Reflect: Bigert & Bergström Showcases the Solar Egg, a Sculpture and Sauna, Opening at the American Swedish Institute, March 6, 2019
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Reflect: Bigert & Bergström is a new, limited-time American Swedish Institute experiential exhibition showcasing Solar Egg by Bigert & Bergström for Riksbyggen, which is both a social sculpture and a working sauna. Installed in the ASI outdoor Courtyard March 6 – April 28, 2019, this five-meter-tall, golden-colored, mirrored egg structure with a wood-fired sauna inside reflects its surroundings and acts as chamber for conversation. The Solar Egg was created by the Swedish artist duo of Mats Bigert and Lars Bergström, who will visit the ASI on March 6–7 for the Egg’s opening weekend to help fire up the sauna and screen two of their climate-based films. Meet the artists and take a sauna on Wednesday, March 6, 6 – 8 p.m. during Eggstravaganza — Solar Egg Opening Night. ASI is located at 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis. For more details on the event, go online or call 612-871-4907 To schedule sauna sessions visit ASImn.org.
Bigert and Bergström are two of Sweden’s most notable international climate-focused artists. They constructed Solar Egg for the Swedish housing developer Riksbyggen as a symbol of new beginnings in the northern Swedish town of Kiruna, now undergoing a gigantic move to make way for an iron ore mine which drives the region’s economy. Mat Bigert commented on their intention to have the Solar Egg invite dialogue, “We like to have the discussion to also touch on the debate around climate change and global warming. I think the temperature difference between the inside and the outside might spark some thoughts in that direction.”
On Thursday, March 7, the artists will host a special screening and Q & A for their films Rescue Blanket for Kebnekaise and The Climate Experiment. ASI visitors can also sign up in advance to take Solar Egg sauna sessions from March 6 through April 28. The sauna, which holds a key position in Nordic countries as a space for warmth and reflection, is heated by a heart-shaped iron and stone stove. A limited number of 30-minute sauna sessions will be available on Wednesdays from 5–7:30 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays, noon – 4:30 p.m. Saunas cost $30 a session per person for ASI and 612 Sauna Society members, and $35 for non-members, plus fees. Sessions include ASI museum admission. Bring your own towels and swimsuits (required). Reservations are available online through ASImn.org and managed by 612 Sauna Society.
Other special Solar Egg inspired activities include a family friendly Outdoor Golden Egg Hunt at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 20, welcoming kids (up to age 12) to search for gold-colored eggs outside (rain/snow or shine) on the Mansion grounds. Earlier in the month, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 13, ASI holds its annual Easter in the Castle event featuring an egg hunt inside the Mansion, crafts and stories related to Swedish traditions such as Easter witches and feather-decorated trees.
ASI marks the final weekend of the Solar Egg’s courtyard residence with an outdoor Valborg Celebration, 6 – 9 p.m. on Friday, April 26. Valborg festivities traditionally welcome spring and date back to the middle ages. At the ASI, as in Sweden, the celebration will include bonfires, crafts and songs. Specialty cocktails and light fare by FIKA café will be available for purchase. $10 ASI members / $15 non-members. After April 28, the last day for saunas, the Solar Egg will return to Sweden.
ASI’s programming reflects a mission of being a gathering place for all people to share experiences around themes of culture, migration, the environment and the arts. The 2019 exhibitions are linked to a year-long theme of Shift as seen through artists’ eyes; a change in focus or perspective mostly focused on the natural world.
Additional Information and Related Programming
Reflect: Bigert & Bergström
March 6 – April 28
The featured work in the Reflect: Bigert & Bergström exhibition is Solar Egg by Bigert & Bergström for Riksbyggen. This five-meter-tall egg sculpture, sheathed in stainless, golden-colored mirror, is also a functional sauna that reflects its surroundings and acts as a chamber for the exchange of ideas. The Swedish duo Mats Bigert and Lars Bergström, two of the country’s foremost, climate-inspired artists, created the egg for the Swedish housing developer Riksbyggen. It stands as a symbol of new beginnings for the town of Kiruna, which is undergoing a massive move to make way for an iron ore mine that drives the region's economy.
Related Solar Egg Programming:
Eggstravaganza — Solar Egg Opening Night
Wednesday, March 6, 6 – 8 p.m.
Join artists Mats Bigert and Lars Bergström to celebrate the Solar Egg launch at ASI and for a talk to share insights about their work. $10 ASI members / $17 non-members. Food and cocktails will be available for purchase from FIKA café. The evening also begins the series of sauna sessions (additional charge).
Solar Egg Sauna Sessions
March 6 – April 28 on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays
Solar Egg Sauna sessions will be available on Wednesday evenings and weekends from March 6 through April 28. A limited number of 30-minute sauna time slots will be available on Wednesdays from 5–7 p.m. (last session begins at 7 p.m.), and on Saturdays and Sundays, noon – 4 p.m. (last session begins at 4 p.m.) Saunas will be $30 a session, per person, for ASI and 612 Sauna Society members, and $35 for non-members (plus fees). Sessions include ASI museum admission. Bring your own towels and swimsuits (required). Reservations will be available online through ASImn.org and managed by 612 Sauna Society.
Two Films by Bigert & Bergström — Rescue Blanket for Kebnekaise and The Climate Experiment, Screening and Q & A with the artists
Thursday, March 7, 6 p.m.
Join visiting Solar Egg Swedish artists Mats Bigert and Lars Bergström at ASI for an after-hours special screening of two of their films — Rescue Blanket for Kebnekaise and The Climate Experiment. An exclusive
Q & A will follow. $15 ASI members / $20 non-members
Outdoor Golden Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 20, 11 a.m.
Inspired by the Solar Egg, this outdoor (rain/snow or shine) Easter egg hunt has kids (up to 12 years old) in search of golden eggs! $15 per child (up to 12 years old)
Valborg Celebration at ASI
Friday, April 26, 6 – 9 p.m.
ASI marks the final weekend of the Solar Egg’s courtyard residence with the outdoor Valborg Celebration. In Sweden, as at ASI, the tradition includes welcoming the return of spring with bonfires and song. Specialty cocktails and festival food by FIKA café will be available for purchase. $10 ASI members / $15 non-members
American Swedish Institute Exhibitions:
- March 6 – April 28, 2019, Reflect: Bigert & Bergström is an ASI experiential exhibition featuring the Solar Egg by Bigert & Bergström for Riksbyggen, a golden-mirrored sculpture and a working sauna.
- Through April 28, Imagine: Surreal Photography by Erik Johansson. Dream-like worlds created by the award-winning Swedish visual artist from fascinating, digital compositions of his nature photographs.
- Through March 17, Witness: Stuart Klipper, photographs of post-Chernobyl Sápmi landscapes in northern Sweden taken by the Minneapolis-based artist Stuart Klipper.
- Through March 17, Arts North features 50 works in various mediums drawn from a larger juried competition.
- May 17 – The Vikings Begin, the Midwest premiere of a traveling exhibition from Sweden of artifacts from early Vikings boat graves.
THE AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE (ASI) is a gathering place for all people to share experiences around themes of culture, migration, the environment and the arts, informed by enduring links to Sweden. The vibrant arts and cultural organization, home to the museum and historic Turnblad Mansion, Museum Store and FIKA café, are located at 2600 Park Avenue near downtown Minneapolis. The Wall Street Journal called ASI “[a] model of how a small institution can draw visitors through exciting programming.” For more information, visit www.ASImn.org or call 612-871-4907.
ASI MUSEUM HOURS: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, Noon–5 p.m.; closed Monday.
Museum Admission: $12 adults, $8 ages 62 +, $6 ages 6–18 and full-time students with ID. Free for ASI members and children ages 5 and under.
FIKA, ASI’s award winning café, is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 8:30 a.m. –5 p.m. (full menu 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.); Wednesday, 8:30 a.m.–8 p.m. (full menu 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. ) and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (full menu 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
The ASI MUSEUM STORE is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10 a.m. –5 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m. –8 p.m. Sunday, Noon-5 p.m.
Reflect: Bigert & Bergström is supported by ASI’s Members and donors. ASI’s Hotel Partner is Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot.
Minnesota artist activity is made possible by voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.
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