03.10 - 26.10.23
Mesmerizing artwork takes viewers on a photographic journey through the storied walls of Oslo's iconic gay sauna, 'Hercules' (Saunahuset Hercules). Since its establishment in 1984, 'Hercules' has been a haven for the gay community in Norway, warmly embracing gay, bisexual, and curious men. Within its confines, societal labels and expectations it became a place for desires, fantasies, and dreams. Unfortunately, on February 28th, 2022, 'Hercules' closed permanently, marking the end of an era.
Laumann's camera delves into the sauna's interior, tracing and documenting the anonymous footprints of visitors on the walls. These patches of peeling paint, marked by the passage of time, transform into an archaeological record, repeating the cathartic acts and patterns within the sauna.
Notably, Laumann bathes this space in UV light, creating a tableau of concealed desires and unspoken stories, adding a spectral illumination as another layer of depth to the space and it’s marks of countless encounters.
These 'fixes' being become archive of decades transformed from the sauna's interior into wallpaper. This poignant artwork serves as a testament to a space that once celebrated the freedom of desire and provided refuge from societal judgments.
This exploration of 'Untitled Wallpaper (Hercules, 38 years)’series resonates with the broader context of InTheCloset's location. The site was steamed in an enigmatic history, as once it was a central hub for sex workers from diverse backgrounds, what now vividly echoes through the Laumann's evocative art.
Illustration: Untitled Wallpaper #1 (Hercules 38 years series)