Tracey Emin wins the international competition for a permanent, site-specific sculpture on Museum Island, next to the new Munch Museum, Oslo.
In connection with the construction of the new Munch Museum, Oslo, funds have been reserved by the Oslo Municipality Art Programme for a specially commissioned artwork on the Oslo harbour.
The new commission will be situated at the Museum Island, a new site south of the new Munch Museum, on the historical mouth of the Akerselva river. The commission is scheduled to be completed in time for the opening of the Museum in 2020. Proposals were invited from seven internationally acclaimed artists: Matias Faldbakken, Tracey Emin, A K Dolven, Cristina Iglesias, Olafur Eliasson, Ragnar Kjartansson and Adrián Villar Rojas.
The jury unanimously decided to select Tracey Emin’s The Mother as most fitting proposal for the Museum Island. The Jury was greatly impressed by the strong artistic caliber and integrity of all seven proposals which attempted in different and innovative ways to relate to Munch’s oeuvre and show his ongoing relevance. Each of the artists demonstrated how contemporary art can contribute to bring profound experiences to a broad audience in this very important new part of Oslo harbour.
In Tracey Emin’s proposal The Mother, a 7 meter high bronze statue of a kneeling naked woman will be positioned at the far end of the Museum Island, visible from the harbour promenade and neighboring buildings, and welcoming visitors arriving from the Oslo fjord. The Jury Assessment states: Emin’s proposal of a large seated female figure facing the fjord promises to be a striking presence at the edge of the Museum Island and against the backdrop of the cityscape/architecture of Bjørvika. With its immediate and visceral artistic approach it appears both intimate and majestic, vulnerable and grandiose. The title The Mother refers to a mature protector and the sculpture brings to mind the ubiquitous motifs of women and the nude in Munch’s work. As a nonidealised depiction of a woman made by a woman it can also be seen as a feminist statement. Tracey Emin (1963) lives and works in London, England and France. Her art is one of disclosure, using her life events as inspiration for works ranging from painting, drawing, video and installation, to photography, needlework and sculpture. Emin reveals her hopes, humiliations, failures and successes in candid and, at times, excoriating work that is frequently both tragic and humorous. Emin holds an acclaimed position on the international art scene and has an extensive international exhibition history.
The jury believes that this proposal will appeal to a wide range of visitors and that The Mother has the potential to become a landmark and symbol not only for the Munch Museum but also for Oslo harbour. Tracey Emin is a life-long admirer of Munch, and his art has been a vital inspiration for her for many years. The jury consisted of: Andrea Schlieker, Chair of the Jury, Co-curator of the Art project and Director of Exhibitions and Displays, Tate Britain, London. Jon Ove Steihaug, Co-curator of the Art project and Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Munch Museum Simen Bakken, The Museum Island builder, Municipality of Oslo, Kultur- og idrettsbygg (the Culture and Sports Facilities Office) Jens Richter, Munch Museum Lead Architect, Estudio Herreros Architects, Madrid Bente Kleven, Munch Museum Local Architect, LPO Architects Nina Dillingøen, Munch Museum, Project management, ÅF Advansia AF Stein Olav Henrichsen, Director of the Munch Museum, The Art Programme is run by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, responsible for executing the art project at the Museum Island, and for collecting and coordinating production of professional art in Oslo’s public spaces. The project is run with other agencies of Oslo municipality; Municipal undertaking for cultural and sports facilities and Agency for urban environment