Exhibiting "Cruelty Has a Human Heart" in Public Spaces / Cruelty Has a Human Heart @ Ila High Security Prison and Detention senter

Please contact me at lisebjorne@mac.com if you are interested hearing more about this tour – as a possible participator in conversations or for a visit of the project.

March 13th - May 3rd

Cruelty Has a Human Heart has this spring had its 11th stop at Ila Detention and Security Prison. The installation was placed outside in the coartyard between buildings hosting  school, cafeteria and welding workshops. It was -2 C, snow and rain when we installed. When I expressed a wish for better conditions one of the inmates said: “but isn´t this quite proper in relation to the content of the work?”

The installation was up for 2 ,5 months. During this time the inmates were inviteted to participate in a writing workshops, that I arranged in collaboration with priest Elisabeth Thorsen from Oslo Cathedral. We met once a week over three weeks. The result was thoughtsful, strong and moving texts. Agreed on by the participants, the texts were read as a prayer in Oslo Cathedral Easter day.

Last day of the exhibition participants in the writing workshops met and shared thoughts, questions, new ideas.  The writing workshops have during the process become a new work: Fra cellas indre / (From inside the cell), Title derived from one of the inmates texts.

We also invited inmates not part of the workshop to share reflections on the installation itself. One said he was provoked by the installation. “When I commited my crime, I became the cruel act I had commited and the identity number I was given in the prison. All the good things I also had done prior to this, is erased. I have become my evil act. Why should I reflect more on Cruelty? That is all I am now.”