It is quite possible to feel the urge of finding a bathroom shortly after entering the exhibition Honeymoon Rehersal that opens tonight in Oslo, Norway. At least if you are the empathic kind of person and if a specific photograph is in the same spot as it was on Wednesday evening, when mon Dieu left after an inspirational conversation with the artist, his fiancé and Gard Eiklid that invited us to the Rod Bianco Gallery for a visit. If the mentioned photograph is still right across the room from the entrance, visitors will be welcomed with an especially wet and intimate memory from a romantic vacation to Morocco.
The opening reception takes place tonight in Oslo over a garage inside a brand new exhibition space with an unpolished tastefulness and a laid-back atmosphere. A short while ago the Rod Bianco Gallery entered the international artworld and is a well-timed complement to the blossoming crowd of local art collectors. “Honeymoon Rehersal” is the gallery’s second exhibition, and the artist has captured moments triggering our imaginations to reflect around the relationship between the artist and his fiancé.
The name Rod Bianco might sound familiar as it originates from a narrating concept created by one of the gallery’s residents, Bjarne Melgaard. The Norwegian artist also plays an important part for “Honeymoon Rehersal” as he recently challenged Toronto based artist Brad Philips. The Canadian has been given the mission of making the most sexual pieces of art he can possibly imagine. Philips therefore decided to ask his fiancé and fellow artist, Cristine Brache to join him on a trip to Morocco for some good times in fascinating surroundings.
Honeymoon rehearsal is the result and a gritty collection of juxtaposed photographs, some paintings and also video. The artist generously shares private memories that he has made with his dear fiancé during their time in Morocco. Philips cleverly combines quite personal and intimate moments with other vacation memories like landscapes, flowers and traditional decorations. The soon to be husband and wife have played around with textures, situations and expressions that might challenge the spectator to consider love in other ways than the ordinary conceptions do.
If one doesn’t look closely enough and reflect around what is seen, a lot of things might come off as something else than what they actually are. References to beauty can be found in additional places to lovely oil lamps resembling fairy-tales and pretty roses. mon Dieu congratulates the artist couple with a daring reflection of a relationship that to us seems to be filled with personal freedom, love and respect. Happiness and mutual trust might hide behind S&M effects and jeans with dark traces of urin if curiosity allows the spectator for more than just a flustered peek. Perhaps a lot of us would enter the gallery and head straight to the bathroom without ever understanding that immortalizing one’s fiancé that has just wet herself could be the very oposite of taboo. It is at least a quite fascinating thought that pee represents one of the most universal, common and natural parts of our lives.