Press Releases : 2015/10

Last week on view: Staging Two. "They Went Away to Stay"

Published 2015/10/29

"They Went Away to Stay" installation view. Photo: OCA / Herman Dreyer



A project by Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri with Ben Morea

Opening Hours: Thu–Sun. / 12:00–17:00

Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Nedre gate 7, 0551 Oslo I

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The Office for Contemporary Art Norway announces the last week of Staging Two. “They Went Away to Stay” by Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri with Ben Morea, which closes on Sunday 1 November at 17:00, concluding the programme 'Of Love, Departures and Countering Defeats in Choleric Times. Three Stagings.'

Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri are committed to artistic processes and inquiries that actively attempt to transform the world around us. In this broader commitment to interrogate our time, and to imagine other potentialities (through what is called past and future), their practice has evolved and opened up to a multiplicity of forms and manifestations such as film, performance, publication, un-workshops and collective situations – reflecting the vital interplay between research, creation, and presentation.

For Staging Two. "They Went Away to Stay", they invited Ben Morea – artist, anarchist, and a critical voice in the radical counter-cultural and political struggles of the 1960s. Together they animate and share central questions of their engagement with not only this historical moment, but our relation to time itself, and to history. All three practitioners are interested in the way different historical processes, including the intertwining of capitalism and colonialism, have shaped the world. Morea has devoted the last forty years to think through what a radical critique of colonialism could mean in the way life is lived and perceived, while Anastas and Gabri reflect upon the notions of development and underdevelopment – all critical terms through which the world continues to be divided and formed. As the artists write:

'Development is the flag flapping on the progressive ship of modernity, sailing and at the same time sinking, yet convincing the world that it is the only way forward. Underdevelopment is the less tarnished word for what used to be called "primitive" or "backward" designating places, countries or communities that do not adhere to the paradigms of progress or modernity and have a different relation to history, time and tradition.'

On the opening night of the exhibition, the makers of the project presented a new film partially based on a research trip they conducted in the north of Norway exploring the relationship between culture and the environment. This film is now presented within their installation.

Anastas, Gabri, and Morea's visit to Tromsø, as well as the Troms and Finnmark counties, was initiated as part of the OCA ISP programme. OCA extends its appreciation for the collaborative support of High North AiR Network of the Troms fylkeskommune, the Tromsø Kunstforening and the Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art.

For more information about the programme please contact OCA Communication Manager Tara Hassel.

Ayreen Anastas
and Rene Gabri dislike biographies. Currently their work is also on view within the award-winning Armenian Pavilion, in the context of the 56th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.

Ben Morea believes in ongoing processes and doesn't believe in resting on his so-called past.

For more information about 'Of Love, Departures and Countering Defeats in Choleric Times. Three Stagings', please click here.

OCA's ‘Notations’ unfolds as a series of programmatic activities – performing, writing, thinking, fragmenting, exhibiting, moving, eating and socialising – that explore the desire for the institution to reflect upon the potential for artistic practice as an alchemical sphere of public action.