Jorunn Hancke Øgstad -KERMESS
Curated by K.O.S A
Krutthuset 2021, October
KERMESS in Krutthuset
Long time ago a truly strange house stood inside Krutthuset, in the very same room where Kermess is being shown today. It had its own pitched roof and was held up by twenty eight columns, a veritable forest. It was surrounded by heavy armoury walls, fashioned with bricked arches as if it were a basilica. The columns inside carried shelves on which gunpowder was stored. There were two great dangers for this powder: that it should get wet and could no longer explode, or that it should actually explode. Measures were taken to protect it. Double roofs were stretched above it, thin and taut as drums. They kept water out and allowed the force of the blow, should it have happened, to move freely upward toward the sky. That house is now gone.
The four columns still standing in the room today refer to other, equally inauspicious canons that caused and set into motion Jorunn Hancke Øgstad’s explosive installation.
In Kermess her paintings are transposed into screens that stand on the floor in groups around the columns. Each group has a dominant colour, blue, green, yellow. Her thin cotton canvases differ in height and format and lean on each other for support, becoming tableau walls. Jorunn Hancke Øgstad portrays an interaction of painting and staining processes whose imagery spills from one canvas into another. The complex assemblies are informed by digital flatness, with scales of transparency and speed that are both literal and phenomenal. Swirls, vortexes, splashes, dilutions, overlays of bleeding shapes, suggestions of dubious spontaneity, explosions of dissonances on the screen, through the screen, in the space, flattened explosions in Krutthuset.