Nothing In Return


Until July 27 the art gallery Standard (Oslo) exhibits three new sculptural works by Oslo-based artist Marius Engh. Entitled “Nothing in Return”, Engh locates the starting point for his exhibition with Tel Megiddo in what is now northern Israel.


Known for its historical and geographical importance as the leading city-state of the valley of Jezreel, the more than 26 layers of ruins unearthed by various excavations bear evidence of a long period of settlement and of an ever-recurring pattern of destruction and reconstruction –offering some explanation to the Greek name for Megiddo being Armageddon.

A mere decade ago, Israeli archaeologist Yotam Tepper of Tel-Aviv University discovered the remains of a church, dating back to the third century, south of the Tel Megiddo. Among the finds was a large-scale mosaic stating in Greek that the church is consecrated to “the God Jesus Christ.” It is believed to be the oldest remains of a church in the Holy Land. The remains were initially found within the grounds of the military Megiddo prison by prisoner Ramil Razilo, and Israeli authorities are currently considering moving the entire prison.

“The power of historical artefacts derives from the duality of their nature; they are both a concrete proof of an historical fact and the basis for an abstract construction of meaning.”
– Peter J. Buxton: “Possessing the Past: The use and abuse of archaeology in building nation-states”, Ministry of Defence, London, 2009

“Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East … The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled… This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.”
– George W. Bush talking to Jacques Chirac on the telephone in early 2003

“Irrational modes of organization are gaining ground: main axes are forgotten, the most preposterous disproportions given their head, and one gets lost in the phantasmagoric density where the effort to keep one’s bearings is doomed. For Piranesi, prisons are a release into freer spatial experiment, but all spaces are in some sense prisons, entered voluntarily in high anticipation of their pleasing confusions.”
– Robert Harbison, “Ruins”, The Built, the Unbuilt and the Unbuildable, Thames and Hudson, 1991

This is Marius Engh’s fifth solo exhibition at Standard (Oslo). Other recent solo exhibitions include “Eschscholzia Californica” at Emanuel Layr, Vienna; “My Target Is Your Eyes” at Galleria Gentili, Prato; and “Exhume to Consume” at Supportico Lopez, Berlin. Marius Engh’s works have previously been included in exhibitions at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, Santa Cruz, Tenerife; Henie Onstad Art Center, Høvik; Kunsthall Oslo, Oslo; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster; Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen; and Witte de With, Rotterdam. Currently Marius Engh is contributing to the group exhibition “Decorum – Carpets and Tapestries by Modern and Contemporary Artists” (curated by Anne Dressen) at the Power Station of Art, Shanghai.

Marius Engh takes possession of real objets by creating clones, providing new insights and new ideas about the “things” in this world of reality and experience.

Time has turned into space, 
and there will be no more
time till I get out of here.

Marius Engh


Bar behind bar behind bars by Marius Engh
Bar behind bar behind bars by Marius Engh

Standard (Oslo) was established in April 2005. Based in Oslo the gallery aims at promoting contemporary Norwegian artists in the international field, as well as introducing international artists to the Norwegian audience.

Gallery artists have been included in a number of internationally renowned exhibitions, such as Documenta (2007 and 2012); The Whitney Biennial (2006 to 2012); The Venice Biennale (2003, 2005 and 2011); The Biennale of Sydney (2004, 2008 and 2010); The Istanbul Biennial (2005); The Lyon Biennial (2007); Manifesta (2004); and Momentum – the Nordic Art Festival (2000, 2004, 2006 and 2009). The gallery also participates in the following art fairs during the year: Art Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Frieze Art Fair London and Frieze Art Fair New York.

Standard (Oslo) is operating out of Waldemar Thranes gate 86C and 86B, after seven years in Hegdehaugsveien 3. The seven years and 56 exhibitions there have been documented in a book launched last year, “Hegdehaugsveien 3” published in English, 171 pp / Color / Hardback / ISBN 978-82-92930-02-1.

Located on the west side of Akerselven – and within walking distance of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts and The Oslo School of Architecture and Design – the 700 square meters gallery space marks a new phase in the development of Standard (Oslo).