– Art is more important than ever
– Art is the night watch of the world, the guard when times get tough, said Rector of the University of Bergen, Dag Rune Olsen, at the opening of the new Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design in the University Aula on Wednesday 4 January.
– The words about art as a watchman of the night belongs to Odd Nerdrum. He is a controversial artist and a man worth listening to because he tells us about the value of art, said Dag Rune Olsen.
Furthermore Olsen said that through creating a Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, the University of Bergen takes a big step towards a full-fledged academic environment for performing arts.
– The faculty will also contribute to groundbreaking and new artistic expressions across sound and images, Olsen said.
A Peoples Microphone
Dag Rune Olsen was not the only one to point out the vital importance of art as the guard of democracy at the opening ceremony. The Mayor of Bergen, Marte Mjøs Persen, lifted up the provoking and challenging potential in art as an inestimable value. She also spoke about the close contact between different artistic groups in Bergen and said she believes that this will be even better with the creation of the new faculty.
The packed and festive University Aula also got an example of political art as performance in the work "Rehearsal for a Peoples Microphone". This was performed by artist and professor of new media at the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, Brandon LaBelle.
– Art expresses what has not yet been formulated, said the Interim Dean of the new faculty, Gerd Tinglum, in her speech.
To UiB.no Tinglum said that she looks at the political side of art as extremely important.
– Art has political power and is very important for democracy.
Warm welcome from the University of Bergen
Tinglum emphasized that the employees at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design feel very welcome at the University of Bergen. Together with The Grieg Academy, they constitute the new faculty, the seventh faculty at University of Bergen.
– We believe that the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design has something to add to the field of science through the way we work, Tinglum said.
– Norway has become richer today to get such a strong knowledge environment for art. I am impressed with how they have been looking for common ground and reached this merger, said State Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Bjørn Haugstad.
Signe Bakke, Associate Professor of piano at the Grieg Academy performed a piece from "T. S. Eliot Impressions // Ash Wednesday "of the deceased composer and lecturer at the Grieg Academy, Morten Eide Pedersen (1958-2014). In addition the notable saxophonist Kjetil Møster played. Møster is a Research Fellow at the Grieg Academy.
H. M. Queen Sonja received a new UiB shawl
After the official opening H.M. Queen Sonja met artist Kiyoshi Yamamoto from Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, who has designed new shawls for the University of Bergen. The Queen was given a silk shawl, which is one in a series of seven designs, one for each faculty at the university.
– So this is what you might get out of an art education at the University of Bergen, Her Majesty said smilingly, and added that she is very happy about the new faculty.
– It is very good, in particular, it is good that the initiative came from bottom up. It is important to have a basic knowledge of art, in my opinion it should be taught right from the nursery. I am convinced that the new faculty will offer undefined possibilities and that it is good for young people.