Friday, March 16, 2007

269 - Vigeland


1. Vigeland
In the 1920's the city of Oslo, Norway used its equivalent of eminent domain to take over the studio of sculptor, Gustav Vigeland. In a strange display of compassion, the city then granted the artist a new studio and funding for him to continue his work for the rest of his life.

Vigeland Sculpture Park

2. Vigeland Sculpture Park
In gratitude to the city for this arrangement, Vigeland vowed to donate all of his future work to Oslo be placed on display for the benefit of the public.

Vigeland Nee Frogner

3. Vigeland Nee Frogner
For the last twenty years of his life, Vigeland sculpted hundred of figures in stone and bronze which the city placed in an open exhibition in the vicinity of Frogner Park centered around the Vigeland fountain commissioned by the city a few years earlier. Eventually, Frogner Park became known as Vigeland Park.


4. Monolith
the focus of the park became a giant monolith composed of 121 figures. The official theory claims that the statue depicts "Man's longing and yearning for the spiritual and divine... a feeling of togetherness, carefully holding one another tight in this strange sense of salvation." I wonder if Vigeland was pulling a fast one. To me they seem desperate and miserable, reminiscent of scenes from Dante's Inferno.


5. Censors
The point of this post is to tell you about an incident that happened at the park yesterday. During the night someone snuck into the park and put censor bars over all of the exposed genitalia (of which there is plenty) on every one of the sculptures. Some citizens of Oslo are calling this an "act of vandalism that disrespected the artwork." I think it was more likely a tongue-in-cheek satire of prudishness and censorship. They've taken an existing work of art and changed it into something entirely different.



zumruduanka said...

sufism: Come, come again, whatever you are.. mevlana, turkey
Come, Come again ! Whatever you are... Whether you are infidel, idolater or fireworshipper. Whether you have broken your vows of repentance a hundred times This is not the gate of despair, This is the gate of hope. Come, come again... Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu, Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion or cultural system. My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless. Neither body or soul. Mevlana Jelauddin RUMI

rachel said...

a new friend of yours? I went to the blog; he's very prolific.

I like the censor bars. I realize that they have marred the original sculptures and that's bad and all, but they're much more interesting now...

arch stanton said...

the censor bars are clearly a joke/installment art piece.
censor bars on children's nipples?
come on...
we were just talking about 'art' last weekend.
you really can do anything you want and call it art.

Christopher said...

I really think zumruduanka is just a spammer trying to lead more viewers to his site. I usually delete these types of posts but have on occasion let the crazy people get through.

Christopher said...

Wewere looking at this Vigeland in an art history class last weeks. the professor suggested that a park like this, state funded and full of nudiy, could never exist in America. Certainly not in the 1930's when Vigeland Park was being put together.

It might also be interesting to note that Etsy is implementing new rules about art containing nudity. In a mild form of censorcism, they are asking that artists cover up any "offensive" body parts in the work they are selling. I'm not sure how they will police this rule or how far reaching it can go.

Christopher said...

for instance