2015 multimedia exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall draws on Riddley Walker

Norway's Bergen Kunsthall is showing an exhibition in January/February 2015 inspired by Russell Hoban's classic novel Riddley Walker.

The Noing Uv It (pronounced "The Knowing Of It") is an exhibition about "objects and their image, matter and its memory, and the revealed and concealed nature of 'things'", according to the website. "Addressing the possibility of a latent primitive consciousness in materials", the exhibition includes work by over 30 international artists including Wolfgang Tillmans and Sarah Lucas, as well as a number of other objects, technologies and artefacts. Russell Hoban's own first book, What Does It Do and How Does It Work, will be among the artefacts on display.

The website continues: "The exhibition is not 'about' Riddley Walker, but it will use some of the themes and the poetic operation of the book as a way to think through various ideas in the exhibition—ideas that concern the nature of matter down to the sub-atomic level; the withdrawn and flickering operation of objects; as well as the evolution of consciousness and the concept of a 'holographic' universe. In this way the exhibition points toward a more haptic, object-based vocabulary or intelligence—a kind of secular animism."

The Showing Uv It follows the main exhibition and features paintings by British painter Simon Ling. Some of his work can be seen on the Saatchi Gallery website.

The titles of the exhibitions are taken from verse 26 of the Eusa Story in Riddley Walker (page 33 of the 1982 Picador paperback):

“Eusa wuz lyn on the groun by the rivvr. Thayr apeerd tu him then the Littl Shynin Man he wuz in 1 peace. Eusa sed, Wy arn you in 2 peaces? The Littl Man sed, Eusa I am in 2 peaces. It is onle the idea uv me that cum tu gether. Yu ar lukin at the idea uv me and I am it. Eusa sed, Wut is the idear uv yu? The Littl Man sed, It is wut it is. I aint the noing uv it I’m jus onle the showing uv it.”

The Noing Uv It takes place from 9th January to 15th February, with The Showing Uv It exhibiting from 27th February to 5th April.

  • Are you a Russell Hoban/Riddley Walker fan going to the exhibition? Can you write something about it for russellhoban.org? We would like to hear from you. Please get in touch.

Further information

The Noing Uv It at Bergen Kunsthall (page in English)