Stefan KrÜskemper


Memorial Site for the Victims of the Tsunami (2006) · Oslo

The memorial consists of two artistic representations, each refering to the other – the installation of text cubes on Bygdoy in Oslo and the creation of a permanent fund of finance micro-credits to help victims to establish new livelihoods in the area where the disaster occurred.

Text The text uses polar opposites to narrate existential human experiences. The words and word pairs are chosen in such a way that in conjunction with the landscape they evoke completely individual associations in the beholder. The language chosen is English, to underline that this creation points beyond national boundaries.

Position The positioning of the individual text cubes harmonises with the nature of the local landscape and reveals itself as the visitor moves arround. The word pairs are arranged in the form of a chiasmus (i.e. crosswise), so that in each case two concepts on a cube face each other and relate to each other when viewed from the land or the sea. In a later phase, two further positioning developments are also possible, but this conception must first be tested on the spot. One possibility here is freer spatial positioning in the landscape, the other is a linear arrangement along the coastline. The individual text blocks can be placed in different ways depending on the positioning variant chosen and the height of the terrain. This makes possible interesting combinations of terms depending on different sightlines. The direction in which the texts face – facing the land or the sea – is given and unalterable.

Bodies The text cubes consist of a weather-proof and fully dyed plastic with the writing laminated into its surface. The material is translucent, allowing for the option of lighting from within, to highlight the written texts in the evening hours. The size of the inscribed cubes depends on the length of the writing and the place in which it is positioned. As a rough guide, 150 x 100 x 60 cm would be a typical size. Good visibility from the sea and from land should be assured. A steel construction and embedding in solid foundations ensure that the cubes are well grounded and cannot topple over. The costs of the realisation and implementation of the text cubes amount to about of a third of the total budget.

Fund In one of the planned spaces, a cube is missing. Instead ther is a plaque on the ground containing a word pair and an explanatory text on the second part of the project, the fund for micro-credits financed from the remaining budget. The two words appear as emblems on the loan contracts. The allocation of the fund is a living, future-oriented symbol of remembrance and forms a complement to the static sculpture. It is a flowing reference to the energy of sympathy and of mourning and to co-operativeness and solidarity.
The remembrance of the victims of the tsunami disaster in this place should include the survivors in the countries affected and shoud intensify the mental and emotional links between the locations.

Loans The basic idea is to create a fund from part of the budget that was allocated to this project – as a form of contemporary artistic action. The idea behind this approach is to use micro-credits as a kind of living thought, a system of relations.

From the fund, interest-free loans will be granted to help people to set up new businesses. The existing structures and offers of micro-credit programmes run by neutral aid organisations (for example CARE International) will be used in order to implement this part of the artistic project. The fund will be donated to one of these organisations. Particular emphasis will be placed on small-scale, personally-oriented ideas, thus helping people to help themselves. Even sums as small as 200 to 1000 Euro can help people to establish a livelihood and build a sustainable future.

Visibility The reference to the permanently installed memorial in Oslo is centrally important for this long-term process with its deliberately reduced visibility. This is why an emblem has been developed from the sculptural work, an emblem that again and again refers to the purpose and to the source of the fund. This emblem depicts the two words on the plaque, which form the design motif of the loan contracts and of the public accounts.
On the plaque in place of the missing cube there is also an explanatory sentence about the connection to the fund.

The changing uses to which the money is put will be reported in annual accounts of the projects that have been realised. These reports will be published in Oslo, ensuring a constant and active relation to the memorial location.
2006 Open, International Competition for Project Ideas, National Foundation for Art in Public Buildings in Oslo, Norway

Office of Integrative Art - Jörg Amonat, Stefan Krüskemper




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© 2000—2014 VG Bild-Kunst Bonn - Stefan Krüskemper - and the Office of Integrative Art