Via archpaper, by Bjane Riesto
Peter Zumthor and Louise Bourgeois collaborate on a memorial in the Arctic Circle
Just weeks before the shattering act of domestic terrorism in Oslo and on the island of Utoya, Norwegians commemorated an earlier tragedy with the opening of a compelling memorial by Peter Zumthor and the late New York artist Louise Bourgeois. Steilneset, as the memorial is called, acknowledges and interprets the death of 91 people, mostly women, during a spate of witchcraft persecutions throughout the 17th century. Most of the victims were burned at the stake or drowned offshore of the site, located just outside the town of Vardo in the Arctic Circle.
Visitors reach the memorial by rounding a slight hill, over which sits a tiny village church and its postcard-worthy graveyard. Beyond, the memorial hugs the shoreline, appearing tiny and fragile along the horizon. It is comprised of two structures: a long, thin timber frame holding a suspended fabric enclosure, and a black glass pavilion, housing Bourgeois’ installation.
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