The Venice Questionnaire #30: Lene Berg

May 24, 2013 8:34PM
ArtReview sent a questionnaire to a selection of the artists exhibiting in various national pavilions of the Venice Biennale, the responses to which are being published daily in May, in the run up to the Biennale opening. Lene Berg is representing Norway at the Galleria di Piazza San Marco, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa.

What can you tell us about your plans for Venice?

I am making a new film, Dirty Young Loose (Ung Løs Gris), we are editing it now.

Are you approaching the show in a different way to how you would with a ‘normal’ exhibition?

As Dirty Young Loose was already planned before the invitation to show in Venice, it doesn't influence the work much except that I have to finish it 4 months earlier than scheduled. But of course, Venice is a special city and the Venice Biennial is a special event and therefore there are some extra logistical challenges involved. Then again, I usually work differently from project to project and I don't think I ever made a ‘normal’ exhibition.

What does it mean to ‘represent’ your country? Do you find it an honour or problematic?

I don't really feel I am specifically representing Norway, primarily because I participate in an exhibition that also includes unknown works of Edvard Munch. Beware of the Holy Whore, the exhibition’s title, is inspired by a Fassbinder movie. My film is funded in Norway but shot in Berlin and has German dialogue with English subtitles. I would definitely find it problematic if there was even a hint of nationalism in the concept. On the other hand: if what I do is allowed to be part of the image of what Norway is about, I have no problem with it.

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Lene Ber, Ung Løs Gris / Dirty Young Lose (Waiting for the actors, Funkhaus Berlin Feb. 20, 2013) 2013, production still. Courtesy the artist.