Recipients 2023

Artica Svalbard
1 May – 30 Jun 2023

Kamil Kak

Ai R bio pic Kamil Kak

Kamil Kak (b. 1994) is an artist based in Oslo and Berlin, navigating the intersections of queer liberation, immigrants' experiences, and the fragility of recent historical narratives. The multidimensional approach in their process captures diverse statements and preserves untold stories. Their work urges audiences and participators to engage with and reflect on pressing social issues. Kak's artistic practice intersects with activism, uses exaggeration and bittersweet humor as a strategy for social transformation, and probes utopian visions of the world.

Recent exhibitions and performances include KUBE in Ålesund, RAM galleri in Oslo, Centre of Polish Sculpture in Oronsko, Lystslottet Oscarshall at Bygdøy, Gdańsk Biennial of Art, Wergenlandshaugen in Eidsvoll, Survival Art Review in Wrocław, QSPA Gallery in Oslo, Haugar kunstmuseum in Tønsberg, Trafo Kunsthall in Asker, and Klubb Ergi.

During the residency, Kak will attempt to step beyond geopolitical narratives and research the complexity of Svalbard, shedding light on issues of identity, cultural preservation, and community rights.

1 Aug – 1 Oct 2023

Nastassja Simensky

ARTICA photo

Nastassja Simensky uses fieldwork to explore and understand how complex issues around history and heritage, power and governance, ecology and the geopolitics of extraction are crystallised in specific geographies. Nastassja often works collaboratively with artists and non-artists, including archaeologists, powerplant workers, musicians, and ham radio enthusiasts, to make authored and co-authored artworks. Previously, these have included: place-specific performances on boats, in quarries, and inside a 7th century chapel; amateur radio broadcasts to transmit and publish text and image; sound work for radio and installation; films; and poetic texts.

Nastassja coordinates the Archaeology-Heritage-Art Research Network. By engaging with the politics, methods, and processes of archaeology Nastassja reflects on the discipline of archaeology itself, as one of a range of modes of knowledge production that can inform embedded place-specific, experimental, and collaborative art practices.

1 Oct – 30 Nov 2023

Mhairi Killin

Ai R bio pic Mhairi Killin

Mhairi Killin is a visual artist who lives on the Isle of Iona in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland where she works with the precious relationships between land, sea, humans, and other living beings. A Royal Scottish Academician, her practice seeks to counter the notion of islands as peripheral, romantic and marginal - rather it strives to reveal islands as progressive centres from which we can experience a unique yet relevant perspective on the forces shaping our futures.

Working across the mediums of drawing, print, sculpture and film, Killin’s work explores how belief structures - religious, mythopoeic, and socio-political - have shaped the physical and metaphysical spaces we journey through. Her recent collaborative work On Sonorous Seas, told with the voices of science, art, music and poetry, interrogates the power of and reliance on sound as a survival tool for whales and the military, and the complex relationship between the militarisation of Scotland’s seas and their existing ecosystems.

Killin has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad. She has been artist in residence at the Leighton Colony, Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada, and in 2021 was an invited artist on the international project, In Search of the Pluriverse, a Travelling Academy project for Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam.

28 Jul – 31 Aug 2023

Helene Sommer

Helene Sommer

Helene Sommer is a visual artist based in Oslo. Through video, text and installation she questions the way we understand and relate to our surroundings and its history, particularly in regard to the the premises and politics of the sciences. She is interested in the multiple levels of translation, interpretation and rhetorical devices that are involved in all storytelling.

During her residency at Artica Svalbard Sommer will research and reflect on how different traces of records relate and correspond to each other, and whether it is possible to challenge the idea of what and for whom memories and long time preservation exists. The starting point of Sommer’s curiosity lays on the moment when images migrate through material transformation and how the transformation and the material itself, covey history.

She graduated from the National Academy of Art in Oslo in 2003 and has since shown her work in galleries, museums and festivals.


16 Aug – 9 Oct 2023

Nikhil Vettukattil

Nikhil Vettukattil 800x0 c default defaced 3

Nikhil Vettukattil (b. 1990, Bengaluru, India) Artist and writer who lives and works in Oslo. Using a range of media such as sound, installation, performance, text, sculpture, and video, his practice questions modes of representation and image-making processes in their relation to lived experiences.

During his residency at Artica Svalbard Vettukattil will continue his researching on a new project about food and diet, specifically in relation to the ‘Nordic diet’ and the influence of imported and exported food. He is particularly interested in how to make a relational art project that can address the cost of food, and connect this to a necessary transition into an ecologically viable nutritional model. Vettukattil plans to model the cost of such a ‘locally sourced’ diet in relation to wages, to question habits of consumption, issues of class, and imagine alternative future scenarios.

He has previously exhibited at venues such as Kunsthall Oslo (2022), Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo (2022), K-U-K, Trondheim (2021), CAPC, Bordeaux (2021), Art Hub Copenhagen (2021), K4 Galleri, Oslo (2021), Louise Dany, Oslo (2020), EKA Gallery, Tallinn (2020), Kristiansand Kunsthall (2020), and Le Bourgeois, London (2019). Forthcoming exhibitions include Counterimaginaries at Tromsø Kunstforening (February 2023), and a duo show with Halvor Rønning at FELIX GAUDLITZ, Vienna (May 2023). He is a member of the art collectives Tenthaus and Carrie, as well as a part of Atelier Kunstnerforbundet and the Institute for Scene Experiments. As part of Tenthaus, he will co-curate the MOMENTUM 12 Biennale opening May 2023.


31 May – 7 Jul 2023

Yamile Calderón


Yamile Calderón is an artist born in Colombia, based in Oslo. She studied photography at Bergen National Academy of Arts. She has recently published her second photo book, “Narcos & Homes", and was awarded Bildende Kunstnernes Hjelpefonds (BKH) Fotokunstprisen 2020 (Photo Art Prize).

Calderón has participated in various collective exhibitions and has presented her work internationally in Pingyao China, Hong Kong, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Kiel, New York, and Oslo. In Oslo her work has been presented at Oslo Kunstforerning, Kunstnernes Hus, Noplace, Fotogalleriet, Galleri BOA and Galleri Brandstrup. Calderon’s work is inspired by memories from her childhood and personal stories. By approaching the documentary genre from a subjective perspective, she explores visual and narrative strategies and the interpretation of reality.

During her residency at Artica Svalbard she is interested in documenting and exploring the transition of the focus on economic source, between using the mining activity in Svalbard, towards focusing on education, research and turism. Calderón is particulary interested on the repercusions of this transition on the landscape, the environment, and the social impact on Svalbard.