Skip to content Skip to footer

Kunstnernes Hus presents Holding Pattern

November 25, 2022–January 15, 2023

Kunstnernes Hus presents the international group show Holding Pattern from November 25, 2022 to January 15, 2023.

Artists: Stan Douglas, Harun Farocki, Ingri Fiksdal, Åke Hodell, Stefan Panhans & Andrea Winkler, Susan Philipsz, Elizabeth Price

Curators: Tom McCarthy and Anne Hilde Neset

This winter, Kunstnernes Hus hosts the international group exhibition Holding Pattern. What are the choreographies of our lives, and what rhythms or algorithms drive them? How do these play out historically, politically, and culturally? And can art, literature, film, or music bring them to the surface, make them visible, readable, audible, or even contestable? These are some of the themes and questions that will be addressed by the exhibition.

The English phrase for the method used by air traffic controllers to maintain multiple planes hovering above a busy airport without crashing is “holding pattern.” In Norway, pilots will warn their passengers that they are circling by saying, “Vi sirkler.” What emerges from this highly symbolic scenario is the motif of remote control, of skill and mastery; a sense of human destinies being bound up in the circuits of technology; of anticipation and anxiety, danger and salvation (being “brought in safely”); and, most tellingly, of geometry, aesthetics and even beauty: from Plato to Dante and beyond, the universe has been understood in terms of circles, just as for Apelles, Giotto and others the holy grail of art has been to draw a perfect one.

This show is the result of an invitation made by Kunstnernes Hus Director and former Wire editor Anne Hilde Neset to award-winning novelist Tom McCarthy to unravel the subjects addressed in his works through contemporary art. It includes major installation pieces such as Hasselblad Award-winner Stan Douglas’ Luanda-Kinshasa, a six-hour loop depicting an imaginary jam session in New York’s legendary Columbia 30th Street Studio; Turner Prize-winner Elizabeth Price’s SLOW DANS, an elaborate fictional history binding together mining, data storage, men’s ties and the female “teachers” of a mysterious underground ritual; Harun Farocki’s Deep Play, a multi-channel extrapolation of the physical, social, security and broadcast patterns shaping a high-profile international football game; and Stefan Panhans and Andrea Winkler’s Freeroam À Rebours, which toggles between human dancers and digital avatars as it examines the interaction sequences (by turns violent and tender), the loops and glitches of the Grand Theft Auto universe. It includes Turner Prize-winner Susan Philipsz’ Ambient Air, in which she draws a literal holding pattern across Berlin’s sky as she hums Brian Eno’s “Music for Airports” from the cockpit of a small plane, transmitting her voice via radio tower to Tegel Airport’s PA system. Also, Åke Hodell’s seminal Scandinavian-Fluxus work igevär (“to arms”), in which the titular military command-word gathering soldiers into formation is unlocked through repetition to suggest other, more emancipatory calls-to-arms.

Hold On, a specially commissioned piece by choreographer Ingri Fiksdal, will comprise a dance interpretation of igevär that will be performed throughout the show.

Holding Pattern will be on display at HMKV in Dortmund, Germany, from November 25, 2022 until January 15, 2023.

Kunstnernes Hus
Wergelandsveien 17
0167 Oslo
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm,
Thursday 11am–7pm

[email protected]
Facebook / Instagram / YouTube