Downtime / Nedetid

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(Photo documentation by István Virág, except video still from documentation of performance).

For the exhibition Downtime artist Anna Ihle presents four new works. The production of Downtime has taken place, for the most part, between breakfast and dinner on work days, as Ihle considers a normative Scandinavian work week a guideline. During working hours, Ihle is negotiating between a protestant Norwegian west coast work ethic, and a start-up vibe, both inspired by Ihles hometown Stavanger ”the Norwegian oil capital”. In her artistic practice, she has been stone carving, wood carving, gold panning, doing laundry and initiated conversations. 

The installation Power nap (2017) consists of three photographs of made hotel beds on free standing blue walls with plastic corners. A clock is ticking in a corner. There is scientific evidence that a ”powernap” of 20 to 30 minutes is 

invigorating (…) A short nap will, in other words, make you more alert and focused, the Norwegain financial paper Dagens Næringsliv advised as one of ”5 steps to become a more productive person” (09.01.2015).

The work Downtime (2014 -2018) is an ongoing work. When Ihle started her investigation of protestant work ethics in 2013, she chose to work with wood while at the same time perform research on the religious movement Haugianism and the work ethic that followed the movement. Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771 – 1824) was a Lutheran preacher and entrepeneur who emphasized craftsmanship. He believed in the healing properties of work, and research from BI Norwegian Business School, Bergen suggests his «startups» supported national growth.The figures in Downtime are based on church sculptures and the biblical story of Jesus visiting the sisters Marta and Maria.

The photo Summer Holiday (2017) depicts the artist carrying one of the wooden wings she´s currently working on. The location of the image is the Norwegian Sawmill Museum in Namsos, where Ihle stayed during July month. The vertical logs in the water in the background form fences where timber was previously stored.

For the opening night of Downtime, Ihle paid a group for a performance: Four cultural workers with work gloves brags for half an hour (2017). With instructions to mingle and brag, based on their real- life work, cultural workers (actors/ dancers/ visual artists) improvise in conversations with visitors at the opening. Actors: Hanan Benammar, Håkon Vadstein, Erlend Auestad Danielsen and Uma Feed. Video documentation by Derek Stothers, edited by Kai Arne Svanæs-Soot.

Ihle has studied at Konstfack, Stockholm and the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and has previously 

exhibited works at Konsthall C, Uppsala Art Museum, Art Lab Gnesta (Sweden) NYLO, Reykjavik and in Norway she has exhibited at the Spriten Kunsthall , Telemark Art Center, Art Museum in Nord-Trøndelag, Kunstgarasjen and the Photo Gallery. In Stavanger she is an active working board member of the Studio17 artist run space.

The production of Nedetid is supported by the municipality of Stavanger, Rogaland County Council, Kunstmuseet Nord-Trøndelag, Cultural Council’s Exhibition Support for artists in the establishment phase and the Picture Atists’ Compensation Fund. The RAM gallery program is supported by the Oslo Cultural Council.

The production of «Downtime” is supported by Stavanger Municipality, Rogaland County Municipality, Arts Council Norway and BKV. The RAM gallery program is supported by Oslo City /Kulturetaten and Arts Council Norway.

Anna Ihle wishes to thank to Madeleine Park, Espen Birkedal, Emile Veen Nesse, Ane Hjort Guttu, Halvor Valle, Matthew Coutts,The Norwegian Sawmill Museum, Åslaug Ihle Thingnæs, Solveig Ihle Thingnæs, Siri Borge, Omega Trykk and her colleagues at Tou Scene Atelierhus and Studio17.