Memory Wound: Striking Land Art Honors Norway Victims

A deep incision into the earth provides a visceral visual reminder of the loss of 77 innocent victims of the 2011 mass shooting on the island of Utøya in Norway. Splitting the woodland landscape with an eleven-foot-wide cut, the installation envisioned by Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg aims to reflect the sudden and irreversible loss of all who perished in the youth camp on the island.


This permanent alteration makes the tip of the landmass unreachable by foot, cut off from the rest by water. Visitors are taken on a journey into the depths of the land itself, following a forest path that tunnels into the hillside, leading directly to the rocky cut. At the end, they will gaze onto the stone surface of the other side, upon which the names of the dead will be inscribed.

This moving tribute is one of two planned as a memorial for the attacks, which were carried out by the same perpetrator on the same day. The second will be located in the government quarter of Oslo, which was bombed. The foundation for the memorial in Oslo will be made from the stone excavated on Utøya island to connect the two locations in a physical way.


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