The Filmmaking of a Norwegian Artist

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The Filmmaking of a Norwegian Artist

The Norwegian artist Lars Laumann (1975) creates video works that tell curious stories from the fringes of popular culture. Among other things, he has told the story of Mrs. Berlin Wall, the Swedish woman who married the Berlin Wall, about his girl-friend, Kjersti Andvig’s relationship with a prisoner sentenced to death in Texas (Shut up Child, This Ain’t Bingo) – and the story of a gay asylum seeker. Learn more about the filmmaking of a Norwegian artist.

Lars Laumann graduated from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (1995-2001) and Nordland Art and Film School in Kabelvåg, Norway (1993-1995). He is also known for his sculptures and installations. He has achieved international recognition for his work, with exhibitions including the New Museum in New York.

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The Filmmaking of a Norwegian Artist
Lars Laumann is known for his sculptures and installations. Photo: Civitella Ranier Foundation

He was drawing from his earliest days home in Brønnøysund, every day, preferably for guests. He drew pictures, invited and told stories to anyone who would listen. There were stories of disasters, earthquakes, and tidal waves. There were rockfalls, avalanches, plane crashes and kidnapped princesses. However, he admits that he has never been good at drawing. It was the stories that were important.

His films often have a documentary slant interested outsiders’ fate, interspersed with a media critical approach. He often uses found or appropriated imagery from the internet or inspired by fan clubs, chat groups or obscure websites online.

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Themes of obsession, fandom, love, and devotion loom large in his work.

In his ‘Rupert residency’ Lars Laumann took part in ‘Unbuilt’- a collaboration project between an architect (Thomas Tsang), a visual artist (Lars Laumann), a composer (Cecilia Lopez), and a poet (Natalie Diaz). Resisting and upholding the disciplinary practices of each artist their work examines and questions the nature of imagination and ambition in plans without a predetermined “object”. The collaborative eye is not a single lens for each artist to look through – instead, it is the single steady gaze of each artist. How are artists inspired or stifled by the pressures of gazing at a collaborative process versus looking forward toward the collaboration’s outcome?

The Filmmaking of a Norwegian Artist
His films often have a documentary slant interested outsiders’ fate. Photo: Maureen Paley, Seasons installation.

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The archive of these relationships results in a future-archeological artifact named as such because it documents a building process that will never become a built body. By the end of the residency, on 26th of August 2016, the artists gave a presentation in the CAC reading room. During the event, called ‘Built’, the artists shortly discussed their past individual work contextualizing it around the ‘Unbuilt’ project.

The Filmmaking of a Norwegian Artist
The Berlin Wall

Berlinmuren (Berlin Wall), made in 2008, tells the story of ‘object sexualist’ Eija-Riitta Eklöf-Berliner-Mauer, who believes that objects have souls and feel emotions, just like humans. She is ‘married’ to the Berlin Wall, and speaks of a love in which their “souls will be entwined for eternity”.

The Filmmaking of a Norwegian Artist, compiled by Tor Kjolberg