Camille Norment at Oslo Kunstforening

Artist: Camille Norment

Exhibition title: DRAWING and SCULPTURE

Venue: Oslo Kunstforening, Oslo, Norway

Date: May 4 – June 25, 2017

Photography: Christina Leithe Hansen, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Oslo Kunstforening

Note: Exhibition booklet can be found here

Camille Norment’s oeuvre moves in the borderland between visual arts, sound and music using the sonic as a perspective through which to investigate cultural and social phenomena. Sound is a powerful force on the body, mind and society. Norment’s work is particularly occupied with inter-relating states of sonic and social dissonance.

Tones that are abrasive or sound out of tune, social tensions and traumas, even magnets that refuse to connect to one another can all constitute states of dissonance. Dissonance can be described as an unresolved space, a state of instability, but one that is also constantly shifting, and open for new possibilities.

In this exhibition Camille Norment’s principle media are metal and ink on paper and glass. She is mostly known for her sound installations and her performances on the glass armonica. Glass, and the force of vibration–be it a physical, sonic, social, or historical force–were also important parts of her large-scale installation at the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015.

Norment leads us into the exhibition with an off-tune crystal bowl from the glass armonica that continuously overflows with water. It periodically emits sonic feedback and traces of a distant inaudible voice.

The new series of drawings made with iron filings drawn with magnets show simple forms, some reminiscent of music notation sheets, waveforms, or signal-noise. The work often repeats the logical, but closed system of Western music notation–a system in which “extra musicality” is denied entry–as a symbolic motif. Some of the drawings manifest themselves in the shape of a scar, giving them a bodily reference. While a wound is a trauma or separation, the scar is what reconstitutes a whole. In Norment’s schema these scars are signifiers of dissonance–a transformation from noise, violence and a wound. Dissonance in this way, becomes about healing, and the scar the trace of an event. In the face of current anxieties, there is also the question of the re-opening historical scars.

Another new series of glass sculptures take the form of melting bones. The skeletons belong to a small person, neither a child nor an adult, the gender is unclear. The glass objects reveal an ambiguity–fascination as well as discomfort, fragility and violence. The fact that they look as though they are melting make them alien in their continual transformation, frozen in a moment in the continuous cycle of a feedback loop.

Whether in drawing, sculpture, installation or sound, the focus in Camille Norment’s oeuvre is not necessarily in pathology–even though the gendering of pathology features strongly in her work–rather, she looks at dissonance as a possible space of transformation, that can be used personally, culturally or politically.

The exhibition has been generously supported by Norsk Kulturråd and NBK.

Camille Norment (b. 1970) was born in Silver Spring, USA. She lives and works in Oslo. Norment’s recent performances have taken place at Pushkin Museum 2017, Moscow, 2017; The Armory, NY, 2016; Lisboa Soa Festival, 2016 and Ultima Contemporary Music Festival, Oslo, 2015. Previous solo exhibitions have taken place at Lydgalleriet, Bergen, 2016; September Gallery, Berlin, 2009 and The Round Gallery, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, 2007. She has participated in a number of group exhibitions in Norway and internationally, amongst others at Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kerala, India, 2016; The Pushkin Museum of Art, Moscow 2016; Montréal Biennial, 2016; Marso Gallery, Mexico City, 2016; The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo, 2014 and 2012; Museum of Modern Art, NY, 2013; Luleå Konsthall, 2013; Stenersenmuseet in Oslo, 2010 and Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, 2009. In 2017 Norment will present a solo exhibition at Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, and participate in the group show «Soundtracks» at SFMOMA as well as the Lyon Biennial in France, and will give a collaboration performance with Ryuichi Sakamoto in Sapporo, Japan. In 2015 Camille Norment represented Norway at the Nordic pavilion at the 56th edition of La Biennale di Venezia.

Oslo Kunstforening is supported by the City of Oslo and the Arts Council Norway.