LOFFERE

TRAMPS

A walk from Oslo to Stavanger
November 18 – December 9, 2005

Background

We were invited by the artist curator duo Rakett to do the opening show at Tou Kunsthall, a part of Tou Scene – a performance space in west coast town of Stavanger .  9 old condemned brewery halls of former beer producer Tou Breweries has been transformed to an exhibition space. The beer tanks have been removed and left a cold and dark industrial vacuum. Due to the precarious financial situation of Tou Scene there could be no financial support for our project.

Money no object

On Friday November 17 we left our studio in Oslo heading for our exhibition place in Stavanger . We followed the popular route “Sørlandstrekket” used by Norwegian Tramps up to the mid 60s. Today this route has been taken over by the main roads E 18 and E 39. Large parts of the way there are no sidewalks and traffic is dominated by trucks and busses. Calculated length of the route today is about 750 km including detours. The distance was divided into 20 legs of 30 - 40 km per day.

On the road

We walked with reflectors and minimal amount of equipment. Due to the season we had sleeping bags and therma rests. We had a limited budget of 50 kroners per day for food and no mobile phones. Our meals were devoured at the local supermarkets along the way. A day leg could take up to 11 hours to complete. Several stops were made each day to ask people for water.

Housing was based on people’s generous hospitality. We slept mostly inside private homes, but also in a farm house, a public toilet, a garage and under the open night sky. It could take hours to find a place to sleep. The walk and our social encounters were documented with video and a digital camera. Due to a leg accident, half the trip was made on a children’s bike and a lady bike that were donated to us along the way.

The show

The show at Tou Kunsthall consisted of two piles of mattresses donated to us by the second hand shop Fretex. These were exposed in the main hall. Our plan was for the Kunsthall to remain open for homeless visitors that need a shelter for the night, but the lack of resources at the Kunsthall made this impossible.  3 hours of unedited video material from the trip was projected on the walls of three separate brewery halls. The video material was looped and active speakers from each room were used to create a blend in the soundscape coming from the three videos. At the opening Rakett served tramp food to our visitors; hot dogs, baked beans and beer.

Back to school

After the opening, author and tramp expert Thor Gotaas came from Oslo to hold a inspiring lecture about tramps in Norway . Thor’s book “På loffen – Landstrykere og vagabonder langs norske landeveier”, Spartacus 2001, has been a great source of inspiration for our project.

We would like to make a special thanks to all that helped us realize this project!