Magnesite Norway, 2018


Magnesite Norway, is a dual channel video and sound installation using documentation of improvised music performances by Kusum Normoyle (voice and amplifier) and Mette Rasmussen (alto saxophone) in the Norwegian landscape during the summer of 2016.

The work builds on Normoyle’s previous video work in a number of ways. Through Rasmussen the project took place in Norway, the country in which she currently lives, giving both performers new locations to investigate, and the platform to make collaborative performances from two discrete practices. Location videographer, Nick Garner brings a contemplative and inquisitive presence to the documentation material, and Normoyle’s edit of the resulting footage combines both the performance documentation and location documentation to produce sculptural form across two screens that is new to her video work.

The work is defined by contrast: the nature of performing inside versus outside, the tensions between Normoyle’s raw vocalisations and Rasmussen’s jazz and free improvisation training, the physicality and precarity of the performances against the stillness of the sites, the dissonance of the sound produced in comparison to the ‘romantic’ Norwegian landscape.

Sound in the installation plays an important role in portraying the performer’s struggle with the ability to resonate within or compete with Skjervsfossen waterfall, or the 8 second natural reverb in turbine hall of The Norweigen Museum of Hydro Power and Industry. In Magnesite Norway, we see again how Normoyle’s work tests the limits of the ‘experimental’ and ‘improvised’ music frameworks, by holding a camera to the bodies that create the music, outside the venue and bringing it back to the gallery as a visual arts practice.

︎ Link to view Magnesite Norway via password
︎ Watch Rassmussen and Normoyle Live at Ludo Sounds, Bergen Kunsthalle

Magnesite Norway: Dual channel HD video, 4.1 sound, 23:00 mins
Performances: Kusum Normoyle (voice and amplifier) & Mette Rasmussen (alto saxophone)
Location videography: Nick Garner
Recording mix & master: Lasse Marhaug
Sound design & video edit: Kusum Normoyle
Colourist: Billy Wychgel
Locations: Hardangervidda National Park (various), Norweigen Museum of Hydro Power and Industry, Skjervsfossen waterfall, Utsikten lookout.
Exhibition premiere: TarraWarra Biennial 2018: From Will to Form, curated by Emily Cormack.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.