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Swedish artist's 'memory wound' to mark Utøya

Published: 28 Feb 2014 10:29 GMT+01:00

Three designs by Jonas Dahlberg were on Thursday selected by a panel of experts as the official memorials to the 77 people who died and 319 who were injured by Breivik's twin attacks in 2011. 
 
The first memorial -- titled 'Memory Wound' -- will be excavated on the peninsular of Sørbråten, which juts out from into the Tyrifjorden lake towards the island of Utøya, where Breivik launched a gun massacre of  teens and young adults attending an annual Labour Party youth camp.
 
For the memorial, Dahlberg proposes cutting a one thousand cubic meter slice out of the rock, leaving a permanent scar on the landscape.  The rubble collected will then be taken to the site where Breivik detonated a bomb in central Oslo, where it will be used first to build a temporary memorial walk, and then later form part a permanent amphitheatre, titled "Time and Movement". 
 
In its statement announcing the award, the jury praised Dahlberg's "radical and courageous" design. 
 
"The jury perceives Dahl's proposal for Sørbråten as artistically very original and interesting," it said. "It is able to communicate and confront the trauma and loss that occurred after 22 July in a bold way." 
 
The installation is described in Dahlberg's proposal as "a cut within nature reflecting the physical and emotional experience of abrupt and permanent loss". 
 
"I noticed how big a difference it was to be either inside the main building at Utøya or to wander around the countryside outside," Dahlberg told Norway's NRK channel. "Inside it was still like an open wound, while outdoors it was as if nature had already begun the healing process, even in places where several people had been killed." 
 
"Then I thought that making a wound in nature that we can never heal would be a different idea," he said.  
 
Dahlberg's proposal won out against 300 entries from 46 countries in a competition managed by the Norwegian public art body Koro. 
 
"This is my biggest and arguably most important mission ever," Dahlberg said after winning the commission. 
 
John Hestnes, a representative of the 22 July national support group, said Dahlberg's proposal had stood out from the other eight finalists. 
 
"It hit me as soon as I saw it, especially the way the wound was made," he said. "It will be a little heavy, it will sting a bit."
 
Here is an image of how the Memory Wound memorial will look, with the island of Utøya visible to the left: 
 
 
This is how the memorial walk will look: 
 
 
And finally, this is Dahlberg's plan for the memorial amphitheatre: 
 

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

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