The Crank Index by Pauliina Pöllänen, Alien Fungus by Siri Berqvam and Hierarchy by Ebbe Arneberg

Exhibition  /  02 May 2024  -  23 Jun 2024
Published: 29.04.2024

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Three exhibitions will be held from May 2nd, 2024, to June 23rd, 2024, at Format Oslo Gallery.

Artist list

Ebbe Arneberg, Siri Berqvam, Pauliina Pöllänen
Pauliina Pöllänen
The Crank Index

With The Crank Index, Pöllänen returns to working with free-standing sculpture after several years of researching the relief form through her artistic practice. The new works draw upon the lineage of figurative sculpture through a fragmented representation of the human body and the expressive potential of the material.

Playing on the fetishized notions concerning the body and the material, the slightly abstracted group of sculptures bridge narratives around aspirations and anxieties connected to human mythology. Through the expressive potential of crank clay different conceptions of containment take shape through art historical and anthropological modes. The body is presented through porous, vessel-like parts which share stylistic characters with the pioneering female ceramicists of the Viennese Secessionist movement, the natural world, and folklore.

Pauliina Pöllänen (1983, Finland) has a PhD in artistic research from The Art Academy, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design at the University of Bergen, 2023. In her research project, Porous Worlds – the Liminal Spaces of Relief, she examined the relief, its connections to art, craft, architecture, and ornament, as well as its various dimensions as an artistic medium. She received her MA from the ceramic department of KhiO in 2012, where she currently works as an associate professor.

In recent years Pöllänen has exhibited at the CLAY museum in Denmark, Kunsthall Grenland, Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum, and Uppsala Art Museum in Sweden. Her last solo show was the Porous Worlds at the Hordaland Kunstsenter in Bergen in 2023. She has been a resident artist at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2018 and at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia in 2016. Her works can be found in the collections of KODE, Nasjonalmuseet, and Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum among other places.

Siri Berqvam
Alien Fungus

Siri Berqvam's work evolves and grows. She works with textiles, yet her techniques evolve in accordance with various works or projects. The artist comments on contemporary issues with needle and thread within the textile universe where seriousness and humor intermingle. In recent years, she has presented several large installations. Common among these is a fascination with the networks to which we are all connected - from the body's internal organs to nature's branches, the hyphae of fungi in the forest's underworld, and the linkages to digital human-made networks. She often creates offshoots of the installations, allowing them to creep into nooks and crannies or out of the gallery through windows and doors. Superstition and phantasms often have roots in the wildness of nature. Berqvam is concerned with what we cannot control, and thus her works can be seen as a kind of fungus or organism pressing out and forward into otherwise controlled environments. Fungus has the potential to branch out further, much like nature and humanity do. The artist is fascinated by the uncontrolled wildness of the forest concerning the body and our internal chaos. The brain is a labyrinth one can get lost in, much like in old and untouched forests.

In the exhibition at Format, she presents a new installation titled Alien Fungus. This consists entirely of hand-sewn and hand-dyed lace fabric. The white translucent material seeks to blend into the gallery's other whiteness, where a flesh-colored "organism" emerges. This organism has eight arms, like the intelligent octopus, our own earthly alien. The alien – as the title refers to – can denote both something exotic and alluring, as well as something invasive. Humanity itself has become an invasive species expanding into new lands and territories, taking over the homes and resources of animals across the globe. The title also refers to art itself on a meta-level; whether it is welcomed or received as an uninvited guest.

Siri Berqvam graduated from the Bergen Academy of Art and Design (MA 2004-2006). Since then, she has exhibited her works in a wide range of solo and group exhibitions, including Haugar Vestfold Art Museum, the Autumn Exhibition at Kunstnernes Hus, KODE Bergen, Trondheim Art Society, Haugesund Art Gallery, Astrup Fearnly Museum, Møre and Romsdal Art Centre, Contextile 2022 in Portugal, Østfold Art Centre, and KHÅK Kunsthall Ålesund. In 2020, she was awarded a 10-year working grant for established artists from the Norwegian Arts Council.

Ebbe Arneberg

Tin is one of the earliest metals used by humans, with the first traces of tin usage dating back almost 6000 years. In Norway, the history of tin stretches back around 3000 years. In recent times, tin has been used in toys, tableware, and decorative objects, often associated with wall-hung tin plates in pine-paneled basements, reproduced medieval jewelry, trophies, and brooches. The material is also an essential component in modern industry, used in alloys and electronics. Despite its historical and practical significance, it could be argued that tin does not command the highest respect among the materials that surround us.

Ebbe Arneberg primarily works with sculptural ceramics. The expression is often tight and symmetrical with elements of organic inspiration, drawing from symmetry and interaction found in nature and among people. Arneberg has exhibited at Ram Gallery in Oslo (2018 and 2022), the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts exhibition in Skien (2021), and at Kunstrommet, Skog in 2023. Arneberg completed a Master's degree in material-based art at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 2022 and has received the Norwegian Government Grant for Artists for 2023 and 2024.

The exhibition is supported by the Norwegian Arts Council.