Bjørn-Henrik Lybeck

February 2018

Ideas are Frail Creatures

You are using a range of different materials and medium, how do you choose what to use for an exhibition?

Recently I have been interested in trying to unite my sculptural practice with photography. To me, the two practices represent contrasting forces, and I enjoy the synergy which occurs when they meet. When working with exhibitions, I strive to create an atmospheric experience for my audience, where every work is autonomous, but still supports the whole of the exhibition and its main themes. It is important to me that people invest time in exhibition spaces and take the opportunity to appreciate visual arts as a shared thinking experience.


Could you elaborate a bit on your process from idea to realized work?

There is a great difference for me working in the studio and when I am photographing. In the studio, experimentation and fun is paramount. I rarely know where I am heading, but I follow whatever material I have until it coincides with an object that can contain that original idea. Ideas are frail creatures that need to be treated with patience and love in order to survive those first stages. It surprises me every time how strong idea can become! In photography however, I have a different perspective. It is my craft, and I enjoy it as a lifelong commitment where I document reality and everyday, and rarely question the idea or concept of the photographs. Every exposure is a container for time, memory and emotions.


You often say that your projects derive from a feeling or commitment – What does it take for you to decide to focus your energy and make the works one can see in an exhibition, for instance? 

The most important aspect in the process towards a new project is curiosity. Every discovery in the studio should generate more questions than it answers, and it is no big deal if I do not understand where I am heading all the time. I am at the top of my game when I doubt – as long as the doubt is not paralyzing!


How do you get through those hard periods of doubt then?

I try not to take myself to seriously for one! As a general rule in life, I think it is important to try and see things in perspective and look ahead. Throughout the career there will be downers and moments when you just want a regular job. But what an illusion this is! In moments like these, I rather focus on what great privilege it is living a life truly devoted to something. The thought of growing old alongside my artistic practice is incredibly appealing to me.


Bjørn-Henrik Lybeck (born in Oslo) lives and works in Bergen, Norway.


WORDS Maria B. Bokneberg

Image courtesy of the artist.

  1. Untitled, c-print, 2015
  2. Installation view from Fading Trails, FELT, Bergen, Norway, 2017
  3. Installation view from Fading Trails, FELT, Bergen, Norway, 2017
  4. Pienza, June 2017, c-print, 2017
  5. Paris, August 2017, c-print, 2017
  6. Bergen, January 2017, c-print, 2017
  7. Lunches, a selection of sculptures made from the artist ́s lunches, concrete, plaster, 2015-2016
  8. Untitled, canvas and linen hand-dyed with bricks, both treated with chlorine, 2016
  9. Untitled, looping video of a sunset, the video plays until the device is out of power, 2016
  10. Timeball, ball of yarn consisting a single knot for every day of the artist ́s life (11 980 knots as of 28th of December 2017)
  11. Sotra, September 2017, c-print, 2017
  12. Sotra, April 2017, c-print, 2017