There is a sculpture on view in Stavanger’s harbor this summer that has a very unusual genesis. It is the mythical child of art and science, and is appropriately titled Dans! (Dance! in English). The sculpture, in two parts, twirls around an axis, framing the horizon and itself in a slow and steady movement. On the other side of the Norwegian Petroleum Museum lies another dancer, a vertical-axis wind turbine. The two are connected, as one powers the other, and there is a strange echo between the beauty of Else Leirvik’s recently unveiled sculptural work and the sleek engineering of the turbine.
Leirvik is well known in Norway for her delicate sculptural work, often using textiles and wood, but as seen in her poignant exhibition in 2012 at Galleri Opdahl, she also uses materials as varied and complex as porcelain, concrete, milk, and stoneware. The industrial looking metals used in Dans! have been cut, bent and painted, and are involved in an intricate dance of folding and unfolding into themselves. During the unveiling on a sunny day in Stavanger, the shadows of the two frames were intertwining on the dark asphalt of the dock and the formal elements of the sculpture blended with an unbound sense of perpetual motion. However, the machine and sculpture are far from perpetual as this is a temporary project on view till the end of August. The turbine prototype that powers the sculpture was developed by Gwind, a company founded by Professor Arnfinn Nergaard at the University of Stavanger and the innovation company Prekubator TTO. The project was curated by Marte Danielsen Jølbo, a contributing editor of Contemporary Art Stavanger.
For more information about the sculpture, visit the project’s website, here.