Bik Van der Pol

To Gather on a Mountain

Løvstakken & DUI, Damsgårdsveien 229

10 am to 5 pm

Meeting Point: In front of Solheimslien 62, 5056 Bergen

Public Transport: Bus 10 from the city centre to the bus stop Strandlien

Warm lunch is served, bring water for the hike.

To register for the event, please send an email to: marie(at)

- A walk through land use, politics and art in a changing world.

Comprising a guided hike up Mount Løvstakken and a workshop led by artists Bik Van der Pol, Å samles på et fjell (To Gather on a Mountain) seeks to bring together a group of people to reflect on how we engage with the world – in particular, how we mine, excavate and otherwise exploit the ground on which we stand.

One of the seven Caledonian Mountain peaks that surround the city of Bergen, Mount Løvstakken forms part of the Earth’s continuously shifting tectonic system and contains a high concentration of naturally occurring radioactive granite, a granite that can be used for energy production. Acting as what Marcia Bjornerod described in Timefullness (2018) as an ‘earth-embodied record’, the mountain bears witness to events that have unfolded – and continue to unfold – over millennia.

After hiking up Mount Løvstakken, participants will assemble to collectively form an inverted question mark, or point d’ironie, near the summit. Subsequently, over lunch, at DUI which is located in the former port area of Laksevåg, members of the group will engage in a discussion about the future of energy production. Interested in the potential of the Ancient Greek chorus – whose role in classical theatre was to speak collectively for past and future generations, giving voice to that which is keenly felt yet hard to articulate – Bik Van der Pol seek to reprise this traditional theatrical device for the present day. Who is speaking for the past and the present? What future world do we imagine? Å samles på et fjell looks to unite the knowledge and experience of a group of people in an attempt to define what needs to be decided collectively for the country’s future.

Central to the Norwegian economy is the petroleum industry: crude oil and natural gas account for more than half of Norway´s annual exports and the country is currently ranked the third largest exporter of natural gas in the world. In 1971, the Norwegian government produced a white paper, dubbed the ‘Ten Commandments of Oil’, which served to guide the country’s petroleum policy and to ensure that income from the oil industry would benefit the society as a whole.

Taking the ‘Ten Commandments of Oil’ as its point of departure, Å samles på et fjell considers what the future of the energy industry might look like in Norway. At a time when minerals are extracted from mountains and oceans and wind farms are constructed on hillsides – projects often financed by international funds linked to tax havens – Bik Van der Pol hope to collectively generate ‘Ten Commandments for Earth’ that reflect humanity’s impact on the planet and the responsibility we have for the natural world that we share with other living entities.

Bik Van der Pol

Since 1995, artists Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol have collaborated as Bik Van der Pol. Through their practice, Bik Van der Pol aim to understand and articulate how art can create space for speculation and imagination within the public realm. Establishing the conditions for encounter, Bik Van der Pol’s working process allows for the continuous reconfiguration of place, history and public. Their practice is site-specific and collaborative, with dialogue as a mode of communication.

In addition to exhibiting their work at numerous venues, the artists have participated in several biennials, including Gwangju, Istanbul, Jakarta and São Paulo. Recent and current projects include: What Is This World?, Park, Tilburg (2022); research residency, School of Casablanca (2021–23); research residency, Volt, Bergen(2021); Far too many Stories to Fit into so Small a Box, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw (2019–20); and Take Part, SFMOMA and San Francisco Public Libraries (2018–20).

Former course directors of the temporary masters programme School of Missing Studies at Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam (2013–15), Bik Van der Pol are currently advisors at Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht. Bik is also a course tutor at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, and presently chair of the Society of Arts at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The event will be documented by a drone (weather permitting) and other handheld photographic equipment, with the material edited into a film to be presented by Volt at Landmark, Bergen Kunsthall, in autumn 2023.

With thanks to DUI, Den uferdige institusjonen. The project has received support from the Mondriaan Fund. Volt’s programme in 2023 has received funding from Arts Council Norway and the City of Bergen.

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