Tag Archives: Norway

Instincts, fear, beasts

I have been unable to post here due to health problems in the family. Luckily, things have improved and I can write a bit.

As everybody knows, animals fascinate me. Although I don’t necessarily feel comfortable when artists use them in their work, I must say that it does widen my eyes and almost always gets me thinking – something I’m constantly looking for in the arts (well, elsewhere too).

No wonder the work from Norwegian artist Simen Johan instantly spoke to me:

Not only are animals often the subject of his photography but also he uses Nordic beasts and scenery to translate his dark, dream-like/nightmarish visions into pictures.

What is it about animals that strikes us so deeply? Is it possibly that we are so afraid of living according to our instincts in search of a so-called civilized, sanitary world?

Just as dreams help us see beyond our normal lives, animals can serve as a subtle recollection of our worldly predispositions and that thought in itself is frightening.

Or mesmerizing.


A good friend of mine once characterized jealousy as something utterly irrational. There is a lot of truth in that statement, especially if one thinks it goes against our better judgment.

We know we shouldn’t be feeling that way, and yet we catch ourselves in a position where the other takes too much space, usually blocking our view.

Jealousy (1895), by Edvard Munch

Even before I knew what art was, the paintings by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch always had an unforgettable impact on me. Although The Scream is truly a masterpiece, most of his work shows a sentimental strength unparalleled even today.

When I think about it, this isn’t such a surprise, since emotions and human reactions to reality always fascinate me.

The Symbolists were the first to draw attention to the importance of the inner world, and the beauty that can be extracted from it and put forward in stunning colors and techniques such as the ones Munch used.

I just hope my jealousy can be turned into something that beautiful.

PS: If you’re ever in Norway and you have the chance, take some time to visit Munch’s house in the lovely summer village called Åsgårdstrand. This is where many of his paintings were created.

A Wild Horse

Tonight I’m delivering a speech in front of a very large audience. In about two hours from now, I’ll be standing in front of very large crowd, supposedly representing a large number of people who apparently share many tastes and interests with me. I don’t know about that.

To get my mind out of the subject, I – as always – turn to music.

My band du jour is a Norwegian act who are great at using dirty electronic sounds and transforming all this into nice electro-house with joyous lyrics and a good touch of dancefloor beats.


Mind you, they sing in Norwegian, something I just love.

I must say I didn’t like the idea of their music when I first read about them, but the music is just so delightful. I couldn’t help it.

Once more, I’m happy to realize that I’ve changed my mind. For someone as stubborn as me, it is a wonder.

Takk for alt!