Murder in Dreamland

Picture by Anwar Saab, dinner table detail

4 hours performance-installation at the opening of Arena Vestfossen 2nd of May 2009

Concept Collective Collage

Artistic Leader Ella Christina Fiskum

Initiated and produced by Ella Christina Fiskum,

Developped in collaboration with Sudesh Adhana.

Coproduction with Scenerommet

13 interdiciplinary artists.

The concept invited 13 international interdisciplinary artists and executed a 4 hour performance installation at the site-specific place by, in, and over the river Vestfossen at the backside of Arena Vestfossen. A plot that reconstructed a murder case on the sight was executed in real time, where the viewers could follow the action guided by time codes on a map, or seen through a parallel video projection on the entry wall at Arena Vestfossen. The collage was premiered in connection with the opening of the summer season at Arena Vestfossen and Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, one of the major contemporary art event in Norway, just outside the capital Oslo..

The goal of the site-specific work entitled “Murder in Dreamland,” was to conjure curiosity and draw viewers to the outdoor space behind the Arena Vestfossen, and Vestfossen Art Laboratory. Fiskum started the project by selecting a group of collaborators. The artists were chosen on the basis of their previous work, with the dramatic landscape and river rapids of Vestfossen in mind. The development of a “plot” for the installation was inspired by the feeling and idiosyncrasies of the deserted site. Involvement from the local community, input from the co-producer, and involvement with local artists was important for Fiskum. As the plot developed, more collaborators were brought into the fold.

The actions, or framework, for Murder in Dreamland grew from discussions and workshops with the artists. The concept of a crime plot was inspired by the site when, for example, dead animals including fish, two swans, and a hawk were found. Fiskum developed and refined the concept, and the artists were given a detailed storyboard with directives in time, and character development. The story board provided specific timelines, as well as character sketches and names, ie. the gardener, the agent, the black hearted twin, the host. Each character played on the edge of reality. The visual artists were asked to be involved in the “performance modus” for this project, or to develop an alter ego. Fiskum called the process, “concept collective collage.


After a grand opening of an art exhibition, in the remote little town of Vestfossen, the host has invited all the 12 artists and guests for a dinner party. The huge table is set in the middle of the river, the chandeliers are lit up, the red table cloth is set with dishes with hanging grapes, exotic fruit, and a pork with an apple in his mouth… all of it ready to be consumed… Among the guest is an agent, and so is a famous blond, a young starlet, two rebels, a local singer, a bookkeeper, a black gardener, a snooper, a correspondent, a witness and a spider. The party unfolds. The tension between the guest is building up. Some are eating or dancing on the table, and their discussion is heating up. A cat fight between the famous and the local breaks out. A load discussion between the host and the correspondent, turns into a fistfight between the host and the agent…. First to leave the party is the spider… Next morning the agent is informed of the murder of a young girl. The dead Starlet is found laying on the ground among a large amount of unidentified black objects. By the time the investigators arrives, her body has disappeared…. Suddenly two other girls are found dead. The agent is interrogating…. A car was seen driving away with one of the victims… Screams were heard in an abandoned silo… He further reveals that four of the guests is having a relationship, giving them a possible motive after a crazy night in Vestfossen… The case is moving towards total chaos –where everybody is found with a motive to kill… The agent is given no other choice than regathering them all on a net hanging over a waterfall. With no chance to escape they are all forced to surrender to the truth…


Photo by Anwar Saab, featuring Benedicte Schybaj

Photo by Tomasz Ozdowski, featuring Sudesh Adhana, Anwar Saab, and Benedicte Schybaj

Photo by Anwar Saab, featuring Kristina Knaben Hennestad and Laura Christina Brøvig Vallenes

Photo by Anwar Saab, featuring Ella Christina Fiskum

Photo by Tomasz Ozdowski, featuring Kristina Knaben Hennestad

Photo by Anwar Saab, featuring Sudesh Adhana

Photo by Tomasz Ozdowski, featuring Ella Christina Fiskum

Photo by Anwar Saab, featuring Tomasz Ozdowski

Photo by Anwar Saab, detail

Photo by Tomasz Ozdowski, featuring Danuta Haremska

Photo by Anwar Saab, featuring Laura Christina Brøvig Vallenes

Photo by J.S.E, featuring Jon Mihle

Photo by Anwar Saab, featuring Ella Christina Fiskum

Photo by Rune Folkdal, featuring Loan Tp Hoang

Photo by Anwar Saab, featuring Ella Christina Fiskum

Photo by J.S.E, featuring Danuta Haremska, Tomasz Ozdowski, Loan Tp Hoang, (Sudesh Adhana), Ella Christina Fiskum, Morten Liene, and Elisabeth Nøkland Johansen

Picture above featuring all 13 artists: Nøkland Johansen, Adhana, Ozdowski, Saab, Liene, Mihle, Hoang, Schybaj, Haremska,Fiskum, Olsen, Brøvig Vallenes, Knaben Hennestad.

built by flyxer designed by caribou