This publication gathers background material and research from Magnhild Øen Nordahl’s work with the exhibition “Statics”. In the form of a fanzine with the same title as the exhibition, the artist presents material which taken together describes the point of departure for the works in the exhibition. Construction timber, timber frames and carpenters’ joints are functional, architectural elements that provide a formal and thematic foundation for the exhibition. Statics is a branch of physics that deals with the forces that affect an object in static equilibrium. The fanzine takes a look at the development of timbering, from traditional half-timbered houses to industrially prefabricated roof trusses.
The role of the craftsman, and how it has changed with these developments, is also a central theme of the fanzine, presented through material appropriated from books like Wood and Wood Joints, Bauen in Holz and Tre til laft og reis (by Klaus Zwerger, Hans Stolper and Jon Bojer Godal respectively).
These sources, which to some extent give a romantic picture of tradition and craftsmanship, are set alongside examples from today’s building methods, where craftsmanship and the craftsman have become redundant: “Deciding the style, architectural design, etc. of the house is a confusing task. If you are looking for a safe, comfortable and attractive looking abode ... then Steel Kit Homes are the best option”.
Magnhild Øen Nordahl (b. 1985) lives and works in Bergen. In recent years she has exhibited at places like Milieu, Bern; Bergen Kjøtt and Tag Team Studio, Bergen. In 2012 her works will be shown among other places on Svalbard and in Sydney. She has also been behind temporary projects in public space, and has curated exhibitions and a book market for independent art publications.