Iron Curtain Innocence

Anders Nordby & Eirik Saether

An iron curtain, or eisener Vorhang, was an obligatory precaution in all German theaters to prevent the possibility of fire from spreading from the stage to the rest of the theater. Such fires were rather common because the decor often was very flammable. In case of fire, a metal wall would separate the stage from the theater, secluding the flames to be extinguished by firefighters. Douglas Reed used this metaphor in his book Disgrace Abounding (Jonathan Cape, 1939, page 129): “The bitter strife [in Yugoslavia between Serb unionists and Croat federalists] had only been hidden by the iron safety-curtain of the King’s dictatorship.”

Any likeness is fictitious:

Art forgery dates back more than two-thousand years. Roman sculptors produced copies of Greek sculptures. Presumably the contemporary buyers knew that they were not genuine. During the classical period art was generally created for historical reference, religious inspiration, or simply aesthetic enjoyment. The identity of the artist was often of little importance to the buyer. Following the Renaissance, a redistribution of the world’s wealth created a fierce demand for art by a newly prosperous middle class. Near the end of the 14th century, Roman statues were unearthed in Italy, intensifying the populace’s interest in antiquities, and leading to sharp increases in the value of these objects. This upsurge soon extended to contemporary and recently deceased artists. Art had become a commercial commodity, and the monetary value of the artwork came to depend on the identity of the artist. To identify their works, painters began to mark them, these marks later evolved in to signatures. As the demand for certain artwork began to exceed the supply, fraudulent marks and signatures began to appear on the open market.

“For the artist, the wish to be a painter, body and soul, never meant loosing her head. Her work is conceptual and includes photography and installations. Even most recent art history shows how photography and painting compete. Does she want to return painting to reality? Or is this perhaps a theatrical act? The artist builds scenery extravagantly, looks for clothes which resemble the painted ones or she crafts them in an artistic application. These textiles are more than costumes; they can be seen as indicators. This fabric leaves it possible to pull the painting off the surface into reality, as it were, to turn on and back into itself. She stores her props carefully in a requisite pool.The photos which result from such stagings look like painting indeed, however, are not to be mistaken as such. One can regard it as a confusing game, an instructional show or comedy. It is all of these. In this manner, the artist can follow the relationship to reality in the presentations, and, above all, clarify medium and perspective in the process of picture making. If she urges photography to imitate painting today, she does so knowingly inspiring the paradoxical reverse. She puts herself in the position to probe the artistic process of production and reception and shifts our view from certain dependencies and mechanisms, whose validity and power is not lost in new media, and not limited to the field of art.”

I take part
you take part
he takes part
we take part
you all take part
they profit.


Please visit our webpage: for more information or contact Anders Nordby / Ida Ekblad at or +47 45 67 01 41 / +47 94 84 46 74.


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