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September 17–October 30, 2022
Exhibition opening: September 16, 6–10pm, with a reading by author Gerd Brantenberg and inaugural speeches by Antonio Cataldo and Alessandra Prandin
“A beautiful trait of Brittany Nelson’s work is that in taking care of others, through photography, she addresses in a radically delicate way the devastating effects on individuals—and I would say also on technology—of compulsory heterosexuality.” —Chus Martínez, “I Want to Touch the Cosmos with My Eyes”, Fotogalleriet, upcoming, 2022
The history of photography is rewritten by Brittany Nelson’s art. One of the most intriguing artists of her generation, Nelson challenges modernism and neoliberal notions of development by critiquing Western conceptions of space exploration and colonization.
Nelson creates some of the biggest “bromoil” prints in the entire globe using a method from the 1920s. Nelson’s search for a distinct relationship between representation and technology is embodied by bromoil, an emotionally charged hand-crafted method that uses lithographic inks instead of the silver used in photographic prints. She re-contextualizes historical and contemporary science fiction and scientific advancements using this photographic technique, including NASA photographs created by so-called “rovers” from robots.
The images on display at Fotogalleriet are landscape shots of Mars, a planet that the public frequently associates with both the past and the future. Nelson’s artworks incorporate pictures from the enormous Opportunity Mars rover archive. The robot was left on the planet by itself for 14 years and continued to perform well after its anticipated life span. The artist gives the robot back an unconscious life. In Nelson’s opinion, the rover is a “gay icon” since it views its exploration of the planet as a quest for friendship.
Nelson’s work is interference, a hiccup in the thousands of information sent from 70,404 million kilometers out across space to Earth. These photos, which in practice are science fiction and are a part of the discourse of space flight, which is a field that is similarly dominated by men as photography is, are complicated by her work.
Several new productions confronting ecology, futurism, and techno-fetishism will be featured in Meet Me At Infinity. The exhibition, which is a part of Fotogalleriet’s program, tackles and questions conventional structures and standards both inside and beyond the world of art. It establishes connections between the creative program and areas like politics, society, health, space exploration, and technology. In addition, Meet Me At Infinity suggests that aesthetics and photography should not only interact with society but also demand change.
Curators Chus Martínez and Xiaoyu Weng, and artist and writer Himali Singh Soin have been invited to contribute texts to the exhibition book.
Gerd Brantenberg, a renowned LGBTQ author and award-winning novelist, will read unpublished works on the opening night. Dr. Antonio Cataldo, artistic director of Fotogalleriet, and Alessandra Prandin, director of CAP Saint-Fons (Centre d’art de Saint-Fons), will make opening remarks. Brittany Nelson’s solo exhibition I Wish I Had a Dark Sea, which took place at CAP Saint-Fons in the spring of 2022 and served as the inspiration for the Oslo exhibition, was held there.
About the artist
Brittany Nelson (b. 1984, Great Falls, MT, US) is the recipient of a Creative Capital Foundation Grant in Visual Arts and a Theo Westenberger Foundation Grant for advancing women in the arts. Her work has been exhibited at Le CAP—Centre d’art Saint Fons (Saint-Fons, France), Die Ecke (Santiago, Chile), Sonnenstube (Lugano, Switzerland), Bonniers Konsthall (Stockholm, Sweden), The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (Detroit, MI, USA), The Brooklyn Academy of Music (New York, NY, USA), The Cranbrook Art Museum (Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA), The Newcomb Art Museum (New Orleans, LA, USA), Patron Gallery (Chicago, IL, USA), Harnett Museum of Art (Richmond, VA, USA), The International Print Center (New York, NY, USA), among many others. Her monograph “Out Of The Everywhere” was released in 2019 by Mousse Publishing (Milan, Italy), and her sculptural book “Monuments to the Conquerors of Space” was released in 2017 and published by Small Editions (New York, NY, USA). Nelson is currently an Artist in Residence with the SETI Foundation: she was a 2017 artist in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA, USA): and is the recipient of the Fish/Pearce Award for process-based work from the Print Center (Philadelphia, PA, USA). Her work has been featured in Art in America, Frieze, and The New Yorker.
The oldest kunsthalle in the Nordic region devoted completely to photography as a critical artistic practice is called Fotogalleriet. A public foundation in the heart of Oslo, it receives the majority of its funding from the Oslo Municipality, the Norwegian Photographic Fund, and the Norwegian Royal Ministry of Culture.