Oscar Tuazon: Water School
January 27–April 9, 2023

Bergen Kunsthall presents a large-scale exhibition with new works by the American artist Oscar Tuazon. Tuazon (b. 1975 in Seattle, WA) is known predominantly for his sculptural work, but his practice also expands towards architecture and activism. His work often uses architectural techniques and materials, producing quasi-functional objects, parts or representations of spaces, or constructions that are open to use and appropriation. Many of his projects are inspired by alternative and utopian architectures of the 1960 and 1970s, do-it-yourself buildings and early eco-efficient and self-sustainable living models. Tuazon explores these architectural approaches to test their potential for today, not only in terms of the underlying technological principles but also alternative uses of space and models of subjectivity they propose.

The exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall presents new works and a large-scale installation connected to Tuazon’s ongoing project Water School. With this project, starting in 2016, Tuazon and collaborators explore the dynamics and power plays that regulate access to land, water, and infrastructures. The physical structure of the Water School is based on a design for a “Zome House”(1969–1972) by the architects and engineers Holy and Steve Baer, an early radical design based on the use of passive solar energy.

As the artist explains the project, “Water School moves, following water as it cycles across vast geographies, linking mountains to oceans and subterranean aquifers to the skies above them. Water School is a mobile architecture, learning from the fluidity of its medium and the collaborative process of its construction.”

For his exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall, Oscar Tuazon presents a scaled-down version of the initial Water School pavilions. The structure will occupy all four main gallery spaces of the Kunsthall and create a series of rooms in which inside and outside blurs. Additional works will create useable situations, provide reading materials, and document previous iterations of the Water School. In the centre of the exhibition, a new fountain sculpture will bring water, its materiality and the sounds we connect with it directly into the exhibition. The show will also include a series of works by Larry “Ulaaq” Ahvakana, a Native Alaskan artist and early mentor of Tuazon.

Curated by Axel Wieder.

The exhibition is produced in cooperation with Kunst Museum Winterthur and Kunsthalle Bielefeld.

On Self-Defense—A Cassandra Press Reader in action
Co-curated by Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo (Puppies Puppies)
November 18, 2022–April 11, 2023 

Cassandra Press was founded in 2016 by artist Kandis Williams as an independent publishing project. At its core, Cassandra Press examines tools of perception and racism, and their dominant role and expressions within current sociocultural systems. The press publishes lo-fi readers with texts by Black critical theorists, organises courses and produces artist zines and catalogues covering a broad range of topics that fuse questions of ethics, racial colonial violence, white supremacist delusion, and aesthetics.

In partnership with Bergen Kunsthall, Cassandra Press presents the two-part project On Self-Defense. The first part, which opened 18 November 2022, includes an exhibition featuring a reading room and research installation containing the entire catalogue of Cassandra Press readers and Special Publications and launching a new series of artist zines. For the second part of the project, Williams and artist Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo (Puppies Puppies) have produced a new reader and materials on self-defense, especially for people from trans and BIPOC communities. In an effort to redistribute institutional resources, parts of the project budget will be used for Cassandra Press to organise, promote and host courses on self-defense for queer communities of colour in New York, Berlin and Paris.

By stepping outside the traditional exhibition model, this project furthers the groundwork for a collaborative form of learning and theorising in community. The project will evolve throughout the exhibition period, using the exhibition space as a site for self-study and research.

Curated by Axel Wieder and Nora-Swantje Almes.

Related events:

Friday, January 27, 8–10pm

Plattform: Oscar Tuazon in conversation 
Saturday, January 28, 2–3:30pm (also streamed online)

Guided tours and family workshops: January 29–April 9, every Sunday

Press requests: Emilio Sanhueza, emilio [​at​] kunsthall.no / T +47 99 29 89 84