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Mary Grace Wright / Standard (Oslo):

STANDARD (OSLO) is proud to present a solo exhibition with artworks of Peter Opsvik spanning from 1989-2009.

The human brain is hardwired to resist change. Change is a threat to our system and our bodies protect us from it through the chemical release of hormones. Change is pain. We are settled in our patterns, our routines, and more fundamentally our mindsets. This "protection" hampers our ability to digest new information and it therefore takes concentrated effort to break our outlook and be receptive to new ways of seeing, thinking and appreciating. The disciplines of Peter Opsvik challenge and expand our core understanding of the basics-what it means to sit in a chair, create music, or in the gallery context, to approach an artwork on the wall.

Internationally renowned as an industrial furniture designer for his unconventional seating solutions such as Tripp Trapp, Variable and Capisco, whether you know it or not, you've more than likely sat in one yourself. Or, at the very least, you may have seen Lisa Simpson rock one at her desk. These innovative designs broke the mold through the variation of positions embedded in one singular object. The very concept of sitting changed from stationary to mutable.

With the artworks on view, Opsvik shows us another avenue to understand his ideations behind movement and variation- the next position is always the best. In a break with the white box institutional norms visitors are now accustomed to, (and etiquette we, as a gallery, tend to uphold), the artworks in the exhibition are meant to be touched. Hidden in the abstracted emblems of heads, the paintings are constructed with hinged doors. Once opened these portals reveal shelves or photographs, reminiscent of Jasper Johns famous "Target with Four Faces". These days you would get a stern rebuke for considering to open the lid at MoMA, that is, if security are not glued to their phones. Here visitors are encouraged to open the works and leave them in the variation they see fit, soon to be altered by the next individual who comes with their own intuitions.

The theme of the human head, opened for dissection and discovery, serves as a reminder to investigate our own predisposition. The nooks and crannies are laid bare- to seek ways to alter our approach of what we knew before and to expand our appreciations for new makers, and their new ideas.



Photography: Vegard Kleven (exhibition) and Lea Stuedahl (artworks)
Video: Peter Opsvik AS. Excerpts of musical performance by Eivind Opsvik, Tor Opsvik, Peter Opsvik
Eivind Opsvik: