“Art is the lie that reveals reality.” Jeroen Brouwers - “Culture, considered as a process, means acquiring a vast deal of useless knowledge, and then forgetting it.” Albert Jay Nock - “The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more.” Douglas Huebler - “In life and in art one has to begin each day anew.” Louis Couperus

Title: Greetings from Hardanger

photos by: Sjaak Langenberg photomontage: Rosé de Beer

Project executed at the invitation of Kunstnarhuset Messen, Ålvik, Norway. With financial support of bkkc.

ÅLVIK - Kunstnarhuset Messen is situated in the village of Ålvik (Norway) by the Hardangerfjord. Many artists praise the beauty of the Hardangerfjord and the Hardanger bunad became Norway's national costume, but there is also a tradition of heavy industry in some villages at the fjord.
During their stay as artists in residence in Ålvik, Sjaak Langenberg and Rosé de Beer developed new public art proposals which responded to national romanticism and tourism in the Hardanger area. Postcards were made of each of these proposals, and distributed throughout the Hardanger region. In 2012, Langenberg and De Beer returned to Ålvik to further develop their plans.

The further into the tourist season they got, the more the narrow roads became clogged with campers. They (just as the Norwegians), began to become irritated with this 'white mould' – tourists who had filled their mobile home-from-home with products from their own land and set up their camps at free stopping points.
This tension culminated in the design for a sculpture of a camper with a grass roof, and balanced on bricks – a camper as stabbur, the traditional Norwegian food shed. From within the sculpture, local food products could be sold as a statement about the parasitic attitude of the camping tourists. At the same time, the site could develop into a tourist attraction, because every tourist would want to have their photograph taken alongside this sculpture.

Other proposals include a waterfall as carwash, and a salmon farm as swimming pool. The traditional patterns of Norwegian folk-art, turn out to form ideal parking spaces in the design for a car park. On one of the postcards, the Norwegian identity is brought into question through a landscape populated with Asian farmers. And lastly, in the Jonsok Tattoo, the traditional Norwegian mid-summer celebrations are connected to tattoos in the local Tattoo Shop.

© Sjaak Langenberg & Rosé de Beer