The Munch Museum lets kids explore mystery and sadness in “Sophie's Room” – Fartland

The Munch Museum lets kids explore mystery and sadness in “Sophie's Room” – Fartland

Children who ride the Munch Museum's narrow escalators to the top will enter the artwork this spring Sophie's room. Inside, they can collect black shapes into new images, listen to ghostly music and contemplate a dark, shiny liquid.

-One of the things that we think is the most inspiring and interesting about Edvard Munch's art is the way he depicts the anxiety that we humans have to deal with. So we started researching how to talk openly about these feelings with children. That was the starting point, says artist Ronak Mushtaqi.

She made it Sophie's room With choreographer and sister Rosa Mushtaqi. The project is the third in the museum's children's series “Kom denk med oss!”, and thus does not shy away from the bleak and unknown aspects of life. Quite in line with Munch himself.

“We want to be open about this part of Munch's art, and bring out different aspects of our relationship with anxiety,” Ronak says.

Sophie was also the name of Edvard Munch's sister, who died of tuberculosis at the age of 15.

The cycle we are a part of

Despite the bleak palette: the tragic and sad are not necessarily the main theme of the exhibition, according to the sisters. The liquid mentioned above, which coincidentally flows from the fountain in the middle of the room, could resemble oil for example.

Oil is something we can see and touch, but it is also culture and something about the environment around us. Rosa and Ronak Mushtaqi consider it an image of the heritage that we have received from the past, and which we are passing on to the future. The truth is that oil is dead animals and plants that have taken another form.

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Death doesn't just become an empty space, does it?

– No, life does not come from nothing, and it does not end with death. We are born with debt and a legacy on our shoulders, and we pass on a version of that when we die.

Sophie's room

  • An interactive art installation for children on the 10th floor of the Munch Museum. It runs until August 18.
  • The artists behind it are Rosa Mushtaqi and Ronak Mushtaqi
  • The third part of the “Come Dink Made Us!” exhibition series. For children

Sophie's room It gives children “a space to imagine,” Rosa says.

– Everyone who enters the room will have a different experience. We greatly appreciate this openness, and were impressed by the answers the children gave in interviews after visiting the exhibition.

The black liquid has been called everything from Coke and chocolate to nightmares, she says.

From start to finish

Children are the Munch Museum's priority audience, says Christine von Tomte, one of the exhibition's two curators. She's thinking Sophie's room Helps expand children's artistic experience.

– Through the series “Kom Tenk med oss!”, we want to explore art that takes children seriously as an audience, in collaboration with artists and children themselves. Sophie's room It features a black and white color palette, and a darker story associated with fantasy and mysteries.

– Was it important to actively involve children in art?

– Absolutely. We see these projects as engaging and enabling us to engage in dialogue with children in a different way.

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Fonn Tømte says that the research conducted on “Come think with us!” It shows how important the overall museum experience is for children. They remember the museum as a whole, not necessarily the individual exhibitions they visit. At the Munch Museum, for example, the long, narrow escalators would quickly get stuck.

Historically, museums have not provided the best experiences for children, she says.

Historically, museums have not provided the best experiences for children

Christine von Tomte, curator of the exhibition

The Munch Museum offers special displays for children in many of its exhibitions, but this series stands out in that the entire exhibition space is designed with children in mind, von Tomte says.

Take children seriously

When dealing with children, the methods learned in art education cannot be used, according to Rosa.

– It was a little scary, because the contract I was used to with the art audience was no longer valid. You can imagine as much as you want with your adult brain, but these young minds encounter art without a filter. You simply have to relearn and be more honest with yourself and your work. You have fewer places to hide.

– What is the most important thing you emphasized?

– There was one thing that we thought was very important, which was that we should do serious work for children, Ronak answers.

– We wanted to take them seriously and give them the feeling that it was serious on our part, Rosa agrees.

There must be room for misunderstanding, lack of understanding or boredom

Ronak Mushtaqi

Sophie's room It is not intended to be a teaching project, nor should it be “overstimulating,” the sisters say. The main part of the work is the blank white walls, created so that the children can collect their own pictures and thus change the room, alone or with others.

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– There must be room for misunderstanding, lack of understanding or boredom.

Sophie Monk's room

Heritage and memory

Do we meet a person named Sophie T Sophie's room? Sophie is an animated movie character at the entrance to the exhibition hall. She could be any child visiting the museum, according to the two artists. The character is therefore not directly related to Sophie Monk, Monk's sister mentioned above. But if you know the story, the name gives an extra dimension.

Sophie Munch is often cited as an inspiration for Munch's great works Sick child (1886). The artist's memory of Sophie becomes a memory of ours as well. Rosa Mushtaqi believes we will always see her as a child.

Sophie is very present with Monk, and it is an important moment in his artistic career. He starts drawing his sister so he doesn't forget what she looks like.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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