Fredrik Hannestad

The text comes as a signal from the outer space

Oslo National Academy of Arts, Academy of Theatre

I work in the field of theatre and have been especially interested in how to decipher the artistic processes and understand what is happening in this ontological performative theatre mess. I truly believe that the theatre is the messiest and the most unclean place to be in the arts, it´s dirty, it´s low, it´s powerplay, ups and downs, and inside all this messiness there is something sublime, powerful and incomprehensible that attracts me.


The difficult task in theatre is that we are combining all the arts at once within a limited timeframe. Since this task is so overwhelming it is very easy to fall back to preconceived interpretations and solutions. Since everybody is compromising how is it then possible to make an art that transcends. This is my general research question that I am going to explore in my artistic research.


The theater often suffers from a form of hegemony of the text. An overwhelming majority of theatre that is produced is dominated by the text, where the text's message has been clarified. I can nod in recognition to the message, but nothing new has been created in me, it has only confirmed a position in myself, whether I am for or against. Most of the production of knowledge in society takes place in this reductionist way. My work has consisted in finding other approaches to the theater and the text which do not reduce but tries to open for other potentialities.


I have always felt a dissonance between the society’s empiricist natural science model and the more pre-reflective bodily and esthetical experienced ontology that much of our work is based on. This theme of pre-reflective embodied knowledge is of great interest in my research, and I will use time clarifying the different phases in the work. The knowledge production based on the skeptical reductive attitude has a very strong influence in the theatre and I believe that this influence must be downgraded in favor for an articulation of the pre-reflective, non-conceptual content enclosed in aestheticexperience.


Fredrik Hannestad: In my artistic work, I combine the roles of director, playwright and actor in the theater company Verk Produksjoner, which has received support from the Norwegian Culture Council since 1999. Alongside my own performing arts practice, I teach and hold workshops based on Verk's established method and ethics.

The collective creation process engages me and has occupied me for many years. I am interested in the interdisciplinary approaches that can open new ways of working with text, actors and space that can give form and expression to the times we live. The years of work with Verk Produksjoner has given me time and opportunity to develop new inputs and methods together with skilled collaborators in non-hierarchical work structures.

It is based on these experiences I have had as an actor, director and playwright in collective work processes that I want to base my research project on.



Artistic Research Spring Forum 2023

I will in this presentation apply some terms from the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze in the study and the development of my work. I have used time trying to dive deeper into his body of philosophy and found many resemblances and insights that can help me understand and develop my artistic research. I believe there is a strong connection between artistic processes and philosophy that can be developed further.

Some of my questions in this presentation is how to create indeterminacy? In other words, how to present the unpresentable in the presentation? How to work consciously unconsciously? Or how to recognize the indeterminacy in the work, is it even possible? and why is this important? I will elaborate around these questions in the presentation through concrete examples.