When "The Art of the Strangers" throws Light on Place and Local Identity

Oddrun Sæter


In this article I sketch some issues from an: international landscape art project which has taken place in an area in Northern Norway, "Artscape Nordland". My study of this project has focused on the long and heated debate in the local newspapers concerning the art project. My data was supplied by visits, observations, talks with project leaders, interviews with artists and "key persons" from a few municipalities. I want to show that art can have functions we rarely reflect upon. Art throws light on social aspects of places, local aesthetic values, and local symbols and cultures, often in an indirect or non-intended way In this way I hope to add some knowledge to local discussions about architecture and building and rehabilitation projects in both rural and urban communities. Hence my study which concentrates on a rural district, can also be used as relevant knowledge for urban contexts.

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