Press Releases : 2008/11

OCA Semesterplan – WEEK 49

Published 2008/11/29

Unni Gjertsen
Mai Zetterling – Off the Beaten Track

Followed by A Screening of
The Girls, (1968) dir. Mai Zetterling

Wednesday, 3 December / 19:00
Nedre gate 7

As part of a longer term research and artist project, Norwegian artist Unni Gjertsen will approach Mai Zetterling's legacy as a Swedish filmmaker who identified the patriarchal order within film long before the introduction of gender studies. Emphasizing Zetterling's position with respect to advocating structural changes in society and to female sexuality and its depiction within film, Gjertsen unveils some of the reasons behind Sweden's problematic relationship with the filmmaker. In doing so, Gjertsen reflects upon the negative reception of Zetterling's work in an effort to reveal more about the ideologies at work throughout Sweden during the 1960s. Following Unni Gjertsen's presentation, Mai Zetterling's The Girls (1968) will be screened.

About the Film

Directed by Mai Zetterling, The Girls (1968, 100 min, black and white, sound) is a key work in the history of feminist cinema. Contextualized by Aristophanes's comedy Lysistrata, The Girls investigates the complexities of the women's movement. In Le Monde, Simone de Beauvoir wrote, 'All the images have multiple dimensions, the theatrical scenes reflect real life... Ironic and comic, this film moves us by the beauty of its landscapes, its poetry and above all its subtle tenderness'.

About the Speaker

Unni Gjertsen (b.1966) is a visual artist based in Oslo who works with subjects relating to history and memory. She studied at Trondheim Academy of Fine Arts and University of Oslo. In Gjertsen's silk-screen series Creative History (2003-04) tabloid statements are presented in a seductive form, telling the story of success of ten women as intellectuals and artists. By mixing facts, lies and possible truths, the artist addresses a relationship between truth and wanting to believe. She employs a similar strategy in The Mai Zetterling-Project (2005), which focused on the historiography on the Swedish filmmaker. Unni Gjertsen's most recent solo exhibitions have taken place at Baltic Sea Cultural Centre, Gdansk (2007) and Konsthall C Stockholm (2005). Recent group shows include exhibitions at Kasteel van Gaasbeek, Gaasbeek/Belgium, Henie-Onstad Art Centre, Norway and Rauma Biennale, Finland, MuHKA, Antwerp, IASPIS, Stockholm and Göteborgs Konsthall.

Office for Contemporary Art Norway

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway is a private foundation and was founded by The Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs and The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in fall 2001. The main aim of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway is to develop collaborations in contemporary art between Norway and the international art scene. The Office for Contemporary Art Norway aims to become a key contributor to the discourses of contemporary art.