The exhibition Architecture and Landscape in Norway, in the Felleshus of the Nordic Embassies in Berlin, shows a selection of photographs taken by Ken Schluchtmann at the intersection between contemporary architecture and landscape along the National Scenic Routes in Norway. The National Scenic Routes, initiated in 1994, consist of 18 selected roads that run along the coasts and fjords, and over the mountains and plains in Norway. By 2024 there will be almost 250 rest areas and viewpoints created by some 60 architectural firms, landscaping firms, designers and artists.
It all started in 1997 with a trip to Norway. The impressions Ken Schluchtmann experienced at the time were so intense that he then quit his law studies in Hanover and trained as a photo designer in Berlin.
For the current project, he has been travelling the country over the past eight years, driving over 25,000 kilometres, living in his VW bus for weeks and producing over 10,000 photos. Schluchtmann is the only professional photographer who has photographed these landscapes consistently. He uses a coherent imagery, which creates a strong identity and shows some of the most beautiful parts of rural Norway. The pure power of the landscape is strengthened by the integration of architecture and art works.
In order to achieve a more intense experience for the viewer, the presentation of the photos in various sizes and print types, film, projection, animation and even large stones, which the photographer had brought back from Norway over the years, have been merged into an overall concept.
The exhibition space at the 1st floor is defined by black partition walls which follow the outlines of the travelled routes. These walls trace the photographer's itinerary and provide changing spatial experience and surprising views for the visitors within the space itself.
The multimedia aspect of Schluchtmann’s exhibition shows up in different moments: the auditorium with the projection of the Making Of video, which can otherwise be also seen on the first floor as an introduction to the exhibition itself. The video is underlaid with contemporary electronic music that goes hand in hand with the architectural design and intensifies the sublimity of the dramatic landscapes. It is also the music that accompanied Schluchtmann during his trips to Norway. Next to the café on the 1st floor, a video mapping of Norway visualizes the travel route and complements it with matching landscape motifs of the various regions.