Ended project

Art projects to Vardø

  • Place Vardø
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North Norwegian Art Centre will from 2020 until 2022 commission and present a series of art projects in Vardø, a town located in the county of Finnmark in northern Norway.

Now, and for two years to come, NNKS will focus on Vardø in Finnmark. In January, we announced two production grants to artists and we were thrilled by the response as we received a large amount of interesting applications.

Based on their submitted project outline NNKS is pleased to announce the artist group Alt Går Bra and artist HC Gilje to realize new art projects in Vardø. These new commissions will be part of NNKS’s presence in Norway’s northeastern city.

Read more about the artists
In their project the artist group Alt Går Bra will from Bergen to Vardø follow in the footsteps of a Vardø citizen who gained national attention at the beginning of the 20th century, and became a spokesman for Finnmark’s population in the Norwegian Parliament, namely Adam Egede-Nissen. He lived a unique life, full of travels, political activism and love of culture, and was more than a champion of both social justice and freedom of expression. The first thing he founded upon his arrival in Vardø was the holding association “Solrenningen”, which eventually also included political information work. Alt Går Bra will take a closer look at this association’s intentions, goals and influences on the community in Vardø. In 2021, the artist group wants to stage “Solrenningen” in Vardø. With it, they will explore what this association can teach us today and how such initiatives can be actualized and help to strengthen society, art and culture. In Vardø, AGB will engage a wide audience and start with questions such as: How can theater and music be mixed with rhetoric, and public debate? How can the arts and humanities be experienced today? What can they offer that is different and irreplaceable?

Alt Går Bra pursues affirmative aesthetic forms, elaborated through philosophical and historical inquiries. Its exhibitions, discursive events, and publications portray Classicism and Romanticism as deep structuring principles, well beyond the realm of aesthetics. Reviving the scorned skill of the hand, Alt Går Bra explores today’s artistic potential of the figurative and the beautiful. An unusual intensity leads Alt Går Bra to hectic levels of production that break through the barriers between contemporary art and the general public with complex content. Founded in 2015, Alt Går Bra is based in Bergen, Paris, and London. Its work has been presented at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Palais de Tokyo, University of Westminster, KODE, and Bergen Kunsthall.

HC Gilje says:
I had my first meeting with Vardø in the fall of 2015 where I joined the coastal cruiser Hurtigruten from Kirkenes. Vardø was surrounded by thick fog. The reason for my visit was that I was working on a project where I had booked a spot on the lighthouse on Hornøya to film the sea, but because of the fog, it was not possible to realize. This gave me a few extra days to explore the city of Vardø and its surroundings and I was immediately captivated. Since then I have been looking for an opportunity to do something in Vardø.

HC Gilje plans to realize a series of Vardø portraits in the form of light casts. The portraits take the form of three-dimensional light castings, which are created using a LIDAR scanner. LIDAR is related to both sonar and radar, and emits invisible light pulses that are reflected back from the surrounding environment. The result is a thin shell, an imprint of the original place and the people in it, a frozen moment orbited by a virtual camera. The three-dimensional cloud of white dots that make up the outline is enveloped in endless black. The perspective is detached from the body, the eye or a physical camera so that light casting can be seen from the inside and the outside, from underneath or from above, close to or at a distance.

HC Gilje (b. 1969) works with installations where volatile media – such as sound, projections, light and motion – can change and activate a certain space. Gilje graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Trondheim (1999) and after spending many years in Berlin he now resides in Oslo. Gilje has shown works around the world, and some of his most recent solo exhibitions have been at Trøndelag Center for Contemporary Art (2020), Stereolux (2019), ANX (2018), Kunsthall Grenland (2018), Rake Visningsrom (2016) and Kristiansand Kunsthall (2016). He has participated in several festivals, such as Sonic Acts in Amsterdam (2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019) and LIAF (2013). Gilje participated in the project Dark Ecology (2015-17) and in several group exhibitions.

Vardø (Northern Sami; Várggát, Kven: Vuorea, Finnish: Vuoreija)
Vardø is the easternmost town of Norway. It has a population of approximately 2000 people and is the only town in Finnmark where you can experience a continuous pre-war architecture originating from before the Second World War. It is the region´s oldest fishing village and was known as the Pomeranian capital, as it was a centre for trade with Russia in the 19th century. In more recent times Vardø is home for the Steilneset memorial, the Nordic championship of snowball throwing (part of the Yukigassen). In Vardø, Kystopprøret (the coastal uprising) has also originated – a movement that strongly criticizes how the the common marine resources have been privatized and brought out of the region.

Over the past two years, the North Norwegian Art Center has commissioned and presented a series of art projects in Mo i Rana. Alongside the new art projects NNKS has actualized art´s presence in the town of Mo through several public presentations and meetings. The launch of the NNKS activities in Vardø is a successor to this context-specific long-term project. Between 2020 and 2022, NNKS will continue the long-term commitment at a selected location in Northern Norway, this time Vardø in the county of Finnmark.

North Norwegian Art Center (NNKS) is a regional art center for the whole of Northern Norway. NNKS is located in Svolvær in Lofoten. The center works with gallery exhibitions, artist in residence activities and public art projects. NNKS also runs the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF). NNKS was founded in 1979 and owned by regional artist organizations.

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