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Oslo gallery dropped «Miss Landmine»
by Marie Aubert, Bergens Tidende, daily 26.05.07

The Oslo gallery 0047 refrained from showing the ”Miss Landmine” exhibition. The gallery was worried about the possibility of negative media coverage.

Morten Traavik’s exhibition “Miss Landmine” was originally scheduled for showing at the gallery Projekt 0047 in Oslo from May 4 to May 20. Six weeks before the scheduled opening, the gallery withdrew. In the same period, negative reactions to Traavik’s project were posted on the feminist blog “Black Looks”, which was referred to in British paper The Guardian.

- Not good PR
Traavik claims that the negative reactions referred to on the Guardian newsblog was the direct reason causing 0047 to pull out, and thinks the exhibition became too controversial for the gallery. To Bergens Tidende, gallery owner Øystein Rø denies this.

- In Oslo, we are a new gallery with a wish to establish ourselves in the border area between art and architecture. We want to establish a distinct profile. When the project developed as it did it grew bigger than we had expected, and didn’t fit in, says Rø.

- But wouldn’t the attention have been positive for a new gallery?

- Not nescessarily. All PR isn’t good PR, says Rø.

Feared PR in e-mail
In an e-mail to Traavik however, Rø himself asked for a meeting to discuss the project, and explained the initiative: “ it will be a problem for the gallery if Miss Landmine explodes in the media”.

- Yes, that was stated during the meeting as well. I just think it’s sad when a gallery that presumably ranks among the important ones in Oslo’s contemporary arts scene doesn’t have the guts to stand behind a project like this – and I find it depressingly unprofessional to first take in the exhibition, and then to pull out only six weeks before the opening, says Traavik.

- That is Traavik’s version. We ended our meeting in mutual understanding, says Rø.

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