NoPlace, Tidens Krav, and UKS in Oslo, Norway
Per Kristian Nygård, Not Red But Green, at No Place Gallery
NoPlace is an artist run space organized by Jason Havneraas, Kristian Skylstad, Karen Nikgol, Hans Christian Skovholt, and Petter Buhagen. During Not Red But Green, Per Kristian Nygård constructed and grew an impressive, hilly landscape of grassy mounds, receding mysteriously into an interior room. By estimation, the lawn may have receded thirty feet or so, but illusion stretched this to visually harbor the scale of true hillsides, presenting the viewer with elvish wonderment about process as well as intention. Several small children in attendance had to be warded off from climbing onto the greenway, and this was no wonder, for there was an instinctual and inviting pull from the grass, making one want to depart from the conventions of art viewership. The grass sculpture was grown in entirety from seeds that had been planted two or two-and-a-half weeks earlier, and the mound formations brought to mind Icelandic lore of Huldufólk, or Hidden People, the mythical inhabitants of stones and mounds. I asked Kristian Nygård if there was a connection to this Icelandic lore of the land, and he said not in particular, and rather he’s engaging with what he described as “basic sculpture” (seeds and soil) and “just works in space. ” Simply put, he said he was “trying to make something that doesn’t make sense.” Kristian Nygård also described how undertaking these interior sculptures involve finding out particularities and the labor of becoming “your own assistant and a gardener.” A visceral connection to craft and an open sense of process took hold, eclipsing the end result of production or concept of object.