The process of Dan Graham's sculpture
"No title" in Vågan
Mr. Graham arrived in Lofoten one quiet spring morning to find the location for his artwork. His guide and host was artist Anne Katrine Dolven and Astrid Arnøy, Head of Cultural Affairs in the municipality. We walked and drove around Austvågøy, and we travelled by boat to Skrova. We visited a plethora of different locations—fishing villages, art institutions and private homes alike. Dan Graham himself was calm and present. He had a penetrating eye, like he was imprinting the ever-changing landscape around us on his mind.
On his third and final day in the are, he told us to return to Lyngvær. As we slowly approached the old ferry landing, Graham yelled "Stop!"
Another minute or two later, and he specified further: "There!" Graham lifted his hand to shield his eyes as he scouted across the water. He had found the site for his next sculpture.
A good year later, the sculpture was installed on the same site we have identified 15 months earlier. Glass and concrete mirrors the natural environment around the sculpture, reinterpreting both the spectator and the surroundings. The glass is the same kind used in certain skyscrapers in New York, we were told.
The actual production was carried out in Switzerland and Bodø, and there were no major problems. Graham worked with his partners in Boarch, Bodø. The Municipality of Vågan handled the construction of the sculpture's foundations. Under cover of the quiet morning darkness, the sculpture was lowered into place on its foundations. There were no problems whatsoever. It was quite a shock to come driving up from Svolvær; on the location where there the previous day had been nothing, now stood a sculpture.
A great joy fell over all of us who had made the trip out to Lyngvær. A piece of New York City in Lofoten.
Many people found their way to the unveiling ceremony in 1996, but not the artist himself. He wanted to come back to see the sculpture when it had had a chance "to settle". For now, the sculpture got the all clear from Graham via videos and photos.
"No title" was a no-go. The locals quickly dubbed it "The shower cabinet"—so named by an enthusiastic local population who promptly adopted the sculpture and continued to visit it. Many others also flock here; the sculpture is highly accessible, both physically and mentally, as it sits 10 metres from the main road, inviting everyone down to the shoreline.
Astrid Arnøy (former Head of Cultural Affairs in the Municipality of Vågan)