35mm film to HD, 13 min, 5.1 audio. 2008
Urban environments, and their heterotopic sites, are locations for Knut Åsdam's investigations into social design, patterns of behavior and modes of subjectivity, with a particular focus on spatial identity's disorder and pathologies. Åsdam perceives a city as a machine of desire, its geography as a system of desire and its architecture as a generator of desiring practices. Usage and perception of public urban spaces, their structures of political power and authority occupy a central place in the artist's studies of identities.

Oblique, which premiered for Manifesta 7, is a hybrid narrative of cinema and architecture which quotes public or semi-public spaces within a city, building up a labyrinthine setting within the gallery space. The film, Oblique, is an articulation of identity in transition: the artist invites to a journey through a continuous “city” built up from cities and regions of diverse political, economic, cultural and social landscapes.

The characters are traveling in a suspended generic space in-between the realities of various places. Thus Åsdam animates representational systems and orders of belonging that map cross-regional tensions where complex identity factors are negotiated, and express the struggle between a desire to find a place within the language and a necessity to adapt to social changes. Asdam narrates spaces of intense psychological charge: newly built outer areas around the cities, construction sites, institutional and office buildings, transitory places, between growth and collapse, marked by quasi-contradictory processes of economic progress and development of slums, but at the same time, he constructs an objective critical space of political urgency.

Oblique was produced by Manifesta 7, FRAC Bourgogne, Galician Contemporary Art Center (CGAC) with the support from Office for Contemporary Art Oslo, Galleri SE Bergen, Galeria Juan Prats Barcelona and the Cultural Council of Norway.

In the collection of FRAC Bourgogne, Galician Contemporary Art Center (CGAC), Kunsthalle Bern, Bergen Kunstmuseum and Tate Modern

Watch at www.vimeo.com/knutasdam/oblique - you will need a password from us.