Minneutstilling 22. juli

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Halsnøy Kloster    Utstillingsopning  22. Juli 2012, kl. 17.00 : Minneutstilling for 22. Juli

Carolle Benitah og Pascale Peyret, Frankrike.

Dei to franske kunstfotografane Carolle Benitah og Pascale Peyret kom til fredelege Halsnøy den 18. Juli i fjor. Dei skulle ha 3 vekers kunstnaropphald på Halsnøy Kloster.

Få dagar seinare var fred og vakre omgjevnader overskugga av hendingane i Oslo og på Utøya.

Benitah og Peyret vart begge sterkt prega av det som skjedde, og arbeida dei laga under opphaldet på Halsnøy er ei sterk og vakker hyllest til dei som vart drepne.





Carolle Benitah syner 45 bilete, samla bak tre store glasplater som kan føra tankane hen til minneplakettar.

Bileta til Benitah er med hensikt fotograferte uskarpe. Nederst på kvart bilete er namn, alder og heimstad til ein av dei omkomne brodert inn med raud silketråd.

”Eg broderte namna, sting etter sting, som eit rituale i ein heilingsprosess. For til slutt å gje dei liva som brutalt vart forkorta, ei fredfyld verd der me kan minnast dei.”

Tittelen på serien er ”Les Regretés”, dei vi sørgjer over.

Pascale Peyret syner to videoverk, og 7 fotografi.

Tittel på arbeidet er  ”Offerings”, ofringar.

Peyret tende 77 lys i vestfløyen, og skriv: ”(…) Lysa brann i fleire timar og sto som vakter og varma og lyste opp denne staden der så mange bøner har vore bedne. Heile dagen brenn lysa i mitt improviserte kapell, kvar flamme med liv, liv – som desse unge vart fråtekne. (…)

Neste dag – på steinane i stranda – lagar eg ei elv av blod, med røde bær…”

Utstillinga vert opna av Signe Ekeland, styreleiar ved Sunnhordland Museum. Carolle Benitah vil vera tilstades ved opninga.

Det vert høve til å tenna lys.

Utstillinga vert hengjande til 22. august.

For meir informasjon kontakt Helen Petersen, tlf 48 13 00 20

Kunstnarane sine tekstar om arbeida :

«offerings» ,Pascale Peyret

I throw first glances and absorb first impressions as I approach the island of Halsnøy on a late afternoon, July 18, 2011. A thick forest of trees surrounds the cape where the boats lie ashore; the ferry opens its mouth, vomiting cars, which vibrate metal plates while passing on their route.

Halsnøy Kloster is one of the first homes constructed on the road connecting the north and south ends of the Island. Nothing remains from its hour of glory but conserved buildings ; the church and the monastery were destroyed after the reforms. Just as was done in the French revolution, they extracted the stones leaving nothing but a quarry; the beautiful building containing the museum, where I will reside, is entirely built from stone, which is quite a rarity in Norway.

In the heart of the monastery, three old, large beech trees; planted in the memory of three young souls stripped of life too early. The trees rise to the sky offering their shade to pedestrians passing by; their trunks stigmatized by lovers who carved their names in their barks. Three young beings have become confidantes to lovers of yesterday and today.

I fall prey to the charm of the setting: its centenary trees, the view overlooking the fjord, the green grass descending ever so gently towards the pier, the perfect location from which to observe the long sunset. The setting sun refuses to disappear behind the islands, leaving long stretching shadows and light emitting marvelous colors of golden brown.

I discover the Neolithic stone integrated in the construction of the pier: eleven small cavities patiently carved here over three or four thousand years. This work is fascinating. How many offering, how many sacrifices, are given to nature as gifts under the spell of its wondrous allure? Gifts to the very tangible elements: the light, the wind, the sea. This stone speaks to me, it tells us of our origins. It imposes respect of the elements of our universe.

My work will be a gift, a gift to nature, a ritual in memory, ‘in memoriam’. My gift will be of buttercup flowers, of digital, of stone, of fire. Each of my photos is a ceremony, a gesture embedded in the memory blending the history of humankind, the communion of nature and the presence of legends.

The ritual of a pinhole camera combines with that of the gift. Each photo is a time of contemplative meditation, a communion to the world.

On the 22nd of July, the tragedy of Utoya overtakes me, meanwhile the country plunges into mourning, a gesture, a word, a flower to the memory of the young victims. I improvise the creation of a “funerary chapel” to the young victims: for each victim a candle shimmers with a fragile flame. More than the photos, it is the ritual, which brings me there, in one of the first Christian buildings in Norway. In the ruins of the monastery, I choose the relics of an oven, which forms a sort of apse. One by one, I light the candles in homage to the young victims. The clarity comes within. The candles last many hours like many sentries standing and warming, animating and lighting this secular space where we prayed so much. All day my improvised oration will swim in light; each little flame flickers with life, life, of which these young were stripped. When all is finished, the silhouettes of candles are like phantoms, some of which stand wearing wax wings.

The following day on the rocks bordering the shore, I trace a river of blood with bright red berries …

Pascale Peyret

Halsnøy Kloster, Sunnhordland Museum

July-August 2011

«Les Regretés», Carolle Benitah

Upon invitation from Sunnhordland Museum, I discovered Norway for the first time during summer 2011. In artist residency, I stayed 3 weeks on the island of Halsnøy.

I was very happy to come to this foreign country, and excited by the idea of the work I was going to produce there. I didn’t know precisely what kind of work I would do, I was saying to myself : the island will dictate my subject !

So, every day, I did the same walk: from the Kloster where I lived, to Sæbøvik which was the main attraction, looking for something that the island would give me.

These enchanting discovering moments soon ended brutally with the announcement of the attacks of Oslo and Utøya.

The shock seemed even more violent to me, because I was on an enchanting island with a generous nature, a blessed place by Gods where peaceful days flow, far away from the misfortunes of the world. And also because I was in the country where this happened.

The brutal deaths of these young people reminded me of my own position as a mother of a teenager, and this identification was absolutly unbearable.

I was haunted by this drama every day, thinking of the parents’ ordeal, of the fragility of life, and the unfairness of death which captured these souls at the threshold of their lives.

In the jewish tradition, it is said : « When a child dies, a whole world disappears ».

I decided to photograph the island as I discovered it. I captured it intentionally blurred and overexposed. I am in front of a very soft world, with indefinable outlines, next to a world which is disappearing. The world of the victims.

These faded, fleeting landscapes symbolised the loss.

In the bottom of the image, I embroidered the name, family name, age and the town of origin of the victim.

To each lost world, I attribute an own existence.

I had to make holes in the paper in order to embroider and it was as if I was looking to expel the pain.

I embroidered the name, stitch after stitch, like a ritual of recovery.

And at the end, giving to the lives shortened in violence, a peaceful world where we can remember them.

Carolle Benitah


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