In the summer of 2011, Tarje Eikanger Gullaksen undertook a two-month journey on foot from Berlin to Trieste. At the same time, he was in the process of translating "Le Bétrou", a play by the French dadaist Julien Torma. These activities developed as simultaneous threads informing his exhibition of displaced objects and casted forms.
In the play, "Le Bétrou" is a strange charatcer who instils terror in others; capable only of speaking in inarticulate stammers, his utterances have to be interpreted by an astronomer. In the last act of the play, he finally manages to produce some animal noises, but this only diminishes his power. The veil of abstraction upon which a dominant language depends is lifted, revealing the uncertainty of language and representation when these are stripped of their context.
For Gullaksen, the mere act of reading the play became an investigative, linguistic journey. Symbolic metaphors, iconic referencing and the arbitrariness of language pervaded the entirity of this exhibition in the form of dialectical coincidences. The works presented came out of the accomplishment of two journeys — hiking on foot and the act of translation. The theme of distance is also reflected on several levels. The distances that Gullaksen covered during his journey also evoke the impartiality and adaptability necessary to translation.