press release

A subtle resonance is characteristic of one of Norway`s most prominent artists A K Dolven’s practice. The work Please return continues the investigation of a series of recurring themes in her extensive production, both formally and conceptually. Dolven moves between the monumental and the minimal, the universal and the intimate, often by drawing lines that point beyond the confines of the work. Interpersonal relations and interactions are central to her oeuvre, not the least in performance based works. The artist explores social interaction in the meeting between outer and inner realities, existential conditions and forces of nature. The work Please return in the exhibition is filmed in Lofoten and tells about the symbiosis with nature which she experiences in this, her other domicile. The sound in the work echoes in the majestic mountain scene and in repetition changes tone and meaning.


The word "kom" (English: come, German: komm) is expressed by the artist at the edge of a lake, facing a steep wall of mountains. Multiple echoes are heard. The mountains of Lofoten are among the oldest in the world, millions of years. By shouting towards the mountain wall, it is as if they throw back their own voice.

kom kooooom – come – kommm (Courtesy OSL contemporary, Oslo, Norway)

From my blue house, I start walking up to the lake. The house is a simple concrete building facing the arctic sea. From my bed in top floor I face the sea – but by turning my head on the pillow I face the mountain. Up there on the mountain is the lake.

It takes about 25 minutes to reach the lake. 25 minutes if I am in good shape. And I am. Depending on the time of the year I jump into the lake when I reach it. It is always incredibly cold. Swimming is not possible. The lake is surrounded by a circle of tall, steep mountains. I never dared to climb up to the highest peak. It is not many places in the world today where you hear nothing but the natural sounds. Up there you do. The place in itself makes me want to take part in it all. I use my own voice.

I shout ! come – or kom – or komm – whatever language it is. The mountain walls answer – komm – come. Three times – one mountain after the other – sending the message around and then in return. Come.

Now it is a work – titled please return.


A K DOLVEN. Please return
2014, sound installation with metal sign
4 min 29 sec. Edition 3 + 2 AP
Courtesy Wilkinson Gallery, London, OSL contemporary, Oslo and Bo Bjergaard, Copenhagen