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Hope Springs Eternal


In Espen Tversland's video installation Hope Springs Eternal (2021) several years of work and research meet at the intersection between the artist’s reflections on object-oriented ontology, dark ecology, polar exploration and anthropocentrism.

The exhibition title Hope Springs Eternal is borrowed from Alexander Pope’s poem An Essay on Man and refers to humanity’s ability to remain persistently hopeful in the face of poor prospects and setbacks. In his work, Espen Tversland wants to accentuate how hope prevents humans from acting rationally and creates a scientific factual resistance that makes it impossible for us to combat climate change and bring about improvements.

Hope Springs Eternal also examines a world beyond our linguistic boundaries – a space that has the potential to feel both strange and familiar. In order to able to declare absolute truths about the critical condition of humanity, Espen Tversland makes use of animations created from fractal mathematics. Together, these fractals form a universal mathematical language which Tversland skilfully uses to depict the ambiguity present in the relationship between humanity and these creations that are destroyed the very moment they are created.

In this richly detailed video installation, a relational experience is created in which spectators are invited into the work, to become part of the installation and also to impact how the work behaves by setting in motion the textile elements that it is made of. Just like the infinite possibilities of the fractals referenced in the work, the interactive way in which this installation is experienced involves unpredictability. In the same way, it is possible to understand humanity’s interference in nature and our ecosystems as an all too often subjective affair, based on each individual’s interactions, observations and motives. In which our present climate crisis is a matter of interpretation.


Espen Tversland (b. 1970) lives and works in Brønnøysund, Norway. Tversland studied animation and video art under Kjell Bjørgeengen and Dagmar Demming at the Norwegian National Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo from 1998–2002. Tversland’s artistic practice is process-driven, with curiosity his fuel, where science, spiritual experiences, deep and spontaneous emotions, and unknown phenomena meet in a myriad of materials and techniques, and whose finished works are often presented as photographs or video pieces. In his works, Tversland wishes to depict necessary emotions, questions, actions and understandings in a poetic manner in order to produce a focused expression of humanity’s various conditions.

Tversland’s video works have been exhibited around the world at various art, film and technology festivals. In 2018 he showed selected video pieces at the international Punto y Raya festival and in 2021 he exhibited in the NOoSPHERE Arts WE ARE NATURE Rooftop Series. Tversland has also been involved in the Dark Ecology and The Arctic Circle Expedition projects, and is on the board of Nord-Norske Bildende Kunstnere (The Association of North Norwegian Visual Artists). This is the artist’s first exhibition in Sweden.

Read an interview with Espen Tversland here.


Hope Springs Eternal, 2021
Multi-channel video installation
Audio landscape: Gyrid Nordal Kaldestad, Andreas Nelson
32:34 min