Travels

Koons to Kon-Tiki, and a misremembered childhood.

Tuesday 9 October. The Tjuvholmen district of Oslo is very modern and monied,

contemporary architecture vying with modern art.

including, now as ubiquitous as postboxes, an Anthony Gormley.

and these.

Make of them what you will.

Tjuvholmen is also home to the Astrup Fearnley modern art gallery, currently celebrating 25 years. There is a Jeff Koons exhibition on, including the life size porcelain of Michael Jackson and Bubbles,

some nice Damien Hirst pieces,

and much else to enjoy in the lovely space.

From there, I walked an hour and a half around the coast to the Kon-Tiki Museum. I thought I’d watched the Kon-Tiki expedition unfold as a child (it was my motivation for going to the museum) and, if asked, would have dated it around the time of the moon landing, late sixties. I was discombobulated, then, to discover the expedition took place in 1947, long before I was born. I suppose it was the kind of dramatic adventure that would have been on Blue Peter and so on, and the film must have been regularly shown on the few channels that existed in the sixties. Thor Heyerdahl had many subsequent adventures so there would have been coverage of those also, but Kon-Tiki must have made a huge impression on me to think, for all these years, I’d seen it happen.

It was good to see the original balsa wood craft,

and the Oscar Thor Heyerdahl got for the documentary about the voyage.

The reed boat from his second expedition, Ra2, was also there.

Heyerdahl was quite the adventurer to stir a schoolboys imagination, full of post-war bravado that, retrospectively, you can’t imagine happening in another era.

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