RUTH – ONE OF THE TALKING FIGUREHEADS
FOR THE THIRD SHIP IN THE LIFE-BOATS PROJECT
by sculptor Marit Benthe Norheim
The 19 figureheads that will be mounted on the back of the third sculpture ship, “My Ship is Loaded with Memories”, will be symbolic portraits of a variety of contemporary women who will relate their stories to the coming generations. The women; from many different countries and cultures are all over 70 and have a history that includes travelling and living in other countries than their own – and for different reasons. They will be both prominent female figures as well as more anonymous representatives of history. The interviews will be about belonging and identity and will be made available to the audience inside the large sculpture that will sail from Denmark and out on the European canals.
“As classic symbolic expressive forms, the figurehead has been the ship’s protector. This ship has 19 protectors. In addition to looking after the ship, the female figureheads function in all their variety as defences against bigotry, repression and intolerance. They do not represent the different nations, but are ambassadors for the trans-national and for cultural meetings across national borders.” Ann-Dorte Christensen, Professor of Sociology, Aalborg University
For the BunkerLove festival in Hirtshals, the German figurehead, Ruth Ross Karlsen will be presented, both through film, sculpture and dance.
“Do not forget”
Ruth (87) is German, but has lived in Norway – she married a Norwegian after the war and now lives in Denmark.
Ruth spends her time writing and lecturing about the importance of not forgetting! That the atrocities of the Second World War did happen and that she was a witness to them. As the daughter of a German policeman, who was not a Nazi, she was sent to Poland when she was 13 and experienced being hated and isolated. Her father told her that what the Germans were doing was not right, but that he had to be there to save his family. At one point she saw a pair of beautiful brown eyes of a young Jewish boy behind the barbed wire fence in a ghetto and wanted to talk to him. But her father told her that if she spoke to him he would be shot and she might be too…
Film by Lars Hegndal, in which Ruth tells her story to Marit Benthe Norheim, will be shown for the first time at the BunkerLove festival in Hirtshals together with the
Sculptural figurehead portrait of Ruth, by Marit Benthe Norheim
Her symbolic portrait has large open eyes and a large eye in the chest, where the pupil is the head of a young girl with a dancing skirt. It is etched as an impression on the one side and a relief on the other side.
”ALL I WANTED WAS TO DANCE”
Choreography and dance, by Sigrid Norheim Ørntoft
– On top of the same bunkers, performed at intervals during the day.
Ruth lost her youth. ”All I wanted was to dance” she says.
Sigrid who is the same age as Ruth in the last year of the war, will be dancing Ruth´s dance.
See presentation of life-boats.com