Press Releases : 2015/06

Upcoming performances in June at the Nordic Pavilion

Published 2015/06/04

Photo: OCA / Marta Buso

A project by Camille Norment

Upcoming performances by:

Camille Norment Trio
10 and 12 June at 2.30pm
Camille Norment and Sofia Jernberg
11 June at 2.30pm

The Nordic Pavilion
Giardini di Castello, Venice

Commissioner: Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA)
Curator: Katya García-Antón, Director, OCA, in collaboration with Antonio Cataldo, Senior Programmer, OCA

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) is pleased to announce the upcoming performances within 'Rapture', Norway's contribution to the 56th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. This year Norway is solely responsible for the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale for the first time in its history. For this unprecedented occasion, OCA has commissioned artist Camille Norment (b. 1970) to develop the project.

Norment's 'Rapture' is a site-specific, sculptural and sonic installation in the Nordic Pavilion, for which the American-born, Oslo-based artist has composed new music on the glass armonica – a legendary 18th-century instrument that creates ethereal music from glass and water. Invented by Benjamin Franklin and once played by Mozart and Marie Antoinette, the glass armonica was at first celebrated for curing people with its entrancing music, but later it was banned because it was thought to induce states of ecstasy and arouse sexual excitement in women. If it had the power to cure, so the logic went, this bewitching instrument might also have the power to kill through over-exciting its listeners.

In a contemporary context, Norment explores the tensions this music raises today by creating a multi-sensory space, which reflects upon the history of sound, contemporary concepts of consonance and dissonance, and the water, glass and light of Venice. The artist composes a chorus of voices that correspond to the unresolved notes of the much censored "devils's" tritone and of the glass armonica, and this chorus immerses visitors to 'Rapture'.

'Rapture' explores the relationship between the human body and sound, through visual, sonic, sculptural and architectural stimuli. Today the sonic realm can be both a space of misuse, as we have seen in the militaristic use of sound to abuse the body, and of affirmation, as in the performative utterance of free speech to affirm the right of the body's very existence. The body can be stimulated and moved by sound, and in Norment's work, the Nordic Pavilion itself becomes a body in rapture and rupture, consonance and dissonance.

Throughout the run of la Biennale di Venezia, Norment is performing new compositions on the glass armonica and invited artists and musicians to participate in a series of performances that echo elements in the installation.

On Wednesday, 10 June and Friday, 12 June at 2.30pm, Camille Norment performs new compositions with her trio whose instrumentation parallels the artist's investigations into the relationship between vibration and the body as perceived during the Enlightenment period, and today through social and scientific discussions. The Camille Norment Trio consists of the glass armonica, played by Norment; the Hardanger fiddle, played by Vegar Vårdal; and the electric guitar, played by Håvard Skaset. Each of these instruments was thought, at various points in history, to invoke a socially and sexually transgressive experience in the body, especially the female body, and subsequently banned.
On Thursday, 11 June, at 2.30pm, the Swedish vocalist Sofia Jernberg will be performing with Camille Norment. While Norment plays the glass armonica, whose sonic vibrations permeate the space and the broken glass (which has sonic exciters attached to it that send vibrations through it), Jernberg's versatile vocalisation will expand the 12-voice chorus that Norment composed for the soundscape of the pavilion. Both will push the limits of sound and music.

The performances are co-produced by OCA, nyMusikk and Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival.

For media enquiries and interview opportunities please contact Sarah Greenberg, on
+44 (0)7866 543 242 or,

For media enquiries in Norway please contact OCA's Communications Manager, Tara Hassel on
+47 90 080554 or,

Camille Norment (b. 1970, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA lives and works in Oslo, Norway) works as an artist, musician and composer. Norment has exhibited and performed extensively, including at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), New York (2013); The Kitchen, New York (2013); Transformer Station (The Cleveland Museum of Art), Cleveland (2013); The Museum of Contemporary Art (The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design), Oslo (2012, the museum commissioned a new performance to accompany the exhibition tour in Norway); The Thessaloniki Biennale, (2007); Kunsthalle Bern (2009); UKS, Oslo (2004); Bildmuseet, Umeå (2004); the Charlottenborg Fonden, Copenhagen (2003); Radioartemobile, La Biennale di Venezia (2003); The Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2001); and The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York (2001). Among several public artwork commissions, a permanent outdoor sound installation was commissioned by the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK), Høvikodden (outside Oslo), Norway, in 2011.

Camille Norment Trio, constituted by Vegar Vårdal, Håvard Skaset, and Camille Norment, investigates the visceral qualities of resonance, noise, and overtone. Their performances are an organic movement between the composed and the improvised, creating a dynamic soundscape that defies a fixed genre reference. The Camille Norment Trio's performance credits include The Kitchen, New York, NY; Cleveland Museum of Art; Ultima New Music Festival, Oslo; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo; and the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK). Their first release, Toll, is available on Prisma Records. Reviews of their work have appeared in The Wire, The NewYork Times, The Wall Street Journal, Aftenposten and KuNordische Musik.

Sofia Jernberg is soprano, voice-artist, improviser and composer. Born in Ethiopia, she grew up in Sweden, Ethiopia and Vietnam, and is currently based between Oslo, Norway, and Stockholm, Sweden. She studied jazz at Fridhems Folkhögskola, Svalöv, Sweden and trained at Gotlands Tonsättarskola, Visby, Sweden, a school exclusively devoted to music composition. Jernberg was the 2008 Royal Swedish Academy of Music Jazz Award recipient and she co-leads and composes for modern jazz octet Paavo and contemporary Lieder quartet The New Songs. Throughout the years she developed a unique vocabulary of sounds and techniques which include split tone singing, pitchless singing and distorted singing which allow her to appear in a broad constellation of music performances across time and genres.