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Dissecting Oppression: The Evocative Work of Leander Djønne

Still from HD video, 'Internal Displacement', 2009, 17 min. | Courtesy of the artist.
Still from HD video, ‘Internal Displacement’, 2009, 17 min. | Courtesy of the artist.


By Sara Schnadt

Oslo, Norway-based artist Leander Djønne is a sculptor, performer, writer, and filmmaker who is interested in socio-economic power struggles and the transformations that occur in industrial cities when they are affected by economic change. Both poetic and documentary in their approach, his projects are potent and evocative. While in Los Angeles as a visiting artist in residence at 18th Street Arts Center, Djønne will be working on a new film featuring the City of Trona in Southwestern Death Valley alongside several European cities. Djønne has shown his work extensively in Europe and co-runs the artist collective and exhibition space Dortmund Bodega in Oslo.

Across the various media that you employ in your work (sculpture, performance, writing, and filmmaking) what is a common interest or sensibility?

There is a common interest within all of my work — contemplations upon the human condition in relation to structures of power, historically and within contemporary society — the relationship between the oppressed and the oppressor. Poetry, film and literature are great sources of inspiration and a big part of my way of working. I am working at the intersection between action and passion, between perception and sensation, between concepts and their physical manifestations. This plays out in my work via endurance-based performance and by involving physical labor centrally in my projects.

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