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In this article I take a close look at the Norwegian artist, Marianne Heier (b. 1969), by examining her festival exhibition in Bergen 2012 (Surplus) against the background of key tendencies in art and art theory from the near past. This procedure leads me to the Danish-Norwegian artist duo Elmgreen and Dragset, as well as to postmodern philosophy, i.e. Lyotard’s aesthetics of the sublime. The underlying hypothesis is that something new has happened on the art scene during the last decade or so, and that this ‘new’ has something to do with the old aesthetic concept of the sublime.
This paper deals with the current reception of Norwegian urban planning in the 1960s, which is often perceived as a mundane, pragmatic and narrow-minded discourse. Using Oslo as the main empirical example, the paper explores how theoretical concepts from a range of different disciplines informed debates about the city, and inspired the Oslo planning department to induct a plethora of visual strategies in key documents. The analysis of these endeavours provides a different understanding of the period and suggests new ways of comprehending its legacy.
Annasif Døhlen’s bronze sculpture of King Olav V (1903–1991) in Holmenkollen ski stadium in Oslo (1984) depicts the elderly monarch as an amateur cross-country skier followed by his favourite dog. The author discusses the monument’s unusual iconography in light of the significance of skiing to Norwegian culture, the construction of a national monarchy after 1905, and Pierre Nora’s notion of lieux de mémoire (realms of memory).
The human body featured in Gustav Vigeland’s later works has been the object of numerous interpretations. According to Tone Wikborg, these bodies portray the universal and human. Elsebet Kjerschow perceives them as a celebration of human endurance and fertility. Based on Hans Dedekam’s diary, where Vigeland describes literary influences such as romantic portrayals of farmers, as well as the Poetic Edda and the sagas, the author of this article propose that these bodies represent indigenous/mythical Norwegian forms.
In the film trilogy Lord of the Rings, based on Tolkiens book with same title, several scenes show similarities with illustrations in the 1899 edition of Snorre’s Heimskringla. The illustrations are made by the Norwegian artists Halfdan Egedius, Christian Krohg, Gerhard Munthe, Eilif Peterssen, Erik Werenskiold and Wilhelm Wetlesen. This article discusses for the first time the complex visual relationship between these illustrations, the two texts and the film – and their common source in the legendary Norse sagas.
The article is part of a future exhibition by the National Museum in Oslo.