Expo 2000, Norwegen, text by Gavin Jantjes



Marianne Heske's solution for the Norwegian Pavilion at Expo 2000 is a bold response to the host nation's challenge to participating countries to use culture as a means of demonstrating their contributions to the exposition and the future. Heske's project is a unique metaphor that in many layers reflects Norwegian culture and industy. She has chosen to work with basic Norwegian elements that emphasize the healthy relationship in the interaction that exists between culture and industry.


In Marianne Heske's earlier work (Project Gerdel√ła 1980) she moved a Norwegian house to the middle of Paris, thus making an important contribution to the "centre-periphery" debate. This created awareness of contemporary Norwegian art in the cultural heart of Europe.

Although the Expo 2000 project has similar intentions, it involves totally different strategic choices. It employs two elements of the Norwegian outdoors: a large, dramatic waterfall and a silent room. Heske uses these elements as images to make visible fundamental forces of nature and the environment as sources of renewable energy. Together these reflect a basic respect for ecology and diversity, which includes industry. Having a silent room in close proximity to a roaring waterfall gives the public a break from its globalised hyperactive digital daily lives. The composition proposes that people make time for thinking about industrial development in the near and long term.


The size of Heske's project is precise and absolutely right for an event as large as Expo. The elements of the experience building have proportions that create a dramatic impression for the Norwegian Pavilion as a whole. The amount of falling water creates a corresponding acoustical impression that will attract attention in a wide area. The sight of a futuristic, man-made aluminium structure sending forth quantities of water signals controlled energy. A smaller waterfall would have been a pure backdrop. Heske's waterfall conveys the idea of renewable and controlled energy. It shows that Norwegian industry is capable of managing Norway's vast natural resources wisely in the new millennium.


Aluminium, water (both as a resource and as energy) and silence. The materials used in creating Heske's project are strongly linked to important industries in Norway.


Marianne Heske's project for Expo 2000 should be valued for its bold combination of Norwegian culture and industry. The Norwegian pavilion will generate interest, particularly among German visitors, because it shows the environment and industry in a spectacular, yet non-commercial way. The pavilion will make an acoustic impression on visitors before they see it, and the installation's size and dramatic form will make it very popular.

Gavin Jantjes
Artisitc Director, Henie-Onstad Center
(professional statement to Norway at Expo 2000 in evaluating the project).