80x80 Objects_2 · 2002-2006



Wooden object with doors to open. Layer upon layer, is it a painting or a cabinet? Made in acrylic, plywood and photo
The objects are unique and they have been made by Peter Opsvik in his own studio.
"Peter Opsvik’s cabinets play on the duality between the closed and the open. They exist as a kind of objectified thing somewhere between functional furniture and existential art. He employs the humblest materials of the industrial era, cutting his cabinets out of wood and plywood, which he combines with canvas, photographs and acrylic paint. Wood is a resistant material that nevertheless succumbs to external influences. He often gives his cabinets a humanlike expression, with arms stretching upward to the heavens and protective hands, so that the pieces seem to be a kind of living, breathing creature with a will of its own. A human being in full profile, perhaps repeated several times over, sometimes two and two together, making a couple, turns into doors and covers that may easily be opened, inviting interaction with the viewer. Some of his cabinets bear a closer resemblance to a rectangular painting, where the doors are openable hatches, like those on an advent calendar; in others the whole cabinet consists of foldout elements, reminiscent of a Japanese origami figure – or several together in a cabinet meeting. 
Closed, Opsvik’s cabinets look stylish and innocent. But they have hidden secrets and create an atmosphere of unease, of something disturbing in the midst of a seeming idyll. They remind us of modern people trapped in marked out frames that allow little freedom and room for development. Opsvik is interested in exploring present-day consumerism and materialism. His cabinets do not provide space to store large quantities of earthly goods – indeed, they are almost useless as cupboards for storing material objects that we never use anyway. As such, they call for anti-materialism and compact living. They provide ample space for existential thinking and taking a critical stance – something we need to protect and fight for in modern society. Opsvik consciously explores concepts such as “open and closed doors”, “smooth facades concealing reality” and “skeletons tumbling out of closets”. Open, his cabinets pose questions and house dangerous revelations that challenge modern society. Should we accept that more and more things are kept hidden from the public and take place “behind closed doors”? Who benefits from things being hidden? And can we tolerate doors being opened and the truth coming out? Through his cabinets, Opsvik draws our attention to the fact that there is more to the world than meets the eye at first glance. Like Freud, he wants to open the doors in to the inner life." 
Allis Helleland
80x80 Objects_2 · 2002-2006