Kiss the Frog! The Art of Transformation

The new National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design represents the merging of four previously autonomous institutions: the National Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design and the Museum of Architecture.

The new National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design represents the merging of four previously autonomous institutions: the National Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design and the Museum of Architecture.  This merger invites a new approach to arranging exhibitions and otherwise presenting art to the public. There is a much greater potential for interdisciplinary activities, a wider array of locations and the burden of tradition has been somewhat lifted. The first visible result of the new situation will be the grand-scale, international event Kiss the Frog! The Art of Transformation, opening in Oslo this summer.

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© > photo: Eirik Førde 










The exhibition explores current developments in the field of art and in society as a whole. The dividing lines between various art forms, materials and techniques seem to be vanishing. A new visual complexity is on the rise, and the roles played by architecture and design in the field of cultural politics have changed.

Special emphasis is placed on the new significance of Architecture and its potential for collaboration with art and the experiencing of art. At Tullinløkka, the future site of the new museum, the mmw architects of Norway (Magne M. Wiggen) has designed two pavilions for the occasion. One of these exhibition pavilions is a spectacular, 1600 square metre blow-up construction shaped like a giant frog. New, specially commissioned works will be on display here. The main corpus of these works examines the fuzzy distinctions between architecture, design and fine arts.

This exhibition includes the work of Ana Laura Aláez, Vanessa Baird, Tracey Emin, Michael Elmgreen, Ingar Dragset, Tone Hansen, Petter Hepsø, Vidar Koksvik, Yayoi Kusama, Irene Nordli, Norway Says, Ole Jørgen Ness, Jorge Pardo, Lars Ramberg, Pipilotti Rist, Julie Skarland, Børre Sæthre, Kara Walker, Magnus Wallin and Katrin Petursdottir Young. In addition, lines will be drawn backwards in time to works by Frida Hansen, Valentin Kielland, Edvard Munch and Gerhard Munthe.

A documentation of the Norwegian artist Gerhard Munthe’s Fairy Tale Room from 1896 (Holmenkollen Turisthotell, destroyed by fire in 1914), will highlight similarities between the concept of  ”Gesamtkunstwerk” that was current around the last turn of the century and contemporary connections between architecture, design and art. Fairy tales, myths and fantasies inspired the ornamental elements in Munthe’s interior decoration. The interaction of furniture, wallboards and utility articles conformed to current ideas about the total art work, and they encourage some interesting reflections on continuing lines and ruptures in the history of modern art. The exhibition also examines the issues of fairy tales and contemporary popular culture.

The exhibition has an extensive side programme featuring performances, film screenings, concerts, lectures and workshops.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with contributions by prominent writers and theoreticians: Alex Coles, Hal Foster, Raf de Saeger and Marina Warner.
Contact information:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design
(The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design)
Postboks 7014 St. Olavs plass
N-0130 Oslo
Tel. +47 22 20 04 04

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© > illustration: Jon Arne Jørgensen/Helle Gundersen











Tullin 2005
Saturday the 28th of May, was the official opening of Tullinløkka 2005. The exhibition in the Frog will be on until Sunday September 11th. The exhibition itself, as well as all happenings, seminars and lectures will be open for public for 15 weeks during the summer 2005.

The name, or title, 'Kiss the Frog! The Art of Transformation' is inspired by mmw architect of Norway's temporary pavilion. The name is related both to the architecture presented and the content and attitude of the exhibition.
T2005 is not only signalizing the merging of the four institutions (The National Gallery, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design and The Museum of Architecture) into the new National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, it is also a part of the national celebration of the 100 years anniversary since the liquidation of the union between Sweden and Norway, giving Norway status as an independent national state.

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© > photo:  Eirik Førde











Brief History
As a part of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design's ambition mmw architects of Norway was asked to develop a holistic architectural solution to generate more public interest around the artistic events at Tullinløkka, Oslo.

The project's goal was tripartite:
 1. The celebration of 1905 (The Nation / State 100 years)
 2. Tullinløkka as the future arena for the new National Museum
 3. A celebration of, by and for the people with a broad appeal and a high artistic integrity.

The Architecture > the exhibition concept
1 > The Frog > the temporary main pavilion >
The biggest pavilion is named 'The Frog'. It's fitted with 4 entrances - 1 main with 3 supplementary emergency exits.
The exhibition concept is based on a pneumatic principal. An self-supporting construction is erected by establishing a higher air pressure inside a space defined by a membrane, than found on the outside. Like a beach ball or an air bed, a powerful fan fills the indoor space with fresh air and keeps the construction up.

The wall appear as concave planes growing out from the floor. The membrane used is a green colored, opaque PVC weave with a fire retardant layer. The inside has a white surface allowing projections of film, photo and digital sources to be displayed.

2> The Kunsthall > semi-permanent pavilion
'The Kunsthall works as a vital exhibition hall for the National Museum, and as a sign telling about the future museum building that will come here. Hopefully the construction of this start during 2006. The Kunsthall will exist parallel to this process as a fresh box keeping up the artistic activities on the site.

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© > illustration: Jon Arne Jørgensen/Helle Gundersen










The Architecture > The Frog's memorial dimensions
The Frog and The Kunsthall has a floor area of 2005 sqm.
> of course because the National Museum and Norway is celebrating right now - in 2005

The Frog's body has a floor area of 1240 sqm
> to commemorate Håkon Håkonsons second unification of Norway after the civil war from 1130 to 1240.

The Harmonica's floor area is 872 sqm
> to commemorate the battle by Hafsfjord and the first unification of Norway by Harald Hårfagre.

The non-pneumatic part of the Frog - the legs have each floor area of 82 sqm
> to commemorate a (in Norway) legendary breaking of a ski pole in 1982

The entrance of The Frog has a floor area of 51 sqm
> to commemorate that Norway in 1951 got the first statistics on immigration

The technical area of The Kunsthall is 54 sqm
> to honour 'Nusse' - Norway's first computer, which was born in 1954

Other vital dimensions:
The atrium of The Frog has a floor area of 630 sqm.
At highest The Frog's ceiling is 13.5 meters above the ground.
The pressure inside The Frog is equivalent to the pressure you will feel if you submerge your head 6cm (!!!) under water.
The weight of the total membrane used for The Frog is app. 3.0 metric ton.

A walk around The Frog's exhibition from the main entrance and back, will be about 179 meters long if you walk along the centerline of the curves. If you walk a little off this line, to one of the sides, you have easily walked 200 meters.
The length of a centerline walk through the Frog's pneumatic part is about 112 meters. If you choose to go further towards the periphery, count closer to 150 meter.
The Frog's legs are 27 meters long.

> Jon Arne Jørgensen, Virginie Mira, Hallstein Guthu, Rebekka Bondesen, Kjetil Johansen, Helle Gundersen, Kathrine Nyquist, Siri Liset, Svein Hertel-Aas, Sindre Østereng, Magne Magler Wiggen

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© > illustration: Jon Arne Jørgensen/Helle Gundersen











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