Interview about Stiklestad exhibition

The newspaper Trønder-Avisa had a 2-page interview with Magne on Saturday, in connection with the upcoming Olsokdagene festival at Stiklestad. As mentioned back in April, Magne is this year’s artist at the annual festival, which opens on July 23rd.

Stiklestad is an historical place in mid-Norway, which represents the introduction of Christianity in Norway, after a major battle in 1030. Magne’s exhibition will include a unique graphic print inspired by the events at Stiklestad.

He is also preparing a series of prints based on the word “Borderless”.

“I like to explore the letters that make up a word, use the letters as architectonic elements, turning words into images. It becomes a new mental landscape, within a given format. It is limited by borders, but still provides a multitude of opportunities.”

In the interview, Magne talks about his fascination with Ulysses and Finnegans Wake by James Joyce, which have been among the inspirations behind his use of fragmented words and sentences that are put together to form new meanings.

“Reading Finnegans Wake is like a swim exercise. You can dive down anywhere and come up with something”, Magne says.

“Joyce was one of the first to express that life is fragmented, instead of linear and continuous. But you will seldom find a place like Stiklestad, which so clearly tells a linear, continuous and influential story as the introduction of Christianity. So how do you go about exploring the subject?”

“The history at Stiklestad is based on one specific perspective, written down in a linear axis of time. But it can also be written more anecdotally. There are conflicting stories in there. Besides, all stories can be written differently, from another philosophic viewpoint, and it’s that other story I’m trying to find, by breaking up the linear narrative, creating contrasts and fractures.”

He finds it interesting that the most beautiful, contemplative, religious room in the world was made by an atheist: the Matisse Chapel in Vence.

“Picasso was angry because Matisse took on the task. Matisse answered that this is what we’re doing, building cathedrals”, Magne says.

The exhibition will be held at Leidangsgalleriet at Stiklestad, and opens on July 23rd.

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