Making "Victores Borealis" (2013)

“Victores Borealis” is a collaboration with Espen Henningsen and features a kind of northern light. It measures 255×965 cm and consists of spray painted wooden planks on MDF.

It’s placed in the middle of a high school sports hall and it was therefore very important that it could withstand any kind of direct hit from such things as a football or a basketball. Because of this we used thick planks and lots of screws to put the whole ting together. We made very sure this thing could not fall down or break.

Integrated in the work are 61 pieces of text, each representing a Norwegian athletic achievement. For example one line says: Grete Waitz – 2:32:30, which is the finishing time she had when she won her first New York Marathon in 1978. Each piece of text is either of an individual athlete or a team, and a date, time or score that is among the highlights in Norwegian sports history. Included are all areas of sport, and both current and historical athletes.

The title “Victores Borealis” translates from latin to mean “Northern Winners” and is our version of the term for northern lights, which is Aurora Borealis.

The overall theme is that sports are a uniting force, and it takes a lot of training and individual victories, big or small to be great. We also wanted to visualize that all kinds of sports are equal, and that there have been many achievements in history we should not forget. And even though we are a small country, we have what it takes to be the best in the world.

The idea is that someone who is an aspiring handball player will be very familiar with the names and perhaps the dates and scores of those players, and someone who aspires to be a downhill skier will other names as their heroes. Hopefully we have included something for every person who aspires to greatness in their sport. Because the piece is usually seen from a slight distance, and some of the numbers and people are unknown to many, we made a board that explains and places each line of text.