Resilience, though (2005)

Title of work:

Resilience, though.



Department of Psychology, University of Oslo


Silkscreen on glass and aluminium construction 0,7 x 17 m

Year: 2005

Photo: Jiri Havran

Text: Stefan Schröder

At the beginning of 2003, the National Foundation for Art in Public Buildings, Norway, commissioned me to create a new frieze for the façade of the Psykologisk Institutt at the University of Oslo. The building was designed in the fifties and used as a research centre for the paper industry before 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 cafeteria windows. 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. The commission told me that this piece, which depicts the industrial production of paper, would be removed to make way for my contribution. However, I felt it would be an exciting challenge to keep the old stone frieze and create a new work in the same spot. I saw the possibility of starting some dialogue between the two works.


The title of the new piece is Resilience, though. It is made of glass with a semi-opaque silkscreen 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 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 each other, the two works appear to create a third layer that exists only for the viewer.