nothing will grow together because nothing belongs together
former military naval base olavsvern, tromsø, norway, sept 2015
curated by gallery kurant
Nothing will grow together because nothing belongs together is an exhibition project organized by the young curatorial duo Kurant (Camilla Fagerli and Maria Danielsen) from Tromsø, with Russian co-curators Ekaterina Golubina and Natalia Smolyanskaya. Located at Olavsvern naval base, a 25,000 square meter facility nearby Tromsø, the project includes 14 Russian and Norway-based artists.
The title refers to Billy Brandt’s saying Now what belongs together will grow together allegedly dropped in 1989 when the demolition of the Berlin Wall started. Brandt was the mayor of Berlin at the time and didn’t say the exact phrase; rather it was attributed to him by journalists. Events of such scale require catch phrases so that it stays in people’s memory long after they’re gone; Brandt in a way served as the zeitgeist’s medium. The spirit of the time affects people and it prevails over individuals. The question is to what extent we are able to transgress given conditions, not so much in the sense of social norms but in the sense of questioning and probing our attachments to a historical time and the meanings it dictates.
The historical background of Olavsvern base poses the same problem: What can be done with the strong implications in this particular space; is there a chance to break through its semantic and spatial pressure? Particularly, what can an artistic freedom do in such strict settings?