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Lene Berg is the 2022 Festival Artist

Film director and visual artist Lene Berg is Bergen Kunsthall's Festival Artist for 2022.

Raw materials for “From Father”. Lene Berg, 2021–2022
Raw materials for “From Father”. Lene Berg, 2021–2022

Berg studied film at Dramatiske Institutet in Stockholm, and has directed four feature-length films in addition to a large number of video works and short films. In her practice she often uses a com­bination of film and video along with text and books, collage and photography. 

Lene Berg
Lene Berg

For the Festival Exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall, Berg is planning an extensive new project which will unfold through the exhibition spaces of the Kunsthall in a series of narrative chapters. The exhibition constitutes the first part of a major work with the title From Father, in which Berg takes her starting point in the heritage of her father Arnljot Berg, who took his own life when she was a teenager.

Arnljot Berg was a film director and author. With the festival exhibition Berg will transform him into her muse and use his life and work as raw material to create encounters between a living and a dead artist, between a father and a daughter, between a woman and a man, and between the Norway of today and the country in which Arnljot Berg lived and worked – a Norway that no longer exists.

Over the past 20 years Berg has developed a working method that combines extensive research with formal experimentation, drawing on such different material such as a CIA conspiracy, illegal surveillance, sex work, or Picasso’s portrait of Stalin.

With her latest film, False Belief from 2019, Berg engaged for the first time with a personal history in order to elucidate a wider complex of issues. False Belief has been described as an alter­na­tive ‘true crime’ story, and is about Berg’s partner’s Kafkaesque journey through the American legal system. From Father continues Berg's work with autobiographical material and her own memories, such as her childhood experiences of the time her father spent in prison in Paris in the mid-seventies.

"We are very happy to have this opportunity to work with the outstanding artist and film-maker Lene Berg on a new project for the Festival Exhibition in 2022" says the direc­tor of Bergen Kunsthall, Axel Wieder. "Her earlier works have taken up social themes, with an alertness and special attention to the complexity of what we experi­ence as lived reality. Her new project will be her most personal, but at the same time her most thoroughly investigative work, and in the galleries of Bergen Kunsthall will translate a filmic experience into an exhibition format."

In her works Berg often takes up themes and narratives that have been forgotten or reduced to footnotes in history. Raising such overlooked, apparently insignificant events in a kind of alternative historiography unfolds a broader picture of society and power structures. The works are complex with multiple meanings, often with several thematic layers or different approaches to the same story. The truth of the story that is told is not always the most important thing. It is rather about offering different perspectives on a complex and compo­site state of affairs.

"One of the strengths of Lene Berg’s artistry is that she is able to ask fundamental questions about accepted ideas of fiction and truth, and thus leave room for doubt and ambiguity as productive factors," says Steinar Sekkingstad, curator at Bergen Kunsthall. "Berg is interested in what cannot simply be defined or communicated directly and unambiguously. In her works she points out how the documentary film, like the photograph, often appears to tell a truth, but can also mis­lead and mis­­direct."

About Lene Berg

Lene Berg (Oslo, 1965) trained as a film director at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Stock­holm and has directed three feature-length films and a number of shorter films, many of them in so-called hybrid genres. Berg also works in other media, first and foremost photo­graphy, collage and text, and has produced works for museums and galleries, as well as cinema, books and works for public space. She has held a number of exhibitions both in Norway and abroad, and participated in several international gatherings, including Manifesta (2010) and the Sydney Biennale (2008). In 2000 she won the Elephant Prize at the art biennale Momen­tum for the film “33 minutes”. Her film “Dirty Young Loose” was produced for the Norwegian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2013. The film “Kopfkino” (2013) was nomi­nated for the Amanda and best Nordic documentary at CPH:DOX.  Berg’s last production, the autobio­gra­phical film ”False Belief”, was premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2019 and nominated for an Amnesty and a Teddy Award. The same year Lene Berg’s artistic pro­duc­tion was in focus during the European Film Festival in Seville. in 2021 she was a co-funder of the film agency Jack along with seven colleagues in the fields of film and art.

About the Festival Exhibition

​​The Festival Exhibition is Bergen Kunsthall's flagship exhibition, established in 1953. The exhibition is considered the most important solo presentation for a Norwegian artist in their home country. 

Festival artists in the recent years include Bjarne Melgaard (2003), AK Dolven (2004), Elmgreen & Dragset (2005), Børre Sæthre (2007), Marianne Heier (2012), Gardar Eide Einarsson (2013), Ane Hjort Guttu (2015), Fredrik Vaerslev (2016), Mari Slaattelid (2019), Joar Nango (2020) and this year's artist Elisabeth Haarr (2021).

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Festival Exhibition Artists 1953–2022

  • 2022 Lene Berg
  • 2021 Elisabeth Haarr
  • 2020 Joar Nango
  • 2019 Mari Slaattelid
  • 2018 Torbjørn Rødland
  • 2017 Jan Groth
  • 2016 Fredrik Vaerslev
  • 2015 Ane Hjorth Guttu
  • 2014 Tone Vigeland
  • 2013 Gardar Eide Einarsson
  • 2012 Marianne Heier
  • 2011 Hanne Borchgrevink
  • 2010 Knut Åsdam
  • 2009 Leonard Rickhard
  • 2008 Ingrid Book og Carina Hedén
  • 2007 Børre Sæthre
  • 2006 Ole Jørgen Ness
  • 2005 Elmgreen og Dragset
  • 2004 AK Dolven
  • 2003 Bjarne Melgaard
  • 2002 Bjørn Sigurd Tufta
  • 2001 Per Barclay
  • 2000 Olav Christopher Jenssen
  • 1999 Inghild Karlsen
  • 1998 Ørnulf Opdahl
  • 1997 Ragnhild Monsen
  • 1996 Håvard Vikhagen
  • 1995 Kjell Erik Killi Olsen
  • 1994 Kristian Blystad
  • 1993 Marianne Heske
  • 1992 Kjell Torriset
  • 1991 Per Inge Bjørlo
  • 1990 Eilif Amundsen
  • 1989 Irma Salo Jæger
  • 1988 Bård Breivik
  • 1987 Gunnar Torvund
  • 1986 Johanne Marie Hansen-Krone
  • 1985 Bjørn Ransve
  • 1984 Johannes Vinjum
  • 1983 Gruppen Zink: Bjørn Carlsen, Bjørg Holene, Ulf Nilsen og Leonard Rickhard
  • 1982 Anne Behrndt, Majatta Tapiola, Helgi Thorgils Fridjonsson, Arvid Pettersen og Sten Eklund
  • 1981 Svein Strand
  • 1980 Per Kleiva
  • 1979 Knut Rose
  • 1978 Håkon Bleken
  • 1977 Frans Widerberg
  • 1976 Jens Johannessen
  • 1975 Olav Strømme
  • 1974 Victor Sparre
  • 1973 Jacob Weidemann
  • 1972 Arnold Haukeland
  • 1971 Kai Fjell
  • 1970 Arne Ekeland
  • 1969 Ludvig Eikaas
  • 1968 Knut Rumohr
  • 1967 Gunnar S. Gundersen
  • 1966 Inger Sitter
  • 1965 Jakob Weidemann
  • 1964 Rolf Nesch
  • 1963 Sonja Henie og Niels Onstads samling
  • 1962 Jean Heiberg
  • 1961 “Norske Billedtepper gjennom 500 år”
  • 1960 ”Norsk folkekunst”
  • 1959 Thorvald Erichsens minneutstilling
  • 1958 ”8 Bergens kunstnere” Asbjørn Brekke, Lasse Grundt, Mary Karlsrud, Hans J. Meyer, Inggard Rosseland og Einar Rustad Hansen.
  • 1957 “Aktuell kunst”
  • 1956 ”Norsk kunst i de siste 25 år”
  • 1955 Axel Revold
  • 1954 “Bergen i Billedkunsten”
  • 1953 “Et utvalg av bildende kunst i Bergen og Fylkene 1900–1953”


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