Bånsåm, in the artist’s own house, the start.
Dialog between Agnes Btffn and Hellen Pritchard
“The project started in my small house: as it was a lot of talking about the subject “immigration” under the election campagn in 2003 I got inspired by the idea of creating large paintings directlly on the wall of the main room of the house. The paintings, on one wall a group of Afghan men horse riding, playing polo with the cadavre of a goat as the object, and on the facing wall, Afghan women in their colorfull shawls and dresses walking hastily in the sand, holding children by the hands.
In that way i nourished my imagination about having like strangers in my house. After some months I had enough of looking at thoses paintings, and I did not want to destroy them though, I bought plywood wich I cut in boards of different width, and made a movable wall construction on rails so I could push them aside to see the paintings or to hide them. Later I imagined that those boards were people and started to draw silhouettes of my visitors on the boards and then cut them. Insted of only boards, profils of real people were moved back and forth before the paintings of the strangers in the room. This work is what made the installation Bånsåm (a name I created from the french Bonhommes, to a new norwegian name, a hybrid nomination, like me, the third generation norwegian emigrant to France).” Agnes Btffn