Stian Ådlandsvik at PAKT Amsterdam.

Stian Ådlandsvik: Furnace Voyage in Petrol Gardens
26 January – 1 March, 2020
P/////AKT Amsterdam

Stian Ådlandsvik (Oslo, NO) considers the processes, techniques and materials that make up his practice as poetic tools that are connected across different timespans, geographical locations and fields of knowledge and ideas. More specifically, he considers all these things as carriers of their own biographies, existing as relics or objects that are capable of narrating their own history.

Cultural history is a means of understanding our time through (or as) change, in itself always changing through new or different perspectives. Each attempt to give meaning is therefore also an act of obscuring, hiding or oppressing. Yet we know, we feel, we learn that everything is always connected – even if the connections themselves cannot be fully determined or have become part of the realm of myth or an ancient past that we may feel alienated from. Manmade things, whether material or immaterial, are there to both bear witness and serve as props or communicating actors.

The sculptural installation that Ådlandsvik is presenting at P/////AKT proposes an understanding our present time as being clearly connected with ancient myths and magical thinking, questioning whether they are all that different from what we consider to be rational. The simple act of bringing together objects that normally wouldn’t share the same space or context, and giving each of them the same treatment of being turned into (otherwise dysfunctional) sculptures, is a way of making them equal conversation partners among themselves, talking of how they differ in age, meaning, material and function, what brought them about, but also about what they might be sharing in the greater scheme of things.

The Y-shaped division rods and oil drill heads, from which the exhibition has evolved into further findings, are cousins from a different era – the rods being the more ancient tool, but in this case newly made by a.o. a real estate agent and a circus artist, and the drill heads find their history of the earlier days of the Norwegian oil business. Both are used to search for precious resources below the surface of the earth. Yet while the rods are smalltime, above ground operators, the drill heads have gone places far beyond man’s reach; places that used to only exist in the realm of imagination, of stories about eternal darkness and misery. Apparently we have always found it easier and more worthwhile to be looking up instead of down, that is, until recent days. As Virgil already explained to Dante, the spirits that dwell in the circles of hell can also inform us about the future that lies ahead. 

Stian Ådlandsvik’s solo exhibition marks the first part of P/////AKT’s exhibition programme The Space Conductors Are Among Us.

About The Space Conductors Are Among Us
As a platform for contemporary art, P/////AKT aims to allow its artists to create their own mental space inside its walls – an always changing environment for the visitors to immerse themselves in. In 2020 the Space Conductors will kick o the three-year program Hey! Where is My Mind? and shed their light on what P/////AKT might mean as a space in itself; a crisis center for artists, an exhibition space reflecting its own nature, a construction among other constructions and a place that is subject to gentrification and geopolitical forces.
The participating artists are Stian Ådlandsvik (Oslo, NO), Augustas Serapinas (Vilnius, LT), Stephan Blumenschein (Amsterdam, NL), Ieva Kraule-Kūna and Elīna Vītola (Riga, LV, in collaboration with Kim? Contemporary Art Center) and Anu Vahtra (Tallinn, EE).
Artist/writer Brenda Tempelaar (Schoonhoven, NL) will moderate an additional public program consisting of texts and events throughout the year, departing from her ongoing research into the social and physical space of art within contemporary life.
Thanks to: Ammodo, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Mondriaan Fonds.

About P/////AKT
P/////AKT is a non-profit exhibition space for contemporary art that organizes and facilitates large scale solo presentations through which the audience gets the opportunity to gain insight in the thinking space of the artists. P/////AKT provides a platform for exceptional, emerging artistic talents, who distinguish themselves through their unique and authentic language and who are capable of giving a different view on the current way of thinking. They are stimulated to work out new developments and are given the opportunity to present their work to a relevant audience. Furthermore, P/////AKT always asks the artists to produce new work that relates to the specific nature and dimensions of the given space and to present their own mental space as an overall presentation within the given context.