Saturday, April 2, 2011

Kurt Johannessen, "Steinen" ("The Rock")

Kurt Johannessen, "Steinen" ("The Rock"), 2008. Photo by Unni Seim Eidsnes, from zeth.

Hiking the barren landscape 85 kilometers northeast of Bergen, 900 meters above sea level, one may come across a gilded rock. Among many rocks of similar size and shape, this single one has received a coat of gold as a token of gratitude from the artist Kurt Johannessen.

He has turned one rock into a piece of art, and indirectly, the surrounding rocks and landscape become parts of the work. The gilded rock (art) and the other rocks (nature) mutually define each other, but it is hard to tell exactly where the piece ends. - How much of the landscape becomes part of it?

Kurt Johannessen, "Steinen" ("The Rock"), 2008. Photo by Unni Seim Eidsnes, from zeth.

I have hiked mountains close to this one, but I have never seen "The Rock". Now that I know it is there, I will seek it out some time this summer. But then my experience will lack the element of surprise that I would have felt if I had bumped into it unwittingly. - How great that must be:

- To imagine that the gold is solid (what a treasure!), but then also to know that "The Rock" belongs where it is.
- To walk along enjoying the beautiful scenery and then suddenly be confronted by ART, - a different kind of beauty.

Dag Sveen has written an interesting text about "The Rock" (in Norwegian), from which I have borrowed.
And on Kurt Johannessen's home page the gilding process is documented, and there are directions to the site.

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