Oslo’s historic harbor is changing before our eyes. The former industrial complex, with its ships, cranes, and storehouses has been replaced by new apartments, culture centers and office buildings. For a decade, Barcode has contributed to a ‘facelift’ of the East End. Whether one likes such ‘facelifts’ or not, the new row of buildings has become one of Oslo’s most important landmarks.
“Everyone” has an opinion about Barcode, and “everyone” has expectations as to what the new district in Bjørvika will become. To whom does it supposedly belong – is it just for white collar and upper class people, or should it rather belong to us all? The public has expressed a certain skepticism to the project. One fears a scenario where wealthy corporations from Aker Brygge expand eastward to take over the whole area. However, when the Sørenga Seawater Pool opened last summer, it attracted visitors from all layers of society. On a hot summer day, the pool worked as a diverse public area in an otherwise homogeneous and exclusive neighborhood.
The exhibition takes the pulse of Barcode, while Bjørvika continues to build its new character. I have explored the architecture and, more importantly, the people using the buildings. The project has been developed in cooperation with the Swedish-Norwegian publisher Arvinius+Orfeus. It has been published in the book Barcode – Instant City, which was released in September 2016.