Ended project

Robert Johansson: Mikado

Mikado dok3 9 11 17 650x300 1
  • Place Jernbaneparken på Mo
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In 2016, NNKS had an open announcement inviting visual artists to submit proposals for art projects in Mo i Rana. The first of these has now been completed. The artist is Robert Johansson. The title is Mikado.

– An overview of earlier and coming events in connection with Mikado can be found at the bottom of this page –

Mikado by Robert Johansson is the first in a series of projects and events that Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter will arrange in Mo i Rana during the next two years. The Mikado project is a collaboration between Ungdommens Hus, Rana municipality, and Rana Entreprenør. The project is supported by Billedkunstnernes Hjelpefond (BKH).

More about the project

Through the sculpture Mikado, Johansson takes a closer look at Mo i Rana’s identity as a place. He has taken the municipality’s stylized coat of arms as a point of departure, while at the same time taking a new and playful look at iron industry and recycling. A repeating, geometrical pattern in green and gold provides the frame around a number of beams that appear to have been dropped at random within the enclosure. In the Mikado game, for many a well known and pleasant indoor activity at the cabin, the challenge is to remove the small, thin wooden sticks one at a time without disturbing the rest of the pile. In Robert Johansson’s sculpture the measurements are quite different; moving the “sticks” by hand is impossible, as they are so large that they appear to have been placed there by a giant or some other superhuman power.

In Mo i Rana the extraction of iron ore has been central for several decades, and lately the recycling of scrap metal has also become a considerable industry in the city. In Mikado, the artist plays with the idea that extraction of valuable resources can also be seen as a sort of game. In mining one has to find the metal deposits; good ores that are rich enough in metal to warrant profitable extraction. In recycling, the scrap metal that can be re-used is sorted out. In both instances the choices that are made as to what is taken away will have consequences for a larger whole.

Johansson has also been inspired by the Swedish painter, Olle Bärtling (1911-1981), who made geometrical paintings with an optimism for the future and shapes that can remind of Rana’s coat of arms. Optimism for the future is something that resonates with Mo i Rana, when new possibilities open up in the industry’s recycling of iron.

Robert Johansson (b. 1977, Grums, Sweden) lives in Oslo, and works with sculpture and photography, among other things. Both nature, culture, language, industry, and history are important subject matters in his art. These interact with an exploration of spaces, surfaces, and textures. Johansson has made work over several years with the concept stratum as a starting point; a method that points towards continuous strata or layers that are clearly defined and with unique characteristics, yet still seen as a unity. Johansson was educated at the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo. He has previously exhibited at Tromsø Kunstforening and Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter. In addition, he has produced a number of art projects in public spaces around Norway and the rest of the world.

Rana Entreprenør. The project is supported by Billedkunstnernes Hjelpefond (BKH).

Events in connection with Mikado
Opening program:
Monday 20. November, at 18:00
Place: Jernbaneparken and Ungdommens Hus at Mo.

In collaboration with Ungdommens Hus at Mo, we invite to opening and artist talk on Monday 20th of November, at 18:00. The event starts at the new sculpture in Jernbaneparken, with an official opening by Head of culture at the municipality Hilde Rokkan, and finishes with an artist talk at Ungdommens Hus. Here we will get to know Robert Johansson´s artistic practice as well as be introduced to his earlier work, and the methods he uses in his works. There will also be refreshments and snacks. We wish everyone who is curious about art a cordial welcome!


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