June 14th, 2011
Artists: Nicholas Byrne, Timothy Furey, Ken Okiishi, Nick Mauss, Josef Strau
Venue: 1857, Oslo
Exhibition Title: Nobody Can Tell the Why of It
Date: May 27 – August 14, 2011
Curated by: Esperanza Rosales
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of 1857, Oslo
The weather had turned so much worse that the rest of the day was certainly lost. The wind had risen and the storm gathered force; they gave from time to time a thump at the firm windows and dashed even against those protected by the verandah their vicious splotches of rain. Beyond the lawn, beyond the cliff, the great wet brush of the sky dipped deep into the sea. But the lawn, already vivid with the touch of May, showed a violence of watered green; the budding shrubs and trees repeated the note as they tossed their thick masses, and the cold troubled light, filling the pretty saloon, marked the spring afternoon as sufficiently young.
Those seated there in silence could pursue without difficulty – as well as, clearly, without interruption – their respective tasks; a confidence expressed, when the noise of the wind allowed it to be heard, by the sharp scratch of a pen at the table, busy with letters.
The visitors, settled onto a small set of stairs that, with a palm-tree, a screen, a stool, a lamp, a stand, a bowl of flowers and three photographs in silver frames, had been arranged near the light wood-fire as a choice “corner” – the guests turned audibly, though at intervals neither brief nor regular, the leaves of books covered in lemon-coloured paper and not yet despoiled of a certain fresh crispness. The effect of these volumes, for the eye, would have made them, as presumably the newest French novels – and evidently, from the attitude of the readers, “good” – consort happily with the special tone of the room, a consistent air of selection and suppression, one of the finer aesthetic evolutions. If the writer was fond of ancient French furniture and distinctly difficult about it, her inmates could be fond – with whatever critical cocks of charming dark-braided heads over slender sloping shoulders – of modern French authors. Nothing bad passed for half an hour – nothing at least, to be exact, but that each of the companions occasionally and covertly intermitted their pursuits in such a manner as to ascertain the degree of absorption of the other without turning round. What their silence was charged with therefore was not only a sense of the weather, but a sense, so to speak, of its own nature.
Henry James, “The Story of It”, with small insertions by Esperanza Rosales
‘Nobody Can Tell the Why of it’ takes its name from an inflated and slightly exaggerated as well as archaic idiomatic translation of the title to an engraving by Francisco Goya.
The exhibition is a means of engaging threads of mysticism in five contemporary practices and invites the artists involved to produce new work in a former lumberyard in the center of Oslo. Linking mysticism to certain forms of male hysteria, it brings works spanning the fields of drawing, painting, writing, video and sculpture, together in a non-exegetical fashion.
Furthermore, it examines the paradox that exists at the site of communion between individual practitioners and collective efforts.
Link: Group Show at 1857