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VigeWonderLand: Oslo’s Vigeland Park

November 11, 2009

Going back to telling you a bit about my trip to Oslo.

Vigeland Park is a sculpture park dedicated to one on Norway’s most loved sculptors, Gustav Vigeland. His statues can be found scattered around the city – I particularly liked the one outside of the National Gallery of a woman curled up on a man’s lap – but in Vigeland Park they appear one after the other at incessant rhythm.

First of all there is a bridge featuring bronze statues. Some examples below.

Following there is a fountain with odd pillars around it, and square reliefs in its frieze, some of them cute, some of them slightly more spooky.

And finally, there is an obelisk with many porous stone statues around it.

The area with the obelisk is framed by some stunning wrought-iron gates.

We spent some time in the Park, crazed by the multitude of human forms around us, a continuous discovery. Vigeland is certainly not the first artists that takes Man as the measure of the universe, but the fact he takes children and old women as measures of the universe too was endearing. The latent creepiness of some of these statues, especially those that evoked an image of the kidnapping of a virgin, unsettles the viewer. The obelisk is but a pile of naked human flesh, immortal in stone and yet pulsating with the dirt and sweat and disgust of bodily proximity.

We couldn’t help loving it.

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