eyeball glacier art

Cast your eyes upon the new art center

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Her Royal Majesty is about to experience a rather skewed redefinition of what it means to eyeball a glacier in Svalbard.

Queen Sonja will be among the guests of honor during the official opening Friday of the new Kunsthall Svalbard, featuring an opening exhibit of eclectic imagery and sounds built around the tale of an Arctic glacier.

The art hall in a 77-square-meter space behind the reception area of Svalbard Museum is a branch of the Northern Norway Art Museum. The queen, who is taking a previously scheduled personal trip to Svalbard with no public events scheduled as of Tuesday, accepted an invitation from the Tromsø-based museum museum to attend Friday’s invitee-only opening.

“Obviously we think it’s an honor she is attending,” said Knut Ljøgodt, director of the museum.

Queen Sonja, a frequent participant in art events nationally and globally, visited Svalbard almost exactly two years ago for the debut of an exhibit of artistically altered photos she took during other visits to the archipelago.

A public reception for the opening, featuring Minister of Culture Thorhild Widvey, is scheduled at 5 p.m. Saturday. She will also be one of several guests making presentations during a breakfast seminar at 10 a.m. Sunday titled “Art and Society in the North.”

“Then it will be more open for discussion about what part art will play in the north,” Ljøgodt said.

The opening exhibit, “Glaciers” by U.S. artist Joan Jonas, is a video work featuring modernistic embellishments of a Lofoton glacier. The project is an interpretation of the novel “Under The Glacier” by Icelandic author Halldor Laxness, and the soundtrack features passages from the book and Sami joik lyrics.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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