Installation for PARABOL, Bergen
Whilst researching the location of Stiftelsen 314 at the Old Norges Bank at Vågsallmenningen, Bergen, I came across the myth that at some point during its usage as a bank, the management would order money to be burned in order to control national interest rates. Constructed in 1845 and decommissioned as a bank in the 1990s(?), the building now functions primarily as a space for contemporary art. Since the 2008 financial crash, whilst the rest of Europe’s arts funding has suffered huge cuts, Norway’s oil wealth has allowed its cultural scene to flourish apparently bidding to spend 1 per cent of total government budget on culture (Financial Times 2012). In a sense, the use of the space of the former bank for art is a consequence of Norway’s relative abundance of arts funding, looked upon jealously by European neighbours. Exploring the myth under the jocose title “Burning Kroner”, with a nod back to K Foundation’s infamous 1994 action “K Foundation Burn a Million Quid”, the piece situated in the entrance hall to the gallery is an in situ sonic meditation on what it means to burn money for art.