Nicola Gunn is an Australian, Bergen-based artist working across contemporary performance, choreography and visual art. She joined KMD in 2021 as Associate Professor in Performance and Time-based Art.
Nicola makes live performances, videos, objects, site-specific events, installations and books; and has collaborated with dancers, choreographers, actors, anthropologists, indigenous language archivists, comic book artists, translators, children, architects, senior citizens and the audience. She borrows from theatrical, choreographic, literary, comedic and visual art languages to create a mode of contemporary performance that plays with form, bends narrative and makes an effort to solve a problem. She often uses subversive, humorous, choreographic and philosophical tactics to come at things from a moral and ethical standpoint and uses language simply to convey a hidden and modest complexity. Exploring wide-ranging topics including power, language, gentrification, displacement, the problem of intimacy and exposure, peace and conflict, her work attempts to intermingle material and context, complicating relationships between self, subject and viewer in the process.
Nicola has been commissioned by both theatre and dance venues, as well as visual art spaces, and has presented in these contexts internationally. Her work has been shown in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, the US, Canada, France, Austria, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Italy, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Ireland, the UK and Belgium and by festivals and venues including Biennale Venezia di Danza, HAU / Tanz im August, Southbank Centre London, Dublin Theatre Festival, Tanzquartier Wien, La Villette, Le Grütli, PuSh Festival, La Mama ETC / PS122’s Coil Festival, Santarcengelo Festival, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Black Box Teater Oslo, BIT Teatergarasjen, Meteor Festival and Oktoberdans, Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre and National Gallery of Victoria International among others.
Major awards include an Australia Council Theatre Fellowship, Sidney Myer Fellowship for Artistic Practice, Winston Churchill Memorial Research Fellowship, Playking Asia Travel Grant, Norsk Kulturråd Arbeidsstipend, Bergen Kommune Arbeidsstipend and an Australia Council Emerging Artist Fellowship. Residencies include Carte Blanche and USF Verftet (Bergen), The Chocolate Factory (Long Island City/NYC), Cité des Arts (Paris), CAMPO (Gent), Bundanon (Australia) and Banff Centre for the Creative Arts (Canada).
Mixed Reality Encounters is a newly established inter-disciplinary research group that looks at novel technologies specific to interactive design and data and digital interaction within performative installation. The primary interest for this group is exploring the specific encounter between artwork and spectator / participant / user / audience. The group brings together practitioners working across methods, materials, artistic expressions and professional backgrounds, functioning as a platform for exchange between the members, and secondarily as an actor to advance this area of research within the Art Faculty at KMD. Through our individual and collective artistic research, generating artworks and contributing to the field of new media, design and performance, the group will critically reflect upon the ethical implications of technology, interaction and participation and its impact on society, politics and culture.
Mixed Reality Encounters is a platform for shared research, discussions, workshops, research trips and knowledge production. The group is the initiation of Nicola Gunn, Associate Professor in Performance and Time-based Art, and includes Research Fellows Sidsel Christensen, Marieke Verbiesen and Marte Teigen. It is a collaboration between the Department of Contemporary Art and the Department of Design at KMD.