DET UGYLDNE SNITT (THE UNGOLDEN RATIO)
In the summer of 2019, Maria Øy Lojo curated a series of events and exhibitions in “Historierommet” (the story space) in Visningsrommet at USF in Bergen, Norway. Lojo invited myself and two other artists, Jan-Egil Finne and Mia Øquist, to create and perform in an performance-event we titled “Det Ugyldne Snitt (The Ungolden Ratio).”
As performance artists, we are quite different. Mia has many characters and is often loud in her work. Jan-Egil explores materials like clay and earth in a slow and meditative manner. I work in the intersection between sculpture and performance, with reference to the body and the bodies of others—animals, things, toys. Together we performed alongside one another for three hours.
Mia was dressed in all black, in her characteristic high heels she was smashing eggs and repeating words: THIS FABRIC COULD BECOME CURTAINS?? YES? I SEWED THEM BY HAND. ÅÅÅH! TAKE AN EGG—SMASH!
Jan-Egil brought a wheelbarrow of earth from one of the marshes near one of the many mountains surrounding Bergen. He gently formed spheres from the raw and wet material before he climbed into the wheelbarrow and lay down in it, becoming submerged in the matter.
I was thinking about the lack of empathy of objects, the lack of empathy in snakes, and about forgetting empathy altogether. I brought with me a very long and slightly plump cotton sculpture. Fat, limp, yet comfortable in its own skin. I decided to interact with it by holding it without hands, instead using my entire body to feel its weight.
As the event progressed we moved around the exhibition space and the big, wide courtyard at its entrance. The audience could come and go as they pleased, and included passersby as well as the willing audience. Slowly caressing the long and fat object, I stepped on Mia’s eggs. The white cotton became stained with mountain dirt. I thought about how performance art can often mean being unable to connect, a one-sidedness, an unrequited interaction between performer and audience. And how it moves of its own accord, falls of its own volition, makes it appear as if you have lost all control. As Mia left the building with all her broken eggs collected in a bucket, and a freezing cold Jan-Egil jumped into the sea, I lay down beside my harrowed friend and whispered: it will all be over soon.