John Mäkinen & Michael Fliri
Trondheimsveien, Lakkegata Skole, 22 August 2005

Our concept for working together is one work two views. Two practicing artists collaborating bringing each others best qualities together, making them visible and combining them as one work. The theme of copying and copyrights i.e. stealing and making it into one form is also present in the works we did in Oslo . Our common name when collaborating is Ego Double Copy Rats.

Work 1

My colleague Michael Fliri and I were lucky to have the possibility to be able to go to Oslo and to realize not one but two works during our one week stay. We both feel confident about the result. Our project was a performance with many layers.

Our first work was done as part of the official Oslo Mobile Kunsthall program. The location was Lakkegata grammar school, the date was August 22 - the first day of school. We contacted the school and they agreed gladly to cooperate with us. The children here come from a multi cultural background; 25 languages are spoken in the school!

We asked all the other artists participating in the Oslo mobile Kunsthall program to take part in our performance. When the school started for the first year students at 11 o’clock in the morning the mobile home was parked in the school yard and all the artists had painted their faces as a clown they wanted to be. The children could then have a clown face they liked by the artist they chose. All in all we painted over 150 clowns in one hour. The children were given candies, lemonade and rolls.

The performance was both elaborate, ambiguous, ambivalent and chaotic - a rush of energy all filmed and photographed. After the action slowed down we took a series of composed digital photos in the location without the children. The result was a total of 400 pictures with digital camera, 12 pictures with a 6x6 camera and 2 clown videos. We stayed on location until 5 p.m. to finalize the work. Then we cleaned up the place, which was very easy since the colours used were all water based and easily removed from skin, textiles and practically all surfaces.

Work 2.

At Lakkegata School we got such good contact with the principal, teacher and the students, that we decided to do a project number two. On Wednesday 25 August 2005, We divided 30 students in two groups. One group went the Munch museum were the Scream was stolen and the others went to the National Gallery were there still hangs one original Scream painting. The group in the Munch museum had to draw the Scream after the artist description in the exact location where it was stolen and the other group could copy it directly. The result was two versions with two different viewpoints of the same picture. The pictures will be placed together when exposed.

We have done similar works with the same concept using film and different medias. We are looking forward to bringing them all in one place as separate works with one concept and a strong entity and are now looking for options of exhibiting them in Scandinavia as well as other European countries.

Thank you for making this all possible to happen in Oslo . It was entirely a good experience  - both reaching out to a wider audience and being able to make a professional artistic piece of work on an ambitious level.

all the best,
John Phillip Mäkinen