About the Artist:
Tori Wrånes is a Norwegian artist and vocalist. She works mainly with performance, combining voice and sculpture as point of departure. Her use of sounds, costumes, props, architecture and sculptures deforms her appearance and creates new dreamlike constellations.
Her recent works include STONE and SINGER commissioned for the 19Th Biennale of Sydney 2014, where Wrånes appears as a troll, singing into her tail. The voice comes out of a big rock pendulum above her head. The building was filled up with elevated brass players, which made it echo in the big turbine hall at Cockatoo Island. In her last production YOUR NEXT VACATION IS CALLING, at Lilith Performance Studio in Malmø, Sweden, Wrånes transferred the whole space into a 3-dimentional abstract painting; furniture’s where thrown up on the walls, and beanbag hovered in the room as planets or bunches of grapes. It appeared as some sort of musical deluge of colours and movements, as to cheer on a floating chaos without words, determined by rhythm and moods.
I dream of a mental holiday. A sort of abstract desert of images, movement and sound.
- Tori Wrånes Nov 5, 2014
Other works is YES NIX, a commission work for PERFORMA 13 in NEW YORK including more than 50 participants. Another sound piece was SPIN ECHO, in Disney Concert Hall parking structure in Los Angeles, USA, in collaboration with LAXART, which was all about sound on wheels - a choir on bikes and bodybuilders pulled and spun around musicians on carts, creating spiral sound-drones. Oo was performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde, Denmark, where Wrånes was carrying another musician on her back while singing. This kind of physical resistance is common in her works as she challenge the capacity of the human voice and body, hunting honesty rather than perfection. Other works include THE OPPOSITE IS ALSO TRUE 1 and 2, first of which was performed at Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen and the second at Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, Norway. In this work everything is turned upside down, and inside out, like in the song of Diana Ross. In the first performance, Wrånes is hanging up side down, inside her clothes, which is hanging the right way. In the second one the clothes are put back to front. Wrånes sings from the lightest in her voice to the darkest, while playing the darkest to the lightest on the piano, creating an X. The first one was also part of the YES NIX performance at Performa 13. In FLASH FACE from 2011, her head was turned into a bonfire that expanded with the dynamic of her voice. And in Loose Cannon, a grand piano was elevated hanging from a cliff in Lofoten in North of Norway as part of LIAF (Lofoten International Art Festival) 2010.
Wrånes has exhibited in venues such as the Colombo Art Biennale in Sri Lanka, CCA Lagos; Nigeria, The Appel Art Centre: Amsterdam, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; Norway, as well as Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo as part of the show, I wish this was a song, – Music in contemporary art. Wrånes graduated from Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 2009 and took part in the exhibition TO BE HEARD IS TO BE SEEN at Henie Onstad Art Centre that same year.
“Norwegian singer-performer Tori Wrånes performs her latest piece of chacter-driven audiovisual kookiness under a massive swinging rock pendulum in the cavernous Turbine Shop, this was definitely the breathtaking highlight of the media preview earlier this week”.
-Time Out, Sydney March 14
The work of Tori Wrånes is mesmerising, dreamy, magic, beautiful, funny and strange at the same time.
-Art Viewer, Tennis Cat, 1646 Den Haag, Netherland
it’s difficult to point to anything in it that would not function just as well were it called a concert, play, or even music video. That isn’t to say the work shouldn’t be enjoyed as such: the high production values, musicianship, and staging made for a haunting series of moments. Wrånes constructs, if just for a few moments, a fantastical setting. The simplicity and confidence of the scores, and the lack of references to anything outside the set itself, make it universally accessible.
- by Ryan Wong on November 25, 2013 for Hyperallergic.
(about YES NIX, commission work for Performa 13)
“The outstanding piece at Cockatoo Island on Sydney Harbour is the Norwegian Tori Wrånes‘ Singer and Stone. The combination of brass music, song, a giant stone pendulum and the artist dressed as a troll is both compelling and unnerving. The work is by itself enough to justify the ferry ride from Circular Quay”.
-Joanna Mendelssohn, for The Conversation, Academic rigour, journalistic flair
“Jag lyckades få biljetter till norska Tori Wrånes föreställning Yes Nix. Det blev en halvtimma av förförisk sång, spöklik akrobatik, analogt surroundsound från cyklar som cirkulerade kring publiken och en blockflöjtskonsert av en grupp skakiga, krumma pensionärer. Yes Nix placerade publiken i en visuell och ljudmässig bubbla som kunde ha fått pågått minst dubbelt så länge till och det kändes som en perfekt summering av hur performancekonst kan vara när den ger som mest”.
-25 November, 2013 av backstagenewyork .
Jonny Halberg om Tori Wrånes bidrag under Møllebyen litteraturfestival i 2011:
«Hva skal en si om Rambi? Alt som kan sies, for så vidt. Noe under femti mennesker beveger seg fra festivallokalet og videre opp i Møllebyen. Ved parkeringshuset øverst i Møllebyen fører Martin Sørhaug oss til høyre. Femti mennesker går inn i parkeringshuset, og ned. Inne i en lang og kald og mørk betonggang blir bedt om å stoppe. Det gjør vi. Et gult lys innerst inne i gangen blir tent. Det kommer fra venstre side. Trekkspilltoner høres. Ut av en dør kommer et fabelvesen. Det går bøyd, med klesfiller i lag over kroppen. Ansiktet er det umulig å se, bare masse svart hår. Ut fra skikkelsen stikker det noe som ser ut som to meterlange pinner. Skikkelsen vagger rundt, spiller på trekkspillet og begynner å synge. Det går en grøsning nedetter ryggen min. Jeg står ved siden av Marit Guldbrandsen. I det tårene står ut i øynene mine ser jeg at Marits tårer allerede har begynt å trille. Skikkelsen går opp og ned og synger som i en opera. Og tårene triller, triller.
På vei ut tørker Marit og jeg oss på kinnene.
- Det var helt fantastisk, sier jeg.
- Jeg har aldri hørt eller sett maken, sier Marit.
- Det var så rørende som noe kan bli, sier jeg.
- Umulig å forsvare seg mot. Fantastisk, sier Marit.
- Jeg har ikke ord, sier jeg.
- Nei, det finnes ikke ord, sier Marit.
- Nei, virkelig ikke, sier jeg.»
– Publisert på Den norske Forfatterforeningens nettside 30 nov 2011.
“… a whole mythical world was created in that parking structure that was completely unexpected, yet totally at home in those environs. The gestures were as light as air, but the makeshift noice opera as a whole took root deep in the body and lit up the mind’s eye as far as it could see”.
-Carol Cheh, Another Richerous travel, performance in the LA Art Scene.
(SPIN ECHO, Walt Disney Consert Hall/REDCAT parkingstructure 2012)
“...It was so spot on. It was one of the most compelling performances I’ve seen in a long time”.
-Lesley Flanigan, The Indian Handbook 2011
(Oo, Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, Denmark)
“……….it was a small slice of vertiginous theatre and easily the most memorable spectacle of the day”.
-Anne Hilde Neset, On site, sept 2009,
(To be heard is to be seen", Henie Onstad Kunstsenter).
“I don’t want to get into details too much, because as a performer Tori Wrånes is in a league of her own, her performance is delivered extremely professionally, without being bored, it maintains a sense of excitement, and it is fascinating and remains a haunting experience for its...hm..let´s call it otherworldliness for a lack of words.”
(Pattedyret, Survival of the Fittest), The Stenersen Museum, MA degree show 2009)
“……………….Når Tori Wrånes, som fra tidligere er kjent for sin nærmest overjordiske vokal, har performance, skaper det derimot straks en stor opplevelse. Wrånes behersker de tonale bevegelsene og hun lar dem bevre på et punkt mellom besnærende vakkert, tiltrekkende og samtidig helt uhyggelig foruroligende og umennesklig. ……………
………………….Totalt utgjorde Wrånes’ «Pattedyr» et nokså groteskt bilde på den hungrende, evig tørste kjærligheten. Dermed stiller hun seg for meg helt klart først i rekken av de eksistensielle kunstnerne på årets utstilling”.
-Christer Dynna, Kunstkritikk.no, 01.06.09 ,
(Pattedyret, Survival of the Fittest, Stenersen museet, avgangsutstillingen 2009).
“Den stille magien som oppsto ga en opplevelse av å være tilstede på noe unikt.”
-Dagbladet, Kari J. Brandtzæg 26 april 2009,
(Zombie Atlantic, (Et ansikt som graves ned i ett dødt dyr) REKORD).