Today the skies fell down at noon, as if to wash away a month of Oslo marinating itself in alcohol in many of the red days during last month; May 1st, –labor-day, May 8th, –Victory in Europe Day, May 17th, –our national day, plus a BUNCH of other days that have something to do with Jesus that no one really cares about anymore. So many red, warm, long days.
Roads got closed, water poured into department stores, drains couldn’t rid of the water fast enough, it was chaos for an hour there. And then it stopped.
Yesterday was Music-Fest Oslo, more commonly known as musikkensdag, something like music-day. Either way, it means concerts outside all day at a bunch of different locations, starting at 11 in the morning and continuing into the night. Also means, you start drinking sometime after breakfast.
Everyone’s wandering around with a program, going from concert to concert, backyard, park or place to the next backyard, park or place, meeting people you know. Or just hanging out, if the blanket in the park you sat down at was especially comfortable, and the group of people there was nice. At some point later in the night we move from the parks to the bars and then the clubs, and so it goes.
Thus far this last magical month in Oslo I have, amongst other things: broken into my own home with a humungous stone; been woken up by police with shields storming the apartment, hearing myself shouting IT WAS ME! IT WAS ME!; Seen an outside screening of Fight Club at the funkis-villa that is Ekebergrestuaranten (The Ekeberg restaurant) courtesy of Cinemateket (The Cinematheque) and sharing a bottle of whiskey (not courtesy of The Cinematheque, sorry Ekebergrestauranten :/). Broken into a yacht and gone skinny-dipping. Gotten drunk with professors, PhD-candidates and teaching assistants from UiO’s Institute of Informatics. Danced. Stuff that’s not for print. Gone running at night-time. It is warm and light out, but the city’s still wrapped in that comforting night atmosphere, all edges and shadows are soft, and the air is filled with the smell of lilacs.
As I try to recover from last nights bravours, as like so many beforenoons in the magical month of may in Oslo Norway, I’m having a case of the blues. I think about how informaticians and hipsters alike, motorheads, artists and desperate night-owls looking for fast love at the end of a long day, all look like shit when the lights are turned on at 3:30am. Oh the horror.
–I think about death.
A juxtaposition. From spring, summer, ice cream, dancing and skinny-dipping. And its probably just a physical reaction from too many, eh, lets say.. long days, but still. I imagine life as a cake, not a real cake but those statistical analysis-cakes. Like it is my life, and I imagine a fairly large chunk of it, about 30% being life lived. The rest is what’s left. The clock is ticking, I’m closer to death every minute every hour, tic, toc, tic, toc.
A line from Wakin on a pretty day from Kurt Vile’s latest album is on my brain: “don’t worry about a thing, it’s only dying”.
Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh, mehrwert! or, surplus value:
So the other day we went to check out the MA degree show 2013 at Kunstnernes hus (The Artists’ house) and frankly, meh, it was boring (sorry graduates :/) BUT, they’d made a little pamphlet-thing of the show, and in it someone had written something about objects:
“Contemporary objects of desire hold an extra value that is hard to explain. For instance, the way a book by Foucault gives a certain kind of cultural credibility; how a purse designed by Gucci contains not only a Chanel lipstick and a bag of cocaine, but also a decadent air of celebrity, models and Paris […]; a religious artifact contains the promise of some world beyond; or the art object containing hidden knowledge or cultural capital […] what Diedrich Diederichsen calls mehrwert, or suplus value, in a given work of art. This value is common to all fetishized objects; the expectations of what they do for you or how they may change you does not stem from the object itself […] but from some loading of symbolic value.”
I can relate to that.
I’m drinking coke out of a can, with a straw (very important) right naow, because it reminds of Vogue, Chloë Sevigny, something French and bohemian, a cool looking girl from The Bronx.
It’s not explainable.
Shoes and bags, but maybe especially shoes, has been a fetish of mine. I used to see a shoe and a fantasy would form. A whole little story, maybe more like a silent movie, silent slide show, always silent, in my brain. I wanted to buy that fantasy.
But the value of objects like that has faded for me. I don’t see the value in shoes as i used to, that is, the desire to not own too much crap has surpassed the allure an impressive LP-collection would give me. I know of DJ’s in Oslo who would probably consider killing themselves before considering moving, because they literally have rooms filled with LPs. Rooms. Owning books and cd’s, etc, has just become a hassle to me. The interwebz and a nice YSL-lipstick (have you seen a YSL lipstick-case???!) will do me just fine.
But IF I was a retailer, or whatever, I would bottle summer days, afternoons and nights in Oslo.
It is the opposite of the long, cold, dark winter. The Norwegian summer is as light as the winter is dark. Perhaps it’s so magic because its so precious, kind of short and longed for by the Oslonians. As I’m writing this the sun sets at 22:25pm, rises at 04:04am. The nights are gonna get shorter for another month before its getting darker again. It does something with everyone. The city and everyone in it changes, -go into the euphoric Norwegian summer-state of mind.
I don’t care what kind of exotic place you’re from or live in, you can live in Trinidad, there is nothing as magic as summer in Oslo.
someone said something about a beer at Mono, and its a warm night, I’m game.
All photos by Julia Wallin