His Great Breakthrough

Opening, 2016
Photographs by Oddvin Horneland
Photographs & Video by Ricardo B. Skage ↗

All art is exorcism.
― Otto Dix

On the mechanics of influencing and directing crowds. This opening was set in two phases. The first, consisting of the construction of a wall blocking the entrance of the gallery, and the physical and ritual act of literally breaking through it, was kept unavailable to the public. The second, the opening itself, was presented in the following manner: A crude broken hole meets you in the wall where you’d expect the gallery doors to be, a strong light shining out, and torches leading you up to this entrance. As you cumbersomely enter through the plasterboard breakage, the sound of the wall breaking is played at intervals from speakers hidden inside the wall. When through, the strong light seen shining through the hole is identified as a spotlight on the floor in front of you, directly framing you in the scene, in effect presenting you to the shadowed crowd sitting on the stairs in the back, the faces of which you can’t quite make out due to the light shining in your eyes.
This last moment turned out to be crucial, and by far the most interesting part of the event. Through this challenge, this very modest initiation, I discovered that I had generated an unexpectedly high level of group cohesion in the room. Something very noticeably different from the usual art-scene patterns of small cliques exclusively hanging with their own.

The person entering becomes a prop for the audience on the stairs and vice versa.

A work based around the ideas of sacred space, initiations and exorcism, but not explicitly about any of them.

It has been well and truly said that in the exoteric church the ceremony is performed by one person for the benefit of the congregation; but in the Lodge the ceremony is performed by the congregation for the benefit of one person.
― Dion Fortune, Esoteric Orders and Their Work and The Training and Work of the Initiate, 1995

I think to make art is to make a break. And to make a cut. This would be the simplest way of answering your question.
― Mladen Dolar, interview