We are back from a week-residency in Russia’s biggest Arctic harbour city Murmansk with the Norwegian artist Lars Ramberg (based in Berlin). This was the second research trip for Ramberg, heading towards an art-installation in the public space of Murmansk.
The artist is interested in how public and private spaces function within the urban fabric that was created under the law of Soviet city-planning, now affected by the Barents Sea bonanza. We walked the city centre with its Stalin classicistic architecture and high-rising blocks, paid tribute to Alyosha guarding the town and visited the Lenin ice-breaker. We met super-nice people and ate delicious meals at the restaurants. However, most of the time we spent driving through numerous “garage-towns” and visited some peculiar garages that for Lars Ramberg became the ultimate expression of the individual male freedom.