National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research

The corridors of the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research in Bergen are home to Torgeir Husevaag's cryptic, hand-drawn sea maps. They reveal what many people regard as sacred local knowledge: the secret locations where fish always bite.


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  • Seks kart over hemmelige fiskeplasser, Torgeir Husevaag. Photographer: Werner Zellien
  • Seks kart over hemmelige fiskeplasser, Torgeir Husevaag. Photographer: Werner Zellien
  • Seks kart over hemmelige fiskeplasser, Torgeir Husevaag. Photographer: Werner Zellien
  • Seks kart over hemmelige fiskeplasser, Torgeir Husevaag. Photographer: Werner Zellien
  • Seks kart over hemmelige fiskeplasser, Torgeir Husevaag. Photographer: Werner Zellien
  • Nasjonalt instiutt for ernærings- og sjømatforskning (NIFES), Bergen. Photographer: Werner Zellien
  • Seks kart over hemmelige fiskeplasser, Torgeir Husevaag. Photographer: Werner Zellien
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About the project

About the project

The National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) conducts research into the seafood we eat and the effects on our health of fish and seafood consumption. The institute occupies a series of wharf-side former warehouses in the Nordnes area of Bergen. These protected buildings are an important part of the city’s Heritage.

A distinctive feature of the interior space is a series of maps by the Norwegian artist Torgeir Husevaag (born 1967). 6 maps of secret fishing places consists of six hand-drawn sea maps of small areas along the Norwegian coast. The maps have been made in the same way as old-fashioned sea maps, using watercolour on paper, but reveal information that is seldom found on official maps, namely secret fishing places. The artist was tipped off about these places by private Sources.

Husevaag’s maps are based on standard sea maps and hydrographic information, with coded information about the locations, sea depths, and relevant landmarks. The maps contain stylistic references to hand-drawn and engraved maps dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. The maps are large-scale, each covering an area of only a couple of square kilometres. The latitude and longitude coordinates are missing, however, as are any place names. In addition, the artist has replaced the figures denoting sea depths with a coloured code. Accordingly the maps are cryptic: the information is present, although the coordinates are absent. In a satirically extreme attempt to protect the “confidential” content, the artist decided that one map would cover an area of dangerous waters. This would make testing the maps a somewhat risky endeavour, unless one were able to distinguish between a potential fishing place and a hazardous area full of currents, surf, reefs and shipwrecks.

The series was created originally in 2004 for the Coast Directorate in Ålesund. The maps have now been moved to NIFES in Bergen, where they are distributed in a kind of trail through several buildings.

This project is one of 11 art projects realized as part of the ninth funding round (2015–2017) of the Art Programme for Government Agencies in Leased Private Facilities and for Older Government Buildings (LES).

Facts

Facts

Address

Standgaten 229, 5004 Bergen

Date completed

02.05.2016

Project manager

Elisabeth Tetens Jahn

Expert Committee

Thomas Hestvold
Siv Hofsvang
Sverre Gullesen

Building owner/developer

Statsbygg

Duration

Permanent

Accessibility

Tilgjengelig for publikum

Program

Art scheme for rented properties and older buildings owned by the government (LES)

Kunstverk

Kunstverk

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