Magnhild Øen Nordahl

Så langt det passer


Painted euro pallets installed for the floor of Galleri Svalbard, Spitsbergen.

Så langt det passer is a site specific work made for Solfestuka in Longyearbyen, an annual festival celebrating the return of the sun to this high arctic settlement.

The euro pallets exist in abundance in Longyearbyen since most things must be shipped by boat to this faraway island in the north. Due to scarceness of building materials and to strict environmental protection laws people use the euro pallet to fill a multitude of architectural purposes ranging from snow mobile storage, to furniture building modules and material to build terraces outside their houses. Local authorities considers installing the euro pallet as a temporary construction, and it is therefor often used instead of building permanent structures which require bureaucratic application procedures due to the strict environmental laws that apply.

The title “Så langt det passer” is a phrase from Norwegian law describing how national legislations apply in Svalbard and can be translated to “to the extent of what is applicable”. After the duration of the exhibition the pallets were put back at the harbor where they came from and soon reappeared in their natural habitat as colorful additions on the Longyearbyen tundra.

The photographs on the wall are by artist Janne Talstad and document some of her visits to Russian settlements in Svalbard.

Examples of how the euro pallet is used as informal architecture and images from a visit to Longyearbyen some months after the exhibition where the colorful exhibition floor had now gone back into its ordinary Longyearbyen circulation.