Knut Åsdam

The long gaze the short gaze

MAY – JUNE 2009
  • Filter City, 2003
  • Finally, 2006
  • Oblique, 2008
  • Things on Floor (Oblique Photos), 2009
  • M, O, R, A, Back Space (Oblique Photos), 2009
  • Intersection With Cars, 2009
  • Vilnius - Klaipeda Unfinished Blurred House, 2009

The exhibition “the long gaze the short gaze” is a look around the political space and the limits of subjectivity. Through three video projections and a series of photographs Åsdam analyzes of the relationship of the person and the environment, linking this issue with issues of disagreement.


Four categories are essential to Åsdam’s work; Speech, Living, Sexualities and Struggle. Speech is often theatrical and poetically displaced in Åsdam’s film, video and audio works, and point out how subjectivity is formed through speech acts — either through actual speech or through other forms of self-articulation like clothing, gestures and routines. Many of his works express an interest for the performative aspects of speech and for how meaning is temporarily stabilized through repetition, inscription and reinscription. The category of Living is descriptive of the integration of architecture, place and social dynamics, for instance how a park functions within a city, or, how our everyday lives are conditioned by rapid economic and political changes. The works also display a strong interest for the interplay of fantasy and narration in everyday experience of the environment. Sexualities refers to the plurality of sexual and gendered experience, fundamental for Åsdam`s construction of characters. His work witnesses a sensitivity to the instability of the self that expands on the merits of queer theory and feminism, and simultaneously invites the viewers own desires and presuppositions in the building of narrative and desire. Struggle is vital, not only in a political sense, but also as a way of understanding the contestation and affirmation of ‘speech’ (subject formation), ‘living’ (the meaning of the everyday) and ‘sexualities’ (the meaning of our bodies) in our everyday, involving both psychological and social processes.


Knut Åsdam was born in Trondheim, Norway in 1968 and he lives and works in Oslo. He has been showing on the international art scene for the last ten years. He represented Norway in the 50 Venice Biennale, participated in the 8 Istanbul Biennale, the 1st Melbourne International Biennale and in Manifesta 7, Italy. He has shown, among many others, at Tate Britain, the Kunsthalle Bern, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo, the Moderna Museet, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the MOMA/PS1, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and in FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon. Articles related to his work have been published in Artforum, Grey Room, Le Monde Diplomatique, Untitled Magazine, amongst others.


Upcoming projects and exhibitions 2009

Walter & Mc Bean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute, USA

Tate Modern, UK