Anny Birgitte Aak's sculpture Flight of the Thought is bluer than the skies. The sculptural ribbon moves in whirling circles, winding, unfettered.
An open spiral moves in circles, like a rollercoaster. Spacious circles widen lazily, before the sculptural ribbon spins itself into a small cone. Has the blue ribbon crash-landed? Not at all: it was merely gathering its forces. Now it is hurling itself upwards, further than ever, ending five meters above the ground, in a line that keeps straining up.
The title Tankens flukt (Flight of the Thought) leads the spectator to consider Anny Birgitte Aak’s sculpture as an image of the winding pattern of thoughts. The mind tends to move along a trail that is not necessarily logical or coherent, but that opens up for possibilities and leads us towards new insight. Involuntary flight of thought is often seen within academia – most of us have experienced reading the same page over and over again, while our thoughts are fluttering on to other subjects. The metaphor of ”spinning thoughts” also appears as an association. There is something wild in the shape of the sculpture – is it triumphant or desperate? The title contains the potential for different interpretations.
Flight of the Thought was made as part of a project called Eksperimentoppgavene (the Experimental exercises), in which artists developed a temporary artwork that would stand on Nygårdshøyden for one year. After that, the sketch was to return to the artist, unless the University wanted to purchase a permanent version of the piece. The artists were granted a considerable amount of freedom in drawing up decorative ideas. Aak got a special arrangement because the sculpture she envisioned would not work in temporary materials. Flight of the Thought was manufactured in steel and assembled on site, and is the only permanent result of the Experimental exercises.
Anny Birgitte Aak (1928-) is a sculptor and visual artist based in Bergen. She made her debut at the Autumn Exhibition in Oslo in 1970, with a steel sculpture called Tid (Time), and steel remained her preferred material in the ensuing years. Aak’s large outdoor sculptures are often without a recognizable motif, but their titles are associative. Smaller pieces of hers have often been figurative, spanning a wide range of subjects. Aak has also produced an array of portraits. Whatever the medium, she has been interested in the characteristics of the material, and the interaction of the sculpture with the surrounding space.
NORA SØRENSEN VAAGE