precedent: Memory Wound

Title: Memory Wound

Author: Jonas Dahlberg

Location: Utoya, Norway

Year complete:  Proposed 2014

Description: A memorial proposal for the people killed in a Norwegian massacre in 2011

Memory wound is a memorial proposal to commemorate the people killed in a terrorist attack that took place on July 22nd, 2011.  A far right extremist-terrorist, Anders Brervik, opened fire on a group of teenagers camping on the island of Utoya.  Just before this event, Brervik detonated a bomb outside a government building nearby Oslo, which killed an additional eight people.  For this proposition, Swedish artist Jones Dahlberg intends to sever a strip of headland from the coastline in tribute to the victims of the bombing in Oslo and the shootings that followed on the island of Utoya. 

Dahlberg intended to create a wound or cut within the landscape to symbolize the feeling of loss created by the two politically motivated terrorist attacks.  He would use the excavation material from the site to build a second memorial at the government quarter in Oslo, forging a connection between the two sites.  There was hesitancy towards this conceptual idea but Dahlberg felt the physical cut in the landscape could be an important part of the grieving process. 

However, the Norwegian government abandoned plans for the memorial due to the overwhelming fierce opposition from local residents.  Residents called the project a “rape of nature,” a “tourist attraction,” and a “hideous monument.” 

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