press release

venue: Permanenten Vestlandske Kunstindustrimuseum

Spotlight on the production and collection of objects in a globalized world.

Arts & crafts and museums of the decorative arts are closely related, both originating around 1850 in response to the negative consequences of the industrial revolution – aesthetic decline and alienation from production – referred to by Marx as ‘commodity fetishism’. In contrast craftsmen concerned themselves with every stage of the process from concept to finished product.

Juan Gaitán, curator of the exhibition Material Information – the 2012 thematic exhibition of the Norwegian Arts and Crafts Association, asks why craftsmanship is still dominated by the mindset of the 1800s, while industrial production has been radically updated.

The kind of industrial production that is considered a benchmark of European craftsmanship has almost disappeared from the Western world today. It has been outsourced and fragmented, and its products are global and anonymous.

This exhibition not only poses a challenge to the area of arts and crafts but also to the museum. The artists turn the role of the museum as collector and storyteller upside down, and in doing so deprive the museum of its monopoly over the representation of the objects in its collection and the narratives associated with them.

Material Information brings a set of contemporary practices together in order to present a multiple meditation on the new and old objects of industry.

The exhibition is curated by Juan A. Gaitán, and will take place in three different venues and around the city of Bergen. The main exhibition will take place here, at the Art Museums of Bergen Permanenten between September 28th and January 31st.

Artists Zarouhie Abdalian (US), Abbas Akhavan (CA), Danai Anesiadou (BE), Siri Brekke (NO), Asli Cavusoglu (TK), Hilde Angel Danielsen (NO), Goldin+Senneby (SE), Hadley&Maxwell (CA), Iman Issa (EG), Katrine Meisfjord (NO), Alex Morrison (CA), Shahryar Nashat (CH), Amalia Pica (AR), Praneet Soi (IN), Ola Vasiljeva (LV/NL) og Aoi Yoshizawa (JP/FI).