Morten Andenæs and Ivan Galuzin
7 November – 7 December 2014

Through simple spatial interventions, a sculpture and two framed photographs, Andenæs and Galuzin have created a space replete with references to somatic processes and the symbolic space of fantasy and ideology. The gallery space is painted a near black for the occasion, and illuminated only in parts by two light boxes and a single fluorescent light.


At opposite ends of the gallery room are two photographs by Morten Andenæs. Basement stairs, the embassy of the United States of America, Oslo is a small, out of focus photograph, of the staircase that leads from the basement up to the first floor of the American Embassy in Oslo. Although public by nature, the space is one rarely seen by others than accredited individuals on official business. Viktoria, 15, acts her age shows a young woman leaned against a doorway, clad for the occasion in a cocktail dress. With its title, the harsh lighting and slightly larger than life size, the photograph plays with the vernacular style and inherent contradictions of the family snapshot. Though very different in kind, both images point to Andenæs’ sustained interest in fundamental questions pertaining to photography. Authenticity, the photographic point of view and its relation to embodied experience, identificatory projection, as well as the complex relation between photograph and image all find their place within this framework.

Placed on the floor between Andenæs’ photographs is Cabaret Napoleon – Ivan Galuzin’s corporeal sculpture. Made from gelatin, it is a homemade version of the ballistic gel used in forensic science to simulate muscle tissue. Simultaneously vulnerable and emphatic, it imposes itself between Andenæs’ works, revealing something hitherto invisible within them. Given the fragility of the material and its unavoidable transformation and dissolution, the works on display will communicate differently depending on when one sees the exhibition. This organic decomposition that inevitably results in a stain on the floor, ties in with Galuzin’s long standing engagement with bodily processes through installations, paintings and sculpture. At the same time it reveals the artists shared interest in psychoanalytic theory by pointing to the photograph itself as both a literal and symbolic stain.

The exhibition titled THE STAIN, THE ACT, THE MASK AND THE FACT marks the first collaboration between artists Morten Andenæs and Ivan Galuzin and our fifth anniversary, as Andenæs inaugurated MELK as its first exhibitor in the fall of 2009.