Ended exhibition

I Am a Multitude - Festival Exhibition at the Arctic Arts Festival 2021

Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter has the artistic responsibility for this year's Festival Exhibition in Galleri Nord-Norge.

Downloadable exhibition guide:
I Am a Multitude - PDF

Contributing artists are

Allora & Calzadilla, Annika Eriksson, Antti Tenetz, Atelier Éditions, Camilla Renate Nicolaisen, Daniel Slåttnes, Eva Bakkeslett, Egill Sæbjörnsson, Gerd Aurell, Inghild Karlsen, Iselin Linstad Hauge, Jean Painlevé, Jana Winderen, Jenna Sutela, John Cage med Lois Long & Alexander H. Smith, Matti Aikio, Mercedes Mühleisen, Michelle-Marie Letelier, Outi Pieski, Simon Daniel Tegnander Wenzel, Yngvild Færøy og Søssa Jørgensen, Viktor Pedersen, Åsa Sonjasdotter.


But who are you?

For a while, I am the cabbage. Then I am the door handle of the public toilet. I am the immune system. I am the bar of chocolate. I am the gut. I am the handrail and the stop button on the bus. I am the keyboard of your computer. I am the air. I am a kiss. (1)

What do you mean? That you can be anything? From the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, or the animal kingdom?

We have to be brave and erase the line between dead and living matter. (2)

Yes, and some might even take it so far as to claim that everything is just one big organism. Interwoven, mutually dependent. Maybe, when it comes right down to it, created from the same substance; whether that should turn out to be magma, bacteria, or something else entirely.

But! If all things are made out of the same,
and share that inner roaring flame,
why cannot I dissolve myself
and out of this pond, become something else?
What can I do to be like you?
What hole do I need to fall into? (3)

(1) Bacteria and fungus from Viktor Pedersen’s body in his video Jeg er mangfoldig (I am a Multitude), 2020.

(2) Egill Sæbjörnsson in the video and performance-lecture From Magma to Mankind, 2020.

(3) The creature in Mercedes Mühleisen’s video installation The Pond’s Crust, 2019.

As part of this year's Arctic Arts Festival in Harstad, Northern Norway, the festival exhibition I am a Multitude presents different ways of being in the world, and the complex symbiotic relationship between all of us. From the microscopic, which can make quite a surprising difference, to the macroscopic that supposedly makes a bigger impact, we wish for the exhibition to, in an imaginative way, open up for the exploration of various types of existences and sensualities. In a time when the distant has slipped even further away, and the near has crept even nearer, we aim to build bridges and to inspire the exploration of less obvious connections.

To focus on humans’ coexistence with other species, and their reciprocal coexistence, is both a way of looking at the possibilities that are in front of us, which we might overlook, but also a way of reaching an understanding of what we have in common. With the exhibition and its tentacles, we wish to awaken both curiosity and concern for all types of existence.

The exhibition contains sound, video, performance, and other medias. Both new and existing works from a number of artists from the region, nationally and internationally, are shown, and we hope that it can activate temporary communities among the visiting as well as the local audience. Parts of the exhibition will stretch its tentacles out into the cityscape with a VR work at UiT and sound art via the local radio’s FM and web-stream. A public program in the form of artist presentations, live performance and radio, guided tours, will take place during the exhibition week.

As a part of the exhibition project Jeg er Mangfoldig ( I am a Multitude) a collaboration has been initiated with Havremagasinet (in Boden, Sweden) and Akureyri Art Museum (Iceland). Together we will find various ways to discover local, but common, connections across the borders, and to find variations of the theme in the three different locations. The tentacles will bring moments from Harstad and find new places for these to have an impact. With this as a starting point, the exhibition will grow and – like a bacterial culture – spread out in the form of public programs, addressing local issues and contexts.

Curated by Karolin Tampere and Torill Østby Haaland.

Programme during the Arctic Arts Festival (now ended).
The exhibition continues to be open until July 25.

Broadcast of Folk & Dyr via Radio Harstad
Time: Tuesdays at 13:00 and Thursdays at 19:00
Place: FM101.9 and online via www.radioharstad.no

With curiosity and artistic tools Yngvild Færøy and Søssa Jørgensen are tracing the relationships between humans and animals. As a partial contribution to the exhibition, previous episodes of Folk & Dyr were broadcast on the local radio station, FM 101.9 and online streaming.

Opening: I am a Multitude
Time: 13.00,15.00,17.00
Place: Galleri Nord-Norge

Contributing artists are present in the exhibition alongside the two curators introducing the exhibition. As a part of the opening Simon Daniel Tegnander Wenzel will activate his installation and work at distilling fragrances of local birch in the exhibition space.

The Bone by Michelle-Marie Leteliér / Yoik by Ánde Somby
Time: 12:00 – 16:00
Place: PRANDIUM, The Arctic University of Norway, Harstad

The Bone is an interactive VR experience that takes us into the reflections of a wild salmon and a farmed salmon; a magical and mysterious world - between the deep sea and the universe. Sound installation with a yoik by the Sami musician Ánde Somby.

Thoughts on Distillation: On Mute Mutiny
by Simon Daniel Tegnander Wenzel
Time: 15:00 and 17:00 (duration approximately 30 min)
Place: Galleri Nord-Norge

Simon Daniel Tegnander Wenzel presents a playful performance-lecture, where historical chronicles of distillation and alchemy, personal confessions, and traditions connected to the use of natural materials for the manufacture of perfumes, are weaved together to form an associative mind-map.

Exhibition: I am a Multitude
Time: 15:00–16:30
Place: Galleri Nord-Norge

Exhibiting artists talk about their works presented in the exhibiton.

LIVE RADIO: Mellom folk og ville dyr (Among people and wild animals)
Time: 13:00
Place: Strandgata 12. Live at Radio Harstad

FM101.9 and www.radioharstad.no

An audial narrative about wild animals and their human companions. Welcome to attentive listening, thinking out loud, and unanswered questions in connection with the podcast Folk & Dyr’s most recent episodes from Salten.

ATLANTIS – Birds and sculptural elements in Harstadhamna by Søssa Jørgensen and Geir Tore Holm
Time: 15:00–16:15
Place: Støperiet

Debate meeting with art and music: The artists Søssa Jørgensen and Geir Tore Holm have been commissioned by Harstad municipality to work on the art project Atlantis, part of Kunststien in Harstadhamn. Atlantis is a series of sculptural elements inspired by traditional port environments, with recognizable shapes and materials. Like all port environments, Harstadhamn is also a transition zone between different uses and encounters between different habitats, interests and views on life. In conjunction with “I am a Multitude” the artist duo invites guests to a conversation about this.

Makkverk – a live concert with clarinetist Håvard Lund and compost worms
Time: 17:00
Place: Galleri Nord-Norge

Clarinetist Håvard Lund will be jamming together with the amplified voices of the species Eisenia fetida who are part of Eva Bakkeslett ́s installation.

What is it like, being an artist? An evening at the gallery with the youth
Time: 17:00–19:00
Place: Galleri Nord-Norge

Exhibiting artists invites the youth to an evening in the gallery, to talk about exploration and creativity.

Festspillene i Nord-Norge (Arctic Arts Festival) was founded in Harstad in 1965. Taking place during the summer solstice in June each year, it is a weeklong international arts festival dedicated to music, theatre, dance and performance. With its home base at 68° latitude, the festival is in and about the north, where fostering and honouring creative processes, contemplative exchanges and a communal spirit is in focus.

The North Norwegian Art Centre (NNKS), located in Svolvær, Lofoten, is a regional centre for contemporary art, encompassing the entire region of Northern Norway. It carries out an extensive range of activities, curating exhibitions, regularly commissioning works and projects by artists at other locations in the whole region. NNKS also owns and organises the internationally established art biennial Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF).

The exhibition is supported by the Nordic Culture Fund, Frame Contemporary Art Finland and the Arctic Art Festival.

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