Solaris, 2010 - 2018

A series of works inspired by the science fiction novel Solaris by Stanislaw Lem, which chronicles the ultimate futility of attempted communications with the extraterrestrial life on a far-distant planet. Solaris is covered with an ocean that is revealed to be a single, planet-encompassing sentient organism. In probing and examining the oceanic surface from a hovering research station the oblivious human scientists are, in turn, being studied by the planet itself (- excerpt from wikipedia).

"For some time, there was a widely held notion (…) to the effect that the thinking ocean of Solaris was a gigantic brain, prodigiously well-developed and several million years in advance of our own civilization, a sort of cosmic yogi, a sage, a symbol of omniscience, which had long ago understood the vanity of all action and for this reason had retreated into an unbreakable silence. The notion was incorrect, for the living ocean was active. Not, it is true, according to human ideas -it did not build cities or bridges, nor did it manufacture flying machines. It did not try to reduce distances, nor was it concerned with the conquest of space (…). But it was engaged in a never-ending process of transformation, an ontological autometamorphosis." (- excerpt from the novel).

Being a long-time admirer of Andrei Tarkovskys film adaptation of the novel, I recently re-read the book, and realized that the planet´s incessant sculptural activity on the surface is only obliquely suggested in the film. The entire planet resembles a skin of an unknown material which - inspired by the human presence in the space station - is making gigantic abstract and representational formations on the surface. At the end of the novel the main character finds himself for a brief moment seemingly communicating with the strange formless ocean, although the knowledge obtained is as fleeting as the ocean itself. These works are investigations into the relations between a literary text, mental images, different pop-cultural visualizations of the unknown and invisible phenomena in astronomy and quantum physics. They are not only visualizing aspects of a probable distant planet, but also - like Solaris - probing the human mind for what lies within.

- Bjørn Bjarre, 2011


Solaris (Notes and Sketches no.30), 2013-18, ink on paper,
14,5 x 10,5 cm


Solaris (Notes and Sketches no.8), 2013, ink on paper,
14,5 x 9 cm, Private collection


Solaris (Notes and Sketches no.11), 2014, ink on paper,
14,5 x 9 cm,
Private collection


Solaris (Notes and Sketches no.14), 2013-14, ink on paper,
14,5 x 9 cm,
in the collection of The National Museum of Art,
Architecture and Design, Oslo


Solaris (Notes and Sketches no.4), 2013, ink on paper, 14,5 x 10,5 cm

Solaris (Notes and Sketches no.5), 2013, ink on paper, 14,5 x 10,5 cm

Solaris (Notes and Sketches no.6), 2013, ink on paper,
14,5 x 10,5 cm,
Private collection

Solaris (Notes and Sketches no.7), 2013, ink on paper, 14,5 x 10,5 cm

Solaris (Experimental Atmospheric Laboratory), 2013, Steel, aluminum, glass, light emitting diodes, plexiglass,
electric wire, silicone, variable ephemeral materials, 22 x 29 x 22 cm/10,5 x 20,5 x 11 cm

Solaris (Loop Quantum Gravity Diagram), 2011, ink and acrylic ink on paper, 48,5 x 65 cm

Solaris (Fantasy Landscape no.1), 2010, pastel on paper, 42 x 59,5 cm, Private collection

Solaris (Stream of Consciousness Drawing no.3), 2011, ink on paper, 30 x 42 cm, KORO (Public Art Norway)

Solaris (Fantasy Landscape no.4), 2011, pastel on paper, 42 x 59,5 cm, Nordea Art Collection

Alphabet Variations (Solaris - The Monsters), 2011, ink on bookpages, 77 x 145,5 cm


Solaris (Fantasy Landscape no.2), 2010, pastel on paper, 23,5 x 33 cm, Private collection