Magnhild Øen Nordahl

Vika Sjóvar

Puddefjorden, Bergen Map

Hours 10:00–18:00

If you want to take part, send an e-mail to vikasjovar(at) to register.

Related text: Stian Gabrielsen Reaching for the world

How far can you throw a stone, shoot an arrow, walk in the course of a day, walk before you want to stop for a breather, or row a boat before you take a break? These activities laid the basis for the old measures of length ‘a stone’s throw’, ‘an arrow shot’, ‘a day’s journey’, a halt and ‘a change of rowers’. In the course of this spring Magnhild Øen Nordahl has been studying old measures of length and part of the exercise has been to test these units.

A ‘change of rowers’ was in use as a measure of length in Norway from perhaps as long ago as the sixth century and up to the 1700s. In the Middle Ages they called the measure of length Vika Sjóvar and the concept was probably related to a practice for sailing in boats where you took turns rowing after a given distance.

In the project Vika Sjóvar the artist Magnhild Øen Nordahl invites the public to participate in her investigations and test the length of a ‘change of rowers’ on Puddefjorden in a wooden boat. How far can you row before you want to take a break? What is your ‘change of rowers’?

Magnhild Øen Nordahl

Magnhild Øen Nordahl works with sculptures in various materials including wood, rope, concrete, metal and glass. Her works are motivated by an interest in the relationship between practical and theoretical knowledge, and in the role of the body in learning processes and in our understanding of the world. She trained at the Bergen School of Art and Design and the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Her latest projects are the group exhibition at Nils Aas Kunstverksted, Inderøy, and the public art commission Parallel Sogndal in Sogndal. Øen Nordahl has earlier participated in exhibitions at among other places the Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, WIELS Contemporary Arts Centre, Brussels, No.5/Bergen Kunsthall and Blank Projects, Cape Town

Thanks to the Bergen Coastal Culture Centre.
The project is supported by Nordic Artists' Centre Dalsåsen and is part of Imagining Commons – twelve days of exhibitions, performances, a camp, talks and lectures 5th – 17th June 2015 in Bergen. Imagining Commons is funded by Arts Council Norway, City of Bergen, Fritt Ord and Public Art Norway (URO).

Photo: Bjørn Mortensen, Marie Nerland, Magnhild Øen Nordahl

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