Crafts 2014 (Kunsthåndverk 2014)

Kunsthåndverk 2014 (Crafts 2014) is an annual juried exhibition showcasing the best of contemporary Norwegian arts and crafts.
For the first time this exhibit is being shown at KODE 1 Museum in Bergen, newly voted as the best Museum in Norway.

And YES, the KODE complex of Museums is a feast for the eyes, heart and soul, offering a ambitious and varied program of art and crafts, both contemporary and from days past.

This year`s  decision to tag the exhibition space, inviting several crews to rumble..not in the jungle..but in the museum,  was proof positive that ambition can get the best of anyone.

A couple of Brownie points should be awarded for effort..but even the best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray.

Sigurd Bronger`s cleverly crafted piece "A Carrying Device for the Last Gallstone" disappeared like a frightened chameleon into the background of black and amber tags. Ingjerd Hanevold`s delicate flowery broach "Ballerina in RED" and Anne Lègers`s duo "Twins" fared no better.

It was a bit like seeing an innocent first time offender being abused in the showers of an American top security facility. It shouldn`t happen…but will happen if you don`t give a damn about your inmates.

And while the "gangsta" backdrop did a number on all the smaller and more delicate works in the exhibit: Even some of the larger pieces were ill treated, like the piece "Proposal", Brørkheim`s white rectangle, propped up in an unlit corner of the exhibition space with several tags behind it.

The larger works fared somewhat better, but were still competing at every turn and angle with the tags and amateur graffiti in the room.

And the whole séance begs one to argue/question: Is art important? Should it be taken seriously? Or is it just a vehicle for the betterment of an exhibition designer`s career, or a museum`s image as a cutting edge institution?

In this case the"cutting edge" did a Freddie Krueger number on the art.

If you love a good horror flick…a visit to Crafts 2014 at KODE 1 in Bergen, should definitely be on your to-do list. But be forewarned, its a bit like watching a movie with the guy in the seat next to you talking all the time, crunching wrappers, burping, farting, making obscene gestures, and spilling his soda in your lap....you really have to concentrate, and ignore the ass sitting next to you.
PS:
NK (Association of Norwegian Arts and Crafts) KODE 1 Museum in Bergen and the design hub Morten & Jonas are apparently taking dual responsibility for trying to be "gangsta".
Ingjerd Hanevold-Ballerina in RED
Bjørkheim-Proposal