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Public Art Norway – KORO is a specialized government body for public art and the country’s major producer of artwork. In addition to regional and municipal projects and commissions for rented government buildings and outdoor spaces, KORO currently has 65 governmental projects under production. The largest of these is for the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, where an appointed art committee has been developing the art programme since 2002. She Lies is the final project in this programme.

She Lies by Monica Bonvicini
The sculpture that is now under construction and will be placed in the harbour basin in front of the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet in May is an autonomous work that offers a three-dimensional interpretation of Caspar David Friedrich’s painting, Das Eismeer, from 1823–24. The artist “translated” the painting into a monumental sculptural work. Its base dimensions will be 16 x 17 metres, from which a 12 metre high steel and glass construction will rise. S he Lies consists of a steel structure partially clad in reflective, semi-transparent slanting glass surfaces . Not only do the changing daily weather conditions reflect on the work; there is also the transparency and interplay between the supporting structure and the covered-up surfaces, which suggests a revered duality in value between the structure and the façade. This synthesis of structure/skin/ornament explores the interface between nature and culture, or that of a cultural artefact.

She Lies  is meant to be a monument about change, longing and hope. A monument about construction: its beauty and its implicit visions, the beauty of the un-done as a permanent state of change. (Monica Bonvicini)

Monica Bonvicini, a prize-winning multi-media installation artist, was born in Venice, Italy, in 1965. She lives and works in Berlin. See detailed Vitae below.

The opening of the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet in April 2008 effectively marked the completion of the work of the Art Committee for the New Opera House. Still to be produced at that point was the Water Project, for which Monica Bonvicini’s sculpture She Lies was announced as the competition winner in October 2007.

As a maritime nation, much of Norway’s identity and history is closely linked to the sea. Not only has the sea been an inexhaustible source of food and an effective transport route to the wider world, it has also been a surging highway for the global cultural exchange that has shaped our national image both at home and abroad. Our relationship to water today may seem more prosaic. Nonetheless, throughout our long and shared history, water has been a central element influencing mythology, religion, philosophy and art.

H.M. Queen Sonja will preside over the official unveiling at the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet on 11 May at 18.00. The arrangement will be open to the public.

For more information about the art programme at the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, see: www.operautsmykking.no, www.koro.no

Contact information:

Monica Bonvicini’s studio, c/o Johanna Chromik
Tel.: (+49) (0)30 817 066 42, mbonvicini@web.de

Oddvar IN Daren, director of the Water Project for the art committee
Tel.: (+47) 913 43 798, oddvar@trans-art.no

Mette Kvandal, project manager at KORO
Tel.: (+47) 22 99 11 94, mk@koro.no

Beate Styri, information officer at KORO, for general questions, text material and photos
Tel.: (+47) 22 99 11 80 / (+47) 90 60 66 61; bst@koro.no

Vitae Monica Bonvicini
Monica Bonvicini, born in 1965 in Venice, Italy, lives and works in Berlin. Since 2003 she holds a professorship for Sculpture and Performative Art at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna.

Monica Bonvicini is one of the most influential artists of her generation. The art of Monica Bonvicini investigates the relationships between space, gender and power. Utilizing different media, including drawing, collage, video and sculpture, her individual artworks are also steps in the process toward creating large-scale installations. The most interesting formal aspect of Bonvicini's work is her expressive formal exploration of environmental sculpture. Her critique of minimalism focuses on the incorporation of its forms in the bourgeois aesthetic of everyday structures. Through a reflection on gender issues, often reinforced by biting humour, her work addresses the problem of "building", both architectural and social.

She is winner of several prizes including the Golden Lion for the best Pavillon, Biennale di Venezia (1999) and the Preis der Nationalgalerie für Junge Kunst, Berlin (2005). In the past she has been creating stage designs for theatre productions as well as site specific public art.

The upcoming projects for 2010 include a solo show at Max Hetzler Gallery, Berlin and at the Fridericianum, Kassel. A public art piece will be shown at Emscherkunst. 2010 in the European Capital of Culture Ruhr 2010.

Her work is included in distinguished collections and has been shown at prestigious institutions including the Berlin Biennale für zeitgenössische Kunst (1998, 2004); Venice Biennial, Venice (1999, 2005, 2009); Magasin, Grenoble (2001); Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Shanghai Biennial, Shanghai Art Museum; Kunstmuseum Aarhus (2002, 2009); New Museum, New York ; Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; Secession, Wien (2003); Migros Museum, Zürich; SprengelMuseum, Hannover (2004), Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2005); Kunstraum, Innsbruck; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Sao Paolo Biennale, Brazil (2006); Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm; Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY (2007), Prospect.1 Biennial, New Orleans; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; MARCO Museum, Vigo (2008); Lenbachhaus, Munich; Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel; MUSEION, Bolzano, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2009).

Monica Bonvicini is represented by Max Hetzler Gallery, Berlin.