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The Practice of Love | Jenny Hval

Music |
RØDE House
$25 ($20/members) CANCELED
Jenny Hval

This event has been canceled due to the Momentary’s response to COVID-19. Follow our updates.


In her enigmatic avant-pop excursions, Jenny Hval breaks free from rigid concepts of sex, mortality, biology and pop culture. Her work occupies a zone between performance art and pop in similarly revolutionary fashion as Kate Bush’s Hounds Of Love and Laurie Anderson’s Big Science. With her new project, The Practice of Love (TPOL), Hval takes one step further into a multidisciplinary, immersive performance between music, literature, and theatre.

About The Practice of Love

With her new project, The Practice of Love (TPOL), Hval will take one step further into a multidisciplinary, immersive performance between music, literature, and theatre. It will be based on material from Hval’s album, which was released on September 13, 2019, but it will not be a concert based on this album. Rather, it will explore both sonic, visual, and choreographical ideas in order to stage the writing process as a performative practice.

The piece begins by examining the material on the new album. A lonely protagonist sits in a seemingly empty room. She is constantly thinking, writing or playing, and then she starts speaking and singing about what appears to be herself, but a self that constantly transforms into other shapes: an adult version of Alice in Wonderland, or artists such as Kathy Acker, Agnes Varda, Joni Mitchell, and Georgia O’Keeffe, or various animals, or even the clappers of a church bell.

With this wordplay, the protagonist tries to open a portal or enter a trance-like state, using her limited means of a voice: a computer and a synth. What she is also doing, is creating a soundscape that references trance, as in trance music and dance music from the early 90s. Into this soundscape, a set of visually projected words start appearing, slowly transforming the space into a living canvas for language and voices.

As the protagonist gets immersed into the music, the piece also becomes immersive for the spectator. Projected written text redefines the space and becomes more and more creative and visual, creating a choreography of meaning and nonsense, lights, colors, and patterns. More people appear on stage, dismantling the role of the protagonist into a series of shifting central figures in an attempt to bring sound, body, and text closer together.

In this way, TPOL creates an experience of transfiguration, transforming roles, bodies, and sounds into text, and transforming different types of text into magic. By allowing the theatre to become writing, (which could be seen as the most “distanced” element on stage – normally, writing would be mostly used in the preproduction of a performance, as a script, a prescription, separated from the ritual itself), the performance can fail, but still try, to explore the potential for magic.

The practice of love is the practice of language. The practice of language is the practice of magic. The practice of magic is the practice of love.

about jenny hval

Jenny Hval has in recent years made a name for herself as a recording artist and writer both in her native Norway and abroad. Multidisciplinary and transgressive are words often employed to describe her art, but Jenny Hval’s polyphonic artistry is in fact seamlessly interwoven between musical, literary, visual, and performative modes of expression. Her artistic voice is altogether present, accessible and obscurely complex at the same time.

Hval released her first two albums under the alias Rockettothesky (an alias named after her very first recorded song in 1999, and slayed with the greatest pleasure in 2010). She has since recorded four albums and one EP under her own name: Viscera, Innocence Is Kinky, Apocalypse, girl, Blood Bitch and The Long Sleep EP. Her last three releases have been co-produced by noise legend Lasse Marhaug and herself.

She made her debut as a writer with the novel Perlebryggeriet in 2009 (which will be published in English in October 2018 as Paradise Rot). The less genre friendly Inn i ansiktet followed in 2012. Her third book and second novel, Å hate Gud, was published in August 2018. She has worked on a number of collaborations, sound pieces, compositions, productions, and performances.