Magne Furuholmen: In transit

  • Dear all who is interested in the book "in transit",


    i have the original book with the new cover.
    It was a present from a colleague who is a friend of Magne.
    Tomorrow I will start an auction on ebay (including description and photos).
    So if u are interested come and see...


    Ich habe das Buch zum Verschenken ersteigert. Leute, das ist vielleicht ein Schinken! Heftig schwer und sehr hochwertig gemacht. Ich selbst verstehe ja von Kunst gar nichts, aber die Beschenkte war hellauf begeistert. Ich denke, wenn jemand sich für Kunst interessiert, ist das Buch echt nicht zu teuer. Es sind auch einige sehr schöne Bilder von Magne bei der Arbeit drin. Auch gibt es einige längere Texte, aber die habe ich nicht gelesen. Dazu hat die Zeit vom Erhalt bis zum Verschenken nicht gereicht.

  • Expect the unexpected


    Magne Furuholmen is a self-professed workaholic, and is often in the midst of several large projects at once. As busy as he is, it has been a while since we’ve had an opportunity to ask him some questions about his work, so we’re grateful that he had the time to share his thoughts about several topics.


    As many of you know by now, Magne tends to write in all lower case, so we left his text true to form. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into Magne’s current projects!


    ~~~~~~~~~~


    a-ha.com: How and when did the ‘In Transit’ project come about?


    the idea for in transit dates back to 2009, but other projects kept coming in the way of the book-design process, which of course also meant new things needed to be included.


    a-ha.com: Was it your own idea to document your art career, or did someone suggest it to you?


    lars gundersen, a danish photographer and a friend, has accompanied me on many trips, and documented many of my various projects over the years. so my original idea was to publish a lot of these photographs taken in work situations over the years in artist-book format, with just a long casual conversation between the poet henning kramer dahl and myself flowing through the book. we actually did a full couple of days of talking to each other and transcribing it.


    i really wanted to stay away from the standard books made about art and approach it more like a cookbook, with shots from the ‘kitchen’ (workshop), of the ‘ingredients’ (print-plates, paper, ink, tools etc), with just a few chosen works as the finished dish – with some very short texts to describe these as a kind of ‘recipe’.


    but in the end, press convinced me to make a more comprehensive list of my projects – they played on my vanity that this would somehow make people more aware of and interested in my work.


    a-ha.com: The book was first mentioned as an upcoming release by Press in winter 2010/2011; eventually it was published two years later, close after your 50th birthday and your ‘Bouquet’ jubilee exhibition. With all of the work and projects you’ve done in the past few years, was it difficult to finally set a cutoff point and finalize the book for print?


    well, after a few delays and me insisting on new things being included, the publishers and i just had to agree on an iron-clad deadline – and then we missed that one too, of course.


    a-ha.com: What was the original scope of the book content-wise, and how much longer is it as a result of the two years’ additional production time?


    it ended up being about twice as many pages as originally planned.


    a-ha.com: The book does not include the ‘Til ungdommen’ time capsule project, which was of national and no doubt personal significance as well. You said at the time that your role was to facilitate the creation of the time capsule, but that the thoughts and words of Norway’s youth whose letters are enclosed should have the focus. Even so, are you disappointed that this emotionally and socially impactful project could not be included in the book?


    not really, i have documented this project, so it may appear in a book somewhere later.
    i have learned a lot from these multi-provider projects – whether with apparatjik, my solo work or as a visual artist.
    i thought this archive / sculpture came together quite beautifully and unpretentiously.
    anyone interested can always go to the national archive and see it on permanent display.


    a-ha.com: Are there other works or projects not included, and if so what was the reason for excluding them?


    there are some projects – and a rather disturbingly large amount of works that are not included in the book, but then it was never meant as a ‘catalogue raisonné’.
    i tried to include a selection of works from all strands of my visual practice, but i had to kill a lot of darlings along the way.
    this is the first time i have allowed myself to look back, and the most interesting thing about it is to notice connections between works, and pre-warnings – seeds planted early that blossomed much later.


    a-ha.com: Were there any challenges in documenting your work? Did you find it difficult to find print-quality photos of various projects?


    not every project had high quality photos, like the money tree etc, but i chose to include them anyway for their relation to subsequent works.


    a-ha.com: The book includes interpretive essays about your work, written by art historians and others. However the ongoing texts associated with many of your projects are not attributed to anyone; did you write these (or any) parts of the book?


    a number of people were involved in the short explanatory texts – myself included.
    mainly perhaps because i had the most relevant info to explain the basic concepts and ideas behind the work.


    a-ha.com: In 2012, you had two exhibitions which included works from throughout your art career, at Blaafarveverket Museum and at Gallery Trafo. Did you find that selecting and arranging the works spanning 20+ years for display generated interesting or unexpected results?


    well, i liked seeing the old works again in new surroundings.
    i guess the new series of woodcuts (norwegian wood) really came about as a side-result of the rummaging through old material.


    a-ha.com: Was it difficult to choose what to include in these exhibitions?


    for the trafo show, i had some help in choosing from my long-standing assistant tor einar krogtoft-jensen and knut blomstrøm.
    at blaafarveverket it was clear from the get-go that the emphasis would be on early woodcuts.


    a-ha.com: In looking back on your art career, did you discover (or reawaken) any unfulfilled artistic goals or ambitions?


    hmm, i am not quite sure what that means…
    as long as i work there will be ambition on behalf of these new babies.


    a-ha.com: What works are you particularly proud of or attached to, and why?


    i tend to love the ones that signal some sort of break away from the rest, and of course those that get the least attention.


    this is almost a universal norm – musicians almost always herald the least successful work as their most important, b sides as bigger favorites than hit singles etc.
    in any oeuvre there will be work that is met with less fanfare than others, and the heart bleeds for the overlooked.


    a-ha.com: You’ve included an unfinished work, ‘Traveller’, in the book. Do you have an intention to finish this work at some point? Are there other unfinished works in your collection, and what will happen with them?


    the road is littered with unfinished projects. i had an idea to make a book with all these aborted missions….but actually that book is in itself an unfinished project, haha!


    a-ha.com: In an interview with Hot Rod in 2003, you were asked if there is anywhere in the world you would like to exhibit your works, and you mentioned Louisiana, Denmark. Since that time have you discovered other places/spaces where you would like to have an exhibition of your work?


    nope, still only louisiana
    ;)


    a-ha.com: As an artist you are constantly looking for ways to challenge yourself and to work with new materials, and you have often said you don’t like to become too comfortable with success, preferring to demolish the sandcastle you’ve built and do something new. However are there materials or tools or processes that you find yourself returning to or that have remained constant throughout your career?


    i have a treasure chest of maquettes and cutouts and printing materials that have accompanied me a lot longer than i had originally planned for them.
    i keep trying to rid myself of these by staging ‘endings’, like alpha beta etc..but the suckers are really resilient – they keep popping up again!


    a-ha.com: Looking ahead, you are working on a book called ‘Apparatjik World’. What can we expect from this book?


    expect the unexpected.


    a-ha.com: Who is working on the book with you, and when do you think it will be published?


    i have been working with a very interesting norwegian graphic designer on this.
    we have an offer from a good german art publisher, and we are also in dialogue with others.


    a-ha.com: Do you enjoy working on books, or did you find it a burden to be working on ‘In Transit’ concurrently with your art?


    it’s a bit like strenuous exercise; hurts while you do it, but feels really good afterwards.


    a-ha.com: It has been nearly ten years since the publication of ‘Payne’s Gray’, which included a collection of your poems; and from 2006-2008 you shared original poetry on your MySpace page on a regular basis, which resulted in hundreds of comments from readers and a Top 10 MySpace Blog award in 2006. Do you have any plans to publish more of your poetry in either print or digital format?


    the poetries, as i prefer to call them, belonged to that time and had a huge effect on all my other work.
    they live quite happily in my drawers for the time being.


    a-ha.com: Your official website includes photos from many of your exhibitions, performances and projects, however it doesn’t compare to the level of detailed documentation of your art career that ‘In Transit’ offers. Having put together so much material for the book, do you have any plans to add to or change your website to include more photos and details about your art?


    yes, it might be sensible to restructure this archive now as it is really cumbersome to find certain news items etc.


    a-ha.com: You have worked with sound/audio works alone and in connection with visual and performance arts since 1994. Now that you have documentation of your art via ‘In Transit’, have you considered producing a similar documentation of your sound/audio projects as well? Did you find it limiting to only be able to include text descriptions of your sound/audio projects in the book?


    of course it limits the experience of the viewer/listener to have mere description, so it would make sense to collect them in some way…hmm, a new project – just what the doctor ordered!


    a-ha.com: Guests at THE THIEF in Oslo will find a copy of ‘In Transit’ in their hotel room, along with a selection of other artist’s books. How did this arrangement come about?


    sune nordgren, the hotel curator, bought a few of my climax card games to display in certain key rooms, and the hotel bought books to go with them.


    a-ha.com: You have collaborated with THE THIEF on the book launch and on several Apparatjik music, art and design projects. Apart from the eight Apparatjik prints on display in the Apparatjik Suite, are there any other works of yours on view at the hotel?


    there are the climax card games mentioned above, and actually the entire apparatjik suite is kind of a piece in itself.
    other than that, people can see two permanent apparatjik sculptures nearby at tjuvholmen; rudolph the chrome nosed reindeer is on display just in front of the museum, a stone’s throw away from the hotel, and a new permanent piece titled ‘the sound of silence’ has been erected on the waterfront – just across the bridge from the museum sculpture park.


    a-ha.com: ‘In Transit’ was launched at Paul Stolper in London during the first week of May. What kind of response to the book are you hoping for in that market, where you have exhibited at various key points in your career?


    london is hugely important to me for many and obvious reasons, but the book is hardly bestseller material.


    a-ha.com: You are also exhibiting new works, ‘Norwegian Wood’ at Stolper’s. What brought about this renewed focus on music and lyrics in your print works? Did your upcoming music composition contribution to the ‘Beatles’ film inspire the ‘Norwegian Wood’ works or did these projects come about independently?


    well, yeah – i seem to be in the middle of a beatle-oriented period. one thing usually follows another with me, and the specific theme of these new woodcuts
    and the return to music as a source was a result of deciding to do the film.


    a-ha.com: What do your family and friends think of the opportunity you have to work on music for the ‘Beatles’ film? What have Paul and Morten said about it?


    my friends are very happy for me to get this opportunity.


    ~~~~~~~~~~


    Shortly after the Q&A above was finished, Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet published a long feature about Magne and his new projects titled with the quote “Nå har jeg ingen sperrer” (“Now I have no barriers”). The article includes an interview with Magne from London on the day of the ‘Norwegian Wood’ opening at Paul Stolper, and covers his art, The Beatles, how he balances work and family time, an update on his heart condition, and more.


    In the article, Magne says that he likes that his art is easily understood.


    “It probably has something to do with my background in pop music, I like things that are immediate, but that have additional dimensions if you bother to take a look. It shouldn’t be the case that people feel inferior when they stand there and look. It becomes sort of like relatively banal or kitschy song lines in brilliant pop songs…it can be songs that you think are cheesy ballads. Then suddenly, something happens in your life that makes the song get a whole new meaning, and for the rest of your life, that song reminds you of that happening or experience. I see that as pop music’s strength and I hope to take a little of that over to my visual production in art. I don’t make art that has to be understood by reading manuals.”


    The article also gives some focus to Magne’s health. Having lived with heart problems for 20 years, he had an operation last year that has given him a new life at age 50.


    “I’ve lived with heart problems and of course it’s been difficult for periods of time. But, knock on wood, after the operation last year, I’m in great shape. I have to thank the Norwegian health care system for giving me a new life as a 50 year old. The problem now, is of course, if you ask my wife, that now I can work more than ever. Now I have no barriers.”


    Many thanks to Tor Einar Krogtoft-Jensen for the photos below, and to Tiffany Dahlgren for the Magasinet translation.


    http://a-ha.com/news/articles/expect-the-unexpected/

  • Kunstbanause schrieb:


    Dear all who is interested in the book "in transit",
    i have the original book with the new cover.
    It was a present from a colleague who is a friend of Magne.
    Tomorrow I will start an auction on ebay (including description and photos).
    So if u are interested come and see...


    Ich habe das Buch zum Verschenken ersteigert. Leute, das ist vielleicht ein Schinken! Heftig schwer und sehr hochwertig gemacht. Ich selbst verstehe ja von Kunst gar nichts, aber die Beschenkte war hellauf begeistert. Ich denke, wenn jemand sich für Kunst interessiert, ist das Buch echt nicht zu teuer. Es sind auch einige sehr schöne Bilder von Magne bei der Arbeit drin. Auch gibt es einige längere Texte, aber die habe ich nicht gelesen. Dazu hat die Zeit vom Erhalt bis zum Verschenken nicht gereicht.



    :-P



    a book a little bit expensive even if it's the price for a collector edition
    it's really an interesting book, you can learn a lot of things about his artistic career and the creative process