About Samtidskunst/Contemporary art
Samtidskunst.com is a website that has excisted since 2005. It was established to get people more interested in contemporary art. The website has been offline for several years, but now it’s online in a new modernised design.
Except from Rotten på korset (about the Norwegian artist Morten Viskum and his art), where he in his major piece put a rat on a cross and called it «Love from God» and «En samtale om døden», (a conversation between the artist and myself about death) the rest of the contents is new, and there will be new posts published regularly.
To create a complete overview of contemporary art is impossible, because the art becomes «as we speak», and nor is it the purpose on this site. However, a selection of contemporary art that catches my professional interest , and which I also think will be of interest for others, will be presented on this site. Many of the artists are already well known, but it will also be given space to artists that haven’t been given the great attention yet; «The artist of tomorrow».
Art historian (cand.philol) from University of Bergen, Norway (UIB)
In addition to art history these subjects are also part of the degree: science of religion, science of litterature, Nordic language and litterature and practical teacher training .
The author of Rotten på korset; Master Thesis – UIB 2004
Working as a teacher in upper secondary school
To approach comtemporary art is often difficult, but if you take your time it may be the most interesting art to meet. Contemporary art is the expression of our time and therefore it is a reflection of the society in which we live.
All kind of art is a form of communication; but after Marcel Duchamp in 1917 placed a pissoar in an art gallery and called it Fountain, it became much harder to relate to art; the art was no longer supposed to only please and teach, but also to be emotional and sometimes create strong reactions. Asking about what art is and how to judge it became less of interest, the communication between the art and the viewers became that of interest.
Talking about art; the context is also important; if you approach art in a gallery your expectations will be different from those you will have if the meeting takes place in a public place or in the streets. This will influence the way you will perceive it. Graffiti is a kind of art you expect to meet in the streets, and many discussions have taken place whether it is art or not, but what happened the day they brought the graffiti into the galleries?
To understand contemporary art, you often need some kind of explanation, either from a person who works in the gallery or a catalogue if you are entering an art exhibition, or by reading about it yourself, etc.
As a teacher I often use contemporary art in the classroom, or we visit an art exhibition for contemporary art, and it always turns out to be successful. In my experience the contemporary art often starts exciting and meaningful conversations.
Nevertheless, some contemporary art can be both shocking and create strong reactions. The previously mentioned Norwegian artist Morten Viskum can be placed in this category; he has used dead rats in his art and animal blood in his paintings. It got even more difficult when he placed a rat on a crucifix where the rat replaced Jesus and he named it ”Love from God”. Anyway there’s a whole story you need to know to fully understand his art.
As a teacher some posts on this page will have the perspective of teaching, but you will find other perspectives as well such as articles about exhibitions, presentation of contemporary artists and so on.
I’m sorry to say that you will not find every posts written in Norwegian translated into English yet, but we are working on it, and some of them will only be written in English.
I hope you will find themes and posts that will interest you on this site.
Editor and Professional responsibility