The Henie Onstad Triennale for Photography and New Media
Henie Onstad presents the second edition of New Visions—The Henie Onstad Triennial for Photography and New Media. The triennial takes the pulse of experimental practices within contemporary photography and new media.
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This second edition of the triennial presents works that push the boundaries of photography and automated image-making, to examine acutely relevant issues such as resource extraction, energy distribution and data harvesting.
The exhibition brings together works by 22 artists that tackle urgent questions relating to energy production and distribution, the extraction of natural and humanmade resources—from oil to data—and the ecological, social and political consequences of these ventures. The artists have ties to Norway, the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia; regions that are connected by extractive economies.
New Visions 2023 includes several new commissions, some tailored to the spaces of Henie Onstad.
Visitors are invited beneath the surface in search of underseas data cables or into the sky for aerial views that reveal geological change through satellite images. Artists present light both as an information source and as a tool for policing visibility. They explore national identity building by repurposing traditional symbols, ornaments, and patterns.
Many works combine photography with unexpected materials, including salt, algae, silicone, cotton, and simulated nuclear glass. Others explore new technologies such as artificial intelligence and synthetic aperture radar – radar signals bouncing off surfaces and made into images – and their roles in surveillance and planetary observation.
The title of the triennial refers to the Hungarian artist and photographer László Moholy-Nagy’s text A New Instrument of Vision (1932), which greatly influenced the development of experimental photography in the 20th century. In the early decades of the last century, photography enabled new perceptions of an increasingly mechanized and industrialized world. Similarly, today’s artists use photography to explore the entanglements with machines and processes of automation and extraction.
New Visions 2023 is accompanied by a comprehensive English publication edited by Susanne Østby Sæther. This publication includes a foreword by Caroline Ugelstad, a curatorial statement by Inga Lāce, Reem Shadid, and Susanne Østby Sæther, and an essay by scholar Eglė Rindzevičiūtė, in addition to artist presentations. Design by Håkon Stensholt, ANTI and publishing by Henie Onstad Kunstsenter and Mousse Publishing.
A special thanks to Aars for Aars Commission.
The exhibition has been generously supported by Aars, ABG Sundal Collier, Reitan Retail, IFA and SAHA.