In her oeuvre, Marte Gunnufsen combines the practice of a visual artist with that of a classical pianist, singer and composer. She works across the two genres of art to build up a narrative based around the issues of human strength and weakness, suffering, religiosity and guilt, transience, philosophy of music, representation of the body, its objectification or devotion and paradoxicality of sexuality.
Gunnufsen’s works include the examples of audio-visual reinterpretations of famous pieces from the history of music, in which the artist addresses the issues of social exclusion and stigmatization of minority communities. The exhibition showcases the key pieces created by the artist and produced in various media (including installations, video, photography): Flesh, Ave Maria, Komm, süβer Tod, (W)ho're Whore?.
The title flesh underlines the strong physical aspect of human corporeality, desire and lust, as opposed to the spiritual side. Accompanied by the sounds of spiritual and sacred music, it also makes reference to the concept of kenosis.
The art of Marte Gunnufsen makes a number of surprising references to the traditions of art history. The video Ave Maria 2 invokes the sensuality of late Gothic sculpture, while the series Flesh deals with the practice of bondage and the topic of sacrifice/suffering in relation to the art of Hans Bellmer. Finally, in the series of drawings (W)ho're Whore?, created by female prostitutes invited by the artist, Gunnufsen perversely reverses the issue of objectification of the body and refers to the tradition of the male nude.
The exhibition was financially supported by OCA – Office for Contemporary Art Oslo.
The exhibition is accompanied by the lecture Piece Of Flesh by Stanisław Ruksza, featured in the programme of the series In effigie. More details here.