Steinar Haga Kristensen (b.1980, Oslo, Norway) lives and works in Oslo, Norway. He studied at the National Academy of Art (BA and MA), Oslo, and at the Academie der Bilden Kunst, Vienna. Kristensen later spent several years living and working in Brussels, Belgium. He is one of the founding members of the performative gallery and artist group D.O.R (2006-2016). D.O.R was invited as a group of young Nordic galleries to participate at the Armory Show, New York in 2013, where they sold of franchises of the gallery as an end to a two-year ongoing performance.
Steinar Haga Kristensen´s installations and montages contain diverse artistic gestures, ranging from event-scores, sculpture, reliefs, and painting to video, performance and telepathic intervention. It is not the media itself that interests Haga Kristensen in his work; which is merely a tool when working on conveying a specific motif. To illustrate, Haga Kristensen states that one of his ongoing motifs “Syk Profet” (Sick Prophet), which he has depicted since the age of 17, will not escape any technique or media
One of the topics central to Kristensen's practice is the recognition of artworks and the various ways in which the relation between viewer and artwork does not come about in any direct or temporally synchronized fashion under the current conditions for spectatorship in contemporary art. Haga Kristensen's art practice is characterized by a “self-excavating” path that hails back to his Retrospective: On the Un-subjectified Persona, from 2009 – a project which, as the title indicates, summed up his entire oeuvre, including artworks which pre-dated the beginning of his formal education within art, in a format which is usually privileged to late-carrier artists. Haga Kristensen co-opts methods of working and formats that are traditionally understood as irrelevant to artistic practice but still somehow belong to its larger, institutional body. Recent work include The Brown Period (2016-2018) which contains about a hundred objects, which are all virtualized in digital 3D reproductions, and Consensus Image a monumental fresco mural executed in Oslo City Hall as the backdrop to a new opera, The Loneliness of the Index Finger (Part II): The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Conceptual State into Stabilized Theatrical Sensibility (Consensus Image). The libretto, written by Haga Kristensen, revolves around the conflict between the artist (tenor), the power of the state (soprano), and the people (choir). Another recent project is ULTRAIDENTIFIKASJONSPAVILJONG (2021) come together around the avatarization of a humanoid figure that constitutes the main motif in the graphic series Jubileum 2020 (2020). The avatar is placed and programmed for limited interaction in a virtual and total world, a video game constructed from digital reproductions of the singular works from the instalment.
He has exhibited at Bozar, Brussels, Belgium; Passerelle in Brest, France; The Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania; Etablissement d’en face projects, La Loge and Komplot in Brussels; WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels; Witte de With, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, Denmark; UKS and Kunsthall Oslo, Oslo and Den Frie, Copenhagen, Denmark.