Stretching the Mind

In the exhibition, the viewer is invited into a figurative world where expectations of what one sees and the boundary between reality and fantasy are shifted.

Drammen Kunstforening allows the renowned artists Kjell Erik Killi Olsen, Vanna Bowles, Signe Marie Andersen, Jonas Liveröd, Fredrik Raddum and Christer Karlstad to fabricate freely under the title STRETCHING THE MIND. We are presented with a surreal universe with metaphors and allegories. A seductive attraction to the enigmatic that means something to us is experienced through various expressions and techniques.

Character tips

Stretching the Mind is a theme exhibition named after Vanna Bowle's three-dimensional drawing of the same name.

The main purpose of the exhibition is to explore what it means to be human in our time.

The artists have used different angles than those we usually encounter in the media, or in the world of logic and statistics. The artists show us familiar structures and performances, but which on closer inspection and reflection and through the use of imagination also turn out to accommodate other dimensions. In a spiritual landscape, we encounter metaphors and allegories that in a seductive and enigmatic way stimulate curiosity and imagination.

Drammen Kunstforening has invited the renowned artists Kjell Erik Killi Olsen, Vanna Bowles, Signe Marie Andersen, Fredrik Raddum, Jonas Liveröd and Christer Karlstad to fantasize freely about the given theme. The viewer is invited into a figurative world with multidimensional visual elements, where expectations of what one sees and the boundary between reality and fantasy are shifted.

Six significant contemporary artists have, from their point of view and using various techniques, explored existential questions that concern us as human beings and society. The style is realistic and exaggerated at the same time. The exhibition is characterized by a surreal and illusionist realism. Some of the exhibited works are related to magical performances and mysterious horror. They sharpen our awareness and create debate.

Vanna Bowles challenges us with three-dimensional drawings. In her work, the two-dimensional drawing literally steps out of the frame. This makes art historian Mari F. Sundet ask questions about whether the meaning of art is always to be found within the framework of the work of art itself.

Kjell Erik Killi Olsen is a significant contemporary artist with the whole world as his catchment area. He has always been concerned with breaking with the established, breaking free from a limiting tradition, but at the same time he is also concerned with emphasizing history as a prerequisite for understanding the present. Drammen Kunstforening shows both painting and sculpture by Kjell Erik Killi Olsen. His sculpture "Behind the Sky" can be understood as a monumental visual expression of the suffering of our time as it is expressed in human actions such as war or natural changes and famine.

In Signe Marie Andersen's photographs, the selected works are an expression of the photographer's subjective selection, how she relates to a given theme. Previously, photography was supposed to depict the world, now there can be existential experiences of the artist's experience of what the world is like.

Jonas Liveröd describes architecture as a man-made power structure in the work "Sorrows from the Superstructure". The architecture collapses dramatically. Can it put us on the idea of a banking crisis and / or the "rise and fall" of power regimes? An alternative comment is shown in the drawing "Natural Disorder", where man sits in an environment characterized by chaos and anarchy with no visible structure.

Fredrik Raddum often has a humorous approach with his cartoon-like characters, made of polyester and painted in strong colors. I wonder if the installation "Paper Bag Boy" is not the prototype of people who for one reason or another are outside collective behavior in a society that is characterized by excessive consumption?

Drammens-based Christer Karlstad has recently exhibited in New York and can enjoy both attention and recognition. He often uses friends and acquaintances as a model in his paintings. The motifs have a realistic design. But there is something more than that. There's something underneath. There is a mysterious, absurd and surreal tinge to the situations we are witnessing. The pictures invite to fabrication and wonder.

Although in the foregoing some "pegs" have been given to understand the exhibition, it must be emphasized that it is not a question of unilaterally tracing the meaning the artists have put into the works. It is rather an invitation to create their own meeting between the work and the viewer, where the meaning is ultimately formed.

An in-depth catalog has been produced for the exhibition, in which art historian Mari F. Sundet illuminates the individual exhibitors' artistry with considerations of man's relationship to culture versus nature. The exhibition is curated by Drammen Kunstforening's board and produced in collaboration with Drammens Museum.

Welcome to an exciting exhibition. Let yourself be moved by what you see.

Rita Winness

Drammens Kunstforening