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Jan Christensen, Interview

Jan Christensen

Foto: Martin Rustad Johansen

On these pages we will be featuring interesting people whose lives and work inspire us and when we decided we wanted to speak with a contemporary artist whose career intrigues us, Jan Christensen immediately came to mind. In true Bad Norwegian spirit, Jan Christensen is a bit of an artist rebel, whose life and career has been forged on his own terms, not influenced by expectation or convention.

Jan Christensen

Jan Christensen, Art Basel 2015, Gerhardsen Gerner: Smooth Seas Don’t Make a Good Sailor

Christensen is an extraordinarily innovative and versatile creator, whose visions have resulted in high profile installations and works that frequently transcend the limitations of traditional museums and galleries. He is widely regarded as especially innovative in his use of materials, and in the inspiration he draws from the materials themselves.
He has contributed to large scale public installations all over Norway as well as internationally, among these the thought provoking A Melancholia at Oslo Central Station in 2011, in the wake of the terrorist atrocity of July 22nd.
Jan Christensen

Jan Christensen: A Melancholia, Oslo Central Station, 2011

He has also produced numerous private commission works and done several international residencies.
Jan Christensen

Jan Christensen and Marius Dahl, Opp i Himmelen (Ned i Fjæra), Hundvåg Svømmehall, Stavanger, 2015

Christensen was born in Copenhagen in 1977, and has nurtured an interest in art since he was very young. He was always critical to the limitations of a mainstream education and way of life, preferring to create his own way, and was an active graffiti artist before going to art school, where he took a serious, studied approach to his artistic development. He later proceeded to work as an assistant for Atle Gerhardsen, a job that took him to Berlin, where he became a part of the vibrant art scene. He still splits his time between Berlin and Oslo, and has done residencies in Seoul, Reykjavik, and Stockholm, among other places.
Jan Christensen

Foto: Martin Rustad Johansen 

At present he is exhibiting at Gerhardsen Gerner Berlin (Nov 19th- Dec19th 2015), incorporating elements from his earlier works and experimenting with various media elements and sound art, with references to audiovisual media. Bad Norwegian wanted to get to know this cool artist better and asked Jan to answer our Bad Questions…
Complete this sentence: I’m the kind of guy who… only comes up with the badass clever statement when everyone moved on to the next topic.

What’s on your bathroom shelf?
- Too many cheap shampoos. I both forget if I have some and I fear running out.

What gets your adrenalin pumping?
- When I have deadlines the next morning and friends ask to hang out for the evening. I am not a person that likes to say no. But I am completely over-stretching myself.

What is your favorite restaurant/bar in the city you live?
- Lon-Men Taiwanese Noodle House (Berlin).

Choose three brands except Bad Norwegian and Apple that define your personality.
- Linux Mint
- Pentax
- Wanhao

What have you done that nobody would have thought you’d do?
- Paint watercolors.

What would you do if you were Putin for a day?
- Try to read up on what's going on both locally and internationally in order to execute my duties as president to the best of my abilities. I probably wouldn't have time to get started doing anything. Then again, I guess this is how he feels too.

Do you believe in aliens?
- No, I don't even have much trust in mankind.

If you woke up not knowing how old you were, how old would you guess?
- I feel like I am both 14 and 75. I am like a child and I am dead tired.

If you had to move somewhere else to live for 10 years, where would you live and why?
- Seoul, for the diversity of amazing cuisine and Korean jimjilbangs (24-hour wet and dry spas, pools, heated floors and such).

If you are in Berlin, make sure you catch Jan Christensen at Gerhardsen Gerner until December 19th.