Material: screen print on glass, 17m x 80cm

Place: University of Oslo Dep. of Psychology

Curator: Kalle Grude, Oslo (N)

Photo: Jiri Havran, Oslo (N)

In early 2003, I was commisioned by Art in Public Space, Norway (KORO), to create a new frieze for the façade of the Department of Psychology at the University of Oslo. The building was designed in the fifties and was used as a research center for the paper industry prior to its redevelopment as the Department of Psychology in 2002. The location for the frieze was already specified: a 17m long and 70cm high strip of wall below the windows of the cafeteria. Interestingly, an artwork was already present on this wall. The existing work, by the Norwegian artist and former Matisse student Jean Heiberg (1984-1976), was created at the time of the building's construction. I was told by the commission that this piece, which depicts the industrial production of paper, would be removed in order to make way for my own contribution. But I felt it would be an interesting challenge to keep the old stone frieze and make a new work in relation to it. I saw the possibility of starting some kind of a dialogue between the two works.

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Finaly I ended up with Resilience, though. a frieze made of glass with a semi-opaque silk-screen print applied to the rear. The composition is based on a schematic figure that reoccurs along the entire length of the frieze and is steadily transformed in size, shape and colour. The figure is derived from a piece of packaging material, a six-bottle wine carrier produced by the paper industry. Looking through the shapes of the figures, which appear as negative (and hence transparent) silhouettes in a background of colour, elements of Jean Heiberg's granite and bronze composition begin to interact with the new glass layer. Mounted on top of each other, the two works appear to create a third layer that exists only for the viewer.

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