HELENE GULAKER HANSEN A FINE ART CURATOR

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HELENE GULAKER HANSEN

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Shoot Gallery is the first private gallery in Oslo dedicated to Fine Art Photography, launched in 2013. They have ambitions to present the best of Norwegian Fine Art Photography in combination with International artists.

 

The last time we met Helene was at the Literature Saloon at Kristin Dahle`s Baker Hansen Schultz gate 1: a quite essential but adult event, at the traditionally looking, but a currently swinging West -Oslo spot.

Today we came to Helene`s new space in Barcode. We are drawn in by her new sliding doors. It looks like the gallery has got enough meters now for a classic-sized wall horizon, where the magic of fine art photography appears. 

Helene Gulaker Hansen has a Master of Science in International Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts from St. Martins London, she has worked with fine art photography since 2010. 

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DT 500 MAG:  – What is the difference between a curator/ gallerist compared to other more standard professions like a lawyer, economist, politician, etc..

HELENE: – I believe the facts side are the same; like the importance of education, knowledge, training and a deep understanding of the industry.

“The difference might be the importance of trusting and respecting my emotional reactions to connect with the artwork and the clients.”

DT 500 MAG: – There is a quite annoying emotion of jealousy, the emotion of unconscious rivalry or maybe the underdeveloped feeling of competition. You, as one of most progressive gallerists in Norway, who is your competitor or which gallery are you white jealous of or even admire?

HELENE: – Anyone having the pleasure working with the works of Francesca Woodman…

Francesca Woodman was an American photographer known for her black-and-white self-portraits. Despite her short career, which ended with her suicide at the age of 22 on January 19, 1981, in New York. Woodman produced over 800 untitled prints during her life. Influenced by Conceptualism and often featuring recurring symbolic motifs such as birds, mirrors, and skulls, Woodman’s work is often compared to Surrealists such as Hans Bellmer and Man Ray. On her frequent use of herself as a model, she observed:

“It’s a matter of convenience—I’m always available.”

Though Francesca Woodman had few opportunities to show work during her life… Woodman has been the subject of numerous posthumous solo exhibitions, including at the Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Foundation Cartier, among others. 

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DT 500 MAG: – What makes a gallery good?

HELENE: – Great art. But then all gallerists know putting great art on the wall is the natural part of running a gallery. It is of central importance the gallery is easy to enter whether you are a part of the art crowd or a first time visitor. 

 

Tate Modern mounted sliding doors to minimize the resistance to entering. Sliding doors are a good metaphor. Ease and invite people in.”

DT 500 MAG: – What do you think other gallerists can envy you in your Shoot Gallery concept?

HELENE: –  Curated exhibitions in combination with a market section. 

” The concepts are inviting people to experience a high number of artworks in one place.”

With the decision of moving from Parkveien to Barcode, Helene also has provoked an interest in the company Snøhetta, the architects who build the Norwegian Opera house. They have also helped to complete the new concept of the Shoot Gallery. Also, the Barcode developers have actually ambitious plans for this area. There are 10,000 people already working in the Barcode area, today. How many of them have an interest in fine art photography and who of them will become the audience of the Shoot Gallery? Helene has the challenge to get decent art lovers to discover the new scene. 

DT 500 MAG: – It was the inauguration of a new grand opening of Shoot Gallery in a new location at Barcode, why did you decide to move here?

HELENE: – Barcode is the new arts center in Oslo.

” Together with Kunsthall Oslo and Munch Museet in motion, we have an exhibition programme attracting a highly varied and broad art crowd to this area. And a bit further down the road the Munch Museum and main Library together with the Opera House, all that will form a rare and powerful center for the arts. I believe other galleries will follow soon too.”

There is a Projekgalleriet just around the corner beside the Shoot Gallery, they run a project named Munch Museum in motion in collaboration with Art Hall Oslo. They are organizing and curating exhibitions based on the artwork from Stenersen Collection. The project Munch Museum in action shall hold 12 shows before the opening of the Munch Museum in 2020, it will be both group exhibitions and solo exhibitions.

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DT 500 MAG: –  What was your opening repertoire?

HELENE: – Our Norwegian masters Dag Alveng, Tom Sandberg, Per Maning together with the French master of Ambrotypes, Èric Antoine. We are also presenting video works by Anne Katrine Senstad.

DT 500 MAG: – How do you choose what is fine art or not in the photographic arena?

HELENE: – Hard to say in a few words. Instead, I will mention:

” the importance of working with artists who are fully dedicated to the arts. Full-time. “

DT 500 MAG: – Which personal characteristics of yours make you innovative? 

HELENE: –

 

” To state how our finest Norwegian Artist is on the same level as our finest international artists. They deserve the international brand “Norwegian Photography. “

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DT 500 MAG: – Helene, let’s imagine some drama, all the national galleries, and museums in the world are on fire, which single art piece would you choose to save? 

HELENE: –

 ” Per Maning, Oscar, large format analogue print. Pure Magic.”

Fine artist Per Maning is focused on the digital mediums of photography and video. The reoccurring themes in his works are the relations between human and nature, with a focus on the biological and psychological similarities that forms a bond between humans and other species. In 1988, Maning patiently portrayed a group of seals in aquariums, which are toned black and white photographs represented Norway in the Venice Biennale in 1995.  “Oscar ” the seal is one picture from this series.

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DT 500 MAG: – What was the last unforgettable impression you have been experiencing by photography or any other kind of fine art?

HELENE: – Eric Antoine’s wet collodion glass plates.

” We aim to combine Norwegian art photographer with international manners. We are also committed to a contribution of highlighting Norwegian artists abroad and are very pleased that senior advisor Therese Aalberg Foreign Affairs was opening the exhibition. “

DT 500 MAG: – You have growing daughters, do you cultivate creativity in them? 

HELENE: – My daughters are used to coming with me to art events as a natural part of our lives. For the joy of it.

 ” Joy is important.”

DT 500 MAG: – Helene,  lovely meeting you again. Never compromise on all art falls.

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Talk  by Arthur Sopin
Photography  by Andreas Roed