This September, the 8th Lofoten International Art Festival
- on the archipelago located on the northern coast of Norway just above the Arctic Circle - explores the current global feeling of uneasiness through installations and site-specific works by 26 invited artists from 17 different countries.
The uneasiness in our day-to-day existence appears most strikingly in the form of antagonisms; strong and sometimes violent disagreements between people and their governments or political ideologies. Acknowledging art as an integrated part of society, crises can also be traced to within an increasingly institutionalised art world - even if the antagonisms, which arise from these crises, are not identical to the ones we see in society at large.
Just what is it that makes today so familiar, so uneasy? intends to establish an aesthetic, intellectual and political position by bringing the public and those shaping contemporary art discourse closer to an understanding of the conditions that shape our consciousness and existence today. The curatorial trio behind this years LIAF aim to reflect on how art can position itself as a profession and as a vocabulary within societies where the protocol of contemporary institutional art practice is built on the idea of instigating, designing, or manufacturing some form of antagonism through its programming. The scarcity of art institutions or structures in Lofoten offers LIAF 2013 an opportunity to seriously consider the conditions described above, immersing itself in the fabric of the local community, its domestic, commercial and public spaces while exploring the current moments global uneasiness.
LIAF 2013 will feature a rich variety of art projects, which create connections with each other and their surroundings, forming a circuit of intense emotions, ideas, and positions. Additionally, great attention will be given to the educational program to intensify the projects impact within its locale.
LIAF 2013: participants and venues
The works, installations and performances of this years edition of LIAF are on view in the two centres of the Vågan Municipality; Svolvær and Kabelvåg. The venues range from a three-storey residential house in Kabelvåg, a hotel room, a garage, the Lofoten War Museum, the local library and cinema in Svolvær, to an Am-Car Club, an industrial space and an eighteenth-century wooden shed on the island of Svinøya. Many of the works have been especially commissioned for LIAF 2013 some of which are of a site-specific nature and all are immersing itself in the fabric of the local community, its domestic, commercial and public spaces while exploring the current moments global uneasiness.
On the south end of the island of Svinøya the artists Bani Abidi, Shilpa Gupta and Adelita Husni-Bey will be presented with works in various media and expression in Murbruket - an old fish factory, and in the Am-Car Club. Commissioned works by HC Gilje and Britta Marakatt-Labba will also be on display here. Further north on Svinøya, István Csákány will infiltrate a garage with his sculpture A sudden gust of motivation, and in Pedro Gómez-Egañas performance installation The Maelstrom Observatory, a wooden shed has turned into an adaptation of Edgar Allen Poes short story A Descent into the Maelström set in Lofoten. The curatorial composition on the island transports our thoughts away from our present and into history, stories and our own imagination.
In the town centre of Svolvær, works by Sven Augustijnen, Ann Böttcher, Adrià Julià,
Karl Larsson, Allen Ruppersberg, Lisa Tan, Olivier Zabat and Knut Åsdam embrace a
number of meta-narratives important to the social and cultural spaces we inhabit. The
works will be shown in venues such as a burnt out ruin of an old shop, the War Museum, the Public Library, a Shopping Centre and a hotel. Film works by Bani Abidi, Mircea Cantor and Nana Oforiatta Ayim are juxtaposed in a daily screening in the cinema in Svolvær.
In the private house of Per Pedersen in Kabelvåg, works by Leslie Hewitt in collaboration with Bradford Young, David Horvitz, Sinia Ilić, Mahmoud Khaled, Laida Lertxundi, Oliver Ressler, Walid Sadek and Natascha Sadr Haghighian will be presented among the private belongings across the three floors of the house. This home is turned into a space where art and the political meet, history blends into the contemporary, and the highly current issue of oil extraction outside of Lofoten will be seen through the independent eyes of art. David Horvitzs work LENGE LEVE HAVET (Long live the sea) will be installed in the Smedvika harbour.
Mondo at LIAF 2013
During LIAF 2013 the artist-run mobile art bookshop Mondo, hosted in the Lichtwarck kiosk on the square in Svolvær, will become a platform for information and art, offering published books, fanzines and other printed matter, many by LIAF artists and participants. The architecture of the kiosk will also be used as a framework for sculpture, video and audio works. Embracing LIAF, Mondo adds to the diversity of the festival, presenting works by young artists related to the north and to the curatorial concept of LIAF 2013. Established in 2007, Mondo is designed as a multi-location project and can today be found in Bergen, Copenhagen and Oslo.