The Hurricane Party
Norrtälje Konsthall
12 February — 7 May 2022

On 17 August 1969, the US National Weather Service issued a warning that Hurricane Camille was headed for the eastern coast of Mississippi. It was an unusually strong hurricane, with winds up to 90 m/s, but despite these warnings, people gathered at a holiday hotel in the beach town of Pass Christian to celebrate Camille with a “hurricane party”. These types of parties were common along the US coast in the 1950s and 60s, particularly in Florida, where instead of evacuating before a storm, people loaded up with food and drinks and invited friends over for big parties. Late that night, Hurricane Camille tore across the shoreline with a violent force, and a six-metre high wave trapped the partygoers on the top floor of the hotel. A few moments later, the building collapsed, and the party was over forever for the 23 unlucky merrymakers.

In their exhibition Hurricane Party, Bigert & Bergström have transformed Norrtälje Konsthall into a place where a possible hurricane party already has, or just might, take place. The building’s entrance, several floors and the terrace have been activated by different installations and works of art bearing paradoxes – objects, films and sculptures that oscillate between different emotional states. These states are often found along the front lines of weather and climate hot zones, and B&B have always been fascinated by these borderlines where ordered, comfortable states of being threaten to tip over into disaster. Many have probably lived through such a phase transition, where a lovely, warm holiday excursion turned into a nightmare when an unexpected storm rolled in.

INSTALLATION VIEW

Photos: Jean-Baptiste Béranger
"Airy Fairy" (1997), "Seven Years" (hygrometer, 2022), "Red Carpet Party Blowout" (2022)
"Established but Incomplete" (2017), "Party is Over" (2017), "Stationary" (2017)
"Rescue Blanket for Kebnekaise" (2016), "Reverse Osmosis Plant" (2013), "Carbon Capture Island" (2019)
"Reverse Osmosis Plant" (2013)
"Champagne Anemometer" (2022)
"Champagne Wind Chime I" (2020), "Champagne Wind Chime II" (2020), "Seafood Platter Dream Catcher" (2020), "Peak Progress" (2020)
"If you don’t like the weather change it" (2007)
"Red Carpet Party Blowout" (2022)
"Melting Glacier/Annoying Pile of Snow (Kilimanjaro, Tanzania)", 2018
"Seven Years (hygrometer)", 2022
"24/7" (2022)