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Morten Andersen. Oslo. Black & Blue

“FotoDepartament” Gallery

in the course of its “Blue” program, dedicated to well-known Russian and foreign photographers, presents:

Morten Andersen / Oslo Black & Blue

24 June – 29 July` 2011

Exhibition opening: 24 June, Thursday, since 19.00 till 21.00

Held at: “FotoDepartament” Gallery


Oslo, the capital of a small Nordic country perched on the western stretch of the Scandinavian peninsula (not counting some additional bits suspended in the sub-zero waters of the North Sea) is famous for several things: its noble Nobel prize-bestowing ceremonies, its distinctly patterned jumpers, the bands of marauding trolls that roam the streets of its centre on dark winter nights. It’s a compact, well-organised and easily navigable town, whose general vibe tends to swing between the utterly drab and dismal – it figures Munch and Hamsun did not live in Tahiti – and the light-dappled loveliness of a long summer afternoon, as it leisurely fades into a raucous white-night. Just when you’ve convinced yourself that you’ve arrived at the stifling nexus of middle-class, middle-brow, natural fabrics and untreated wood finishes, boom, there crops up a cluster of the deadliest death medal dudes the world has ever seen. With a baby pram in tow, complete with a very deadly looking mini-metalhead inside.

When I first came to visit Oslo, it was late fall and I had just had an accident – my left knee had gone through a window pane of a door and I was sporting numerous stitches and an enormous black bruise that stretched from my lower thigh to my lower shin. I hobbled down the cobbles of the inner city in an unmistakably foul mood – my leg hurt, it was gloomy and cold, and the armies of industrious citizens in busy jumpers were vigorously on the move. As the time passed and I gradually recuperated, I moved slowly from one neighborhood and street to another, unexpectedly and belatedly noticing the steely, bold beauty of Oslo’s autumnal landscapes. In the breaks between Vigeland and beer and Munch and beer and Viking relics, I’d hike up the leg of my pants and inspect the amazing transformation of the huge bruise, as the solid black of its original incarnation gave way to the startling beauty of its aubergine purples, mellow mauves, dusky blues and pink-inflected yellows. Inspired, I asked a friend to take some photos to preserve this transmogrification. Some of Morten’s severely gorgeous pictures in this collection are like that bruise – a record of transient and unexpected beauty, often captured at its very starkest. Blurred figures, smeared lights, desolate streets and the austere outlines of modernist buildings offer a succinct legend of the city in motion, often devoid of any human presence. At times, a portion of a startling profile or the curve of a woman’s body vanishing beyond a street corner confront these bold, self-contained cityscapes with an arresting human protagonist. Other photos proffer visions of Oslo’s thriving nightlife: your typical music venues and their nocturnal inhabitants are suddenly rendered piquant by the flash of Mortie’s camera, manifestly animated by the triple intoxicant of music, spirits and pheromones, as late night euphoria melts into early morning exhaustion. Yet other images selected in this volume present the viewer with the unadorned prettiness of natural landscapes, no humans or human-made artefacts present to distract us from the lucent purity of the vision.

Morten Andersen (Akershus, Norway, 1965) started making fanzines and taking pictures of friends in punk bands when 15 years old in 1980. He worked in the darkroom at a daily newspaper in Oslo and continued shooting for bands and Norwegian music press before moving to New York and studies at International Center of Photography in 1990. Later founded Hit Me Records with old friend Kjetil Andersen in and released records with Norwegian bands like Gluecifer, Backstreet Girls, Turbonegro, Fuck Ups etc before concentrating on photography and publishing his own books; Fast City (1999), Days of Night (2003), Oslo F. (2005), Leira (2006),White Nights (2006), Fast/Days (2007), Ass time goes by (2008), Blå Skog /Blue Forest (2009), Jetlag and Alcohol (2009) and Color F (2010). He is internationally exhibited and published.


The exhibition supported by Office for Contemporary Art Norway

“FotoDepartament” Gallery – is the only photography gallery in Saint-Petersburg. First of all the gallery presents contemporary Russian photography. The exhibition program includes three trends of work and is called after the three channels of color in photography – RGB.

Red/Red Light – the program dedicated to the authors‟ techniques of manual print;

Green – young photographers‟ exhibitions;

Blue – series of exhibitions by well-known and experienced Russian and foreign photographers.

Program of upcoming exhibitions in FotoDepartament gallery:

Mikhail Protasevich / Saint-Petersburg. Exhibition In vicinity of suburbs / 3 September – 7 October 2011

Margo Ovcharenko / Krasnodar. Exhibition Hermitage / dates coming soon


Press contacts: by phone : +7 (901) 301-7993 by e-mail:

All works shown during exhibitions, can be purchased in the FotoDepartament Gallery /  / +7-901-301-7994

FotoDepartament Gallery /