Skatt Øst is the Norwegian Tax Administration for the under eastern part of Norway. It operates under the Ministry of Finance. In 2009 Skatt Øst announced a competition for a site specific art project, for their new headquarters in downtown Oslo. Galleri Brandstrup’s proposal included artists Øystein Dahlstrøm, Fredrik Raddum, Eivind Blaker and Espen Henningsen and was selected for the commission. The gallery, along with the artists, worked closely with architect Narud Stokke Wiig throughout the process.
For the common space of the atrium that includes the canteen of the building, Fredrik Raddum crated a sculpture installation. The work consists of 14 clouds in specular stainless steel hovering in the skies over the canteen. The clouds are bound together by rises in the same material and the first ladder begins 3 meters from the floor. From there the sculpture formation spreads 25 meters upwardly until the top floor.
Stainless steel was selected with regard to the environment, which provides a mirror effect that interacts with the architecture and creates reflections of the building, the interior and people. Although the reflections creates distorted forms, it allows the feeling of space to become amplified. The installation is also visible from the outside; imitating the sky and clouds, it mixes the real world with the playful and imaginary.
The installation is called “The Sky is the Limit” and plays with the idea behind tax administration and a social welfare state that is built on collective cost-sharing. The ladders and clouds visualize dreamlike possibilities, but also the fragility of the Norway as a utopia.
In each of the six meeting rooms, which are located over six floors one above the other, a photo of Øystin Dahlstrøm is installed. Their placement makes them into an installation which covers all six floors. Øystein Dahlstrøm works thematically with urban environments who are recognizable landscapes, but still completely unfamiliar and identifiable. The artworks focus on the placeless, which stands in contrast to the photograph’s site specific and concrete representation of reality.
Artist duo Eivind Blaker and Espen Henningsen collaborated on art expression shown in the auditorium. The artists painted directly on the wall, and applied three-dimensional MDF reliefs, forming cartoon illustrations on the side walls of the auditorium. Blaker and Henningsen's expression is fresh and vital, which both challenges and stimulates the environment.
The site spesific art work was completed in 2010.