The installation in the Viking Ship Museum – Mike Adams – 1st of February to 25th of March 2012.
– The sculptural installation Skibladnir is inspired by and named for the folding ship of the Norse gods. It represents a “portable” idea, like the ideas we carry around in our heads. They take up virtually no space, but when we need them, we unfold them, and spread them out. They can become huge, and change the world. We take our ideas, our values, and our hopes with us when we journey to new places, just as the Vikings did. The ships in the museum are beautiful, but it is important to remember that they were also tombs. They were intended to be the final resting place for human remains.
The artist, Mike Adams, and his installation Skibladnir
– Art is not mere decoration; it reaches down into the core of our being and puts us in touch with what is most meaningful in our lives. Skibladnir is not meant to be a replica of the Viking ships in the museum, although the shape was inspired by them. Skibladnir is a meeting-point, a place where the artist and the viewer come together to create meaningful experiences.
– I want Skibladnir to be simultaneously an object and an idea. That is why it is translucent, with video images acting as shadowy memories, making the vessel change and seemingly to appear and disappear. In the same way I would like museum visitors to think of the Viking ships as both objects and ideas. They are real things, but they also represent intangible aspects of Viking culture and human striving.
– In the summer of 2010 I traveled to Oslo to study the Norwegian language and culture. My plan was to investigate the Viking ship and Norse myth, and to use this exploration to inspire the creation of new sculpture. My intended focus on objects – the ships – became instead a convergence of experiences and building of personal relationships. Objects act as a spigot to let experiences flow. An object itself is not an experience; it is an invitation to experience.
- Mike Adams, born in Seattle, Washington, USA, 1964
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting, the San Francisco Art Institute, 1986
- Boat builder in the Seattle area for several years
- Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture, Idaho State University, 2011
- Fulbright Creative Arts Grant in Oslo, 2011-12
In addition to the U.S. - Norway Fulbright Foundation, Mr. Adams wishes to thank the Viking Ship Museum and the U.S. Embassy in Oslo for their support of the exhibition.