Arts and Gardens

Nail Biting About the Universe

It is a matter of doubt. It’s about holding on, and about daring to let go. About not knowing whether it was right that one did let go. Kurt Johannessen’s philosophical essay on the universe as he sees it is in the shape of a green leaf; a slice of the universe. The fine, lighter green veins that run through the leaf and branch off along the way, emphasize the feeling that we are looking at the micro level - but the theme is big. It’s about life and everything.

Kurt Johannesen: Eikebladet, 2009.
Kurt Johannesen: Eikebladet, 2009.
Alf Edgar Andresen

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The universe, according to Kurt Johannessen, is actually quite poorly designed, from up high. For it cannot be right that we should spend so much time not knowing, doubting, biting nails. That we do not know what is the meaning of it all. Do we control anything at all? Should we continue holding on, or should we let go?

While the essay is approaching the end of the leaf (can the leaf be turned over?) the tone changes. The nail biting pondering which has been gaining speed from tip towards bottom, turns into a more cheerful reflection. It was not really that bad to let go. But then, you cannot be sure whether you actually did let go, either.

Kurt Johannessen (1960-) works in many media, and is particularly known for his performances and books. The combination of whole-hearted dedication and a naive enthusiasm has made him one of the most popular performance artists in Norway. Johannessen has received several awards for his books, and has been successful as a children’s book author.