Two video installations
22 February – 14 April, 2001


Opening Reception: Thursday March 1, 6 – 8 pm

The Spencer Brownstone Gallery is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in the US of Norwegian artist Sven Påhlsson. The show will consist of two large-scale projection installations that use video animation and 3D technology. This show coincides with his exhibition of Crash Course at Kunstnerforbundet Gallery, in Oslo, Norway that has been highly praised throughout Scandinavia. Mr. Påhlsson is part of the growing field of digital artists and has been working in this medium for over 10 years.
This exhibition is the premiere of Fun House - a 10-minute video installation using a roller coaster ride as its central theme. Mr. Påhlsson empties out the space of any human presence leaving the viewer with the loops and curves of the ride itself. The machinery and the twilight colored sky always overhead, loom above resulting in a vertiginous feeling for the viewer. Considering the gloominess of the piece, the title rings a bit ironic. The artist raises the question of what the definition of fun might be. Amusement parks are created for entertainment to include the sensations of thrill, speed and excitement in a shared experience. Sven Påhlsson's Fun House is eerily empty and reflects on how technology can dictate emotions and define our current conception of fun.
The second installation Lay Out is a work that explores the blur between the virtual and the real. Once again, the artist takes us on a ride of a constructed game-like reality. The simple sets, constant motion and change of colors in the work are playful to the point of infantilization of the viewer. The simplicity of the projection enhances its formulaic sensibility in order to create an experience that is soothing and perversely enjoyable.
An important aspect of these two works is the music. Original soundtracks, produced and composed by Norwegian composer Eric Wøllo are an essential element heightening the overall perception of the work.

Artist Bio

Sven Påhlsson's exhibitions include Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo 1997, Tate Modern 1998 and representing Norway at the Venice Biennale 1997. He will also be exhibiting this spring at the PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York City.