Alexander Polzin, Peer Gynt I, 2011 (detail) Alexander Polzin, Peer Gynt I, 2011 View full image

Peer Gynt: A Geography of Lies

An Old Man Reflects

This project presents a wonderful opportunity for me to bring together my life-long relationship with Grieg’s music, and my passion for the visual arts. Although Grieg described it as 'the most unmusical of all subjects', it made him produce his most colourful and exciting orchestral score

Eivind Aadland

Alexander Polzin’s video projections take the audience into the mind and memories of Henrik Ibsen’s great anti-hero Peer Gynt as he looks back on his life, to the accompaniment of a live orchestra performing excerpts from Grieg’s evocative and well-loved score.

  • Collaboration between Norwegian conductor and art collector Eivind Aadland and German visual artist Alexander Polzin
  • Commissioned by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra to commemorate 200 years of Norwegian independence and its own 250th Jubilee
  • Uses an original selection of music from Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt

Grieg: Peer Gynt (trailer)

Ibsen’s masterful text seems to cry out for images and ‘cinematic’ visualisation. I believe that a synthesis between Alexander’s creativity, Ibsen’s masterful drama and Grieg’s rich orchestral score will offer an opportunity for a new and fresh look at Peer Gynt.

Eivind Aadland
Alexander Polzin, Peer Gynt II, 66.5 x 86.5 cm, Oil on Board
© Alexander Polzin

In creating the ideas for this I was inspired by Samuel Beckett - specifically his play Krapp’s Last Tape. I see this piece as happening from the perspective of Peer Gynt as an ageing man reflecting on, or reliving in some strange way, the adventures of his younger self.

Alexander Polzin