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The Venice Biennale

Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess opened the Nordic pavilion at the Venice Biennale today, where she presented the project “Rapture” by multimedia artist Camille Norment.


The US sound artist Camille Norment is responsible for Norway’s contribution to the Venice Biennale this year. In Ms Norment’s words, “Rapture” is a site-specific, sculptural and sonic installation.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit had the honour of giving the opening remarks this afternoon, and described how the project explores the relationship between sound, the body and the mind:

“The work ‘Rapture’ by multimedia artist Camille Norment brings together many elements: sculptural, architectonic, performative and sonic. It explores the relationship between sound and the human body. It immerses the visitor in a multi-sensory experience. Through her work, we are asked to consider the impact sound has on our bodies – on our lives. ‘Rapture’ reminds us that sound is a strong mediator of cultural experience and identity. Sound is a gateway to knowledge and an instrument of power. Sound is a source of pain and joy, and has been used in markedly different ways – in different societies and at different times.”

Ms Norment (born 1970) is an artist, musician, composer and author residing in Oslo.

Office for Contemporary Art Norway

For the first time in history, Norway is the sole commissioner of the Nordic pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) is a foundation established in autumn 2001 by the then Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the aim of developing collaborative cultural projects between Norway and the international arts scene. OCA has been responsible for Norway’s contribution to the Biennale since its establishment in 2001.

Shaping contemporary art

The Venice Biennale dates back to 1895, when the first International Art Exhibition was held. Since that time it has become one of the most influential shapers of contemporary art. Every other year, a growing number of countries exhibit their most prominent artists in national pavilions. The other main element of the Biennale is a comprehensive curated exhibition.

This year marks the 56th Biennale.

Pavilion designed by Sverre Fehn

Prior to the official opening, Crown Princess Mette-Marit was given a guided tour of the Nordic pavilion by the Director of OCA, Katya Garcia-Antón. The pavilion was designed by Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn in 1958. Since its completion in 1962, the pavilion has formed the basis for collaboration between Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Architecture plays an important part in this year’s contribution to the Biennale, as the artwork enters into a dialogue with the surrounding pavilion.

Mr Fehn received the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1997.


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