The Brain Maze
Photo: Ole-Martin Sandnes © Munchmuseet
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When Edvard Munch was a little boy, he once used piece of charred wood from the stove to make a large drawing in the middle of a floor that had just been mopped by his Aunt Karen. Instead of a scolding, he got praise for the picture he had made. Taking this story as our starting point, we have invited the artist Jennie Bringaker (born 1978) to create a playfully innovative universe, designed to entice and challenge visitors to indulge in creative self-expression.
The Brain Maze – an enormous yet intricate labyrinth of crumpled cardboard – will fill one of the largest galleries at the new MUNCH in Bjørvika. You can disappear into this labyrinth and write and draw on the walls, play games, explore at your own pace, crawl into a dark cave, or simply settle down for a breather, among other things. The only limits are those imposed by your imagination! The installation is inspired by the human brain, as well as by Munch’s experimental working methods. Among other things, Munch had a large, heavy album that he called The Tree of Knowledge, which he used to collect and explore ideas, texts, sketches and printed images – almost like a kind of external brain.
The Brain Maze was made by the artist Jennie Hagevik Bringaker. ‘I was inspired by the story from Edvard Munch’s childhood, when he was praised instead of being told off for drawing on the floor’ says Jennie. ‘I want everyone to be able to feel the same urge and freedom to explore that Munch carried with him for the rest of his life.’
About the artist
Jennie Hagevik Bringaker (b 1978) studied scenography and fine art at Østfold University College and New York University. She founded the performance platform Trollkrem (2013–2018) in collaboration with Tor Erik Bøe. In recent years, the artist duo have exhibited works at venues including Tenthaus (2018), the Association of Norwegian Sculptors (2019), Tegnetriennalen / Drawing Triennial (2019), Coast Contemporary (2020) and Nitja senter for samtidskunst (2021).
About the architect
Enrique Roura (b. 1988) works at the intersection between art and architecture. ‘One of the things I liked best about working on The Brain Maze is that it’s so experimental. The materials – cardboard and paper – kept challenging how I’ve worked with the construction,’ says Enrique.
About the game developer
The games in The Brain Maze have been selected by the game designer Jørgen Brunborg-Næss (b. 1978). ‘Games have always been a part of human culture and interaction everywhere,’ says Jørgen. ‘We still play games today that have existed for thousands of years. When we see how much the traditional games that are played in different parts of the world have in common, it’s evident how connected we all are.’
Come think with us!
The Brain Maze is a part of the educational series Come think with us!, a series of ambitious and immersive visitor workshops that will demonstrate our approach to gallery education and visitor experiences at the new MUNCH. The workshops will invite visitors to create spatial experiences in collaboration with artists, and will encourage visitors to engage in free and imaginative self-expression. Each project will consist of a large-scale installation that visitors can enter and move around inside, giving them the opportunity to experience and explore art in new and exciting ways. The themes for these “do-it-yourself” spaces are taken from Munch’s creative practice and are linked to topics of current social relevance.
From the installation