Manuel Pelmuș: Permanent Collection Performance

Dancers fills our Monumental gallery with stories of solidarity and new ways of building an art collection.
Two dancers embrace surrounded by Edvard Munch's monumental artwork.

Photo: Beniamin Boar

Manuel Pelmuș returns to MUNCH with a new version of his series of ‘simultaneous ongoing actions’, speculating whether a museum could have its own permanent collection of performances. 

The performance can be experienced in the exhibition Edvard Munch Monumental on floor 6 for all regular entrance ticket holders in the relevant time period.  

Permanent Collection is a collection of movement-based works that questions who and what gets a place in museum collections. The work examines the construction of the new museum and the invisible stories of the international workers who built it; bodies who in his view are otherwise not represented or celebrated at the museum. Permanent Collection considers the history of workers’ rights by incorporating the international anti-fascist anthem ‘Bella Ciao’, originally sung by female Italian seasonal workers. The song invokes a legacy of resistance, defiance and queerness. The ongoing action explores ways in which histories of solidarity can become a part of a new, movement-based permanent collection at MUNCH. 

Permanent Collection will be performed simultaneously at Sala Omnia in București and at London Pub in Oslo. In this way, Pelmuş creates a form of collective experience across time and place. Sala Omnia and London pub are both important sites of queer history: ‘London’ is Oslo’s oldest gay bar and the majestic decaying hall of Sala Omnia was where the decriminalization of homosexuality in Romania was announced in 2001.   
What you are seeing here is a development of Permanent Collection, commissioned from Pelmuș for the opening of MUNCH in October 2021. It is part of his PhD research fellowship at the Art Academy in Oslo/KhiO.    

Everyone is welcome to experience Permanent Collection at London Pub, which is at C. J. Hambros plass 5 in Oslo. 

Concept: Manuel Pelmuș  
Performers: Ingunn Rimestad, Jens Trinidad, Beniamin Boar, Elizabeth Ward, Mihai Mihalcea, Anton Skanning Thomsen, Jack Hauser

Manuel Pelmuş (born in Bucharest, Romania, 1974), is based in Oslo. He has a background in choreography and dance and is interested in the idea of a live presence within the context of exhibitions, exploring the human body’s relationship to memory and the construction of history. In 2012 he was awarded the Berlin Art Prize for performance arts, and in 2013 he represented Romania at the 55th Venice Biennale in a collaboration with Alexandra Pirici. His work has been presented at a number of international museums including Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, and the Van Abbemuseum.