Utforsking av Norges flagg

The intervention consists of an installation of 74 banners with variations of the present Norwegian flag.
None of the banners is the Norwegian flag, therefore we did not remove them during the night. Installation was in Torggata, Oslo, between Pløens street and Lineaaes street, from 14 May to 31 May. Opening ceremony was held outside the main entrance to Eldorado Bookstore May 17 at 12: 00-15: 00.

At first glance this might be seen as a patriotic decoration during the 200 anniversary year of the first Norwegian constitution, but upon closer inspection, this installation invite reflection on different concepts, such as identity, independence, pluralism and democracy.

This is not a proposal for a new flag for Norway, but an installation where several different compositions refers to the same starting point. All banners in 120 x 165 cm have a  22 × 16 proportion, thickness of white lines are 1 grid unit, and the blue lines are 2 grid units, just as the Norwegian flag, but the location of this vertical and horizontal lines varies in each banner.

This exploration brought diverse points of views related to the topics implied, including anonymous threats via SMS and Facebook messages, to debate on TV and radio with an extreme right wing politician.

In other hand, after we demount the artwork, the book store placed in the middle of that street, began making a similar installation with same size banners but to promote campaigns for supporting economically places like Syria by selling their books. Later on a festival business use the same kind of installation to promote their event.

The first flag related to Norway dates back to the monarch periods of the XIV century. Since then, different flags saw the sky in a process which carried out several debates, publications and proposals, including a green and grey one promoted by Christian Frederik in 1814, just a few months before the inclusion of an article in the second constitution expressing that Norway should have its own flag determined by law. The flag was selected in 1821, but its complete adoption in land and all seas wasn’t until the beginning of the next century, in which it was also banned during the German occupation of Norway. After those years, the use of the flag has grown exponentially as well as immigration. According to SSB, in 2016 more than 12% of the total population is currently member of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway.

As flags, people and lands never stand still, and thus not history.


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