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Martin Skauen [Videonale.14]

*1975, in Fredrikstad NOR, lives in Berlin, GER
Studied at Mølla Artschool, Moss, NOR, and at National Academy of Fine Arts, Oslo NOR

Exhibitions [selection]:

2012 Art Statements, Slideshow Johnny, Laura Bartlett Gallery, Art, Basel SUI [S]

         The Blind Spot, Laura Barlett Gallery, London GBR [S] 

2011 Mona, Museum of Old and New Art, Tazmania AUS 

2010 The Stenersen Museum, Norwegian Surrealism 1930-2010, Oslo NOR

2009 3rd Moscow Biennal, Against Exclusion, Moscow RUS

         Nicodim Gallery, Servants Swept the Sand Smooth, Los Angeles USA [S] 

2008 Astrup Fearnley Museum, Light On Norwegian Contemporary Art, Oslo NOR 

         Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, GER [S] 

2007 1st Athens Biennial, Destroy Athens, Athens GRE


Martin Skauen x

Slideshow Johnny, 2012, 18 min., sound, colour [VIDEONALE.14]

In his video, Martin Skauen shows the life and creative activities of Johnny, a fictional artist. In six episodes an unkempt young man appears and presents his scurrilous works in various ways – as a slide show, an appearance on stage, a philosophical writing session in a toilet, or a pseudoscientific experiment. Images and words appear in unusual combinations and strongly influence the public’s perception and reaction. The use of canned laughter, reminiscent of a sitcom, turns the viewers into part of a fictional audience and encourages them to become involved in what is taking place. As the episodes unfold, the viewer witnesses a gradual change in the relationship between the artist and his public. With the addition of material from other sources, the original situation develops from a small scale performance to an esoteric spectacular with an almost worshipful horde of spectators.

The content and point of reference of the video refer to current trends and media appearances of our time and prompt us to think about the impact of the media nowadays. The variability of people’s cheerfulness and the unpredictable logic of the masses is held against the artist’s attempts, now helpless, now exalted, to meet the tastes of the masses.

Jacqueline Knöll

Martin Skauen [ Videonale.14 ]