Jordi Colomer (ES)
05 September - 05 October
in an old parking garage in Elgesetergate 21.

Critique by Gustav Svihus Borgersen - Norwegian only. (ArtScene Trondheim)

Link to MAP

Jordi Colomer (b. 1962) works within a wide range of mediums, but primarily he uses photography and video. The Barcelona-born artistand divides his time between his city of birth and Paris, and has now made his way here, to Trondheim. While here he will produce and set up a exhibition in Elgsetergate 21, in the parking garage located just down the road from RAKE Visningsrom. The exhibition is a cooperation between Colomer, RAKE and the municipality of Trondheim, and will attempt to shed light on the relations between the social communities, and how these are visible in an urban setting.

Colomer’s work is largely determined by journeys – by being on the move – something which allows him to keep a foreigner's perspective on the places he seeks to redefine, rediscover and reinterpret, both for himself and his audience. More often than not, his work contains a streak of absurdist humor that includes the viewer as a participant, and in a more general way, he also engages with place he finds himself working. Does this mean that his exhibition will consist of mustaches carved out of hardened sodd, or that he will turn Svartlamoen into a parking lot? Probably not, but is should fun, nevertheless. How wrong can you go with people skinny-dipping at Sjøbadet? Not very, though how do you go from water and natural light, to concrete and light fixtures? This remains to be seen.


The city, by definition, is a being in continuous movement. I'm not only talking about people that evidently move, cars that run through the city streets, buildings that appear or disappear, neighbourhoods changing their purposes, or populations displacing others. I'm also thinking about how the ways in which we perceive the city transform it. In the construction of a public space, in its ongoing dispute, there is a memory and a future. In this task, in the construction of a shared space, images play a crucial role. Moving images, images of power, images that propose new ideas, images of resistance, images depicting customs and lifestyles, dirty images, plump, radiant, noisy, boring or rowdy. Some images build imaginaries, but only a few are recorded in our memory. And imaginaries not only embody our perception of the city, they also build it.

I came to Trondheim invited by Trygve and Charlotte, tireless members of the RAKE project. Upon arrival, I was offered a tremendous gift: a good deal of films made by students of this city. As you know, the people of Trondheim are mostly students: either actual students, or former or prospective ones. The University occupies nearly half the town's area. And Trondheim's university students always organize a big party, the UKA. This party is so important that since the 20s, films have been produced to promote it and construe a collective memory. What these films show is that, with this excuse, students literally occupy the city streets. All films have a similar structure. In first place, we see a parade, where the different university departments pass by branding all sorts of banners, as well as para-theatrical constructions, mostly accompanied by slogans and other writings: tramways, trains, boats, cars, rockets, sputniks, atomic bombs, robots, hospitals, monsters, television aerials or chemical laboratories, highways and trolls, among others.

These student parades, that took place between the 20s and the late 80s, bequeath us some clues of this period. This finally forms a collection of outspoken icons, some celebratory, others sarcastic, which often openly bespeak conflict. What strikes the most is their force, being real crowd-pullers. Thousands of people flocked to watch these quite rudimentary parades, no matter whether under the sun or the snow. Compared to the present ways of doing, these methods appear really archaic: to walk around the town carrying shoddily made objects and being marvelled by all this. Perhaps the question now would be: after leaving the streets, would it not be time to win them back and inhabit the desert? Isn't it time for those who have an idea of community, to deploy it, to weigh it and to make it visible to the entire city? Isn't the Svartlamon district a project of a different kind of city? In recent weeks we tested these questions. We tried to create new images, using these former practices as a pretext.

In the same city of Trondheim, between the highway and the sea, there is this 3-storey wooden tower with a staircase to its top. Sjøbadet bathers like strong emotions, experiencing at the city limits with the limits of their own bodies. Bathing in cold water, crashing their skeletons from very high or sunbathing their whole bodies. These practices have become a tradition, several generations spending their time in the vicinity of this tower. Sjøbadet bathers have come to develop a sophisticated alphabet of gestures and signs, only revealed to a few.

There is also a parking lot built in the cheerful 60s, a small cathedral of the modernistic religion, condemned to demolition. In its slumber it still filters efficiently the light over the rectangular plots. RAKE's proposal is to open its doors to the people so as to show that it could be used in many different ways. For my part, I contributed some images. I believe that the RAKE people and their friends are changing the city.

Jordi Colomer
Trondheim, August, 2014.


more information:
Jordi Colomer: http://www.jordicolomer.com/