After studying at the Art Academy of Bergen and at the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo, Snorre Ytterstad became one of the leading exponents of conceptual art from the late 1990s on. His passion for objects from everyday life remained clear and consistent throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century. His sculptural and artistic flights of fancy have been culled from an inexhaustible reservoir. We find various types of reconstructions, miniaturizations, magnifications, plays on words, redefinitions, and amalgamations. These are solution-oriented reformulations that combine the technical know-how of an engineer with an almost boyish sense of playfulness and absurdity.
For Downsized Workstation, Ytterstad dismantled the desk from his studio, reduced it according to the scale of 1:1.618, and then reassembled it as a desk. The result is thus a desk reconstructed according to the mathematical and aesthetic principle of the golden ratio. The desk has been resurrected as a desk, but has been redefined according to aesthetic calculations. The leftover material from the reduction process has been systematically placed against the wall, so that the functionality has been entirely neutralized.
Ytterstad’s appropriative strategies are based on familiar allusions to popular culture and art history. They often hide some subtlety that can tear viewers out of their seemingly innocent and overt encounter with the works. We sense that we are being drawn into a game of underlying mechanisms and narratives that also contain social and political aspects.
Text: Randi Godø
From "Highlights. Art from 1945 to the Present", Nasjonalmuseet 2016, ISBN 978-82-8154-116-0