by Karen Hagen

Grapefruit is deeply honored to publish Lise Bjørne Linnert’s unique and very important art book «Cruelty Has a Human Heart». Here you can read why – Lise tells about the project and the book:

22nd of July 2011 a young native Norwegian committed the most gruesome acts. Our response was to walk in processions carrying roses and to talk about more love, more openness. But gradually I felt we were mainly preoccupied with our own goodness and our admirable reactions. What had become of anger, frustration, injustice? The other feelings? Aren’t we the same as everyone else? I started by cutting out newspaper articles and searching in historical material, and I found numerous texts that challenged our self-image.  The search led me to philosopher Lars Fr. Svendsen’s book A Philosophy of Evil and a question to him if he would collaborate with me on an art project: “Cruelty Has a Human Heart”  The core of the project is 83 quotes, which through a wide range, regarding both who is being quoted and the time of the quotation, in a cacophony of voices, known and unknown – politicians, historians, murderers and torturers as well as ordinary people, articulate and reflect on evil.  The public has been invited to discuss the  theme in workshops and 83 different hands have written and embroidered the quotes on colored canvas patches. The embroidered quotes fill a space of 3 x 6 m.

The gathered material is now presented in a book . I have gathered the quotes, reflections, conversations and images. Art critic and journalist Lars Elton has written the interview: “The humanness in evil” and Lars Svendsen contributes with the essays: “A Philosophy of evil”.

The book is produced generously supported by: Oslo Municipal Cultural Stipend, 2014; Norwegian Artists Association Sponsorship grant 2014; Fritt Ord (Freedom of Speech) and Arts Council Norway. For more information please contact: Grapefruit Publishing at or the author at

Lise Bjørne Linnert’s homepage:

Cruelty has a human heart