Konstfack – Vårutställning 2009 / Degree Exhibition 2009 » Johanne Nordby Wernø

Johanne Nordby Wernø

Johanne Nordby Wernø

Engaged encounters: fiction as art writing

What might emerge when words are acting with or through, rather than being about, art? I am interrogating the practice of art criticism seen as an engaged encounter between work and viewer, a reciprocal addressing analogous to the risky business of face-to-face human relations.

Regarding the present alleged crisis in art criticism – the once influential critic losing out to the curator – as emancipatory rather than a threat, my critical response after a one month visit at a Norwegian art centre is embodied in a fiction text. A character, a man from Oklahoma, is extracted from a chosen artwork of the then current exhibition and “cast” in the narrative opposite the history of the art institution, inaugurated in the charged year of 1968 by a Hollywood star past her fame.

Johanne Nordby Wernø works as a critic, journalist, fiction writer and curator.

The short story can be read both as an independent piece of fiction and as part of a larger investigation of art writing, 2008

Year of birth 1980 Place of birth Oslo, Norway
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Master students Clara Terne and Christian Brandt from Konstfack’s graphic design department were commissioned to design the book, 2008

Henie Onstad Art Centre, Norway, 2008

After the exhibition. Henie Onstad Art Centre, 2008

The New York Times covered the centre’s inauguration, August 26, 1968