GALLERY A PRESENTS THE JOYFUL CELEBRATION OF NORWEGIAN CONNECTOR BETWEEN POP ART COLLAGES AND IMPRESSIONISTIC MANNERS OF CONTEMPORARY FINE ART.
ARTIST BENEDICTE AUBERT RINGNES IS ESTABLISHING THE EXHIBITION NAMED ARNOLD WITH HER MAIN OBSERVATION TO PRE- AND POST RENESSANCIAL LEGACIES, PLAYING WITH POST-MODERNISTIC TECHNIQUES BY ACTIONS OF MASCULINITY VS FEMININITY, COPYING VS RE-USAGE, POLITICAL VS RELIGIOUS LIBERTIES. ALL EROTOCISED BY HER UNIQUE WEST-COASTISH ROMANTICISM.
THERE ARE SOME EXPERT’S OPINIONS EVOLVING, LIKE CRITIC LARS ELTON NOTES :
” BENEDICTE IS MIXING FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPHS TOUCH TO VISUAL UNIVERSE. THE BODYBUILDER IS DISTORTED AND MIXED IN A WAY THAT IS EXPERIENCED AS BOTH POSITIVE AND CHALLENGING. SHE TURNS THE ICONIC FIGURE AND THE WORLD FAMOUS MAN INTO A PERSONAL STORY OG HOW WE ENCOUNTER FAME AND MASCULINITY. “
DOWNTOWN 500 CREW’S CURIOSITY IS PROVOKED ENOUGH TO INVITE THAT TOUGH GIRL ON #DT500REDSOFA FOR #DT50015MINOFFAME PERFORMANCE.
DOWNTOWN 500 MAGAZINE ENJOYING TIME VISITING BENEDICTE AT HER STUDIO AT ST.HAUGEN BOROUGH OF OSLO. BY THANKING BENEDICTE FOR A FULL CUP OF AROMATIC CAFFEINE WITH JUICY SCONCES FROM LOCAL BAKERY, WE ARE HANGING ALONG. WE ARE STARTING COMMUNICATION RELAXED AND INTIMATE, BY FLOATING AROUND HER FAMOUS ART PIECES, SNAPPING PICTURES AND BIG UP A #DT500SUPERSTAR’S POTENTIAL.
DT 500 MAG: – Benne, thanx for your lively exhibition at Gallery A, our very pleasure! Today, everybody wants to know your story, please, who is Benedicte Aubert Ringnes?
BENEDICTE: – High up and deep below is my way, I am spiritual, ADHD,
” I love a good party with a high level of toxins, but can’t live without spending time in the forest, weekly. A hint of too much enthusiasm, and enjoying spending time in my own company.”
DT 500 MAG: – What are your original coordinates?
BENEDICTE: – Architecture, nature, traveling and music, in a right combination. Everything with speed and music boosts my mind. When I hear a song I really like I can’t help myself visualizing a beautiful, moving image to it. Shapes, colors and a storyline that follows the beat. I love high music videos. The director has the freedom to work illogically and outside any format. I have thrown away all my DVD’s except my music video collection; Chris Cunningham, S. Jones, Prince, David Bowie, Corbijn, Jonas Åkerlund, Gondry. I once worked with Gondry’s photographer, and that is one of the few times I have been starstruck. Very geeky, I know.
DT 500 MAG: – How did you become interested in art?
BENEDICTE: – I´ve always been. My dad and his mom were quite interested in art and music. They took my brother and me to galleries when we were little. And my mom spoiled me with art material since primary school. Watercolor, pastels, but most oil on canvas. My dad also sent me to an art school in Denmark when I was 14.
” I have always hated school, except for art class, gym, and FRIMINUTT. “
DT 500 MAG: – When did you understand your passion for artistry?
BENEDICTE: – After high school and two years of skiing, I said to mom,
”I will never study anything, at least not anything with reading.”
BENEDICTE: – I wanted to study art in France, but we didn’t find any English speaking school there. Instead, I started to research film production in Australia, since I always had a passion for filmmaking as well.
DT 500 MAG: – What were your goals then?
BENEDICTE: – My goal was to surf every day and just pass in school, but it turned out it was an efficient school, I got hooked and became a school nerd and top of a class student. I studied Photography, animation, cinematography and experimental film and music videos. I especially loved the experimental movie with a guest teacher from Netherland, Paul De Nooijer. His work was very inspiring.
DT 500 MAG: – Did you make your first team there?
BENEDICTE: – Yes, I teamed up with three other guys and made a couple of some nice, but crazy films. Oh, that sounds like porn, but sorry to disappoint – it was not. One of them won a short film contest. During my final year, I directed a few music videos.
” Instead of writing descriptions to costumes, location, cast, and art department I created mood boards in Photoshop.”
DT 500 MAG: – Was that how Benedicte the artist get started?
BENEDICTE: – It started by just putting photos very roughly together. I really liked it, and the interest in Photoshop didn’t fade out. After the film, I studied art, art history and more, BUT I dropped out of that study. I found it annoying, too much reading for a dyslexic and to explore art history in a city that was 40 years old – were the most former icon of the City was a Pink Flamingo neon sign from a motel. That tells enough. Just stencil or Aborigine art, nothing in-between; no offense to that kind of skill and handcraft, but I needed more. It’s probably different today.
DT 500 MAG: – A rebel soul herself! Benne, you are initially from Oslo, but you are quite international, you been living around the world, we have heard about your Australia adventures, Switzerland, California etc…now you are back in Oslo again, how is the environment influencing you?
BENEDICTE: – After high school, I went ski bumming in Verbier in Switzerland 5 months for two years. In between, I did some traveling, backpacking and surfing around in the Basque with friends. During those years I didn’t have a workspace with paint or so. I wanted to keep it simple and accessible, so I always carried a notebook and pen and doodled a bit every day. I could spend up to three weeks drawing one small, but cute doodle. It was usually doodled to friends. Instead of writing letters, I created images merged into each other, telling our story together. Damn, that sounds cheesy…
” During traveling, I fell in love with wave surfing and moved to Australia where I stayed for four years. I did my bachelor in two years, but wasn’t ready to leave until two more years.”
DT 500 MAG: – Anything more to say about the navigational context?
BENEDICTE: – When it comes to creativity in a context where I am, I think it doesn’t really matter. I always carry music with headphones in my ears. Before Spotify and all that I spent hours in FNAC when traveling. Searching for new inspirational music. I have stayed in contact with my traveling friend, instead of describing too much in words we always send each other our bookmarks of harmony in life. It’s very nice. What one listens to tells enough about the person and the stage you’re in.
DT 500 MAG: – Why did you come back to Oslo?
BENEDICTE: – When moving back to Norway I worked my way up in the film industry. As soon as I finished a project, I went traveling, surfing somewhere. Stavanger, Lofoten, Portugal and lots of other places. Anyway, moving back to Oslo has consisted of up and down mood. Good days, sick days. I’m never bored, but for some reason some days are crap. In some periods of my life, I have been pretty down.
DT 500 MAG: – What did you learn from all the experience?
BENEDICTE: – I have learned a couple of things:
” 1. It’s usually just one thought that fuck up things in your head, the reality is different! 2. Work every day; bad days just as well as good days. The bad days are probably more important to work, generally in life and also for inspiration! This applies to all jobs according to my beliefs! 3. Embrace and accept those days that are against you. It challenges your head to rethink, fight and sort things in order.”
DT 500 MAG: – THANX for some reasoning!
BENEDICTE: – I like going to galleries, I love it, but that is not where I get my inspiration. At studios, one gets way too much info, inspiration and your head get messy afterward. Music puts your thoughts centered on one beat.
” BUT I live in Oslo, in a rich-bitch country full of freedom and feel safe, so what can I complain about. We’re mostly spoiled brats. …by the way…”
DT500 MAG: – Let’s open up on your own exhibition the “ARNOLD.” Downtown 500 crew is experiencing your “Arnold” series like a placement of emphasis on symmetry, proportion, even geometry and the regularity of parts as they are demonstrated in the architecture of Classical antiquity. Your compositions remind the traditions of classicism, realism, and formalism. Are you improving the ancient gods’ aesthetics with Arnold Schwartzenegger as a role-hero to cross-dress the feminine aspects by the pop-art symbolism vs. Richard Hamilton?
BENEDICTE: – Bodybuilding is more feminine than one would think. It’s about shaping, symmetry, eating healthy and taking care of your body (not all is healthy, though). During the training to Mr, Olympia Arnold was instructed by ballerinas in how to present himself on stage. Learning how to not just walk and pose, but gracefully move from one position to another. Small details as for how feet and fingertips are positioned are vital. I have compared this in the same ways as later classical antique sculptures shaping bodies out of rock, symmetry, softness, and details around hand and feet’s.
DT 500 MAG: – What does make an artist for a master?
BENEDICTE: – Art does not necessarily have to do anything with handcraft. There was an exhibition of Alex Israel in Astrup Fernley, I find him more of an art director. He is instructing other handcraft artists to visualize his ideas. He is not touching a pencil or any art tool himself. Directing a still life stage. So what makes him a rock star within art? Is it the same as creating art? In that case, the definition of art is so much more.
DT 500 MAG: – Your ARNOLD exhibition is performing at Gallery A, why do you choose this gallery?
BENEDICTE: – They asked me, and I’m very thankful for that! I have followed their exhibition openings and artists for years, so it was super cute to get the invitation!
DT 500 MAG: – What is the extra element of fascination by ARNOLD series to the audience?
BENEDICTE: – I think an extra element of fascination is that the visitor surprises him/herself by being absorbed by Arnold.
” Like critique, Lars Elton said: ”I never thought I would find anything regarding Arnold interesting”…”
DT 500 MAG: – There is a lot of current artists today using technology as a narrative tool. What interest you in the present technological spectrum of possibilities as a part of your art practice?
BENEDICTE: – It does not have to be digital, it could also be starting on a canvas. For me, at this stage, I like the digital format. I have been fascinated by it for years. I spend a lot of money on art magazines and my all-time favorite since 2005 is Computer Arts. Just to explain, I can have creations with up to 80 layers. At that point, each segment has been well treated with shaping, lighting angle and composition. I need to move the elements around to find the right balance in the total.
” One can’t imagine how many elements that are in one image, but at the same time I don’t want to make it to perfection, then the point of appropriation fades away. I also use a digital drawing board with different brushes. As you say, the possibilities! “
DT 500 MAG: – As you said, you have been working in media production before, is it media vs. art for you now? Art is a free formation, but still, what can you say about your private competition in these two genres, you were doing media, and now you are using art techniques, are they competing for your work or are they a perfect match?
BENEDICTE: – Art completes me, I have full control and freedom of what I want to express and create. One rarely have that in a film. There you have to fulfil heaps of wishes and terms to get the funding and solve the whole game. If you really want it and work hard you will manage somehow, it just takes time and years. That’s not my dream. I lost interest for that, for now. When you do something you love, you do it great because you want it and work hard for it. In that way I’m my own competitor, I create short and long-term goals. If I’m not happy with myself, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Good or bad. If I’m not happy with my work I get annoyed and feel frustrated and vice versa. Film and art will never compete. The film is moving art, not all types of course. The film is about creating a whole new world, a story, you need it to believable, you set a mood, the right angles, lighting. After shooting you edit, grade, manipulate. It’s both arts in so many ways, but will never compete, just inspire each other.
DT 500 MAG: – I’m personally enjoying the post-modernistic angles in your work, it is quite refreshing to play with your visual grounds and to taste a mint Norwegian deep in Richard Hamilton and David Hockney’s legacies. Has it been hard to surf in the art world so far?
BENEDICTE: – I didn’t plan my Arnold exhibition, to be honest. I was working on an entirely different project. I had a good theme, a good flow and the feedback on my work was positive, but things changed. I had been a bit down for a while, which is one of the reasons to why my previous project has completely different colors, lighting, and texture. Anyway, things turned a little bit lighter, it was a change in the weather, and I felt that I needed a pause from the work bubble I was within. I pulled out an old Arnold sketch that I did a while back ago that I always wanted to continue work on. I started working on it just to give me a break from the other theme. After finishing it, I thought, hmm can I somehow fit this into my original project. Before deciding, I started right on a new piece and got incredibly inspired.
” After a while, I said to myself, fuck it. It’s gone be a pure ARNOLD exhibition. I sat there working by myself without telling my boyfriend, the gallery or anyone. Someday I remember thinking ”what the fuck am I doing,” but then again, it felt right.”
DT 500 MAG: – Yes, most often our beloved work is all about the unconsciousness… Benne, why do you choose pop art?
BENEDICTE: – I love Richard Hamilton and Hockney! I didn’t see R. Hamilton until after I had fallen in love with Photoshop. Maybe seen before, but nothing that had stuck in my mind I think. Anyway, I saw it, loved it, but it took me many years to figure out that what I created was art! I’ll show you a dinner table I made in 2005 or so. One of my first digital pieces. It has not been hard to navigate in this world. What fascinates you is what you want to put your mind into. The more you learn, the more interesting it gets.
DT 500 MAG: – is Benedicte using pop-art?
BENEDICTE: – Noh, pop-art is using me! Just kidding. But also Surrealism has always fascinated me, Norwegian Hertevig, Margurite, Dali, Matisse, in primary school, and later Tom Wesselmann, Ed Ruscha, the colorful craziness. To me pop-art expresses freedom to operate with full creativity and no considerations.
” Wrong is right, you have no blueprint, and it is fine to not fit in.“
DT 500 MAG: – Do you remember your first creative impression?
BENEDICTE: – When looking back at the early art that got stuck in my mind it all leads a path. In primary school, I had a book with one of Hertevigs paintings on the cover. I hated the book but loved the cover. I asked my grandma who had painted it, she said the artist’s name and that he was crazy.
” A lot of artists that I favorite tilts between sane and less sane mentalities. That often results in the amazing art. “
DT 500 MAG: – You invited Arnold Schwarzenegger to come over to your exhibition, why does his appearance be essential for you too?
BENEDICTE: – It would be nice if Arnold could spin of a nice, gracious ballerina pirouette, wouldn’t it? Regarding the invitation of Arnold Schwarzenegger to Norway, to be honest, that was not my idea. Some of my friends said to me in June, ” have you invited Arnold”? I liked the idea. I didn’t create this exhibition to honor Arnold as I mention in the invitation-film-performance. He is used as a symbol that fascinates me the rest is free to authentical interpretation.
DT500 MAG: – What is next? New plans?
BENEDICTE: – I don’t feel like sharing ideas too early. You’ll be the first to know when I’m ready.
DT 500 MAG: – My very honor and pleasure. Downtown 500 crew is wishing you keep on going, there is a perfect wave for you to surf in global warm, creative waters. Do not hesitate to surprise! Cheers from London, Benne.
The exhibition ARNOLD by Benedicte Aubert Ringnes can be seen from October 20-November 6 at GALLERY A, Vibes gate 13 -Oslo
Photography Andreas Rod
Interview Arthur Sopin