Bård Breivik (b.1948, d.2016) began his work on Score for a Longer Conversation in the early 1980’s and continued it throughout his entire professional life. The process was developed in collaboration between Breivik and craftsmen from dozens of countries and cultures. Together, they explored the creation of the project as a process and each tool’s many different possibilities.
Each individual work is evidence of a true curiosity of the unknown and has been created using traditional handicraft techniques and local materials. The canoe or cocoon-like form that recurred repeatedly throughout the exhibition emphasises the materials used, but the work as a whole underlines a rich cultural diversity and is, in a way, a kind of anthropological study of how people around the world created their own distinctive aesthetics based on local traditions, tools, and techniques.
”Many have called it a boat shape. It’s a natural association, but what I wanted to convey was, in fact, the aura that surrounds a person – their energy field.
– Bård Breivik
In the exhibition, the sculptures were displayed vertically but were not organised by year, technique, or region. Instead, they were presented as an eclectic mix, a kind of symphony of expression. The shape and size of the sculptures combine with the cultural diversity and material richness of the project in a way that implied the possibility of universal dialogue. This idea was reinforced by the sculptures being placed in old containers previously used in international shipping. The containers symbolised a truly optimistic view of the opportunities for global cooperation.
Bård Breivik was born and raised in Bergen on Norway’s west coast. After his studies at the Bergen Art and Design College – and later at St. Martin’s School of Art in London – Breivik developed a successful artistic career and was, for a short time, a professor of sculpture at the Royal Institute of Fine Arts in Stockholm. Breivik’s works have been shown at many solo and group exhibitions both in Norway and internationally. Among other notable moments, he represented Norway at the Venice Biennial in 1986 and at the São Paolo Biennial in 1991. Breivik also created several public works of art in the Nordic region.
Bård Breivik – Score for a Longer conversation was shown in parallel with Morandi / Edmund de Waal. Despite their differences, the three artists have several things in common – in particular, their interest in handicrafts. Both exhibits showed how repetition can serve as a fundamental force in creation and served to remind us of the history and memories that remain in all objects.
Bård Breivik – Score for a Longer Conversation
Our curator Iselin Page guides you through the exhibition.