Tuesday, October 23, 2007

bergen fine arts

I stood in front of the picture and stared. After an extended moment, I nodded to myself while letting out a satisfied "mmmm", as if I actually understood the meaning of what was in front of me. (For the record, I didn't). But half the fun of gallery-hopping in foreign cities is pretending to be a connoisseur of the arts - then letting everyone else in the immediately vicinity know it, too. And what better place for such good-humoured activities than Bergen, which held the title of European City of Culture for the year 2000? Damn straight. Please enjoy a few more pictures from one of everyone's favourite Scandinavian cities.

One of several versions of Che XL, by Dolk Lundgren, a Norwegian graffiti stencilartist of some acclaim. (2007). If I knew anything about art, I would say that "this work is a brilliant triumph of irony, a scathing satire of the posthumous interpretation of Che Guevara's socialist ideals, which have been callously trivialized to nothing more than another commercialized, capitalist institution in today's modern world." But seeing as I don't, I'll just say that this unexpected grafitti splayed on an unassuming shed on Vågen's westside was "wicked cool."

The Jetty, by Edvard Munch (a.k.a. the Norwegian guy who painted The Scream). (2007). The Bergen Kunstmuseum's (Art Museum) extensive collection included many works from Munch, as one might expect. My take on The Jetty: "vibrant, post-impressionist colours highlight the opulence of aristocratic life in 19th century northern Europe. Also, we now know where George Lucas got the idea for Princess Leia's ridiculous haircut."

The Bergen Kunstmuseum is housed in three separate complexes; this is a rather generic shot taken from the Lysverket building. (2007).

The beautiful murals in Fresco Hall of the old Bergen Exchange, which is now home to the city's tourist information office. (2007). Painted by Axel Revold between 1921-23, the murals are painted on three walls, each depicting a different theme: fishing along the northern Norwegian coast, Bergen's maritime industry, and man and nature. The "Bergen wall" is shown here.

In Norway, it can be windy and cold. (2007). Therefore, it makes sense to keep your head warm with a flashy, earflapped, Norwegian toque. ("Hey, my hat has earflaps! Hehehehehe!")

Bergen is, after all, in Europe and this means an abundance of street musicians. (2007). I took this photo on Torgalmenningen, the main pedestrian streetmall in downtown Bergen.

And sometimes, the best art isn't in a gallery. (2007). Like pretty Scandinavian girls amongst the autumn leaves on the grounds of the University of Bergen.


  1. How is it you found Che in Bergen, while I got dragged around an exhibition about dried herring?

    Oh, wait, I think Edward and I slept in the park and skipped the modern art museum. We called this "soaking up local atmosphere," but really I'd exhausted myself trying to fill the buy-8-get-2-free coffee card from the Norwegian 7-11.

    (The completed beauty now has pride of place on my office bulletin board. Because it's not easy to drink ten drip coffees in 1.5 days, even for a Seattlite.)

    For reasons I think you'll understand, it was about the funniest thing ever among all the Munchian, Calvinist, Hanseatic solemnity...

  2. I think Che would see dried herring as honourable and consistent with the ideals for the Revolution. After all, revolutionaries need the strength from protein and Omega-3 fats to help combat those dirty capitalists, right?

    I have deep respect for anyone who is humanly capable of downing ten 7-11 coffees in 36 hours ... I think that might be a record. Although I admit I never tried a Norwegian 7-11 paper cup of java, if they were anything as vile (bile?) as the ones here in Sweden, well, wow. WOW, I say.

  3. Princess Leia, that's it. That's indeed her. George Lucas, time to pay royalties to Edvard Munch's estate.

  4. thank you very much for the first picture.I have been in Bergen couple of days before,but I haven't had my camera with me whan I was walking close to this graffiti, which is actually impressed me. So thank you for your nice shot.