GALLERI F15
28 MAY–5 OCTOBER 2022


HABITAT

Amina Baker Shubar, Jad El Khoury, Sarah S., Sarah Sekles, Merete Røstad and Siri Hermansen


Click on the artist names or scroll down for biographies and artwork info.

The exhibition can be visited within Galleri F15’s opening hours, Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. A map of the exhibition and other exhibition info material can be retrieved at the front desk. Parallel to the exhibition Katie Paterson’s exhibition Evergreen is exhibited in Galleri F15.

GALLERI F15
Tuesday–Sunday 11.00–17.00
Albyalléen 80, 1519 Moss, Norway
+47 89 27 10 33


GALLERi F15 website
Facebook event for the vernissage
Photo: Sarah Sekles – Animal Conference, 2022.




From the autumn of 2021, the Master’s Program Art and Public Space at KHIO has had Jeløya and the area in and around Gallery F15 as a research area. The result has been an extensive outdoor exhibition entitled HABITAT which shows 6 monumental art projects, of which 5 are installed outdoors. The exhibition is complex in its entirety, and surprisingly contextualises what life is, and how life transforms the environment in a local, historical and international perspective. In the space between what has been and what is to become, concepts such as survival strategies, pain relief, communication and care are central to the works. The art also reflects perspectives on the interplay between stories about people and nature that have taken place in the area. Underlying tones in the projects are political and revolve around democracy, preservation, respect and coexistence. At the exhibition you will be able to experience an animal conference, land acupuncture, pink clouds, a healing blanket, a flag manifesto and a birth clinic for butterflies.

Siri Hermansen
August, 2022 


Opening Speech HABITAT


Dag Aak Sveinar

How do you feel and think about space and place? This place takes you back in time to the 18th century, before modernism and industrialisation. Modernism hasn’t transformed this area and since 1985 it has been protected as a listed area. The area was shaped before Norwegian nationalism succeeded to bring about its icons, symbols, and architecture (late 1800c), and what you still see here today, was inspired eclectically by different European and Scandinavian experiences, contacts, and cultures.

Today we know that we are hosting five different biotopes in this area: three on land and two in the ocean. Measures are to be taken to maintain them.

Our inclination is to go back in time and let us be inspired by how the gardens were back then in the 1800 century – the golden age – so we have already left the best behind and must seek back to it.

It won’t become a sculptural park with contemporary art. But contemporary art can be shown temporarily if it follows the main regulations and gets approved by the municipality. The location and its history tell us what kind of management it should have – exercise discretion.

A place can give us security and space can give us freedom: we are attached to the one and long for the other. On Jeløy in the midst of the Oslo fjord, here at Alby Mansion, people have lived for centuries cultivating the spaces. How do students from KHiO in 2022 experience it?

The quick answer to this question: with different modes that each person knows and constructs reality. Just as the range of experiences can be direct and intimate, or it can be indirect and conceptual, mediated with symbols.It’s enjoyable to work and be exploratory and suggestive together, rather than to have the last word in an area where our knowledge is tentative at best. The result is a remarkable synthesis which reflects well the subtleties of experience; that surely will endure in our lives and after.

Thanks to Siri Hermansen who through the chaotic experience with Momentum 2021 still lingered on and wanted to collaborate more with Galleri F 15.
Intimate experience of place
Here is a seemingly paradox: thought creates distance and destroys the immediacy of direct experience, yet it is by thoughtful reflection that the elusive moments of the past draw near to us in present reality and gain a measure of permanence.

- I have some questions to you/What questions are we asking?

What connection is there between space awareness and the idea of future time and goal?

What are the links between body postures and personal relationships on the one hand and spatial values and distance relationships on the other?

How do we describe “familiarity”, that quality of “at homeness” we feel toward a person or a place?

What kinds of intimate places can be planned, and what cannot – at least, no more than we can plan for deeply human encounters?

Are space and place the environmental equivalents of human need for adventure and safety, openness, and definition?How long does it take to form a lasting attachment to a place?Is the sense of place, a quality of awareness poised between being rooted in place, and being alienated?

- These questions do not make the life of the social scientist and planner easier.

At last: Thanks to the MA students for the importance of your research and art productions.

Thank you for “activating” new places and realms and to increase the burden of awareness.



A Site of Possibilities 


Dr. Sara R. Yazdani

In her introduction to Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, Donna Haraway writes that Le Guin’s love for storytelling collects “possibilities of recomposing lives and making new sorts of life in hard times.”[1] The carrier bag theory of evolution explains human progression by defining technology as a carrier bag, similar to a basket, and not as a weapon of domination. By doing so, it intrinsically figures human habitats as composed of entangled histories and situated narratives: dynamic milieus haunted by both the toxicity and wonder of tentacular life forms of our epoch.

Le Guin forges a theory of fiction and machines to be as much a theory of history and human evolution, positing that the analogous image changes with the story: “The trouble is, we’ve all let ourselves become a part of the killer story, and so we may get finished along with it. Hence it is with certain feeling of urgency that I seek the nature of, subject, of the other story, the untold story.”[2] Stories are not merely fictional; they produce history and knowledge. They have formed our understanding of our history, human history, whomever that may include and exclude. I find this feminist science fiction theory essential when thinking about habitat and existence because it unfolds a framework for discovering experience and knowledge anew and imagines new possibilities for land and geography that extend beyond the linear narrative of the (white) hero.

Urgent in today’s precarious times—I have the war in Ukraine in mind as I write this, a war in which weapons and tools of destruction are sadly and shockingly presented as means for peace, from all sides—this progressive theory is notably probed in the exhibition Habitat, a show consisting of six artworks and an installation in Gallery F15 and the surrounding Alby gård. The works seemingly reveal a different history, not yet told or acknowledged as the story. Habitat aims to envision a new reality, to produce new thoughts and reflections about geological transformations, the past, and habitat in relation to human care and influence. In every attempt, aid is provided to heal and mediate earth’s natural environments and to flourish life. It is understood that this healing is bound within the anthropocenic landscape—a result of the colonization and exploitation of the land in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The exhibition portrays both the life and history of the Alby landscape in which sediments have changed due to environmental crisis. The complex processes and research conducted by the artists in turn transform the environment of the plants, power structures, strata, animals, and other organisms of this landscape into something visible that we can see and interpret.

It seems as if Alby has become an archeological site in which the artists form a community with the environment that includes our societal institutions, even if only on a fictional level. Through this, the site has been transformed into a material and psychological field lab for creating new ways of being human and new ways of thinking about what is human. It is a site of care for life that seeks, in dialogue with history, the possibilities that might open when the narrative changes. Here, the individual is not concerned with self-creation but with the collective and its relation to animal species and society, beyond the grand narrative, even if only on an imaginative level. This idea of a possibility is central in David Graeber and David Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything, in which they revisit the human history of farming, cities, democracy, and civilization itself and how we make sense of it, precisely to challenge the familiar narrative, the story of humanity.[3] Unveiling a new account of how human societies and thought developed over the past 30,000 years, a story they contend is often confined, Graeber and Wengrow hopefully and playfully shed light on the fact that our current ideals of freedom and democracy are not products of Western traditions and the Enlightenment but of Indigenous knowledges with different notions of nature and life.[4]

With these hopeful possibilities in mind, Habitat presents earth as a soft body, transformative, affected, and always in the process of change. It is an environment, or what Gilbert Simondon called an “associated milieu,” of blood, veins, muscles, nerves, soil, grass and a plurality of species and beings of various kinds, living, technical, and mental.[5] In Habitat the work of art is not fixed or permanent but mediated, in ecological sense of the term. It exists beyond the traditional aesthetic notion of an artwork, beyond the traditional history of humanity, and within a dynamic environment of flows between different types of beings and of life forces.
Public space is here considered as a site, a nurturing home inhabited by rocks, seeds, clouds, and animals, a place where animals, plants, matter, and other organisms live in a community with each other in the making of their shared environment. But to what extend can animals, soil, butterflies, and rocks sense and be affected? Who and what remembers that past and who can retell the story? In Habitat, we observe a site of humans––our language, history, and concepts––and what is more-than-human, including many kinds of species, organisms, trees, soil, and rocks that speak, heal, discuss, share, farm, and care for each other. Here, sensing emerges between different species and organisms, acting as environmental subjects, what Jennifer Gabrys describes in her research on sensing lichens as worldmaking entities forging kin and milieus, not on their own, however, but in collaboration with humans and non-humans.[6] To understand their sensitivity in ecological terms is to glimpse the environment as a site of sharing and a site of hope. It is about accounting for and digging deeper into the ambiguous presence and past of the unseen and untold.



[1] Donna Haraway, ”Introduction: Receiving Three Mochilas in Colombia: carrier Bags for Staying with the Trouble Together,” in Ursula Le Guin, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction (London: Ignota Books, 2019), 20. The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction was originally published in Woman of Vision in 1989.

[2] Ibid., 33.

[3] David Graeber and David Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything. A New History of Humanity (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2021).

[4] Ibid., 1–27.

[5] Gilbert Simondon, REF

[6] Jennifer Gabrys, “Sensing Lichens From Ecological Microcosms to Environmental Subjects,” Third Text 18, nos. 2–3 (2018): 350–67.