Toril Johannessen






The Generic Stone








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The Generic Stone
Installation and lecture, Hordaland Art Center, April 2009. Synthetic stone on table, chairs, projection screen.
Collaboration with Sidsel Meineche Hansen


Press release from Hordaland Art Center:

The ultimate consequence of conceptually based art is a total absence of objects. With this exhibition we will take a closer look at the status of the art object and its’ value by mapping the process of production and the materiality of the one object on display in the exhibiton - a stone produced in a laboratory.

Hordaland Art Centre (HKS) has invited the two artists Toril Johannessen and Sidsel Meineche Hansen to show their recent project The Generic Stone to discuss issues related to knowledge production based on an object.

The Generic Stone is a type of granite, which is one of the most common rocks to be found. The stone on display at Hordaland Art Center is a synthesis in the sense that it is composed of pure chemicals. The stone is consequently synthetic, while its chemical composition is identical to that of granite, and in that sense also natural. In a lecture to be held in the exhibition the artists will tell about the relation between production and process, and information and knowledge in relation to the stone displayed in the exhibition.

In a lecture to be held as part of the exhibition, the two artists will expand on issues relating to the object's status. Here they will talk about the process of manufacturing The Generic Stone.

The artists write: In physics there is no such thing as synergy, or increased power through interactions. In comparison, one can say that the process of creating the stone in principle is, scientifically speaking, without synergy: A certain set of known factors, pure chemicals, are put together in one machine to form a prescribed result: synthetic granite. What is put in is equal to what comes out, producing no new scientific insights. However, unlike physics, the synthetic stone’s transition from one knowledge system to another - from science to design and to art – enables a position where we can talk about knowledge-related synergies, namely that it generates a discourse. In our lecture we will analyze the process and the production of the stone to examine the value and knowledge production in which the project will result.

The artists would like to thank Rune Selbekk, curator of mineralogy at the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo.
The exhibition moves to Am Nuden Da in London later this year. 

Supported by Bergen kommune/The City of Bergen.