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.
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.
Stefan Panhans & Andrea Winkler
Anne Hilde Neset
Det er et markant underskudd på ambisiøse og idédrevne gruppeutstillinger som Holding Pattern i Oslo.
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.
Utstillingen er stramt komponert. Nettopp derfor føles den befriende lett og ledig.
Det viser seg fort at kunstnerne lager like fengende, visuelle universer som det du finner i dataspillene.
I et fly, i en loooooop