Press Release

People’s Palace in Lillestrøm as Artwork and Collective memory
– Seminar 11th February 2015

The seminar is a part of the art project FUTURE MONUMENT by Merete Røstad, artist and Fellow at the National Academy of Arts in Oslo
Where: People’s Palace Lillestrøm, Storgata 46, 2000 Lillestrøm, Norway
When: Wednesday, 11th February 2015 at 09.00-17.00

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The seminar is part of the Art project FUTURE MONUMENT. With contributions from participents from different disciplines, Merete Røstad want to engage in critical reflection on our common history and collective memory around the People’s Palace. The seminar is free and open to all.

In Lillestrøm we find the People’s Palace from 1915, 100 years after its opening, will be demolished to make room for a new quarter. Throughout history, the house has been the center of a number of important events in people’s lives, where human activity, dialogue and solidarity have shaped a society and a common identity. Can we on this basis envision the People’s Palace as a work of Art in itself and as a Collective memory?

Merete Røstad an artist and fellow at the National Academy of Arts in Oslo, has collected together different parts of the house’s history by visiting various sources – both archives and people that in one way or another have been involved in the People’s Palace.

In my projects, I examine how public Art has a function that goes beyond the Art object’s physical presence and how I as an artist can help activate Art as commoration. Thus the People’s Palace is not just a building but an important monument as a gathering point for social ideals and values is now facing an uncertain future. The political and economic changes in society makes the People’s Palace obselite as a meeting place and has lost its original function, says Røstad.

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FUTURE MONUMENT – a social sculpture

In the 1960s the artist Joseph Beuys introduced the concept of «social sculpture» as an expression to illustrate the idea of art ability to transform society.

The central idea behind FUTURE MONUMENT is the artist’s role as one that activates and stage structures in society by means of thought, action and object. Based on an expanded understanding of the term «monument», I want to facilitate new interdisciplinary connections. FUTURE MONUMENT works as a social sculpture where people meet across political and religious affiliation, where the exchange of memories and sharing a common history are key, says Merete Røstad.

With FUTURE MONUMENT the fellow Merete Røstad wants to contribute and change the one-sided focus on monuments and memorials that have dominated the media in recent years, and which seems to have focused solely on the object. Røstad think it’s about something more than an object, and consider commemoration as a symptom of the human inability and willingness to actively participate in processing new commemorative traditions. The project wants to challenge people from different communities and professions to build relationships to preserve our collective memories. The seminar invites everyone to contribute and to reflect on further dialogues about the project.


For more general information onthe People’s Palaces


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