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MFA Student Interview Series, part II: Oda Haugerud

Brun bild med start text. Bild.

Oda Haugerud

When entering the lower gallery of Malmö Art Academy (KHM1) to see the MFA exhibition entitled “1+1+1=111” by Oda Haugerud, sculptures met the eye. The colors were curated in silver, white and black and balanced between an apparent hardness which when examined more closely had bends and breaks which softened the works.


When reading the exhibition text, riso printed in an edition of 111, each sentence was a question such as:     

“Should I breathe in the shape of a heart next time? Self care, self love, self-what not? Should I stay in an enclosed space and listen to psychedelic trap until that feels like home? Do you have asthma? Claustrophobia? How do you externalize yourself?”     

The invitation text was yet another portal into the thinking around the exhibition, where “polyphonic desires of aerodynamics” as well as Dante´s Inferno is mentioned.      

What has your process been in working with connecting these different references?      
I have been busy dwelling on how the borders of autonomy splinters within our seemingly doomed conditions of datafication of everything. Using relational metaphors such as air flows showing us interdependent to our surroundings. Experimenting with the idea of a collective body that challenges separations of what we see as interior or exterior / intimate or industrial. Existing within this condition leading to a sort of identity crisis for autonomy as we know it. When working with the relational at center I ended up connecting and assembling various sources of inspiration in an overwhelming mash-up of questions. It was all about polyphony, a destabilization of self, externalizing an inner chaotic landscape, offering it as a collective experience. A chaos between fixed points.     

How have they manifested themselves into physical works?     
Thinking through the metaphor and characteristics of air flows and the energy crisis helped me when materializing my research circling around interdependency. Not from an environmentalist approach but from the standpoint devoted to seeking potential of how doom possibly could act as a liberatory condition. By exposing the technology behind what kept the videos on display running as an example, giving it equally as much space as the video display itself, I wanted look at both dependence and boundlessness. I found that disassembly and assembly was especially interesting when pointing at these relational aspects. I tried to materialize the idea that even the intimate act of breathing operates as a shared agency, a collage. Emphasized through translating the ventilation system into a sound system for the audio piece ”LOSE YOURSELF ”Chopped ’n’ screwed”. A four-channel sound collage with the aim of creating sort of collective subjectiveness that drifted between our eardrums, lungs and the ventilation system - expanding the gallery space through the building. I let the exhibition space leak further through a leftover white snus found on the outside of the gallery window by including it in the floor plan and giving it the title ”Angel wing”. I also choreographed two note stands into a position suggesting an intimate encounter outside the toilet as a so called ”ghost track”, in reference the hidden last track on CDs outside the tracklist. 

The many references to music, improvisation and the material suggestions of instruments, often in their absence, were used metaphorically for being between a shared experiences and a solo performance. All in between the ambivalence of being a producer, consumer or a co-producer, scripted and dissonant.     


Has there been a certain emotional landscape which you seeked to carve out for the audience?     
My aim was to materialize the buffering of drifting between dependence and boundlessness. As both an inner and outer, collective and autonomous experience of multiples. A tension between the desire to be entangled and autonomous. By mutually breathing in a seemingly doomed atmospheric condition that cannot be resisted but subverted. A state of a subject of multitudes that both expands and loses its contours through its surroundings. Liberated through the expansive nature of audio, restricted from occasionally operating mute. The energy of wanting to fly yet stay grounded. I think it all came together through the video ”Angels not rebels” of me and my friend Isabella flying and falling to do so in an indoor wind tunnel, being instructed on how. Accompanied by System of a down track phrasing: ”Everyone needs a motherfucker”.


Oda Haugerud's exhibition was displayed at Malmö Art Gallery (KHM1) February 9th - February 24th 2024. 

Interview by Karin Hald.

Exhibition photo

Vita papper som hänger på en metallstång. Foto.

1+1+1=111 by Oda Haugerud. Photo: Youngjae Lih.

Nycklar som sitter fast på metallstång så de pekar ut som en fjäder. Foto.

1+1+1=111 by Oda Haugerud. Photo: Youngjae Lih.

En rostig propeller som ligger på golvet. Foto.

1+1+1=111 by Oda Haugerud. Photo: Youngjae Lih.

Ett slangklämma med vit ingraverad mitt. Foto.

1+1+1=111 by Oda Haugerud. Photo: Youngjae Lih.

Olika nycklar som ligger i en sorterad ask. Foto.

1+1+1=111 by Oda Haugerud. Photo: Youngjae Lih.

En plåt i metall som fått en gul rost över delar av sin yta. Foto.

1+1+1=111 by Oda Haugerud. Photo: Youngjae Lih.