Omfavnelser / Embrace it
Revolutions (RAKE)

Jacob Jessen

The vision of a house moving slowly through the city streets a quiet morning in Trondheim. Nesting neatly on the back of a truck going 5 kilometers an hour after being lifted from the ground by two cranes. Inside the cubic building, steelwires tie together opposite corners of the construction. I imagine how the movement reverberates through the found and reused materials, through the wood and the glass of the windows. The floor of the exhibition space is once again taken out piece by piece and put back into place. I imagine the seemingly unnatural state that this house is in being relocated, the sounds of engines, the beeping of the truck and voices accompanying the slow motion of large volumes. And for no other reason than if we stay in one place too long, stay in the same position, we become complacent, calcify and eventually stop moving altogether.

This is RAKE in movement. The core capacity one could say. The ability to move, to relocate, to reconfigure, recontextualise and redefine. All the roles of the game, of the artscene, from show to show, from place to place, year to year. Owing allegience only to the artistic production itself. At any given moment:

Kaia Hugin was floating across the walls like a newly discovered specie. RAKE had become an experimental aquarium. Its the place where I got to be a small part of a performance for the first time. Got a hug from Marthe Ramm Fortun during her performance. Kinda weird, but it’s a nice memory.

The smell of bonfire in the clothes when returning home. I remember the atmosphere, light and full of sensory impressions. I was invited by noise-connoisseur Martin Palmer to perform RAKE and it was the most raw form of communion I’ve participated in. Felt like a rare constellation of kindred spirits.

Duften af bål hænger i tøjet da jeg kommer hjem. Jeg husker bedst stemningen, let og fuld af sanselige indtryk. Jeg er beruset. Jeg har drukket øl brygget af humle som har vokset i store ranker omkring visningsrummet over sommeren. Hånddekorerede floureserende flasker stod på rækker i visningsrummet omkring den til lejligheden byggede bar oplyst primært af UV lys, vi maler på os selv! Jeg har indtaget kunsten og dens processer. Brænde på bålfadet, varm drik, regn og rusk. Det gør ikke noget! Her er RUM/ROM både på norsk og dansk. Jeg bevæger mig rundt mellem den indre og ydre væg, ser ud på de som står rundt om bålet, vender tilbage til kunsten indenfor. Et menneske ligger udstrakt på en installation oppe under taget, der er nogle plastikslanger med væske i, et system! Jeg kommer mod RAKE, noget gyldent er på taget og et andet system smyger sig om bygningen. Vandpumpesystem? Den lille lysende kube i mørket med de mange lag af transparens omgivet af rangerspor og havnen som nærmeste naboer. Passende!

Husker så godt følelsen av å våkne en lørdag og kjenne lukten av bål på yttertøyet, og at den gode følelsen fra kvelden før ble med over i dagen. Jeg fikk nesten alltid følelsen av å være del av noe større da jeg var på rake - som om rake var et slags felles nøytralt rom - hvor alle som kom spilte like stor rolle. Det føltes ganske unikt.

First time I went to RAKE I saw the northern lights for the first time. I will always remember this moment with new friends. My first artist residency! Miley Cyrus all day every day and water aerobics at Pirbadet.

Det er flere utstillinger som har satt seg fast i kroppen, men særlig Malin Bülow sin performance hvor hun lå innsvøpt i hvitt - med masse slanger rundt i rommet. Jeg husker følelsen av å bevege seg under henne, men er usikker på om jeg egentlig gjorde det. Jeg tror jeg var i rommet alene med henne, og at jeg kastet steiner i vannet ved sjøbadet etterpå.

I think first and foremost of the Architecture. There is a compelling yet annoying quality with the building and its many windows. You feel drawn to peak inside, but when you do so, the eye meet only the white wall, which make it impossible to see what is inside. RAKE is at the same time White Cube and in opposition to it, and exactly this makes it a unique exhibition space, where one encounters art in a different way. Cold winter. Walking through the snow holding someones arm. Bonfire, warm drink, beautiful wooden floor, art I don´t remember. Doing a sound improvisation performance in a pig suit with Harald in a red ballgown for Klub Kanin. I was invited to take part in a curatorial collaborative programme at RAKE in 2016. I was able to commission a new video work, Flyttestein, by Kaia Hugin, who was one of my master students in Bergen and is one of my favourite Norwegian artists. RAKE has always been a space that creates possibility.

Jeg tok meg selv i å stirre på gulvet. Alle de individuelle trebitene var satt sammen som ett lite hav av tre. De var av forskjellig form og karakter, og for første gang siden barndommen, lekte jeg ikke gå på streken. Victoria Pihl Lind: vi syklet i regnet. Dorull og fullstendig tilstedeværelse. Mamma, vil du vite hva hun hvisket til meg? spurte han da vi var hjemme igjen.

Jeg er ikke utenfor når jeg står utenfor det lille bygget. Jeg er like mye innenfor da, som når jeg er inne i bygget. Jeg tror det er derfor jeg liker Rake så godt. Når jeg hadde utstilling på rake var det en av mine betraktere som fant et kunstverk i hagen på utsiden av bygget. Men så vidt jeg visste var alle mine arbeider kun å finne på innsiden. Det hadde altså vært en snikkunstner på området og lagt fra seg et eget verk. Jeg ble kontaktet av vakten på rake som stilte sin udring til dette verket og jeg måtte bekrefte at dette ikke tilhørte min utstilling. Men jeg syns allikevel det var artig at noen faktisk var usikker på om dette var en del av det hele. Det fremmede verket ble beskrevet slik: Bak en busk, på bakken, et lyst tøystykke, nærmere bestemt en boksershorts, under tøystykket lå en stor, brun klatt med ruglende, myk tekstur, sterk lukt, nærmere bestemt - menneskebæsj!

Some people would come in, look inside the room, look to the front, sometimes (usually children) walk around the tight and narrow space between the panes of glass and the outer gallery wall, turn directly into the storage space divided from the rest of the one room gallery, and leave confused. Some asked for clarification about where the art could be found. When directed towards it and to the text information on the wall right by the entrance, they would perform as if to read it for a few seconds before making a quick exit. I don’t know if was the English that scared them off, the contemporary format of the art or the way it was exhibited, that did not conform to their expectations of what an art space should look like – and therefore what it should be.

With contributions from:
Hilde Edvardsen, Aage Mikalsen, Kasper holm, Diana Lindbjerg, Jeremy Welsh, Nanna Hougaard, Mina Paasche, Mika Haikowsky, Karoline Sætre, Hedda Høran, Marianne Selberg, Camilla Knutsen, Ida Westberg, Anne Helga Henning, Hanna Fauske, Mishi Foltyn.

Jacob Jessen lives and works in Copenhagen and Trondheim, primarily within the fields of installation and time-based media. On the basis of a context-informed practice, he is experimenting with the transformative qualities of material and spatial factors in public space, as well as institutional and commercial venues.

Over the last decade, Jessen was involved in the development of the context specific artist run scene in Scandinavia. As artist, organizer and curator, he has since 2010 been engaged in artistic and curatorial platforms, among other TOVES and OENgroup, exploring contemporary formats of artistic exhibition and production.

He is currently Professor with a focus on material and Spatial Practices, former Professor at the Estonian Academy of Arts and has lectured and given workshops at among others The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, The National Gallery of Denmark, The Institute of Art and Sciences in Rome.

He has participated in a number of international exhibitions and events. Recent exhibition activity include Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Riga Sculpture Quadrennial, CODE Art Fair, Malmö Konsthall, Tallinn Photo, Danske Grafikeres Hus, MiniBar Stockholm, Marie Kirkegaard Gallery, Vaal Gallerii, Gallerie Melanie Rio, KUMU Museum of Modern Art, Artissima, IMO Projects, Kunsthal Charlottenborg.