Bergen lufthavn, Flesland

Ragnar Kjartansson is the winner of the art competition at Bergen Airport

Nyhet   •   sep 28, 2016 14:38 CEST

The artwork This Must Be the Place consists of six bright yellow letters and a question mark, and forms the word BERGEN? The work will be installed in the mountainside opposite of the new terminal at Bergen Airport.

The internationally renowned Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson has won the Bergen Airport art competition for his work This Must Be The Place. To be positioned on the hillside above the new airport terminal, the artwork comprises six bright yellow letters followed by a question mark. The letters stand five and half metres tall, each weigh 2.5 tonnes and form the word BERGEN? The work will be installed during spring 2017.

-The wild, raw nature in our region gives multiple opportunities for great adventures in the majestic mountains and fjords. The region is well known for innovation in oil and gas, maritime industry, media and finance. Western Norway is also famous for culture and musical talent. The possibilities are endless, and the answers are many. We believe Kjartansson has captured this. says Head of Business Development in Avinor, Aina Tysse. -The piece of art will create reflection, and we hope that the population, the tourists and the business sector in our region will contribute with all the answers to the question: BERGEN ?” 

The jury / project manager says:

-The artwork encourages a sense of curiosity and open-mindedness towards the surroundings, and it places a question mark over what we think we know. Bergen? embraces humour, excitement and wonder, expectations and dreams. The artist does not seek to provide textbook answers, instead pointing to the universal human experience of being new to a place. Bergen is the place – but the place for what? The question mark contains an infinitude of possibilities.


Ragnar Kjartansson was born in Iceland in 1976, and he lives and works in Reykjavik. He is an internationally acclaimed artist and has in the last few years made an impact with a solo exhibition in Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015) and as a two-time participant at the Venice Biennale, amongst other things. He recently closed an exhibition at the renowned Barbican Gallery in London to critical acclaim. On that occasion, the Guardian wrote: “Ragnar Kjartansson, […], is one of the most brilliant artists at work today. Once seen, his art has true staying power.”


In connection with the construction of the new airport terminal, Avinor held a closed competition where three local and international artists were invited to submit proposals for a work that would reflect the airport’s role in the community. There was a unanimous decision in favour of the work created by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson.

The jury consisted of:

Annette Kierulf, artist

Arne Skaug Olsen, artist

Aslak Sverdrup, Avinor

Aina Tysse, Avinor

Eskild Andersen, Nordic – Office of Architecture

Alf Sognefest, the T3 development project

Christel Øen, the T3 development project

Anne Beate Hovind, Project manager

Ruth Hege Halstensen, Curator