Svein Flygari Johansen – White Scenes

Svein Flygari Johansen – White Scenes

Svein Flygari Johansen was chosen as a Guardian’s ‘Artist of the week’ in December 2011, in connection with a large exhibition in London. His work can currently be seen in the exhibition The Desire for Freedom: Art in Europe since 1945 at the Berlin Museum of History (with, inter alia, Joseph Beuys and Gerhard Richter).

Johansen was educated at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Bergen and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, where he studied art theory and art communication. Since the 90s, he has been a significant figure in the Norwegian art scene, and has, amongst other things, helped run Gallery Struts. He has undertaken a number of commissions and is characterised by a surprising and innovative use of technology. Johansen cooperates with computer programmer Jonny Bradley, and together, the two have developed several of the exhibition’s pieces.

Central to White Scenes is an underlying and captivating fascination with fear, where Johansen vaguely points out that people are drawn towards exactly that: fear. Through various pieces of art, Johansen invites us into situations that create the illusion of time and action, closeness and distance.

The exhibition title can be linked to how Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, in several of his movies, uses white as the colour of fear, rather than as the colour of innocence, which is probably the more common association.

White Scenes comprises four different installations, which can all be taken as scenes where something fateful lies shuddering beneath the poetic and often alluring surface. In it, we find car crashes projectioned onto broken glass and a fish that narrowly escapes death. The actual background for each individual piece is not always readily apparent to the viewer. As such, we are invited to use our own interpretations to decode Johansen’s projects.

These exhibitions will be shown 9 February – 10 March 2013.