LELLO//ARNELL. Of a Story of Fiction of a Story of Fiction. 19.09.2014 – 31.10.2014

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Exiting the dry blackness of the basement storage, he suddenly spun around, as if sensing something. Someone. He could hear a voice a – distant murmur. Not actual words, just a faint hum with the intonation of… speech. He remained completely frozen, stretching his neck, twisting, his ear arching out from the side of his head: “...completely frozen, stretching his neck, twisting, his ear arching out from the side of his head.” He shuddered. “He shuddered.”

In 2001, a friend of the artists found himself stranded in an airport in South America when he discovered a book wedged between the seats of the sofa he was inhabiting. Dislodged, it was a novel in Spanish, its cover ripped off. In fact, the first forty or so pages were missing. As well as the ending of the story. Later, finding himself sinking into a dazed state of apathy, the friend haltingly began to read it.

The protagonist a – young man trapped alone in an airport after some sort of catastrophe is slowly driven to enlightenment or madness by his solitude. As the story progresses, he becomes sentient to the existence of the narrator and reader of the story, leading him into a fevered struggle to escape the omnipresence of his observers. He discovers that certain parts of the near endless modernist structure obscure his pursuers’ view, and the story deteriorates as the young man withdraws and conceals himself from our prying eyes.

“There were people everywhere. The heat was infiltrating pockets of the structure where the air condition couldn’t keep up. I was feeling terrible. I had barely slept, and eaten nothing but candy bars and Coke. The architecture was getting to me: Airports should be passed through, not lived in. Its not natural. This idea of pairing vertical concrete and glass with cascades of tropical vegetation – it’s so postapocalyptical.“

Of a Story of Fiction of a Story of Fiction is a continuation of Jørgen Craig Lello & Tobias Arnell’s examination of the meaning and consequence of the World View. How it is born, mutated, evolved and shielded. How a simple error can propagate throughout and result in something truly bizarre even – bordering to the insane.

Jørgen Craig Lello & Tobias Arnell have collaborated since 2003 and utilize logically broken trains of thought, false statements and fictional scenarios in their examination of how the world is interpreted and understood.

They primarily work with sculpture, though it often bleeds into photography, collage and imageworks. Visually, the pieces hold a resigned trash- and DIY-aesthetic, with pretensions of slickness. Though the works are fundamentally idea-based, they are saturated with a strong, underlying material and sculptural disposition.

Their work questions basic social structures and methods, and their validity. By using historical documents, symbols and events, a wide range of interconnected concepts are subjected to a deconstructive process which emanates in a skewed perception of «the big picture».

The main theme in the works is the way the topics have been treated, which constructs an interpretation that feels complete, though invalid, or even preposterous.

In Norway, LELLO//ARNELL have participated in high profile group shows such as Lights On Norwegian Contemporary Art at the Astrup Fearnley Museum and the Norwegian Sculpture Biennial (‘06 and ‘12) in addition to a number of solo exhibitions. In 2012 they are also participated in the opening exhibition of the new Astrup Fearnley Museum,
To Be With Art Is All We Ask.

They have exhibited widely across Europe and have been acquired by a number of public and private collections, such as the Astrup Fearnley Collection, Sørlandet Art Museum, the Region Skåne Collection, the Slovenian Centre for Graphic Art and the Statoil Art Collection.

They have recently completed major public commissions for the Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen and the University of Oslo, and will be completing a commission for a new regional hospital in Kalnes south of Oslo in 2014.

In 2013–14 they have solo exhibitions in Moss, Brussels, Vienna and Stuttgart. They are also participating in group exhibitions at Sørlandets Art Museum in Kristiansand and the Boghossian Foundation in Brussels.