The Empire Line – The Oslo report
Reportage from The Empire Line, Varg, Croatian Amor, Vanity Productions at Blå, Oslo, 22.03.2018. Text and images by Cameron Pagett.
There is a river which runs through the heart of Oslo. Beginning in the mountains and trickling its way down from the Artic sea on the northern tip of our continent, past fjords and craggy peaks which carve the stocking shaped country’s landscape into an epic, serene and quiet place. The sun is out and snow covers most of the hilly and forested terrain as we begin our final approach into Oslo. The closer we get to land the more visible the open spaces cutting through the trees reveal themselves as ski slopes and the entire country begin’s to resemble one giant ski resort. It’s early afternoon when we land, and I am seated some way behind Posh Isolation founders Christian Stadsgaard and Loke Rahbek, who after a decade of releasing music out of a DIY-ethic in Copenhagen are now traveling with international acclaim. It’s my own first time in the country and for Stadsgaard his first in 11 years, and a first ever showcase here for Posh Isolation. After a brief rendezvous at a convenience market in the airport we separate without words to our lodging places beginning what would be an interesting evening in the last major city of the North. The sun is shining, the snow is melting and the river runs with momentum along the clean and well manicured banks before meeting the inner fjord on which the city stands. Somewhere near the end of the river is a brick building covered in graffiti named Blå. Now an establishment, and opened since 1998 this river-side, somewhat historic and unassuming space would be the host for our evening.
Children step into the train with ski’s and snow-suits (quite regular I hear) as I exit into the city centrum and head to my Airbnb. There are a few hours to spare before the show, and walking around feels like visiting an old friend in a new place. Passing the Nobel Prize house and the Museum for Surrealist Painter Edvard Munch, I get the idea that this place holds everything I have heard about but couldn’t locate from first-hand memory. Slinking atop a small table in the dark my Airbnb host who closely resembles an opiated railway worker from the 1800’s crossed with mid-life Gollum looks at me suspiciously when I arrive. After some convincing that it was me he was hosting, he asks me if I can just come back later because he is not ready. I am not too fond of the idea, and I am put in a made-over closet for the night. Luckily the bed isn’t half bad, and even though he won’t stop staring at me from his table-top perch by the corner near the door I feel happy that the night will soon begin. Oslo is a small city, smaller then Copenhagen, I am staying on the opposite end of the city from Blå and its only a 20 minute walk. Camera is in my backpack, time to move, it will be a tale of two or possibly an endless night. Læs resten