Week 10 - 2016

The art of shaking things up

©Marianne Heske, Project Gjerdeløa, 1980. Preus museum's collection

The art of shaking things up

What happens when a simple little barn from the outer reaches of Norway is moved far from its origins to a gigantic arts institution in Central Europe?

This is what artist Marianne Heske wanted to try with her project "Gjerdeløa" in 1980. She dismantled a 400-year-old outbuilding in the remote western Norwegian district of Tafjord and shipped it in parts for reconstruction at the Pompidou Center in Paris. Heske said it was her way of making visible the cultural and artistic oppositions between her home circumstances and the international milieu in Paris.   


Thirty-four years later Heske said, "When you move something you think is stable, you also shake up tidy 8 ½ x 11 thinking, all that blocked-up thought-baggage, yeah, you know, those locked-up thoughts of ours. In Norway we're way inside the box, there are so few of us that we just naturally follow the same schemes. We run the risk of getting suffocated inside our box if we don't shake things up a little."   


All parts of the process were photographed. The image here shows the outbuilding as an installation in the Pompidou Center in Paris. The photographs of process- and performance art are what remain after the work of art itself is gone. The series "Prosjekt Gjerdeløa"—Project Gjerdeløa—is now hanging on the Wall of Fame at the Preus Museum.



Heske most recently presented a strongly similar project—"House of Commons," which stood outside the Parliament of Norway building (Stortinget) in Oslo in 2015.