I was going to take a walk and take a look at a statue of Rodin, which stands in Solli plass, kind of the beginning of the West End, Vestkanten, as different from Sentrum, the central parts of town, which is of course a concept with a little changing content.
The statue wasn’t there, just a kind of box which could have hidden and protected the sculpture, and with a picture of it on the outside, but the inside was empty.
I don’t quite know why.
One could phantasise about anti-art governments or politicians, who don’t care about art, and who don’t push those processes which always go on in administrations, necessarily so. Those processes, I believe, although I’ve never been an insider, often depend on people who wants this or that and push things they feel are important in a particular direction. In the direction of doing, not just thinking, which, I acknowledge that, is also necessary.
But I ‘m sure there is a good reason that the statue is not there.
I passed Ibsen and Bjørnson on my way there, they were standing in front of the National Theatre, and looked a little high up, which is of course an unneccessary way of seeing them, as long as you stick to what people write and not what someone says about them, I mean, their art is a lot more interesting than their lives, at least it should come first.
I met Ibsen once more, sitting outside his extravagant appartment in Drammensveien, which is now Henrik Ibsens gate… Here he looked a little comic, sitting on his…pedestal would maybe be a proper name for it, I don’t know if the artist had a particular reason for making him look funny, this could be interesting to know, or just had a thing with humour in general.
I have nothing against making fun of Ibsen, but I would love to know the reason for the mocking. I’m not bigger than that…
I don’t know why Ibsen is considered our only great playwright, and I say this straightforward, I don’t know it, but I believe we could as well get others out from the shadows and read them and play them.
It’s probably done already too, just as the music of Norwegian classical composers are coming out from their shelves, where they have been sleeping for quite a while. Everybody who are into classical knows Grieg, Svendsen, Halvorsen, but seriously, there is also Catharinus Elling, Johannes Haarklou, Hjalmar Borgstrøm, there are loads of composers and fantastic music which only need to be understood and played.
Actually, it seems to be happening. New recordings emerge, more and more interesting.
A national renaissance? Why not, we’ve been actually too timid to appreciate our own stuff properly. As long as it’s used for thinking and contemplation, not war, I find it totally in order to revive this part of tradition.
No war against other nations, and no war against popular culture, which was always strong here and should go on being important.
Why not have it both ways?
I think it can’t be wrong.
So I guess I’ll check out Bjørnson, which I have read just a little of so many years ago that I can’t remember what it was.
Or someone else.
The same with painters, the last years we’ve seen things of women, Harriet Backer was of course known, but had a lot more than I knew, Kitty Kielland, there are doubtless more of them too, men and women, painters I didn’t know of.
In this vein Lillehammer kunstmuseum is worth a visit, I believe, and others, I shoud not say too much, I’ve been too few places. There are regional museums around the country.
They have closed the National Gallery in Oslo in waiting for the big new museum…they, maybe some of them could emerge from their shadows and tell us why. Kunstindustrimuseet, also closed, used to be a beautiful place, I thought.
The Munch Museum is still going on like before, even if this museum is also moving into another new, huge building.
The Høvikodden and The Astrup Fearnley, modern art places, I haven’t been there for a while, but I usually check out what’s happening when I feel like it.
The Rodin statue is nothing big, and it’s a copy, but I guess those greats had people working for them anyway, they didn’t actually do all the work themselves all the time, although the shape, of course, the mould or the result is supervised by them and the form is…formed by them.
He’s just a sculptor I really like.
But right now I didn’t find him where I thought he’d be.