I first spotted its spiky structure yesterday while in the bus on the way to Ikea. Passing the Norwegian Opera House, I saw a huge crowd congregated by the harbour basin concealing most of this structure’s form. Then today, I saw the structure in full. “Hun ligger (She lies),” is a sculptural artwork anchored on the Oslo Fjord just outside the Opera House. It lies, it floats, it rises.
Looking like a chunk of Krypton rising from the sea or a Transformer mid-transformation, the sculpture is actually a three-dimensional interpretation of Caspar David Friedrich’s painting Das Eismeer (1823-1824). The oil painting depicts “a shipwreck in the middle of a broken ice-sheet, whose shards have piled up after the impact. The ice has become like a monolithic tomb whose edges jut into the sky.”
“Hun ligger (She lies),” created by Monica Bonvicini, is an open steel construction, partly covered with reflective, semi-transparent diagonal panels. The parts of the sculpture that are not covered by these panels will reveal the construction, allowing the viewer to see straight through.
Weather and lighting conditions will change the sculpture, and simultaneously become part of it. With sunlight peering through the clouds, I took the above photos from across the Oslo Fjord opposite the Opera House.
Anchored within the harbour basin, “Hun ligger (She lies)” completes the eight art projects for the Norwegian Opera House. The projects differ widely – some are completely integrated into the structure of the building, some are partly integrated into the building, and others are completely autonomous artworks. Some of the 17 artists were engaged directly by the Art Committee for the New Opera House, while others were chosen via international pre-qualifying selection processes and competitions. Monica Bonvicini’s sculpture “Hun ligger (She lies)” was announced competition winner in October 2007.
“Hun ligger (She lies)” will be officially unveiled by H.M. Queen Sonja of Norway this Tuesday at 18.00.