The Statement of the Jury
Kristensen composes expansive and complex installations, made up from a plethora of individual works, often with a restricted set of themes. The use of repetitions and recycling are one of the reasons that the individual works seem to dissolve in the multitude of objects. The experience may at times be overwhelming. Kristensen has also allowed himself to have a go at the “geamtkunstwerk” par excellence, namely the opera, and he has no fear at all of the colour brown. His works appear to be sincere and full of irony and at the same time. They are heartfelt and maybe full of longing for the creative power of art, but they keep an ironic distance to the role of art in a political and economic market.
Steinar Haga Kristensen (b.1980 in Oslo) works with a wide range of media and formats; painting, sculpture, video, performance etc. His practice is marked by a sort of auto-excavation or digestion where the artist repetitively uses his own artistic activity and motifs as a basis for new repetitions, regardless of media and thematic. His works operate in an anarchist expression which discusses art, form, and meaning, for instance in the frescoes Konsensusbilde, (consensus image) which was produced in Oslo City Hall in 2013 - 2015, as a backdrop for a new opera, composed by Haga Kristensen himself. In the libretto one is guided through an artist’s efforts to complete a commission which is supposed to reflect our own times, which is no longer concerned with that which is great or monumental, but rather focuses on the private and individual. This comprehensive work of art, which has hence become a permanent but hidden part of the city hall, exemplifies how Haga Kristensen in his practice challenges basic conventions for how art finds its place in society and the relationship between an artwork and the viewer. Haga Kristensen is represented by Galleri Brandstrup, Oslo. He has exhibited, among other places, at Bozar, Brussels, Belgium; at Passerelle, Brest, France; in the Centre for Contemporary Art, Vilnius, Lithunia; at WIELS Contemporary Art Center, Brussels; in the Kunsthall Oslo; Witte de With, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; the Museum for Contemporary Art, KODE, Bergen, Kunsthal Aarhus, Aarhus, Etablissement d’en face, Brussels, Belgium, UKS, Oslo, and Den Frie, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Steinar Haga Kristensen has his education from the Norwegian Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo and from Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna.