GALLERY A PRESENTS THE JOYFUL CELEBRATION OF NORWEGIAN CONNECTION BETWEEN POP ART COLLAGES AND IMPRESSIONISTIC MANNERS OF CONTEMPORARY 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
DT 500 MAG: – Benne, thanx for your lively exhibition at Gallery A, we like! Today, a lot of a mass men 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 with my own company.”
DT 500 MAG: – What are your original coordinates?
BENEDICTE: – Architecture, nature, traveling , and music, in the 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 art?
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: – 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 for 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 I need to find out where I get my inspiration. At studios, one gets way too much information and inspiration, and your head gets messy afterwards. Music puts your thoughts centred on one beat.
“BUT I live in Oslo, 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 your exhibition, the “ARNOLD.” Downtown 500 crew is experiencing your “Arnold” series, like placing emphasis on symmetry, proportion, even geometry and the regularity of parts as 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 for Mr Olympia, Arnold was instructed by ballerinas on how to present himself on stage. Learning how to walk and pose and gracefully move from one position to another. Small details as to 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 the hand and feet.
DT 500 MAG: – What does make an artist 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 the 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 fascinating “…”
DT 500 MAG: – There is a lot of artists today using technology as a narrative tool. What interests 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. At this stage, I like the digital format and have been fascinated by it for years. I spend a lot of money on art magazines; my all-time favourite since 2005 is Computer Arts. 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 balance in the total.
“One can’t imagine how many elements 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 previously worked in media production. Is it media vs art for you now? Art is free, but 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 has that in a film. You have to fulfil many 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 in 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 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 unsatisfied with my work, I get annoyed and 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 be believable, you set a mood, the right angles, and lighting. After shooting your edit, grade, and manipulate. It’s both arts in many ways, but they will never compete; they inspire each other.
BENEDICTE: – I didn’t plan my Arnold exhibition, to be honest. I was working on an entirely different project. I had a good theme and 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 why my previous project had completely different colours, lighting, and texture. Things turned a little bit lighter; it was a change in the weather, and I needed a pause from the work bubble I was in. I pulled out an old Arnold sketch I did a while ago that I always wanted to continue working on. I started working on it to give me a break from the other theme. After finishing it, can I fit this into my original project? Before deciding, I started 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 alone 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, creative work is all about unconsciousness… Benne, why do you choose pop art?
BENEDICTE: – I love Richard Hamilton and Hockney! I saw R. Hamilton after I had fallen in love with Photoshop. I may have seen it before, but nothing that had stuck in my mind. I saw it and 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 this world. What fascinates you is what you want to put your mind to. 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 colourful craziness. Pop art expresses the 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: – You invited Arnold Schwarzenegger to come to your exhibition; why is his appearance essential for you?
BENEDICTE: – It would be nice if Arnold could spin off a beautiful, gracious ballerina pirouette, wouldn’t it? That was not my idea regarding the invitation of Arnold Schwarzenegger to Norway. In June, some of my friends said,” have you invited Arnold”? I liked the idea. I didn’t create this exhibition to honour Arnold, as I mentioned in the invitation to film the performance. He is used as a symbol that fascinates me, and the rest is free for 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 pleasure. Downtown 500 crew wishes you keep ongoing; there is a perfect wave to surf in creative waters. Do not hesitate to surprise us. 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