Art inspired by Norwegian nature is so much more than just spectacular landscape paintings. A new exhibition in Oslo wants you to think, as well as feel the beauty.
The majestic power of Norwegian nature has been the subject of many artworks, not least during the period known as Norwegian romantic nationalism during the mid-1800s.
See for example the iconic “Brudeferden i Hardanger“ (Bridal party in Hardanger), one of the best-known art pieces from the period.
In the new exhibition called “Norsk natur” (Norwegian nature), both form and focus differ quite a bit from the old masters.
The exhibition is a collaboration between Toril Johannessen and the Danish artist Tue Greenfort. 38 year old Johannessen is often mentioned as one of the most exciting modern artists in Norway, known for incorporating science and research into her works.
The two of them first met in 2012 at dOCUMENTA in Kassel, which is considered to be one of the world’s most important art shows. Afterwards, they decided to go hiking together – to the mountain cabin of the philosopher Arne Næss on Hallingskarvet.
Næss, who died in 2009, was a central figure in the development of the «green movement» in Norway, and developed his own ecosophy – which views all life as valuable and the world as a single holistic entity.
Among the artworks in «Norwegian nature» is a model of Næss’ legendary cabin, known as Tvergastein, placed in a glass chamber.
The point of the exhibition, or one of them anyway, is to challenge the idea that Norwegian nature is only one thing, namely wild and untouched. Norwegian nature also represents income for the majority of the population, and according to the artists it has been “institutionalized and capitalized”.
Among the themes in the exhibition are energy and eco-system balance. That may sound a bit heavy, but the exhibition have a few humorous elements as well. Why not go to the jellyfish workshop where you can create your own jellyfish lamp?
Et bilde publisert av Kaja Katrine (@kaja_katrine)
«Norwegian nature» is mostly getting good reviews by art critics.
“An exhibition that opens dizzying new spaces, both in terms of geography, history and intellect”, the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv writes.
By the way, you may want to bring an extra scarf if you plan to see the exhibition. The temperature in the building is turned down to two degrees Celsius, with reference to the 2°C limit on global warming, set by the UN.
«Norsk natur/Norwegian nature» can be seen at the Museum for Contemporary Art until January 15, 2017.
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In one room you will venture into a dark room with an artist. In another, you’ll witness a play by a renowned writer.