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Tirsdag-fredag: 12-17
Lørdag-søndag: 12-16
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Invisible Traces Serhed Waledkhani: Follow the waves (2018) (Stillbilde fra video).

Serhed Waledkhani
Invisible Traces

January 10th - February 17th 2019

Serhed Waledkhani comes from a family originating from the Iranian part of Kurdistan. He arrived in Norway in 1996, at seven years old. The springboard for his art consists of childhood memories of Al-Tash (the refugee camp in Iraq where he was born) and an exploration of his identity, but also themes such as genocide, immigration, independence, equal rights, Kurdish ideology and human rights. His visual expression involves physical movement, fleeting memories and traces left by both good and bad experiences.

In the exhibition Invisible Traces, these components are woven together in a work that addresses the present. Waledkhani turns the gallery into a network of thread that becomes a backdrop for projecting two looped animations. Layer upon layer of thread allow the projections to emerge in the gallery space. Seen through the window facing Rådhusgata (street), they appear as multi-dimensional striped surfaces. The cubistic room of crisscrossing thread can recall a cage, fence, tent, prison, border or theatre stage. It is as if the theme is held inside the strands of thread and will dissolve or be transformed into something new and more peaceful when the installation is dismantled.

The theme of the first projection, Follow the Waves (3:53 min.), is the risk taken by refugees who try to cross bodies of water without being able to swim. Waledkhani explores how water moves in relation to people. This is a stop-motion animation drawn with charcoal and kneaded eraser. The artist drew a picture, photographed it, then changed the picture, photographed it again, then a new change, then a new photo, and so on. The last scene is presented as a complete drawing along with the video. The pictures for the second animation video, Carry Your Life (1:40 min.), are made with sand on paper. This work shows kolbars – people who carry many kilos of goods on their back across Kurdistan’s mountains, between the borders of Iran and Iraq. Iranians and Iraqis consider them as smugglers, but the kolbars are simply trying to survive by making a living in their own country.

Inside the woven installation are two interactive bicycle-sculptures. By peddling these, members of the public can animate paintings. The sculptures have cylindrical painted canvases linked to two bicycle wheels. The paintings, which function in combination with the bicycles’ mechanisms, pedals and chains, are developments on the charcoal animation projects. Waledkhani explains:

Refugees Circle 1 is about arriving in Europe, and Refugees Circle 2 relates to a memory from my childhood in the refugee camp where I was born. I got lost in a market teeming with refugees. The child looks up to the sky and sees how scary and large the world is. It was like a stream of refugees living in thirst and hunger. One could see thirst and hunger in them, as if they were made of sand.

Serhed Waledkhani (b. 1989) has a BA (2014) and MA (2016) from Trondheim Academy of Fine Art. In 2011 he participated in Høstutstillingen, Norway’s national juried exhibition, and won the debutant prize. This gave him an opportunity to create a solo exhibition (2013) that travelled to Sandefjord, Bergen, Fauske, Trondheim and Fredrikstad. In 2016 and 2017 he participated in an international group exhibition held in Ronneby and Norrtälje, Sweden, called Make a Change 1 and 2, the theme of which was Europe’s refugee crisis. In 2018 Waledkhani led a sand-animation workshop in Gdansk, Poland, as part of the City Memories project.
The exhibition Invisible Traces has received funding from Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond.