Title: Ålvik Rock
photos by: Sjaak Langenberg
Project developed at the invitation of Hardingpuls, Norheimsund, Norway
FYKSE - In the beautiful cultivated landscape of Fyksesund Landscape Park Sjaak Langenberg and Rosé de Beer found some magnificent green stones. They lay in a heap by the side of the road. You don't expect such quantity of green tourmaline in Norway, and certainly not gemstones that are used as gravel on footpaths. To their surprise they discovered the stones were industrial souvenirs.
Fyksesund is a side arm of the Hardangerfjord. Many artists praise the beauty of the Hardangerfjord and the Hardanger bunad became Norway's national costume, but there is also a tradition of heavy industry in some villages at the fjord. The factories provide many jobs in a sparsely populated area where it is sometimes difficult to maintain the village facilities. A plant in Ĺlvik produces ferro-alloys.
The stones Langenberg and de Beer found at Fyskesund are slugs from this plant. The deceptive beauty of the industrial waste in Fyksesund landskapspark led to Langenberg and Beer's contribution to the art event GREP Vandring pĺ Fykse (wandering through Fykse). They offered the industrial souvenirs for sale and named them Ĺlvik Rock (also the name of an annual Heavy Metal Festival in Ĺlvik). Thus the rocks became the ultimate souvenirs for Ĺlvik and its industrial heritage. The stones were beautifully displayed on a small delicate table which was placed on top of the pile of stones. You could pay a hefty price for the stones on the table or pick one up for free from the pile underneath the table.
Like a designer who admittedly incorporates the traces from the production in the end product, or a magician who reveals his illusion and still gets away with it, Langenberg and Beer showed market principles by undermining their own tourist trap. "We always have thrown the stones in the fjord. Suddenly a Dutchman comes along who makes money out of them!" joked one of the visitors to the art event.
The table with industrial souvenirs was frequently photographed. One stone was sold for 215 Norwegian kroner. Some visitors secretly picked up a stone from the pile. Many people took a closer look at the stones with child-like wonder, as if they were seeing them for the very first time.
© Sjaak Langenberg & Rosé de Beer