In his site-specific installation at Entrée, Valentin Manz invites us to think about the generational evolution of work, place and identity. Over the last generations, as Norway experienced major socio-economic changes, work has become more and more abstract. Our relationships with the objects and artifacts we surround ourselves with on a day-to-day basis is increasingly transforming, just like the houses we live in, have become commodities and subject to speculation (bubbles as fragile as glass). What is useful and what is junk keeps changing as our own roles and values transform.
Over the course of the summer, Valentin built a little house out of ‘useful junk’ in dialogue with Svein, Helene, and Frida. They are representatives of three generations within the Åstveit family, who live on the outskirts of Bergen and were once known for their skilled carpenters. Sound recordings from the dialogue across the generations during the building process will be echoed in the gallery space, giving an insight into the origin of this new home.
Valentin Manz (b.1973, Bavaria, Germany) lives and works in Tromsø. He is educated in the field of Visual Arts and Scenography from Slade School of Fine Art and Central Saint Martins, and in Art Psychotherapy from Goldsmiths University of London. Through a number of projects in public space at home and abroad, his ideas are manifested in kinetic sculptures and installations, paintings, and social and participatory projects. He often works with found objects and waste, usually with a site-specific approach to ecology, identity and history. His most recent project, a large sculpture entitled Tavaha, was presented alongside an augmented reality (a technology that is combining virtual effects with real physical environments) outside the Polaria aquarium in Tromsø. Manz runs Ice-9, a web platform and think-tank for visual arts and experimental storytelling, with ecology and community-related issues, in collaboration with artist and filmmaker Christine Cynn. Ice-9 participated in last year's edition of the Insomnia Festival in Tromsø and will work in New Ålesund on Svalbard this year.