Friday, August 12, 2005

OSLO Gets Transformed

OSLO, the local nightspot known for its fabulous sushi and eclectic ambiance, is about to get made over - and, by made over, I'm not talking about a new coat of paint.

OSLO is located on Woodward Avenue, a few blocks north of Campus Martius Park

Next Friday evening, August 19, when the transformation gets under way, you won't see a group of construction workers tearing down walls, and you certainly won't witness a handful of carpenters turning two-by-fours into new bookcases. What you will see, however, is a different form of change; one that will transform OSLO: the sushi bar and lounge, into OSLO: the work of art.

Using the distinct talents of seven area artists, FREE OSLO - the name given to the collective work - will combine several different forms of artistic expression - video installation, live audio, sculpture, and performance art, to name a few - to create an all-encompassing, interactive, one-of-a-kind experience.

Image courtesy of Mare Costello

Mare Costello, the project's curator and headline artist, calls the multimedia event an artistic extravaganza. "FREE OSLO is an event that will allow viewers the opportunity to watch OSLO take on the persona of a giant, living, breathing work of art," she says.

No stranger to the elements of multi-medium - she's worked as a promoter, DJ, steel sculptor, painter, designer, curator, and more - Costello's boredom with the normality and politics that often encumber traditional art galleries, along with her self-proclaimed ability to "think outside the box", led her to create FREE Multi-Medium, Inc., the entity presenting Costello's newest show.

FREE OSLO, which runs from 10 pm - 3 AM, will feature three separate works. Of these three, two of them - Brighton-By The Sea, by artist Chris Macnamara, and Curves and Cubes, by Jon Hudson, will be displayed on OSLO's upper level. Brighton is a video installation with sound, and Hudson's Curves is a video and sculpture installation.

Optimism, the headline piece of the show, will be on the main floor of the hybrid-style restaurant/lounge. It will start about an hour after FREE OSLO begins.

Photo courtesy of Mare Costello

Inspired by Costello's personal focus on balance and the positive things in life, the components of Optimism - video, sound, and performance - are meant, in Costello's words, "To challenge the pessimistic viewer to seek within to the possibilities that are available to us all."

The multi-medium performance piece, which combines sound, video, and dance, will be the product of four of the seven artists at FREE OSLO. All seven of them are members of the Free Project Players, a group of 20+ artists that contributed to The Free Project, a successful multimedia event held in Detroit in 2003 that Costello also served as curator and headline artist to.

Costello's video, sound, and dance performance will be at the core of Optimism, and two separate, additional performances - by Virginia Zuverza-Chavarria and Jonny Victor - along with a soundscape collaboration by Ben Cyllus, will serve to highlight and support it.

Following the completion of Optimism's performances, Jan D, local DJ-extraordinaire, will pump her fresh mix of electro - electronic music mixed with hip-hop, disco, or anything else that'll get the audience moving - through the speakers, creating an environment that'll keep OSLO-goers dancing all night long.

There is one more element to the night, but Costello says it is a surprise. "They'll have to come see the show to figure out what it is."

FREE OSLO will be presented by
FREE Multi-Medium, Inc., on Friday, August 19, 2005, from 10 PM - 3 AM. There is a $10 cover.

OSLO is located at 1456 Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit.
Visit for more information.

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