Samuel Brzeski: Performance anxiety

1–24 April 2022

We are very proud and happy to welcome you to the solo exhibition Performance anxiety by UK artist Samuel Brzeski 1–24 April.

The exhibition Performance anxiety is part of Meta.Morf 2022 – The seventh Trondheim International Biennial of Art and Technology. This is the seventh time BABEL is part of Meta.Morf and this year we are even the first post on the comprehensive and exciting program that you can read more about at

OPENING Friday, April 1st at 19.00
ARTIST TALK by Samuel Brzeski in conversation with dramaturge Guro Hustad Stugu on Sunday, April 24th at 14.00 

Opening hours:
Thu/Fri 16.00–19.00
Sat/Sun 12.00–16.00

A sea of language flows through a panopticon of palm sized screens vying for attention and demanding cognition. Mirrored echoes of the disjunctions between phonocentric and logocentric forms of communication act through stuttered speech, residual sound, fading text. In an environment where information overload is deployed liberally, text begins to haunt as it accelerates to an almost spectral speed. Barely visible — a ghost image.

The solo exhibition Performance anxiety presents new multimedia installation works at BABEL visningsrom for kunst. Taking the methods of digital age language-based information transfer as a starting point, the work focuses on such things as speed reading applications, practices of compulsive list-making, and neoliberal productivity drives. The screen is seen as a sculptural object in its own right; the hand-held tablet as a pressing conduit. Through video, text, sound, and voice, Performance anxiety explores acts of reading, misreading, and force-feeding.

Samuel Brzeski has a BA in English Literature from the University of Sheffield, an MA in Fine Art from Bergen Art Academy. He also studied at the Mountain School of Arts program in Los Angeles. Recent and ongoing projects include exhibitions, performances, and publications with Lydgalleriet (Bergen), Østre (Bergen), Studio 17 (Stavanger), Inversia Festival (Murmansk), KRAFT (Bergen), Galleri Box (Gothenburg), and Chao Art Centre (Beijing). Since 2016, Samuel has been a leading member of the art writing collective and publishing platform TEXST.

Meta.Morf 2022 – the seventh Trondheim international biennale for art and technology – manifests a critical take on mankind’s relationship to nature. The biennale will, through conferences, exhibitions and performances, critically question what it truly means to be an ecophile in the age of the Anthropocene?

In addition to being an exhibiting artist at the BABEL exhibition room for art, Samuel Brzeksi is also an artist in recidence at Lademoen kunstnerverksteder (LKV). On Wednesday, April 30 at 13.00 he will give a presentation of his art practice. Welcome to LKV to learn more about Brzeski’s processes while drinking coffee and snacking on cake!

Performance anxiety by Samuel Brzeski is supported by Bergen kommune, Norsk kulturråd and Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond. 


True Poem

Sam Riviere

The only real thing I had been looking for while in exile
was a true lyric. I could not find a story to match what I’d
been hearing myself singing in my sleep. My friend said her
father had asked her if her songs had had meaning in his
absence. My life had been shaped too much by my peers
at that age. To me and her, music meant nothing. Nothing at
all. But to them it always seemed an expression that they
shared with one another. They always sang of love, and
sadness, and pain and fear, and joy – even when there was a
little darkness hiding in their voices, something about which
nobody liked to speak. As far as that kind of lyricism goes, I
think there is no room for anything that might disturb the
comfortable circle where people were supposed to belong.
But here a line is drawn. A line which I felt compelled to
cross before I’d heard the music again. If the song was real,
would we care, or notice? Did our words even need to be
sung? This little fragment that escaped to a little ear can
have the same reverberation to us as some very distant
music does. Perhaps all that matters at night is a small
sound echoing across an open landscape. I thought I’d sing
something like this, if the stars had not come out.

Dead PDF

Sam Riviere

No more to my name than a small poem,
written on the margins of a newspaper:
‘There should be nothing for them to believe
except in dreams’. For now these strange
notes are only known to my sister. I’ll try to
recall the story of the cat who got inside the
cellar one summer. A woman was having
trouble sleeping in a neighbouring house and
tried to sneak down to see what the noise
was! She entered through one of the windows
and had an encounter with a strange being.
He called to her with those eyes of his, as
strange as any face that she had ever seen.
She saw him looking with fear into a cellar
window above her head – and she heard him
ask her something. In the afternoon his body
seemed to disappear into the house, as if one
hand were pulling at him while another was
lifting his chin… The cellar door had been
closed tightly. The night had been warm and
silent and dark. In the cellar windows light
had not flashed. It would soon take him too;
the next morning the body vanished and no
trace of any human voice was found.

Photos: Susann Jamtøy/BABEL visningsrom for kunst