Steinar Haga Kristensen

Steinar Haga Kristensen, The Loneliness of the Index Finger (Part II)
Oslo City Hall, Friday 5th and Saturday 6th September 8pm

Steinar Haga Kristensen has worked for several months to create a large-scale fresco at Oslo City Hall as the backdrop to a new opera, The Loneliness of the Index Finger (Part II): The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Conceptual State into Stabilized Theatrical Sensibility (Consensus Image). The libretto, written by Haga Kristensen, revolves around the conflict between the artist (tenor), the power of the state (soprano), and the people (choir).

“An artist struggles to produce a monumental public work, a fresco on a giant scale that must reflect contemporary reality. As he attempts to find a form for the piece, the artist is hurt by the people’s contempt for monumentality, and pained by his own disdain for the transient. Caught between the demands of the State and the ridicule of the people, progress seems impossible. Slowly, however, an idea reveals itself. The work must be a self-portrait, narcissistic, fractured, triumphant; the truest expression of late-capitalist sensibility. The people are enraptured. With satirical grandiosity the picture is constructed from the artist’s own earlier works, a monumental staging of the premature historicism that characterises the current condition. The fresco will be overpainted as soon as it is completed, deliberately so, and sent into the darkness of our unknown future. Encapsulated in the walls of Oslo City Hall, the work will use the building as a time machine.”

The piece will be performed by two of Norway’s leading opera singers, Nils Harald Sødal and Helene Wold, and the choir conducted by Stefan Ibsen Zlatanos. The score is by Morten Norbye Halvorsen with Steinar Haga Kristensen and Trond Reinholdtsen, and will be performed on the City Hall’s carillon by the carilloniste Laura Marie Rueslåtten Olseng and percussionist Håkon Stene. The opera is the second part in a series that began in 2009 at UKS, Oslo.

Steinar Haga Kristensen was born in 1980 and lives and works in Oslo. He graduated from the Oslo National Academy of Arts in 2009. Recent solo exhibitions include the Contemporary Art Centre Art Centre in Vilnius, Galleri Johan Berggren in Malmø, Etablissement d’en Face Projects in Brussels, Kunsthall Oslo og UKS, Oslo.