Oslo (Norway):
Eight public art projects in the New Norwegian Opera House

Oslo (Norway):Eight public art projects in the New Norwegian Opera House
The new Norwegian Opera House, designed by internationally acclaimed Snoarc Architects, opens to the public 12th April.

The public art works was inaugurated on April 7th, 2008.
Seven projects have already been completed, whilst the final project - a sculpture by Monica Bonvicini - will be anchored within the harbour basin during 2009.
The projects differ widely - some are completely integrated into the structure of the building, and the artists have worked very closely with the architects. Some are partly integrated into the building, and others are completely autonomous art works, sited outside the building itself.

Olafur Eliasson - Wardrobe volumes / The other wall (Photo above) consists of 340 square metres of geometric, three-dimensional, pierced panels installed in front of 3 detached cement volumes in the public foyer. The installation includes two lighting systems operating in relationship to one another - when the frontal lighting is increases, the rear lighting dims.

Pae White (USA) - Stage curtain: Metafoil. The stage curtain mesures 23 metres x 11 metres. A photograph of light-sensitive foil was transferred to a loom by using digital technology and woven in matte cotton. An illusion of reflections and forms has been created through the use of colour. From close quarters the surface has a rich texture - from a distance a spatial, metallic composition is revealed.

Jorunn Sannes, Kalle Grude and Kristian Blystad - Outer reception area and roof: The project has consisted of working with the Opera's marble surface as a sculptural form, as a visual interaction, and looking at it in terms of activity and function in close collaboration with the architects.

Lovaas & Wagle - Metal facades and stage tower: In collaboration with the architects the artists designed 6000 square metres of aluminium cladding. Stamped concave and convex points create a pattern based upon a woven structure. Eight different panels, each -0 cm x 360 cm, form a repeat pattern that covers the production area of the Opera House.

Linus Elmes and Ludvig Löfgren - Hyperoverture (Foundation stone) was a performance piece that took place during the Foundation Stone ceremony. Music was used to create physical traces in cement. 13 well known opera overtures were superimposed upon one another, and digitally compressed to create a hyper-overture lasting 1 minute and 42 seconds. The sound was then transmitted through a specially constructed loudspeaker which was directed at a block of wet cement. The impression made by the music upon the wet cement has been integrated into the floor of the public foyer.

Nina Witoszek FitzPatrick, Marte Aas, Gerd Tinglum, Tom Sandberg, Talleiv Taro Manum. Artist book: Site Seeing.
The construction site was the starting point for the artists, who focused on the themes of time, place and gaze. The project began in 2004 and ended in 2008, resulting in a 340 page book with photographs and texts.

Bodil Furu and Trine Lise Nedreaas - Film/video
The idea behind the project was a wish to capture something of the atmosphere of the old Norwegian Opera. The works will be presented in the context of an art space not directly linked to the new Opera House itself.

Bodil Furu's film OPERA focuses on the work that goes on backstage, as well as the architecture of the old Opera.

Trine Lise Nedreaas' video SWELL follows a playful ballerina as she takes us backstage, into the wings, through the corridors and practice rooms of the old Opera.

Monica Bonvicini - Water project: Hun ligger/She lies is an autonomous, sculptural artwork that will be placed in the harbour basin outside the Opera during the spring of 2009. With reference to Caspar David Friedrich's painting Das Eismeer from 1823-1824, the sculpture will be an open steel construction, partly covered with reflective, semi-transparent diagonal panels. Weather and lighting conditions will change the sculpture, and simultaneously become part of it.

More information, please visit:

Hilde Herming, Public Art Norway (KORO)