Kjersti Wexelsen Goksøyr | About Kjersti
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About Kjersti

For many years, Kjersti Wexelsen Goksøyr has worked within a classic modernistic tradition. She is known for her stylised and carefully expressive human figures and heads of stone. In the exhibition at the Vigeland museum, she surprises us by integrating her monumental and mildly feminine sculptures with an intense involvement in current politics. The material is – literally speaking – cut from the news coverage in recent years on wars, acts of terror and conflicts throughout the world. The selection and combination of these photos of the press are a result of a critical perspective on religion. The same applies for the selection of central quotes, which she has gathered from the four world religions and carved into symbolic stone monuments. Thus she underscores the significance and presence of religion today, both in Western and Eastern cultures, with a special emphasis on power and obediance in the different religious creeds. More than anything, she raises questions, and she offers no ready answers.
 

Goksøyr’s searching approach to the complex question of the relationship between religion and politics finds a suble parallel in her attitude towards the visual expression and the challenges in portraying life forces that are note visible, but can be experienced intuitively. In general, Goksøyr’s sculptural work has a religious and philosophical dimension, typically focussing on transitional processes, life-giving and growth aspects of life. In other words, Goksøyr does not dismiss a religious view of life, but she wishes to contribute to a critical awareness of the role of religions in today’s injustice and persecution of people. “I seek answers to what went wrong, and why it continues,” she has said.
 

Furthermore, she offers the following view on the exhibiton: “Working with art is a way for me to conduct research. I sense somethng that I seek to clarify. The approach to the subject matter is different from the intellectual, academic approach, someting I see as a significant supplement. Using several approaches and methods is instructive to initiate processes and discussions, as a tool to a better understandig of history and of our own time.

What is it that we cannot see now, but that will be easier to see once has become history? What is it that we disassociate ourselves from in istory, but that still remains hidden in our time? – In my project, I concentrate on the large world religions. Religions are said to contain our set of values and principles. What are these values? What values are the trademarks of our time and what are we governed by?”
 
 

Toril Smit, director of the Vigeland-museum
From the introduction of the book published for Goksøyr’s exhibition at the Vigeland-museum in Oslo, 1994.