Elsebet Rahlff & Eva Rowson
Talks and readings

This recording will be streamed live her and be made available later, on Vimeo, Youtube, Facebook and on the programme page for the series.

In this recorded conversation, Eva Rowson interviews artist Elsebet Rahlff on the 1977 ‘Samliv’ exhibition that originally took place at the Bergen Art Society (now Bergen Kunsthall) in 1977. This informative art exhibition utilized the visual arts as a way to communicate urgent issues around sexual health and identity, and manifested through the work of five groups that established and conducted two years of research around the themes: condoms and diaphragms, the pill and the coil, sterilization, abortion, and venereal diseases.

Visual artists, including some members of Group 66, joined together to broaden the scope of Samliv with relevant artworks. Historical artworks relevant to the theme, from Edvard Munch and Christian Krogh, were borrowed from the National Art Gallery and drawings made by our children were exhibited at their eyeline in the exhibition spaces. In that way, the message of Samliv was expanded by theater, dance, music, talks, films, debates, and artworks and making it a truly cross-disciplinary and innovative endeavor.

ELSEBET RAHLFF is a visual artist based in Bergen, born in Copenhagen and partly raised in New Zealand, who studied at the State Design School in Denmark and S.W. Hayters Atelier 17 in Paris to become a visual artist specializing in working with textiles. She joined Group 66 in Bergen’s Kunstforening (now Bergen Kunsthall) in 1966 and later in the exhibition ‘Concrete Analysis’ in 1970 and the ‘Samliv’ exhibit in 1977. Rahlff was a member of the artist group Finnegårdskretsen who created Gallery 1 in Bergen in 1969 and worked as an associate professor for a number of years at the State College of Art and Design in Bergen (now University of Bergen, Faculty for Fine Art, Music and Design), where she helped to establish the textile department. Rahlff played a major role in the presentation of new art forms, such as happenings, performance, and installation work. Her art project ‘‘World Flags’‘ has been shown in a number of European cities, presented in Alexanderplatz, Berlin, as well as in Rio de Janeiro, with the most recent iteration of the project alternating on 100 steel flagpoles with movable feet . Elsebet Rahlff has been deeply engaged in conversations connected to the new performing arts in Bergen and continues to contribute by means of informal criticism.

EVA ROWSON is an artist, curator and Managing Director of Bergen Kjøtt, a multi-purpose studio building and cultural venue in Bergen, Norway. Her artistic and curatorial work is organised around hospitality, collaboration and organisational practices – focusing on how the different types of work involved are valued, and with what consequences. This research is at the core of collaborative projects including the living room project space 38b (co-run with Luke Drozd, 2010-18); ‘Como imaginar una musea?’, a Catalan-Spanish-English conjuring of a feminist cultural institution (2018-19); and MÆKUR, researching communications technologies and the communities which form around them (with Maia Urstad and Anton Kats, 2018-ongoing).

In 2018-19 Eva was Curator of Live Programme at Bergen Kunsthall (Norway) and Curator in Residence at Lighthouse (Brighton, UK) leading a curatorial programme on the politics of institutional re-imagining to ask ‘Who’s doing the washing up?’. She leads the MA Fine Art programme ‘Collaboration-in-Formation’ at Faculty of Fine Art (KMD), University of Bergen, Norway and co-runs golden jar with Sofia Hamnes, an experimental music platform for female and non-binary practitioners working on and off stage.

In response to the limitations in our live program capabilities in 2020, Bergen Kunsthall has produced a new series of recorded talks and readings with local and international artists and writers, developing a dialogue surrounding our exhibition program and exploring practices of local artists which we will be presenting to wider online audiences.

This new series utilises the input of artists and writers to initiate dialogues in connection with our current exhibition program and expands upon themes socially and politically relevant within their own studio practices. Artists invited in the series include Annette Kierulf, Kobie Nel, Elsebet Rahlff and Maia Urstad, with three readings provided by Lisa Robertson, Elvia Wilk and Rebecca Tamás.

Release dates and times:

Mon 28 Jun 18.00
Lisa Robertson, Weeds: For the Natufians

Wed 1 Jul 18.00
Elvia Wilk, Reading from Oval

Sat 4 Jul 18.00
Maia Urstad in conversation with Karen Werner

Mon 6 Jul 18.00
Kobie Nel in conversation with Julie Lillelien Porter

Wed 8 Jul 18.00
Rebecca Tamás, Reading from Witch

Sat 11 Jul 18.00
Annette Kierulf in conversation with Axel Wieder

Mon 13 Jul 18.00
Elsebet Rahlff in conversation with Eva Rowson

Part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Re-Imagine Europe is initiated by Sonic Acts (NL) and coordinated by Paradiso (NL) in collaboration with Elevate Festival (AT), Lighthouse (UK), INA GRM (FR), Kontejner (HR), Landmark / Bergen Kunsthall (NO), A4 (SK), Disruption Network Lab (DE) and Ràdio Web MACBA (ES)

In this final installment of the talks and readings series, visual artist Elseb Rahlff talks with artist and curator Eva Rowson on the disruptive 1977 exhibition “Samliv”