11. June 2021 - 04. July 2021
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Opening reception on Friday June 11th from 15–18h
A prompter is one who whispers.
Since the invention of modern theatre, shows all over the world have utilised prompters. Discretely placed next to the stage, the prompter can with a few hasty words lead the players back on track when a memorised text disappears, and by that help actors appear flawless and compelling. Even though the human prompter is being replaced by digital tools – so called teleprompters that projects a scrolling text onto a see through surface – the demand is still the same. As audience, we wish to be fully deceived – and not be reminded that the actors on the stage in front of us basically are acting out a manuscript.
The artist Lars Nordby has recently visited a number of great theaters in Europe. With his camera he has spent the last couple of minutes before the curtain is pulled together with the actors. With these photographs Nordby portrays the theatre as it looks from the back side. Accurate sentences learned by heart, choreographed movements or the perfect lighting is not in focus here; it is the fragility behind the layers of the white makeup mixture of zinc, vermillion and grease is that has captured the attention of the artist. With his portraits of the scenes acted out behind the stage, Nordby here highlights some of the dim solemnity lying right behind the spotlight. The exhibition has been made in collaboration with Rønne Theatre who has provided Sol with formerly used backdrops to create a scenography in Sol that connects the photographies taken by Nordby around different European theatres to Bornholms own theatrical tradition.
Outside the walls of the theatre we are also constantly faced with acting. Changed media reality places higher demands on our abilities to portray ourselves as succesfull individuals, and we expect to see opinion leaders, debaters and politicians act confidently in the spotlight of the media. Spokespersons must be able to ‘deliver’ speeches that they mostly haven’t written themselves in a trustworthy manner in front of a public – the audience – who are ready to judge their performance. In the exhibition space Nordby lets teleprompter-texts with good advice on how to obtain a persuasive behaviour scroll before our eyes. He asks us questions about what the actors are really doing, when they trough layers of theatre makeup and rehearsed lines brush their clothes, prepare their smile and step onto the stage? How are we affected by the well prepared speeches and directed gazes? And to what extend are we, the audience, a part of the act ourselves?
Lars Nordby (b.1988, Norway) currently lives and works in Veliko Turnovo in Bulgaria and Hamar in Norway. Nordby holds an MFA at the Oslo National Academy of Arts (2016). Solo exhibitions Nordby has done include Zinc White Lard at Gallery Rafael Mihaylov in Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria (2020); Abstract Frontline of Identity at Hamar Kunstforening, Norway (2018); Tango, or Echoes of Conditional Self-Assertion at Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, Norway (2016); Dear Hilesh at Chicago Art Department, USA (2015); and To Tole at Poznan Biennale in Poznan, Poland (2015). Lars Nordby is also a freelance curator and runs the contemporary art gallery Heerz Tooya.
Zink White Lard is curated and organised by artists Signe Boe and Sofie Amalie Andersen for the exhibition space Sol. The exhibition is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, Øernes Kunstfond, The Obel Family Foundation, Association of Norwegian Visual Artists (NBK), Arts Council Norway, Office for Contemporary Art (OCA), Municipality of Bornholm and Møbelfabrikken i Nexø.
The exhibition in Sol can be visited on Fridays from 15h-17h and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12h-15h.