Svilen Stefanov-Talking heads
Ekaterina Getsova

Trine Lise Nedreaas

Trine Lise Nedreaas works in a variety of mediums but is perhaps best known for her intriguing and beautiful films. Her ideas and questions are always at the center of her practice and the appropriate medium follows, be it moving images, photography, sculpture or drawing.

Her point of departure as a filmmaker is loosely based in portraiture and documentary. The nature of people’s life, work, talents and ideas and those individuals whose actions or demeanor can in some way reflection the human condition have served as inspiration for her work. Nedreaas’ films lie somewhere between the realms of portrait, performance and documentary. These areas are subtly woven together instrictly directed, symbolically charged films of individuals engaging in their own specialist act. Her films are both uncanny and disturbing.

Nedreaas’ work is inspired by the intangible and concepts that exceed our capacity of understanding. Through simple materials and playful human performances, her work attempts at bringing the mind-blowing endlessness of time and space down to an earthly scale.

About her work, Nedreaas says:

I am interested in people’s drive to carry on and get out of bed every morning. I admire the enthusiasts, the people who try again and again, often banging their head against the wall; the different ways in which people find purpose, be it through sausage eating, weight lifting, singing or acting as corpses, mapping the universe or climbing mountains. I sympathize with stuttering, stumbling and singing out of tune and I am fascinated by the weird and the beautiful, the vast and strange variety of human endeavors.

By focusing on the specific and the intimate, I try to illuminate the large and the universal. In my films, I often work with members of the public – unknown but extraordinary individuals. I see myself as an active director rather than a documentary-maker in my approach, making people perform their specialty often live in front of an audience in particular settings and ways, exploring the relationship between live performance and documentary. I make films that portray individuals, often alone, sometimes determined and driven, but always trying.’

Trine Lise Nedreaas lives and works in Bergen, Norway. Her work has been shown in the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), PS1 Moma (NY), Kunstwerke (Berlin), Palazzo delle Arti (Napoli), Everson Museum (NY), Kunstverein Schwerin, New Center for Contemporary Art (Louisville), MACRO, Museo d’ Arte Contemporanea (Rome), Art Pavilion in Zagreb, Albright Knox Gallery (Buffalo, NY), Astrup Fernley (Oslo). She is represented in public and private collections worldwide.

Dead Lift


16 mm film transfer to Video with sound

10.50 min

Raw physical strength is here controlled in the environment of professional competition. Strength is measured for its own sake in an exercise aptly named ‘Dead lift’. Aiming at being the strongest and pushing their bodies to extreme limits can win these individuals public acclaim and remembrance, but this activity is also a fundamentally personal endeavor, bringing either achievement or failure. Engaging in this seemingly banal task, they are taking part in something more profound.

Filled with tension and under extreme stress and pressure, their faces express an almost religious experience. They appear to be pushing through some kind of barrier – their eyes are fixed upwards while their bodies stretch up and unfold. The look of relief on their faces happens the moment they achieve or fail. This can be the moment of glory and awe where tension gives way to fleeting transcendence, or the point of failure, just before the weight pulls them back down to earth. The weight they lift can be seen as the burden of life, a physical memento mori. The act of lifting is life and the futility of human endeavor.


2010 Polaroids. Edition of 3 + 1 AP.

Dimensions: 11 x 9 cm, 27 x 23 cm (Framed).

In a series of six Polaroids, the heart is captured in heavenly scenes of natural wonder. Still considered the ultimate snapshot, here the Polaroid’s position as authentic document is challenged. The reading of its unlikely motifs and provenance is dependent on our own conviction.

Pearly Gates

2009 Charcoal on paper. Dimensions: 46 x 60 cm.

6 charcoal drawings in portrait format of large smiling mouths bearing teeth belonging to spiritual predators. 

Forget me not 3


Video with sound

01.30 min

Series of films where remarkable individuals perform extraordinary acts.

The project is a series of three films showing three individuals performing their specialist act. A sword swallower, a strong man and a glutton. The films comment on our desire for fame and the admiration of others and illustrate to what extremes some are willing to go to achieve this. On another level, the films comment on a desire to leave something behind, to be remembered as somebody after one is dead.

I have focused on the potential sacrifice and the risks some are willing to take to make their mark on the world. Every time they perform, they risk their lives and their health in order to become immortal in the memories of the audience. Removed from the show and the circus that usually surrounds them and from the egging audience whose admiration they seek, the performers are left in a timeless space, with only themselves and their act remaining. Their act is now an intimate and absurd one performed for the few.

The look of the films references the studio portraiture of freaks in the late 19th century. Each has a symbol attached to it, a small but present reminder of time running out. The subjects have been heavily worked into the matter of the medium, not to further impress us with their daring feats, but to normalize them. To make them seem inevitable.


Singer with Butterflies


Video with sound.

03:56 min

The film is made from a singer’s hour-length performance for camera. All song and music has been cut away, leaving only the gaps between numbers – the beginnings and the ends.

My Way


Video with sound.

4.26 min

“And now the end is near…”An elderly woman sings the famous Frank Sinatra song, reminiscing about how she lived her life. As the song progresses the sound becomes eerie, as her voice turns more childlike. The light surrounding her slowly engulfs her until in the end it pulls her away completely.



HD Video, no sound

6 minutes

A hula-hooper spins glowing hoops around her body. Like a micro solar system, she keeps the hoops moving, rhythmically orbiting them around herself, using her own body as an axis.

“Mac Donaldi – King of Soap Bubbles”


16 mm lm transfer to Video.

6.20 min.

A mystical Macdonaldi appears as a god-like being, a master of his own universe. Omnipotent yet playful he creates mesmerizing smoke led bubbles that hover in the air before their brief existence draws to an inevitable close with a pop and a puff of smoke.

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