Guttorm Guttormsgaard in the Busan Biennale 2012: `Garden of Learning'

Published 2012/09/13

Guttorm Guttormsgaard, draft for An Exhibition within the Exhibition, 2012.
Courtesy of the artist


Guttorm Guttormsgaard in the Busan Biennale 2012: ‘Garden of Learning’

Artistic Director: Roger Buergel
Exhibition Period: 22 September–24 November 2012
Press preview: 21 September, 10:00–16:00
Opening Reception: 22 September, 16:00

For the Busan Biennale 2012 entitled ‘Garden of Learning’, Guttorm Guttormsgaard has designed a succession of rooms that begins with a 'Camera Obscura'. The following rooms serve to display the artist’s own collection of artworks, artefacts, and books, including his own opus magnum Arkiv (Archive). In ‘Camera Obscura’, the outside space enters upside down through a tiny hole in which the light beam projects an image of the world outside on a screen. The next room houses an organic piece of wood and a moveable tractor wheel filled with pebbles that make the sound of the sea, along with a selection of Guttormsgaard’s own artworks. The third room displays more than one hundred objects, images, prints and books from all over the world in a loose, associative fashion, with every single item deriving from Guttormsgaard’s archive. According to the artist, ‘there exists no overall classification for this idiosyncratic collection’. Rather, the artist ‘proposes to the viewer a form of sensual collaboration. The connections generated start from the formal properties of any given object. They are based upon a strange, very personal mix of conscious and unconscious memories, as well as bits and pieces of knowledge’.

According to the organisers, ‘Garden of Learning’ starts with the relative ignorance of the Artistic Director Roger Buergel. In order to find the answer to questions such as ‘what do we wish to know about Korea’ and ‘what are the general audience’s many needs when it comes to Biennale-type exhibitions’, the Busan Biennale 2012 is mainly conceived by a Learning Council consisting of an open forum of people from Busan and wider Korea. Over the months, members of the Learning Council ‘studied Korea’s social and political texture, artistic methodologies and aesthetic pedagogy. During this process, some artists started collaborations with people in Busan; an art class was formed in which high-school students could address their concerns and a group of people conceived an alternative education programme’.

For press enquiries and more information on this exhibition, please contact Stefan Wellgraf.

Guttorm Guttormsgaard (b.1938 in Oslo, Norway, lives and works in Blaker, Norway) is an artist mainly working with graphic and public art. He is also a collector of vintage craft and books. He graduated from the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry (now Oslo National Academy of the Arts) and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Main exhibitions include Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall, Arendal, Norway (2010); the National Gallery of Norway, Oslo (now part of The National Museum for Art, Architecture and Design) (1988) and Kunstnerforbundet, Gallery of Contemporary Art in Oslo (1976). Public art projects include Arendal Kulturhus, Norway; the Torhov Park, Oslo; Faculty of Medicine and Domus Atletica, University of Oslo; Oslo Central Station and the University Campus, University of Tromsø, Norway. Guttormsgaard has also held several teaching positions such as Associate Professor, the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (1969–73), Associate Professor, Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry (1977–80) and Professor in graphic art, Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry (1980–86). In 2007 he was appointed Festival Artist of the Molde International Jazz Festival. In 2011 he collaborated with the Office for Contemporary Art Norway for the exhibition ‘Forms of Modern Life’, in which publications and printed matter from his collection, coming from nearly six centuries of history, were exhibited.

OCA Support
Guttorm Guttormgaard’s participation in the Busan Biennale 2012: ‘Garden of Learning’ is supported by OCA's International Support Programme