Kurt Johannessen is Norway’s leading performance artist. He has
worked in this discipline for twenty years, in addition to producing
installations, land art and pictures. Throughout the years a number
of small Artist books with curious and poetic texts have also come from
His performances cover a wide range, both thematically and in terms
of effects and choice of location. And yet a few features characterize
almost all of his performance works as well as his other productions.
It is the use of simple means, and it is the slightly absurd character
that invests his works with ambiguity and gives them a distinct poetic
and mysterious dimension. We see this also in Twelfth Conversation.
A wet and cold evening in the autumn of 2002 he stages his performance
in a small forest lake on the road from Munkebotten to Storavannet.
Dressed in his black suit, his trademark as performance artist, he is
rowed out and placed in the middle of the lake.
Knee-deep in chilly autumn water he remains standing. At regular intervals,
and with calm movements, he bends forward and lets his hands move cautiously
over the water. For almost an hour, while the dark falls and the rain
pours down until his body is one with the water, the forest and the
dark, he carries on his conversation
A suggestive event and a suggestive image had been created on a rainy
evening in early autumn.