ON COLLECTING #3
Co-founder FRANK, Oslo
– First, can you talk about you, your practice and FRANK?
FRANK was an artist-run platform that grew out of the void in the Oslo art scene in 2012. We were three queers longing for a community and discourse on queer and feminist art practices. FRANK started as a salon in domestic settings, but our focus on queerness prompted several invitations which led to us producing exhibitions, publications, film programs etc. For most of the time FRANK was run by fellow artist Liv Bugge and me. In my individual artistic practice, I work with moving images and publications. My current research and work focus on live action role-playing games (larp) as an artistic method for producing films.
– Can you tell us about FRANK’s collecting project, its ethos and how it’s connected to the wider activity of the platform?
I think the FRANK Art Collection was us, raising our hand, making a comment on the artist economy. There has been very little money involved in running FRANK and we wanted to play with the idea of the nomadic platform being a collecting institution. What we had gained in the years running FRANK was not money, but a network of friends and collaborators willing to exchange their work with us. It was one of the last things we did with FRANK, creating a body of work representing all these connections.
– You mentioned that this project is an act of political statement in the artist economy. Does this statement have a local or international focus?
I am not sure it is bound by geography, and I am also not sure how loud it was as a political statement because we do not have an infrastructure to support the collection in terms of it being on display or preserved.
– To which extent and in what ways were the artists involved in the project?
We wanted to create a simple set up for exchange which was equal to all participants. There was a contract which stated what the project was and laid out the agreement we created with the artists. Then we sent one of our prints to the participating artist and got a work back from them.
– What was the response you received by artists and the public during the project?
I think the artists seemed happy to have done the exchange, and with the work they received by us. The first time the collection was shown was in the exhibition “The Queer Gaze” at KODE Art Museum in Bergen last summer, and it was to see this very diverse collection on display. We also received positive feedback from the audience.
– What happens to the collection now, after FRANK has ended? Is it in any way accessible by the public?
It is a very good question and something we have not yet resolved. After the exhibition, the museum was asking for the price of the entire collection, and we had to clarify that the contract with the artists states that we are not allowed to sell the works. Ironically, the works would probably be better kept and have a larger audience if it was sold to the museum, as we do not have the same resources and FRANK as a project has ended. Regardless of the request for a potential acquisition, we stand by the fact that the collection was not sellable. Our intention was not to make money out of the project, and I guess time will show how, when and if the FRANK Art Collection will travel.
Photographs by Dag Fosse. From FRANK Art Collection at the exhibition The Queer Gaze at KODE, Bergen.
Sille Storihle is an artist and educator based in Oslo, working primarily with moving images and printed matter. Their artistic practice encompasses a body of work in dialogue with queer archives and pasts, exploring relationships between power and performativity.
From 2012 to 2020, Storihle ran the queer-feminist platform FRANK together with Liv Bugge. The platform originated as a salon, which developed into a wide range of projects in different locations with various co-curators. Their current research and work focuses on live action role-playing games (LARP) as an artistic methodology in the production of moving images.
Since 2016, they have been Assistant Professor at Kabelvåg School of Moving Images, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø.