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Destroy Art

BJORN VENO: His latest project entitled ‘Destroy Art’ has caused a stir in the contemporary art world and seen him escorted from the Tate Modern.
Destroy Art
By Bjørn Venø Bjørn Venø is a London based photographer who grew up in Norway on a tiny island inhabited by twenty-four others. He spent his childhood exploring the beautiful farms and countryside, building a raft with his friend and playing out adventures as an explorer. Mainly working on self-portraits, he explores topics like male identity. His interest lies in deconstructing the different characters the male identity takes on which he adopts through performance in his photographs. His latest project entitled ‘Destroy Art’ has caused a stir in the contemporary art world and seen him escorted from the Tate Modern. I asked Bjorn about his new project and this was his response: "The idea behind Destroy Artis about copyright yes, and ownership, the idea that to create something you sometimes need to destroy first. It is about stepping out of your comfort zone, confusing the viewer and challenging them to look beyond the surface to understand." "It is also about giving everyone the possibility to own art, and giving the public the chance to determine arts value. If I succeed in destroying the work the base value would come to: £52496" "They would 'snatch' pixels because they would become the sole owner of that fragment. I do not own that part anymore and I will delete that piece from my computer. Imagine owning a 5x5 cm fragment of the Mona Lisa." "By snatching pixels they become a part of the project, share holders if you will, who can be a part of deciding the future of the picture. Now because they have 'snatched' pixels they have destroyed the image, but they also have the power to put it back together again. What will they do with them and what would happen if and when they 'lend' them back to you? They can do what ever they want with their fragment, I hope they keep it safe and do not delete or lose it. I would also suggest that they print it out, frame it and hang it on the wall. ' "When the image is fully destroyed I will ask to borrow back what they had snatched, so that I can put it back together again, following a map of where each part goes. It will be amazing if I would be able to put all the fragments back in to its original form. But I think when humans have been given the option to alter something they can’t help themselves. I'm not to sure what outcome I prefer, but the first would amaze me the most. If I'm able to destroy the image by said date and earn £52,496, I would consider my self such a good sales man that I could sell sand in The Sahara. This is something my dad used to say about good sales men.” For more information and to ‘snatch’ some pixels from Bjørn’s work go to

Christine Pettman

Monday 8 November, 2010

About the author

Christine is a freelance writer and journalist based in Kent; contributing to various online publications, independent magazines and websites and publishing her own blog. Recently graduating in fashion promotion (University of Creative Arts) she has a flair for written communication, as well as creative marketing, art, illustration and photography. Interests are in magazines, photography, travel and extreme sports. To contact concerning commissions, collaborations or creative projects or view further examples of work, email her, or visit her blog.