Silje Eugenie Strande Øktner
About the artist
Silje Eugenie Strande Øktner works variedly with performance, installation, photography, drawing and painting. In addition, she does location-specific happenings where the public participates actively, including such undertakings as DJ Kjuke.
At the exhibition “Don’t push DJ Kjuke up in a corner” in Kunstbanken’s café, she shows drawings, flyers and small wall and floor installations based on past and future events. The exhibition was opened during Museumsnatt 2018, where DJ Kjuke, among other things, played rabbit tunes inspired by Morten Juvet’s simultaneous exhibition “Cover”.
Silje Eugenie Strande Øktner (b. 1984) lives and works on the farm Øktner in Sør-Odal, where she is also a model. She was educated at the Norwegian Academy of Fine Arts, the Project School and the Asker Art School. Strande Øktner is a versatile artist with a great commitment to society and the local environment, and works a lot with art and cultural activities in the region.
She also presented her works at the Kunstbanken during the group exhibitions “Young artists from Hedmark” (2012) and “Åssen is what you carry, you want it shame — Alf Prøysen 100 years” (2014). In 2017, she was awarded the Volume Scholarship at the Volume Festival in Elverum.
“I mainly work with events, performance and relational projects. Visually, the projects appear humorous and light-hearted, with clear parallels to DIY culture, both in aesthetics and working methods. I try to work with humor and lightness around the themes and structures concerning our society that I am unable to put into a system or that I find difficult.
My projects are rooted in my curiosity about people, how we interact with each
other, look at and perceive each other as individuals, as part of a group and as
society. I want to get clarity on social structures, without mocking them or making fun, but rather evoke curiosity, and open up discussions about the way we live and the choices we make. I investigate the norms and rules that govern our lives.
My art projects evolve in a meeting with the participants of various events, preferably in a local environment where I strive to reach a diverse audience. People who seem to have little in common can discover their common references or a story that brings them together. I wish to escape the echo chamber, and the polarization we often encounter in society.
Lately I have been working with the rituals related to funerals focusing on funeral flowers. We are concerned with acting in a correct way, perhaps even more so when mourning. Which flowers do we choose? What hymns do we pick? How do we act?
Many of us performed rituals regarding death as children. Maybe we buried a cat, or perhaps a goldfish in the garden with flowers and songs. Rituals enter our lives at an early age. Even so, these rituals are rarely talked about until we are in a situation where we have to make decisions ourselves. Death still appears to be a taboo in our society. How we talk about death says a lot about how we think about life. I want to create a relaxed and pleasant setting where we can reflect on our own funeral while we create our own fictitious coffin bouquet.”