A Retrospective Peep-Show by Jan- Åke Pettersson
The following retrospective look at Kjartan Slettemark's unconventional life and creation covers a period of nearly 20 years. During this time, he and his art has existed under what is best characterised by William Burrough's statement, "Nothing is true, everything is permitted".
As often as the techniques have changed, his identity has metamorphosed. We can trace his development in his signatures, from the early paintings' "K.Slettemark", to when he finally arrives at the eccense of his own concept - "kjARTan", with art in the middle - when he himself is the artwork.
In his role as a living artwork he has continiously appeared in new guises - as an American president, as a poodle in his own dog's-life or as Dr Video to his most recent identity Mr Digitalisman. For lack of any specific geographical identity, Kjartan has become a Swedish-Norwegian borderline case, but is far from being one in a psychiatric sense, although he was classified as such in the late 60's, by virtue of not conforming in dress or in his attitude to art. He had to work hard to disclaim this accusation, but eventually succeeded as the title indicates. If anyone is worthy of the title Shaman, Kjartan certainly is.