Jørgen Frederik Scheel Haarstad
 
Bookmark and Share
 

About the artist

 
 

Jørgen Frederik Scheel Haarstad

 

________________________________________________________________

 

 

Jørgen Frederik Scheel Haarstad

 

Artist statement:

 

I am a musician and an artist. My creative outputs are intermingled and inseparable, so it makes little sense perceive them as isolated. Music, is in its essence, is ephemeral, immediate and complex. The same thing might be said about my visual works. Though a lyrical engagement with materials, composing through rhythm, repetition and pauses, I hope to transform music into physical manifestations.

 

 

Rock music is vulgar romanticism, according to Robert Pattison, and while my artistic method shares the spontaneity and excess of rock n’ roll, it necessarily needs to take into account the fragility of ceramics, and it is this somewhat improvised dialog that my works materialize. Through experimenting with the ceramic object I seek out to reach an abstraction that transcends a set meaning and instead enables a more immediate and physical interpretation. 

 
_______________________________________________________________________

 

 

Other Services by Jennifer Allen

 

We tend to associate ceramics with the domestic realm: crockery, vases, figurines.

Not Jørgen Frederik Scheel Haarstad. The artist looked to a ceramic form which is just as prevalent and beneficial as home ware in our daily lives yet not as visible: the electrical insulator. Perched on high-voltage power lines far above our heads or hidden away in a dark fuse box, the insulator is a kind of abstract Minimalist sculpture, yet valued for its resistance, water-tightness and strength. In contrast to domestic ceramics, ceramic insulators know few rivals because the material outperforms others. Plus the slightly flawed »rejects« are unlikely to find a home – unless of course they were produced in Fredrikstad at the national porcelain factory Norsk Teknisk Porselen where Haarstad collects both split and faulty insulators in monochrome white and black. He positions these large-scale sculptures in even larger installations which may be dangerous – not for any electrical current, but for the fatal sharpness of the shards. Again, in contrast to home ware, the insulators must be handled with even more care and caution when they are broken than when they are intact. Works such as Lethal Assumption (2014) – white shards, crowded tightly together, like the incisors in a tyrannosaur’s mouth – manage to combine shattered fragility with lethal menace. Such installations might be viewed as industrial readymades, but Haarstad is also a professional musician and composer who decided to fashion his own musical instruments from porcelain: extra-large tiles, pipes or smaller pellet-like shapes. He plays these unique instruments in unconventional ways: hitting them with drumsticks or with other rough pieces of porcelain and even letting them crash to the floor. The sound generated by a large ceramic tile can last up to 45 seconds and ranges from 9 Hz to 17,000 Hz (human hearing rests around 20 Hz). The artist-musician will use a mixer to transform these sounds into a composition which shifts eerily from music to silence for human ears. With his unusual ceramic and sound works, Haarstad multiples the uses of industrial materials while rejecting their traditional destinations. His oeuvre – art works, musical instruments, compositions, performances – blurs the division between these domains. By making music that can escape human perception, he not only challenges the ideal that music should be made for human beings but also questions the anthropocentrism of all arts.

A Berlin-based critic, Allen has published in Mousse, frieze and Artforum.

 

Jennifer Allen

 

05.06.2015

 

_______________________________________________________________________

 

 

Jørgen Frederik Scheel Haarstad works as both a musician and an artist. His artistic expressions are interlinked and inseparable, so it makes little sense to view them as isolated. Music is in its essence fluid, and simultaneously both immediate and complex. The same can also be said about Haarstad’s visual works. Through a lyrical approach to materials, composed through rhythm, repetition and pauses, he transforms music into physical manifestations.

His works are sensuous and tactile, and encourages a physical approach from the spectator. Haarstad works mainly in larger format, thus enhancing this phenomenological effect. Like when he uses leftover shards from industrial porcelain production to create an installation that exudes a sober aesthetics while obviously could be lethal if you were unfortunate enough to trip over it. 

Haarstad also work with sound, and recorded the noise the ceramic made while being manipulated in various ways. The result is a sound piece that oscillates between eerie noise and soothing tonal rhythms, comprised of elements that resemble old dentist drills, shattering porcelain, hollow pipes and percussion, which together form a hypnotic composition.

Other sculptures usually have a more anthropomorphic character, and looks like a sort of cross between giant organs and chaotic coils of tubes and wires. Rather than dwelling too long on the decorative character of ceramics and its rich cultural heritage, it is through music Haarstad finds his inspiration, and it is here the insisting and authoritarian attitudes that characterize his works originates. Like with Richard Serra’s steel plates, one immediately becomes somewhat cautious when approaching them, and they seem to resist a cool and detached form of intellectualization from the viewer in favor of an immediate, physical experience.

Rock n roll can be considered an offspring from Romanticism, argues Robert Pattison in his book Triumph of Vulgarity and terms it vulgar romanticism. With the vulgar - which Pattison uses with care and admiration - he means the free, spontaneous, primitive and direct; a natural state one eventually learns to suppress. The vulgar is governed by passion rather than rationalism. While Haarstad’s artistic practice shares the spontaneity and excess of rock n roll, it is necessary to also take into account the fragile character of the ceramic, and it is in this partly improvised dialogue that his works come into being. Through experimentation with the ceramic object he attains an abstraction which seems to escape a set of given meanings, and instead opens up to a more direct and bodily experience. An interesting paradox is that where the Romantic Movement arose as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, it is precisely through invoking an industrial aesthetics Haarstad’s sculptures intrigues the spectators.

 

Espen Johansen

 

03.03.2015

 

-––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

Lyden av tause objekter

 

Om Jørgen Frederik Scheel Haarstads visuelle lydstøperi

 

Musiker og kunstner Jørgen F. S. Haarstad (f. 1969) lager audiovisuelle arbeider i møtet mellom porselen og lydopptak. Siden september 2013 har han samlet readymades – porselensavfall og pellets – på Norsk Teknisk Porselen. I tillegg har han støpt egne objekter, sylindre, rør og store fliser. Hvordan finne frem til deres lyd?

 

Objektene er tunge og mektige. Harde og skinnende hvite ligger de der, dels runde, dels flate, tidvis skarpe. De har en overflate og en form, er konkrete og i en viss forstand håndterlige, selv om man kan skjære seg stygt om man tar på dem. Men objektene er som støpt stumme, ja, lydfenomenet synes dem i utgangspunktet uvedkommende. 

 

Slik tenkte også Haarstad selv til å begynne med. Han har bakgrunn som trommeslager fra diverse rock- og popband, og musikken er en viktig del av ham. Lyden av band som Foo Fighters, Black Sabbath, Smashing Pumpkins og Queens Of The Stoneage er alltid med i arbeidet med objektene, og på et vis oppstår de utfra Haarstads tilknytning til denne musikken. Men at det skulle være noen sammenheng, at musikken skulle kunne kobles til keramikken, og at den så å si selv var musikalsk, virket fjernt.

 

Det var først da han, for eksperimentets skyld, tok med seg objektene i et lydstudio sammen med noen køller og trommestikker, at muligheten åpnet seg. Objektene responderte på slag, skraping og støt, de avga egne lyder, gjerne lavfrekvente basstoner, på grensen til det hørbare. Spilt inn og mikset sammen, resulterte det hele i et egneartet lydlandskap, som et slags tilsvar fra objektene, som plutselig hadde fått en stemme. Tausheten var brutt.

 

Nå var denne lyden markant forskjellig fra den musikken Haarstad selv hadde et forhold til.  Haarstads egen musikk hadde fulgt porsellenet til støpeskjeen og blitt investert i formingen, men var nå som forstummet på veien. Objektenes egen lyd, vrengt frem av det stivnede godset, var dyp og gjenstridig, egenartet og ubestemmelig. Den kunne minne om musikken til en Arne Nordheim eller en John Cage, komponister Haarstad snart skulle få et nært forhold til. 

 

Objektenes lyd var åpen på en ny måte. Forskjellig fra hva vi vanligvis forbinder med musikalsk struktur, formete fraser og rytmer, dirrer den nakent i rommet og gjenspeiler objektenes bare tilstedeværelse. Lyden møter oss også som noe fysisk i mellomgulvet. Den er rå, skarp og dyp.

I utstillingen Transfomator har Haarstad splittet opp sitt tenkte audiovisuelle verk i to separate arbeider med tittelene No one knows - lydverk og Lethal assumption - visuelt arbeid.

Sammen med objekter av ulike størrelse inngår den i utstillingen Transformator som skal presenteres på Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall i Arendal, Hydrogenfabrikken Kunsthall i Fredrikstad, RAM Galleri, Galleri FORMAT og Kunstnerforbundet. Forbindelsen mellom det tause objektet og dets bølgende lyddimensjon er konsekvent antydet i Jørgen F.S Haarstads porsellensarbeid, som blir et slags visuelt lydstøperi.

 

 

 

Emil Bernhardt

08.10.2014

 

 
Jørgen Haarstad | - Copyright Jørgen Haarstad | Tlf.: +47 936 29 959 | jorgen@jorgenhaarstad.com