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Waldemar Thranes gate 17
0171 OSLO

Jo Bentdal

Jo Brentdal.jpg

Jo Bentdal

U: Who are you and what do you do? 
JB: I am a physicist turned business consultant turned digital brand strategist turned art photographer.

U: What characterize you work? How would you describe your personal style?
JB: I have a genre agnostic approach to photography, coming from a documentary direction with a strong conceptual and subjective intention. The main thematic trait of most of my projects is a discussion of the relationship and tensions between the individual/ subjective and the institutional - our inner and external landscape(both the abstract, constructed external world of ideas, and the components of objective reality that may exist in the world around us).

U: How do your own experiences influence your work?
JB: As I consider my task as an artist to be what Hegel suggested:  «to observe the world and report back», I would say everything depends on my own experience. 

U: What will you be showing at the uncontaminated festival?
JB: I will be showing a selection of images from 3 different series: «Intermissions» - where architecture is used as a frame representing institutional constraints), "Common Sensibility» - a series of portraits discussing tradition and authority vs. individuality and future potential, and "The Law of the Instrument" where a still life approach is used with an intention to trigger musings on the nature of human mental processes and analytical capabilities, and potentially -for some (at least myself) - trigger thoughts concerning the technological singularity and transhumanism.

U: What do you want to communicate through your work? Is there a message - political or otherwise?
JB: I hope to inspire self investigation and refinement of the mental models of the observer. I have no intention of pushing everyone in the same direction, but aspire to help them "think better". In some cases that may mean a more intuitive or emotionally sound or honest approach to the world, in other cases it might mean a healthier or more substansial analytical world view - or both. If I can kill a dichotomy or two, or round off the edges of some dogma in a persons head I would consider that a mission accomplished. 

U: Do artists of today have some kind of of social responsibility?
JB: Dont we all?

U: What does uncontaminated mean for you?
JB: I do not think I like the word pure - purity is an illusion and perhaps a bit weak. How about healthy, balanced and well composed?

U: What is the most important thing in your life?
JB: Integrity.

U: How do you feel right now?
JB: Lofty but honest.

U: If you could change one thing in the world today, what would it be?
JB: A more context-sensitive application of ideas and a more even distribution of impact in order to harness the collective human potential. 

U: What are the main reasons you are joining us for the festival this year?
JB: Good timing, and an hopefully opportunity to present to new audiences.

U: What is the most important drive for you to create and why?
JB: To give some of the things that are in my head an external representation, to refine my own approach to the world through a dialogue with myself of sorts, and to have the results presented to a public that might experience a certain resonance that allows me to feel i exist in a context that contributes meaning to my existence. 

U: Who or what do you value as a great inspiration for you creatively?
JB: Primarily the people that are closest to me. 

U: Can you elaborate on an important moment in your life where you experienced a big change, chose to make one or another event which altered your way of thinking or your approach to creativity ?
JB: I have had my moments, but generally its an incremental process of development. But it might be appropriate to quote Watkin Tudor Jones Jr here.: "Its only the things that surprise you that are real"

U: How does digital and social media affect or inspire your life and creations?
JB: Digital is an important conduit of information - information is everything - but I do think (and hope) afk experiences are my main influences.

U: What do you define art?
JB: I recognize something as art if it intuitively resonates with me emotionally and/or intellectually.  

U: What is your definition of artistic freedom?
JB: A licence to be subjective.

U: Is there a difference for you between art and commercial/commissioned work? 
JB: In an ideal world where the right creative is chosen for the right job there should not be any substantial difference- but in real life I guess commercial work sometimes comes with a certain dogmatic industry formula and a need to compromise.  

U: Do you struggle to find artistic freedom in the span between commissioned work and your personal needs to express yourself?
JB: I prioritize working on my own projects, so I do not experience that dilemma.

U: What do you aspire to? In the near future? In life in general?
JB: To keep evolving and to be reasonably content with my own work.

U: How do you feel art and fashion intervene?
JB: When fashion is any good I consider it to be art.

U: What is a great example of a fashion art collaboration in your view?
JB: The human hair dress/ skirt by Alexander Wang worn by Watkin and Anri - flanked by two girls in black plastic trash-bag dresses - in front of a graffiti wall by Roger Ballen in the «Fatty Boom Boom» video.  

U: Where do you think art and fashion is heading in our digital age?
JB: If AI really takes off, I guess there will have to be an element of art in everything we all do in order to outperform the machines in the areas we choose to occupy ourselves.


City of residence, OSLO, NOR

Exhibition and Artist Talk
Jo Bentdal
Sales Exhibition




Støperigata 2, Aker Brygge
0250 Oslo



12th Oct 2017

13th Oct 2017

14th Oct 2017


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