Part of the project " European Attraction Limited"
Fadlabi and Lars Cuzner
One hundred years ago the area of the present Vigelandspark/Frognerpark was the venue of a World Exhibition. Cultures from all over the world were presented, with the Norwegian culture assumely as the crown of it all. One of the most exotic exhibitions was Kongolandsbyen, a village of Kongolesan (in fact they were Senegalese) natives living in typical huts. They were one of the most popular parts of the exhibition, this was the first time for most people to see such exotic people. One of the questions posed by this 100-year anniversary is: Have we improved at all during one hundred years?
The installation created great controversy already before it was built. The artists were accused of being racists, or for telling us something we already know. Based on the great fuss that was created, the tiny, simple and empty huts are quite a anticlimax. Those are just empty straw huts. Fortunately a kindergarden nearby had taken the huts in use as temporary playhouses.
For me the most important impact of the installation is the historical background. What did this area look like before it was filled with sculptures by Gustav Vigeland?