regina in Norway is the seventh issue of the magazine regina. This issue was produced on the invitation of Ute Meta Bauer and Christiane Erharter from the Office for Contemporary Art Norway.
I spent three months in Oslo, which was my base, and undertook some travelling for my research. Of course in this short time period it’s not possible to fully access and learn about Norway and Norwegian culture, politics and social ways of life. Therefore it is important to note that regina in Norway is neither a portrait nor a documentation of Norway and Norwegianness. My focus was rather to look into fields of characteristics and maybe even stereotypes that an outsider may initially be presented with, i.e. nature, oil, knitting – to name just a few. Without doubt Norway is shaped by an extraordinarily beautiful landscape and wildlife. And one would imagine that this expansive nature has an effect on its few inhabitants – to protect it … but that is unfortunately not always the case. It is certainly an emotional landscape and an emotional society when this subject is raised. It made me also curious and wonder what made Edvard Munch paint “The Big Scream!” I tried to filter from this starting point, different perspectives on Norwegian society and culture. And these different faces and voices are the formulation of a character – a character existing somewhere between fiction and documentation – regina in Norway.
Rather than use a subtitle I decided in this issue to speak instead through an emblem. This emblem is a collage of the knitted selbu rose, which you’ll find as a pattern on the traditional Norwegian sweater, intertwined with various simulations of gothic heavy metal imagery. To express just one ‘two-sided’ face of this complex documentational and fictional character.
I would like to thank all the participants, indeed everyone who took their time to meet with me and to help me in my research. And of course I want to thank OCA (Office for Contemporary Art Norway) and the Norwegian Council for Cultural Affairs who made regina in Norway possible and last but not least Clare Thornton for her great input.
Regina (Maria) Möller, 2005