Lawrence Weiner's HELD JUST ABOVE THE CURRENT
4 November 2016–1 June 2018
The perimeter fence by the new National Museum
The National Museum, OSLO PILOT and Statsbygg in collaboration with the ferry services Norled and Ruter are pleased to present a commissioned work by the internationally renowned New York-based artist Lawrence Weiner. HELD JUST ABOVE THE CURRENT (2016), was unveiled on the perimeter fence around the construction site of the new National Museum 4 November, on the Nesodden ferries, and in the form of 50,000 small, temporary tattoos handed out in several locations in Oslo. The work was removed from the Nesodden ferries and partially removed from the perimeter fence during winter 2018.
Lawrence Weiner (b. 1942 in New York) is one of the foremost artists in America and Europe today. A central figure in the Conceptual art movement of the 1960s, he is renowned for his language-based sculptures and other works exploring language. His artworks can be found in numerous museums, private collections and public spaces around the world. As a leading figure in the conceptual art movement of the 1960s, Weiner’s exceptional, pioneering creations defy traditional notions of what constitutes a work of art.
Using language as his material, Weiner has defined his work as sculpture and when asked, he refers to its medium as “language + the material referred to”. Weiner maintains that language itself is 3-dimensional, declaring that the work is what it says it is. His work seeks to transcend the restraints of any particular culture and context, leaving it open to the individual’s intellectual reading as a “receiver”. As such, his work is ever present, ever in flux and never finished. It offers a radical redefinition of the relationship between artist and receiver, thereby promoting a universal accessibility for art.
Lawrence Weiner in Norway
Today, Weiner’s only permanent work to be seen in Norway is WATER MADE IT WET, installed on a large commercial building in Svolvær harbour for the Lofoten International Art Festival in 1999. He has participated in two shows at Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo. His 1996 work THINGS MADE TO BE SEEN FORCEFULLY OBSCURED was included in the group show “Draft Deceit” in 2006, and his 1994 piece USE ENOUGH TO MAKE IT SMOOTH ENOUGH ASSUMING A FUNCTION was exhibited in the lobby of Kunstnernes Hus in 2014. In September 2016 he had an exhibition at OSL contemporary in Oslo. This is not to say that Weiner’s contact with Norway has been slight. Just as he was formulating his seminal Statement of Intent in 1969, he fabricated A GLACIER VANDALISED somewhere on the Svartisen glacier.
Address: Brynjulf Bulls plass 2