The chimney at the Student Centre is a sculpture. Metropolis stands tall next to the main building. The chimney was originally nine meters high, and with its decoration, it stretches 17 meters above the ground; the very image of a miniature metropolis.
The sculpture consists of a series of narrow concrete blocks of different lengths. The title and design connote to skylines as seen in Chicago, Shanghai and Dubai. The next time you walk up the stairs to the area behind the Student Centre, or approach the centre from the Faculty of Social Sciences, notice the chimney. No matter which direction you come from, Metropolis appears as an independent city in miniature, towering against the skyline.
Bergen has guidelines for how high you can build in the city center, and will never be a city of skyscrapers. Gunnerud’s chimney may be an attempt to bring to the city a model of some of these qualities. The effect is particularly dramatic when the chimney emits its white smoke. Gunnerud explained that he emphasized the ornamental in his sculpture, as a counterbalance to the static. The title also provides an association to the film Metropolis from 1926, a dystopian vision of the future.
Renowned sculptor Arne Vinje Gunnerud (1930-2007) was inspired by myths, legends and fairy tales, as well as by African and Chinese art forms. He was made a Knight of the Order of St. Olav in 2001, and received the Ingeborg og Per Palle Storm honorary award in 2005. Gunnerud represented Norway at the Biennale of Sao Paulo in 1969. In 1978 he was the Festival artist at the Bergen International Festival.
NORA SØRENSEN VAAGE