Lars Korff Lofthus
The women’s bunad, or traditional costume, from Hardanger in Western Norway has a centuries-old tradition, while the men’s version was relaunched in the 1920s on the basis of clothing from the 1800s. Lars Korff Lofthus has updated the men’s costume with absurd, modern features, such as oversized brooches, moonshine accessories, tassels, and long hats. His humorous take on national identity, and on the way that such identities like to pretend they have never changed, will perhaps provide ammunition to the gatekeepers who uphold Norway’s clothing traditions. Looking like fashion pictures, the works are a collaboration with the photographer Bent René Synnevåg and were first shown at the Hardanger Music Festival in 2017.
In his paintings, Korff Lofthus often addresses the conventional roles and presentations of masculinity, exploring representations of men through unusual materials, colours, and sources. For Korff Lofthus, pornographic images may be just as valid as a source of knowledge as the National Museum’s collection of peasant furniture. Homoerotic elements also come into play, as they certainly do in the countryside as well. They have Grindr there too. GH