In Autumn 2021, Bergen Kunsthall presents an international exhibition with 27 artists, research projects and an extensive events program focusing on the relationship of Bergen and the ocean. With some of the artist projects taking place in public space, the exhibition takes the city as a topic, but also as an arena in which art can initiate public discussions. Over centuries, the city of Bergen has been largely defined by its relation to the sea. Situated on the Norwegian coast, halfway between the fishing grounds in Northern Norway and continental Europe, the city has developed as an international trading hub and is today one of the most important cities for the oil industries and maritime research.
The projects are based on research and take on various formats, as sculptures and installations, printed projects, photographs, painting, interventions or performative work. Some of the projects are realized at offsite locations, in public space or in collaboration with partners from non-art contexts. The exhibition in the galleries of Bergen Kunsthall presents further projects as well as historical works and thematic projects that give a background to the topic and approach. These include seminal artworks dealing with oceanic themes, such as Allan Sekula’s Fish Story and Elin Már Øyen Vister’s soundworks from Røst.
The exhibition functions as a starting point for a visit to the works in other locations, as a self-planned tour through some of the hidden aspects and areas of the city. Throughout the exhibition period, a dense program of public events, including talks, film screenings and workshops, will expand the topics of the exhibition discursively.