On Portal


Jørund Falkenberg Aase

An art work can not challenge the complexity and mystery of the world in itself. Portal is an attempt to make an object or construction that not only points to itself, but instead works as a lense pointed at the physical and mental world. In this way the art work doesn´t work against the world but along with it. It includes the world. Art can then become something bigger than what is limited by the small mind of the artist.

Portal is an installation made of reclaimed wooden materials, leftovers from the building industry. It exist of two vertical legs with a horizontal beam on top. On the planks there are marks of cement that stems from the use in the process of building a fundament for a house, casting cement etc. The plank surface is in different color nuances and finishes, natural variation made by untreated wood.

The portal express monumental primitivism. It refers to tribal cultus and temple architecture, human endeavors to build a meaningful existence, where the material and trivial is worked on and structured, attempted to being made significant, transcendent, holy.

The portal as an architecture element, has expectations tied to it; that it leads somewhere, that something will be revealed if you walk through it.

What happens when the expectations are broken? Can the awareness of emptyness function as a catalyst for meaning?

In the boredom that occurs when there is something missing, when there is a lack of ”something”, when you become aware of  there being ”nothing”, there seem to be a potensiality, an open mental space.  A vacuum ultimately needs to be filled.

The relativism of post modernism is rational and builds logically on the cultural evolution leading to our point in time. After the loss of religion and ideologies, our culture is left standing on ruins from the past, seemingly without the possibility of a new fundament. For how long can a culture exist without a meaningful fundament? Portal seeks to challenge the impossibility of absolute meaning (i.e. meaning at all) that postmodern materialistic rationality dictates. It includes a critic of the tendency of disillusioned nihilism within contemporary culture and art.

Dogmatic religion is not a solution for the vacuum of meaning. Atteistic humanism’s belief in the human, is a contradiction. Portal explores the possibility of a middle position, or an outside position, which combines rationality and a universal spirituality – if possible, transcending both.

Wood, nails, screws
3,5×2,5×2 m
UKS, Oslo, Norway

Wood, nails, screws
Ca. 3×2,5×2 m
Hå gamle prestegard, Obrestad, Norway

Wood, nails, screws
Ca. 3×2,5×2 m
Oslo, Norway