Jon Benjamin Tallerås Wander ponder going yonder

Munchmuseet on the Move - Contemporary Art.

The art project consists of three parts, including the audio guide Footnotes, which leads from the Munch Museum to Tøyenbekken. The solo exhibition at a temporary space in Galleri Oslo includes a new photographic series in which the artist has documented some of the fleeting symbols found in Oslo. Earlier video works contextualise Tallerås’s on-going investigations into the urban landscape, walking the back streets, and documenting the concealed communication at play across the city.  

Adieu to Here No Matter Where is a silkscreen print installed in the internal atrium of the Munch Museum, which shows the outline of a quote from the French poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1891). With the help of the Runkeeper app Tallerås has transcribed his walks through the streets of Oslo onto a map, which spell out the title of the work.  

Footnotes is an audio guide for the streets of Old Oslo, which takes listeners on a walking tour of highlights from Tallerås’s many journeys on foot through Tøyen and Grønland. The artist investigates hidden nooks and semi-concealed spaces in the city, recording the ambient sound along with his own commentary. The walking tour becomes a journey through Oslo that highlights often overlooked elements of the city, in which the recorded ambient sound through the listener’s headphones creates a doubling effect in the experience of moving through the urban landscape. 

The 45-minute walk leads from the Munch Museum to a temporary space in Galleri Oslo, entering from Tøyenbekken. Housing Oslo’s bus terminal and straddling two boroughs, this long, overbuilt concourse was erected in the late 1980s and was Europe’s longest shopping arcade at the time. It was voted Oslo’s ugliest building in 2008 by national newspaper Aftenposten, and plans to demolish it have been discussed since 2010. The exhibition in this temporary outpost of the Munch Museum shows new photographic works by Tallerås, entitled Loitering Linguistics, in which the artist has traced some of the symbols that exist in the urban landscape. Doubling these symbols via the street art technique of etching on glass, these images convey a sense of the multiple layers of language that operate in the city. Fences used in the construction industry also enter this temporary gallery space and act as display structures for the work. Earlier video works are also part of the exhibition and act as context for Tallerås’s on-going investigations into the urban context, walking in the city, and documenting the concealed communication at play across the cityscape.

Jon Benjamin Tallerås (b. 1984, Oslo) graduated from Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 2011. His improvised actions, informal sculpture and low-profile infiltrations belong to a tradition of urban wandering that reaches back at least as far as André Breton’s photographic expeditions in 1920s Paris. Tallerås investigates urban space, exploring hidden and often non-used areas of the city. He has participated in Lofoten International Art Festival (2015) and has had solo exhibitions at Volt (Bergen, 2015), Akershus Kunstsenter (Lillestrøm, 2014) and Kunsthall Oslo (2012).