Oslo, Norway, 2010

at the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum 2010

Norway’s first Armed Forces

Hærwerk” is a Norwegian word with roots back to the old Vikings,
meaning both ”havoc” and “the work of an army”.

The Norwegian Armed Forces Museum is proud to announce its new collaboration with one of Norway’s most innovative and controversial contemporary artists, Morten Traavik.

Throughout 2010 Morten Traavik will be affiliated as Resident Artist at Norwegian Armed Forces Museum, with a mandate to freely create and comment on contemporary military-related issues in
a greater social perspective. The Museum’s extensive collection of weapons, military hardware, war history and expertise will serve as his point of departure. Traavik, who combines his Armed Forces Artist Residency with numerous other extensive art projects in Norway and abroad, has branded his residency year at the museum HÆRWERK, from the old Norse expression for “havoc” or “vandalism”

The first public presentation of the work will be HÆRWERK No.1: HONEST JOHN,
with an opening and unrolling ceremony taking place at
Akershus Fortress, Oslo, Norway
Monday, March 15 at 1 p.m.

The artist on HÆRWERK No. 1 – HONEST JOHN :
”Honest John (Let’s be Honest)” consists of the first nuclear-capable surface-to-surface missile in NATO’s arsenal, rescued from oblivion in the storehouses of the Cold War and dressed in a 7 meters long transparent condom custom-made in China. The condom will be unrolled during the opening ceremony and the HONEST JOHN will thereafter serve as a landmark for the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum and the HÆRWERK residency.”

Norwegian Armed Forces Museum seeks to be an active participant in the public sphere,
partly by offering creative spaces for artists to explore and make use of. Dialogue, new eyes, commentary and debate, also on problematic subjects and established notions both in civilian and military life. A traditionally rather conservative and secretive institution like the military now wants to open itself up to intervention and interaction. These ambitions call for an artist who is unafraid, original and who has the ability and persistence to see his ideas through to the end.
On the merit of his previous works in the field of artistic interventions, Morten Traavik is the Museum’s first choice for our new Armed Forces Artist-in-Residence program.

Photo: Forsvarets Forum