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This summer at Kunstnernes Hus ☀️
Open today 12-17 (Restaurant 11-22)

Holding Pattern

25.11.22 – 15.01.23
Panhans Winkler Freeroam à rebours Vegard Kleven c Kunstnernes Hus DSF8443

This winter, Kunstnernes Hus has the pleasure of presenting the international group show Holding Pattern. What are the choreographies in which our lives are held and what rhythms, or algorithms, drive these? How do these play out in historical, political and cultural terms? And can art, literature, filmmaking, or music draw them out, make them visible, legible, audible, or even contestable? These are some of the themes and questions that the exhibition will explore.

About the Exhibition

Holding Pattern is the English term for the tactic air traffic controllers use to keep several planes orbiting above a busy airport without crashing. What emerges from this 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 exhibition arises from an invitation issued by Kunstnernes Hus Director and former Wire editor Anne Hilde Neset to award-winning novelist Tom McCarthy: to unpack, via contemporary art, the themes dealt with in his books. 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. Choreographer Ingri Fiksdal’s especially commissioned piece Hold On features a dance interpretation of igevär that is performed throughout the exhibition.

Holding Pattern will run from November 25th, 2022, to January 15th, 2023, after which it will travel to HMKV in Dortmund, Germany.

Elizabeth Price SLOW DANS Vegard Kleven c Kunstnernes Hus DSF8415
Elizabeth Price SLOW DANS DSF8424
Elizabeth Price SLOW DANS DSF8428 Pano
Harun Farocki Deep Play Vegard Kleven c Kunstnernes Hus DSF8376
Harun Farocki Deep play DSF8393
Panhans Winkler Freeroam à rebours Vegard Kleven c Kunstnernes Hus DSF8443
Stefan Panhans Andrea Winkler Freeroam À Rebours DSF8473
Stefan Panhans Andrea Winkler Freeroam À Rebours DSF8474
Stefan Panhans Andrea Winkler Freeroam À Rebours DSF8493
Åke Hodell igevär Vegard Kleven c Kunstnernes Hus DSF8570 HDR
Åke Hodell igevär DSF8577
Åke Hodell igevär DSF8584
Stan Douglas Luanda Kinshasa Vegard Kleven c Kunstnernes Hus DSF8500
Stan Douglas Luanda Kinshasa DSF8503
Stan Douglas Luanda Kinshasa Vegard Kleven c Kunstnernes Hus DSF8506
Susan Philipsz Ambient Air Vegard Kleven c Kunstnernes Hus DSF8559 HDR
KH JH Holding Pattern 5553
KH JH Holding Pattern 5521

Exhibition Catalogue

To mark the exhibition, a publication with a new essay by Tom McCarthy and writings by Inke Arns, Magnus Haglund, Sina Najafi, Anne Hilde Neset, Susan Philipsz, David Toop and Judith Vrancken is published by Lenz Publishing.

The catalogue can be purchased at the shop at Kunstnernes Hus or ordered here.

HP katalog omslag


Curated by

Supported by

We thank the Goethe-Institute and Fritt Ord for supporting the exhibition, and to Sparebankstiftelsen DNB for supporting the side program.

Logo Goethe Institut
Logo Sparebankstiftelsen DNB


Det er et markant underskudd på ambisiøse og idédrevne gruppeutstillinger som Holding Pattern i Oslo.

- Kunstkritikk

Selv har jeg fortsatt å tenke på Holding Pattern uvanlig lenge etter at jeg forlot den. Så ambisiøse og stjernespekkede gruppeutstillinger er da heller ikke dagligdags i Oslo.

- Klassekampen

Utstillingen er stramt komponert. Nettopp derfor føles den befriende lett og ledig.

- Morgenbladet

Det viser seg fort at kunstnerne lager like fengende, visuelle universer som det du finner i dataspillene.

- Dagsavisen

I et fly, i en loooooop

- Interview with Tom McCarthy, Klassekampen

Holding Pattern See all