The exhibition «Chronicle» by the Norwegian painter Bjørn Båsen is about how the relationship between earlier history and present identity not can be separated, but will always effect and shape us. The exhibition consists of seven paintings, one sculpture painting, 18 drawings and a comic book.
His visual language refers to rococo style, romanticism and bourgeoisie aesthetics. As the artist, himself grew up in an old bourgeois home, an old farm with rosettes in the ceiling, the decadence was in the walls. This has affected Båsens art in a way that concerns the duality in the morals of society’s upper class, who has always had a great impact on politics. In his art, one can see a new world where he mixes elements from different social and cultural classes and combines them.
The artist writes that “The starting point of the exhibition is a personal mythology centered around a fictive city. My work shows objects and architecture from this mythical story. The exhibition uses the cities development through the times to show the connection between historical happenings and object’s and architecture’s visual design.”
The comic book is a central element in the exhibition Chronicle. It has the same title as the exhibition, which shows a 500-year long development of the fictive city Dreymouth. The comic book has elements from the fantasy- and science fiction-genre, and takes the reader through the western world’s cultural history: the middle ages, Baroque, Rococo, Industrialism and the 20. century.
Båsen says that the works in the exhibition has a starting point in different situations or subjects from the story: “The series Tablets presents still lives of different ceramic objects. As my earlier Taffel works the tension in the painting is between object and shadow. In Tablets the shadows tells stories about the past and the use of the objects portrayed in the paintings. The Chronicle-series illustrates the connection between geographic past and present. In the works one can study the buildings historical development shaped as a ceramic puzzle, where the two different layers of the puzzle represents different eras.”