“Viel Bjerkeset Andersen’s sculpture stands outside Säffle’s Civic Centre like a strange, shining vehicle- a stranded hovercraft of steel that entices children to crawl into its hollow centre; a winking eye that mirrors the sky, over the town, with its parabola shaped iris; and by night, it emits a weak, persistent glow as if something within, the energy it has managed to collect during the day, starts to seep out.
“Kontrapunkt (Counter Point)” as the piece is called, is rich in associations. In line with it’s location at the functionalistic Civic Centre, one’s thoughts are drawn to the abstract modernists form play, as well as the myths and fantasies of popular culture. With its simple, reduced profile it connects to a tradition of public art that it is part of, but also stands apart from; it fits in but then again it doesn’t, it is on the one hand vaguely familiar and on the other enigmatically different.
In this way it expresses the uncertainty and duality that, in these times, affects life in a place like Säffle, a minor city in western Sweden that, feeling the pressure of unemployment and negative migration in the wake of globalisation, is groping for a tangible identity- but also believing that it has traditions that it must manage. “Kontrapunkt” anchors this ambivalence to the spot. The ambivalence is not to be seen as a negative, but as a possibility, a source of energy. Even a city needs to gather energy, every so often.
Viel Bjerkeset Andersen has, in earlier works, used light to illustrate the intangible stream of energy that flows through public space, those spaces and corridors that give a city or a society its character. In her light sculptures she translates these streams into a visual form that makes them appear particularly concentrated at precisely these places. In Säffle, with its unusual shining sculpture and the luscious grassed amphitheatre that surrounds it, “Kontrapunkt” becomes such a place- a place where, in other words, the city’s pulse becomes visible- like a parabola towards space and a gentle internal light.”
Konstkritiker, Dagens Nyheter