Gustav Vigeland. Eckeberg Parken – Time

Let me talk about excursions taken in the same place -Eckeberg Parken.

What makes us say if we have enjoyed or not an experience? I think that the main thing is the quality of the space itself. This seems quite obvious but I don’t think it always is. The perception we have of an object is the reflection of its surroundings. Think, for example, of taking a painting, a masterpiece, and showing it in the darkest and worst room possible, and then taking a normal painting and showing it in the Guggenheim Museum. Which will be the better of the two?

The place I want to talk about somehow doesn’t have this kind of problem; architecture and art are exposed and (not)contained in a volume that is not a box, but a forest.

This kind of natural background enhances the things placed in it. Contemporary sculptures get higher contrast when the architecture is hidden and secluded by nature. The most interesting “attraction” of the park is a mixture of the two. It is a space that makes us think about what you can normally experience in a forest, yet it takes it to another level. The silence of nature is highlighted by an anechoic chamber that doesn’t have any apparent borders, where just colors can reach its ends.

The second thing that makes you enjoy an experience is the people you are with. I visited the park on 3 different seasons, and every time I was with different persons. Each of them of course contribute to building up the memory of a place, sometime they even determine the specific memory of a place. For example the first time I went there I took a photo of a friend of mine near one of the viewpoints from where you can see the whole city and the fjord. Then we visited the park, we saw a lot of interesting things and we talked about different topics. However, if I have to choose a single moment to represent the excursion, I will picture that image, of the arrival to the lookout. That does not depict any of the amazing things we were exposed to in the park, on the contrary it shows what’s outside of it.