A Conversation on the Way. On Words and Sounds and Thoughts in A K Dolven’s Public Art

<Talk, eng.>

A K Dolven in conversation with Gaby Hartel
Saturday, June 5, 2021
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Location: Open University, Urfahrmarkt area


In 2020/2021, during winter lockdown in Oslo, A K Dolven spent much of her time reading the works of Norwegian dramatist Jon Fosse. Her latest sound piece was developed from the encounter with his play Draum om hausten (Dream of Autumn). In the course of her piece’s twenty-minute duration, Dolven speaks variations of a single narrative entity, “it’s so long ago / so very long ago / it’s all so long ago / so very long ago.” Taken at face value, these words sound evocative and full of narrative potential, but due to their repetition, followed by silence, the story proper seems to be stuck in limbo. This effect is in line with the artist’s former minimalistic sound works, which are not so much concerned with telling a story but with making palpable a processual and fragile productiveness. The productiveness, which arises, gestures towards a different kind of narrative potential, a long and seemingly static moment, a potential that involves memory, thought, and emotion. Dolven’s work focuses on a NOW which reaches deep and far by joining together reminiscence and expectation. This productive NOW travels on the airwaves and is set in motion by the artist’s voice as she involves her audience in a silent polylogue.


A K Dolven lives and works in Oslo and Lofoten, Norway. Her work is shown in exhibitions, collections and museums worldwide. Dolven’s practice involves a variety of media; painting, photography, performance, installation, film and sound. She has created numerous sound installations and sound performances. Recurring themes in her production are the representation of natural forces and their resonance with human sensibilities. Interpersonal relations and interactions are central to her practice, and many of her performance-based works involve collaborations with other people. 

Bio Gaby Hartel is a curator, translator, and award-winning broadcaster based in Berlin and London. Her portfolio comprises the overlapping areas of media, literature, and contemporary art, focusing on sound art. Gaby has taught and published widely in those fields and she curated exhibitions at Kunsthalle Wien, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (nbk), Akademie der Künste Berlin, and ZKM Karlsruhe to name a few. Her work as curator and concept advisor for sound art shows includes Art / Nature, sound art interventions at Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (2014-2018), Radiophonics (HKW, Berlin 2018), Choreography of Sound (ZKM, 2013), and SOUNDS. radio – art – new music (nbk, 2010).