press release

Skateboard culture has become one of the strongest visual subcultures of our time. In the exhibition Skate Culture, Preus museum investigates the massive cultural production coming from today’s world of skateboarding.

Erupting from the Californian surf scene and branching out into street art and street clothing, skateboard culture has spanned the globe with its focus on individuality, freedom and a transgressive mixture of sport and play. In addition skate culture has become an integrated part of urban youth culture and is consciously employed as a corrective to the hegemonic order through its use of urban sites and non-sites. With its close links to, for example, punk rock, skate culture has developed a distinctive visual dimension that makes advanced use of appropriation, logos and what the French situationists refer to as detournement – the reuse, often with subtle modifications, of visual clichés, which generally results in an altered perception of those clichés.

In addition to having created a series of visual icons, skateboarding has evolved into a culture in which photography and film/video has become an integral part of the social environment. The camera is ever present in today’s skate sessions and the channels of distribution for the images created are strong and effective and to a certain extent exclusive – all traits that define a healthy subculture. Through magazines like Thrasher and skateboard videos and DVDs – which are one of the foremost channels for the marketing of skateboard products – the skateboarding scene has developed a visual language that is part sports coverage and part construction of an identity and a lifestyle.

All these characteristics of skate culture have been used by visual artists, with Mark Gonzales (US) and Ed Templeton (US) as two of the best known international names. One characteristic of these artists is their fusion of a photographic snapshot idiom with other forms of visual expression notable for their simple technique and rapid turnover, such as graffiti and expressive painting. In Germany Michel Majerus transformed a museum into a skateboard ramp, while in Scandinavia Jakob Kolding (DK) and Gardar Eide Einarsson (NO), among others, have seen skateboard culture through the matrix of urban theory and politics.

The exhibition is an initiative of Preus museum and is produced in cooperation with Bergen Kunsthall. Scate Culture is financially supported by Arts Council Norway and Goethe-Institut Oslo.The curators are Jonas Ekeberg and Gardar Eide Einarsson.

Tour itinerary: Preus museum (25.03.–21.05.2006), Bergen Kunsthall (September–October 2006). In conjunction with the opening at Bergen Kunsthall there will be a seminar entitled “Curating Visual Culture”.

Artists/photographers: Pontus Alv (SE), Cheryl Dunn/Mark Gonzales (US), Gardar Eide Einarsson (NO/US), Marius Engh (NO), Wiebke Groesch/Frank Metzger (DE), HSK, Tuukka Kaila (FI/UK), Jakob Kolding (DK/DE), Fred Mortagne (FR), Mike O’Meally (AUS), Scott Pommier (CA), Tommy Solstad (NO), Craig Stecyk (US), Deanna Templeton (US), Ed Templeton (US).

only in german


mit Pontus Alv, Cheryl Dunn / Mark Gonzales, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Marius Engh, Wiebke Grösch / Frank Metzger, Tuukka Kaila, Jakob Kolding, Fred Mortagne, Mike O´Meally, Scott Pommier, Tommy Solstad, Craig Stecyk, Deanna Templeton, Ed Templeton

25.03.06 - 21.05.06 Preus Museum, Horten
13.10.06 - 29.10.06 Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen
03.06.07 - 02.09.07 BildMuseet, Umea