Arts Interventions Development


Oslo, Norway, 2010 at the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum

"Året med Traavik som egen forsvarskunstner har vært utrolig spennende og veldig utfordrende. Det har vært å være ute på dypt vann og å komme seg inn på grunna igjen. Det har vært kontroversielt og nytt."
-Runar Gjerald


Norwegian Armed Forces Museum was seeking to be an active participant in the public sphere, partly by offering a creative space for an artist to explore and make use of. Dialogue, new eyes, commentary and debate, also on problematic subjects and established notions both in civilian and military life. A traditionally rather conservative and secretive institution like the military wanted to open itself up to intervention and interaction. These ambitions called for an artist who is unafraid, original and who has the ability and persistence to see his ideas through to the end. 


Throughout 2010 Morten Traavik was the first ever Resident Artist at the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum, with a mandate to freely create and comment on contemporary military-related issues in a greater social perspective. The Museum’s extensive collection of weapons, military hardware, war history and expertise served as his point of departure. Traavik branded his residency year at the museum HÆRWERK, which in the old language of the Vikings meant «the work of an army» but in colloquial Norwegian has taken on the meaning of «havoc» or «vandalism».