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hitting a mountain with snow on my left and right shoulder

A K Dolven
TKM Gråmølna 
15.06 - 13.10.2019

Photo:  A K Dolven, JA as long as I can, 2011. Image from Wilkinson Gallery, UK.

A K Dolven is one of Norway’s most prominent contemporary artists with an extensive international career. Based on her own bodily experiences and her work environment, she takes up general human themes in her art practice. In her works one will often be faced with a raw simplicity where one can also see traces of the process.  The expression is naked and direct, and she succeeds in creating a balance between the materiality of the works and their existential content.

The exhibition at TKM Gråmølna includes paintings, photographies, video and sound installations. We are particularly proud to be the first to present four brand new works. Among the new ones is the title work touching you with snow on my left and right shoulder, which is a monumental pitch-black oil painting where the artist has used her own shoulders to paint three white strokes. A K Dolvens visual works are often kept in a greyscale, or in contrasting blacks and whites. She works in a very immediate way, and says:

When one works the way I do, the expression is quite vulnerable. It may easily tilt one way or the other and not work at all. It’s about finding the right balance.

A K Dolven’s works are characterized by a physical presence in the process. In the sound works, for instance, she often uses her own voice. In one of the works at the exhibition, JA – as long as I can, she and the beat poet John Giorno repeat the word ja for 22 minutes. The sound comes from a vinyl record which is played on a traditional record player.

We all have different relationships to the word ja, it is an existential word. The Norwegian ja often becomes physical, as we sometimes pronounce it while drawing our breath, and as long as you can say JA, you breathe, and therefore, you exist. It is just two letters, a simple word. 

In connection with the exhibition, the museum has produced a new book. It includes an extensive interview and an essay, as well as images. The book is available for purchase in the museum shop.