Victor Lind, one of Norway’s most important contemporary artists, holds his first solo exhibition in Bergen in over 30 years.
Throughout his 50-year-long artistic career, Lind’s work has addressed contemporary and historical events: the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan, the war in Vietnam, powerful politicians, the assaults on the Sami people in Alta, and, since 1994, the deportation of Norwegian Jews during World War II.
Titled “Die Niemandsrose / No man’s rose”, Lind’s exhibition at Hordaland Kunstsenter focuses on his comprehensive investigation of the deportation of Norwegian Jews to Auschwitz during the Nazi occupation of Norway. The exhibition comprises 15 works selected from the ongoing project “Contemporary Memory”, first exhibited at Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, in 2012. Lind has worked with this cycle for over 20 years, and the exhibition at Hordaland Kunstsenter is his first solo exhibition in Bergen since 1983.
Out of a total of 772 Norwegian Jews who were deported to Auschwitz, only 34 survived. 532 of them were picked up on different locations in Oslo and deported on the 26th of November 1942. This operation was led by Norwegian police inspector Knut Rød, who was subsequently acquitted of his actions in the Norwegian court on 9 April 1948. Rød is an important point of reference in several of Lind’s works, including paintings, photographs, videos and a sculpture in which the police inspector is frozen in bronze saluting Hitler. On the base of the sculpture, titled “Monument” is an inscription which reads: “The monument stands until the sentence of 9 April 1948 is annulled”.
We are not done with this part of Norwegian war history. However Lind also addresses a broader theme through this exhibition and his artistic practice: power is still abused and people are still dehumanised. Beyond Norway’s role in the Holocaust, Lind’s exhibition invites us to ask how and where the attitudes of the past prevail in the present.
The selection of works for Hordaland Kunstsenter shows the depth of the “Contemporary Memory” cycleboth conceptually and in the artist’s use of media and expressions. The works range from the almost banal to the profound, mixing history, the present age and fantasy.
Of the first presentation of Contemporary Memory in Oslo, NRK wrote: “It is an important exhibition because it reminds us of something we should never allow ourselves to forget, that our deep responsibility as human beings is to think freely and make independent decisions.”
Victor Lind reminds us that we always have a choice.
we were, are, shall
the nothing –, the
no one’s rose.
From «Psalm» in the collection of poems «The No-One’s Rose» by the Rumenian poet Paul Celan (1963).
Victor Lind (b. 1940, Lunner) is one of Norway’s most important contemporary artists. Born in the year the Second World War broke out in Norway, he has left his mark on the Norwegian art scene through an active career spanning the last 50 years. His father was the artist Carl Victor Lind and his mother Jewish American Lilya Slotnikoff. Lind had his first solo exhibition with metal graphics at Gallery 27 in Oslo in 1966. Lind studied (1966-69) and subsequently taught (1982-87) at the Statens Kunstakademi.
His works are represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Norway, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo, Norwegian Arts Council, KODE: Kunstmuseene i Bergen, Oslo kommune and many other Norwegian and international institutions.
Per Bjarne Boym (b. 1946, Nord-Fron) is an independent curator and art historian. Former director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo (1996-2003), curator and manager of Lillehammer city’s collection of paintings (1984-1993), director of the Bergen art collections (1994-1995) and director of the Munch Museum/Oslo’s art collections (1995-1996).