Property Paintings, 2009
Photo of 12 paintings, size: 80 x 80
Installation views: interiors of various private apartments around Oslo
Photo credit: Fredrik Værslev
Cooperation with: Fredrik Værslev
Property Paintings takes as its starting point a several hundred years old Norwegian painterly tradition. The project investigates the possibilities of the social-realistic painting as a potential moderator for the Norwegian social class, and as a symbol of pride in relation to their property and display of personal taste Historically, the “property-paintings” have been very much influenced by class issues, where economy was decisive in matters of choice about skilled painters employment, from the finest ones dealing with landscape and architecture, to “door-to-door” painters whose compensation consisted of food and a place to live during their commissioned painting process. In order to investigate this tradition, while also exploring the possibilities of its redefinition and continuation, 12 house owners were invited to participate in the project – with an idea of each of them receiving one finished and framed painting free of charge.
The house owners also choose size, placement, and framing for their paintings. In return, they are asked to have the painting photographed in its new setting, whereas the artists solely decide the amount of interior information. In contrast to the tradition of “property-paintings”, one very skilled painter invests the same precision and effort into each painting and home, where the selection of house owners stretch from factory workers, to stockbrokers and art collectors. And where all forms of profession, origin and religion is flat lined through art. The outcome of the project is a selection of 12 interiors with 12 house owners from different statuses, now presented as 12 photographs and 12 private installations.