary art, and see what questions the present art asks, and how it looks at the perspective. The perspective can be as meaningful as what you see.

At the exhibition all kinds of artforms were represented, old paintings, for example came from Malmö Art Museum and Oslos National Gallery as well as SKUM’s own collections. There were also photographs, contemporary paintings, video works, installations and sculptures.

Perspectives and Values

Over 60 artists were represented at the exhibition, most of them from the Nordic countries, but also artists from other climes contributed.

 - There is a strong national romantic tradition in Northern Europe, which we carry with us. Other places have a little different relationship to landscape. Adel Abidin, an artist originally from Iraq but now living in Helsinki, had a more humorous approach. After being thoroughly sick of the Helsinki winter, he made a video work in which he was vacuuming up the snow.

It was the director of SKUM at that time, Pontus Kyander, who accounted for the exhibition’s concept, it’s thematic division and curating, and who wanted to set a critical focus at this strong and present tradition.

 - The exhibition shifted perspectives and focused on the fact that such things as race and gender can affect the view on the landscape, and that something so obvious as landscape, appears to be vested with values when you examine it in this way.

An exhibition for all

The tenor Mauricio Villanueva Espinosa performed songs with landscape themes for the opening celebrations. In addition the museum was joined by the artists Ane Graff, Charlotte von Poehl, Mariela Neudecker, Job Koelewijn, Milena Bonilla, Outi Sunil, Carly Troncal, Jorann Abusland, Vilde Salhus Roed and Preben Holst in welcoming the visitors.

- The local and national media had spread the word about the exhibition, which meant that many people found their way to the museum. Many of the visitors were families with children, and we had educational activities for them. Among other things, we had something called the landscape architect, where the children were building landscapes of various materials, and examined the landscape.

Screaming from the Mountain
was the most popular summer exhibition SKUM has ever held. It received support from the module for production-based activities, which is a part of the Culture and Art Programme.

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