Camille Norment, Untitled (Blue Heat), With Hamid Drake, Performance At The Renaissance Society Chicago 2019. Photo: Meg T Noe

Camille Norment is the Festival Exhibition Artist 2023

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August 26, 2022

Visual artist, composer and performer Camille Norment will produce the Festival Exhibition 2023 at Bergen Kunsthall.

Camille Norment is at home both in the world of exhibitions and music, exploring the spaces of sound and their relation to human bodies. Living in Norway since 2004, she represented Norway in the 56th Venice Art Biennale in 2015 with the large-scale project Rapture, presented in the famous pavilion designed by architect Sverre Fehn.

Camille Norment, Rapture, Installation View Nordic Pavilion, 56. Venezia Biennale 2015. Photo: Matteo Dafina

Norment's works include recordings, self-made instruments, sculpture, drawing, performance, works for vocal ensembles as well as orchestras. Her multimedia installations explore socio-cultural and psychological phenomena through what she describes as cultural psychoacoustics, which is about how context, form, space and the viewer's body interact in the formation of somatic and cognitive experiences.

Camille Norment, Plexus, Installation View Dia Art Foundation, New York, 2022–23. Photo: Bill Jacobson Studio

The Festival Exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall will be Norment's largest presentation in Norway to date. The exhibition will continue Norment's long-standing interest in the relationship between sonic, architectural and material dimensions of sound and music. She will present an extensive composition with sound that will incorporate all four main gallery spaces of the Kunsthall in a single installation. The exhibition will make use of the active acoustics of the spaces – not meant initially for sound presentations – and explore the architecture as an instrument.

'We're looking very much forward to this project with Camille Norment. She's one of the internationally most acclaimed artists working in this extremely relevant field of sound research. Sound in her work becomes sensible in its complex relationship to social processes, as a means of communication and a physical factor of our environment. I am very excited to see and hear what she will develop for the beautiful and challenging galleries of Bergen Kunsthall!' says Axel Wieder, director of Bergen Kunsthall. 

About the artist

Norment has a master's degrees in both visual arts and interactive telecommunications from New York University, and she attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in 1994–95. Her work has recently been shown in solo exhibitions at the Dia Art Foundation in New York (2022–23), one of the most important exhibition spaces for contemporary art in the world; the David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago (2019); the Oslo Kunstforening (2017); and Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin (2017). Since her solo presentation in the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2015 she has participated in the Kochi-Muziris (2016), Montreal (2016), Lyon (2017), and Thailand (2018) biennials. She has produced several commissions for public spaces, amongst others for Henie Onstad Kunstsenter and the Norwegian Holocaust Center, both in Oslo.

Norment's approach to composition includes improvisation methods from, among other things, jazz and folk music, as well as generative systems used in artificial intelligence and electronic music. She has worked specifically with vocal ensembles and more recently with orchestration, which will result in a series of performances organised as part of the exhibition in Bergen. Norment is also known for the Camille Norment Trio, where she performs together with Vegar Vårdal and Håvard Skaset. The group is using electric guitar, glass harmonica and Hardanger fiddle and other instruments. All of these have at various points in history been considered so powerful that they have been banned. In this way, the performances can be understood as rituals that connect different sensibilities separated in time. She has recently performed at institutions including The Armory, New York (with Craig Taborn, 2022, 2016); Munchmuseet, Oslo (with Vokalensemblet Oslo 14, 2021); Renaissance Society, University of Chicago (with Hamid Drake, 2019); and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (with Craig Taborn, 2019), and twice with Ryuichi Sakamoto (Sapporo Arts Festival 2017, The Stone, New York, 2018).

The Festival Exhibition

The Festival Exhibition is Bergen Kunsthall's flagship exhibition, established in 1953. Each summer, a large scale exhibition is presented with new work by a Norwegian artist, in connection with the Bergen International Festival (Festspillene i Bergen). The exhibition is considered the most important solo presentation for a Norwegian artist in their home country and creates a national debate about the state of the art, similarly to the Turner Prize in the UK. Festival Exhibition artists include Gardar Eide Einarsson (2013), Ane Hjort Guttu (2015), Joar Nango (2020), Elisabeth Haarr (2021) and Lene Berg (2022).

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