Stockholm launches a new celebration of lights during Nobel Week
When December comes, we all need a little light in the darkness – and this year perhaps more than ever before. To bring some more light and hope to our lives, about sixteen places around Stockholm will be lit up for Nobel Week Lights (NWL) Stockholm from 5th – 13th December 2020 as part of the 2020 Nobel Week. This celebration of lights weaves together art and technology in a playful new way to celebrate this year’s Nobel Laureates.
The COVID-19 triggered cancelation of this year's Nobel celebrations led to conceptualization of the Nobel Week Lights event whose objective is to bring a high quality artistic event to the broad public to celebrate this year’s Nobel Prize event.
Stockholm City Hall, Sergels Torg, the Concert Hall, the Royal Dramatic Theatre, the Stockholm City Museum and the Nobel Prize Museum are just a few of the buildings and places that will serve as stages for some spectacular and artistic light installations. Nobel Week Lights Stockholm is inspired by international light festivals such as Lyon’s Fête des Lumières.
“This cultural experience is a welcome addition to this year’s Nobel Week, when we celebrate the year’s Nobel Laureates in a variety of ways,” says Lars Heikensten, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation. “This year is also unique in the history of the Nobel Prize, since many of the week’s activities are being held online. So we’re particularly happy to be able to invite the public to an experience in an outdoor environment that spreads light and hope.”
The project is initiated by Lara Szabo Greisman, Annika Levin and Alexandra Manson, and they say their idea for the light installations is to spread the joy of discovery, spark people’s curiosity and challenge visitors to see Stockholm with new eyes. In this collaboration among artists, lighting designers and the lighting industry, the public is offered an innovative experience of art and technology. They hope this pilot version will be the first of more to come in the future.
“For me, it’s important that Stockholm is a safe and welcoming place, both for local Stockholmers and for visitors. This is going to be a spectacular addition to Nobel Week during an extraordinary time, with light, art, and innovation taking centre stage – experiences that everyone can share together in our common public spaces. Making use of Stockholm’s most iconic buildings as a backdrop for fantastic light installations is going to light up everyday life for many Stockholmers during the darkest part of the year,” says Anna König Jerlmyr, Mayor of Stockholm.
Several of the light installations have been inspired by the Nobel Prizes of this and prior years. Images from the outer reaches of space will be projected onto the façade of Stockholm City Hall. The installation is one of the largest video mapping projects ever seen in the city, a collaboration with the Swedish National Space Board and the European Space Agency. There is a clear connection to this year’s Physics Prize, which was awarded for the discovery of one of the strangest phenomena in the universe: black holes.
On Sergels Torg, Helmet Experience Design will be filling the plaza with dancing shadows in all the colours of the rainbow, and in both the Kungsträdgården park and suburban Skärholmen, Stockholmers can experience designer Alexander Lervik’s luminescent swings. Artist Aleksandra Stratimirovic is going to make Nationalmuseum’s façade glitter, and the Nobel Prize Museum at Stortorget in Gamla Stan will be given an installation by Tobias Rylander and Sahara Widoff that relates to the museum’s new exhibition about the Nobel Banquet.
Nobel Week Lights Stockholm is created and produced by Annika Levin, Alexandra Manson, Lara Szabo Greisman and Helmet. The initiative is part of the programme for Nobel Week and has been undertaken in collaboration with the Nobel Prize Museum with support from the City of Stockholm, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce and the Institut Français de Suède, along with a number of other partners and lighting companies.
All light installations can be experienced outdoors with safe distance to others. They will be lit up from the afternoon until late in the evening and does not have to be seen during a specific time. The ambition is also to make the installations available digitally.