OCA is pleased to announce the opening of documenta 14 in Athens, under the artistic directorship of Adam Szymczyk, with the participation of artists and writers Andreas Angelidakis, Bouchra Khalili, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Hans Ragnar Mathisen, Joar Nango, Synnøve Persen, Máret Ánne Sara, and Niillas Somby. The artists selected include an important number from Sápmi, coinciding with the 100th Sami Jubilee celebrating the first congress of the Sami people held in the Methodist Church in Tråante (South Sami for Trondheim) on 6 February 1917 at the initiative of Elsa Laula Renberg, an advocate of Sami rights and leader of the Sami Women's Association.
In 2016–17 OCA has dedicated its programmes to exploring indigenous art and thought, as well as the cultural history of Northern Norway. This marks a commitment to urgent, contemporary indigenous issues of global importance, while honouring the Sami Jubilee. Within this context OCA curated a day-long public programme in August 2016 in Kárášjohka, Sápmi (Karasjok, Norway) which hosted the first presentation of South as a State of Mind #7 [documenta 14 #2] with d14 Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk, d14 Editor-in-Chief of Publications Quinn Latimer and d14 curator Candice Hopkins. This allowed the documenta 14 team to encounter current artistic practices and conduct research regarding recent history and developments within the local communities.
Click here to see the programme of the inauguration week.
About the artists and their participation in d14
Andreas Angelidakis studied Architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and continued his studies at Columbia University (MSAAD) in New York where he graduated in 1995. From the beginning of his career he has been working at the intersection of art and architecture, often expanding onto other disciplines such as curating and writing. His has held solo exhibitions at ALT Art Space, Istanbul, 2016; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, 2014; ‘CrashPad’ for the 8th Berlin Biennial Kunstwerke, Berlin, 2014; The Breeder, Athens, 2013; GloriaMaria Gallery, Milano, 2012; Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2009 (with Angelos Plessas); Inmo Gallery, Los Angeles, 2006; MU center for art and architecture, Eindhoven, 2005; The Breeder, Athens, 2003; Visionaire Gallery, New York, 2001. His work has been presented in group exhibitions, which include, among others, Liverpool Biennial 2016; Chicago Architectural Biennial 2015; Frieze Foundation commissions, Frieze Art Fair London, 2013; 13th Venice Biennial of Architecture, Greek Pavilion, 2012; Kunsthalle Athena, Athens, 2012 and 2010; 1st Beijing International Design Triennial, Beijing, 2011; AnalixForever, Paris, 2011; Espace Louis Vuitton, Paris, 2011; Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, 2010, 2009 and 2008; Holon Museum of Design, Israel, 2010; Casa Encendida, Madrid, 2008; Rodeo Gallery, Instabul, 2008; 798 Art Space- Beijing, 2008; Artfront Gallery, Tokyo, 2007. Works by Andreas Angelidakis are included in the collections The Art Institute of Chicago, the National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens, the Zabludowicz Collection in London.
Angelidakis was invited by documenta 14 to transform the architecture of the Athens Municipality Arts Center into the Parliament of Bodies (the public programmes of documenta 14) and into an exhibition venue. His work will be on view at Parko Eleftherias.
Bouchra Khalili is a an artist based between Berlin and Oslo, currently teaching at the Academy of Fine Art of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Khalili holds a Master in Film from Sorbonne Nouvelle and an MFA in Visual Arts from École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy. In 2011-2013, she was a fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, at The New School, New York. Khalili’s work in video, installation, photography and prints, investigates the discourses and strategies of resistance as developed, elaborated, and narrated by members of political minorities. Khalili’s main field of interest concerns the interaction between language, subjectivity, and collective voice, to investigate the ability and the limits of the image and sound to reflect the complex articulations of contemporary migrations, colonial history, physical and imaginary geography, in the era of globalization. Khalili is also the recipient of several grants and awards, as among others: Sam Art Prize 2013, Abraaj Group Art Prize, 2013; DAAD-Artist in Berlin 2012; Vera List Center for Art and Politics Fellowship (2011-2013) and Villa Médicis Hors les Murs (2010). Khalili is a co-founder of La Cinémathèque de Tanger, an artist run non-profit organisation based in Tanger, Morocco, dedicated to promoting film culture in North Africa. For La Cinémathèque, Khalili has curated and co-curated numerous film exhibitions in Tanger and abroad, including at Photographers’ Gallery, London (2006); Cinéma du Réel, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2007); Los Angeles County Art Museum (2009); La Virreina Art Center, Barcelona (2011) and at Jeu de Paume, Paris National Gallery (2012).
Khalili’s work will be on view at the Nikos Kessanlis Exhibition Hall of the Athens School of Fine Arts.
Britta Marakatt-Labba is a visual artist living in Övre Soppero, Sweden. She grew up in a family of reindeer herders and then studied art at Sunderby Folkhögskola and at the School of Design and Crafts at the University of Gothenburg, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Textile Art in 1978. Marakatt-Labba became a member of the influential artist collective, the Máze Artist Group, in 1979. She has exhibited widely, nationally and internationally. Her major retrospective Cosmos, at the Bildmuseet in 2008 included over 100 works. Marakatt-Labba’s works are found in many public and private collections in the Scandinavian countries. Her central medium is embroidery and the epic, History, is a 24-meter tapestry that narrates the history and the cosmology of the Sami people. The major monograph, Embroidered Stories, was published in 2010. Marakatt-Labba has in addition fulfilled many public commissions and worked extensively with book illustrations, scenography and graphic design.
Marakatt-Labba’s work will be on view at the Benaki Museum.
Hans Ragnar Mathisen is a visual artist who lives and works in Tromsø, Norway. Known also under his artist name Keviselie, he studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo, receiving his degree in 1979. Mathisen was a member of the Máze Artist Group from the start in 1978. His prolific artistic practice extends across a variety of media, including painting, graphic arts, drawing, sculpture, photography, and, occasionally, writing. He has also produced book illustrations. Since the mid-1970s, Mathisen has developed a cartographic practice, engendering his own maps that revive the knowledge of Sami place names and Sami culture removed from official cartography. Mathisen has frequently exhibited through solo and group exhibitions across Scandinavia. His works are in many Norwegian public collections. In addition, Mathisen has worked with numerous public commissions, as well as being an engaged advocate of Sami rights, cultural expression and autonomy.
Mathisen’s work will be on view at the Nikos Kessanlis Exhibition Hall of the Athens School of Fine Arts.
Joar Nango is an architect with a degree from NTNU in Norway, and a practicing artist. He works with place-specific installations and self-made publications, which explore the boundary between architecture, design and visual art. Thematically speaking, his work relates to questions of indigenous identity, often through investigating the oppositions and contradictions in contemporary architecture. Recently, he has worked on the theme The Modern Sámi Space through, amongst other things, a self-published zine series entitled Sámi Huksendáidda: the Fanzine, design project Sámi Shelters and the mixtape/clothing project Land & Language. He is also a founding member of the architecture collective FFB, which works with temporary installations in urban contexts. Currently, he lives and works in Tromsø, Norway. He has held several exhibitions in Canada, at 161Gallon gallery (2007) and Gallery Deluxe Gallery in Halifax (2008), at GallerySAW in Ottawa (2013) and at Western Front in Vancouver (2014). Nango’s work has also been exhibited internationally in Ukraine, Finland, China, Russia, Colombia and Bolivia.
Joar Nango will present the performance ‘European Everything’ at the Athens Conservatoire (Odeion) at 14:00, 16:00 and 19:00 from 6 to 9 of April. The performance is created in collaboration with artists Håvard Arnhoff, Tanya Busse, Wimme Saari, Sigbjørn Skåden, Martijn in 't Veld, Elin Már Øyen Vister, Tarrak and Aqqalu.
Synnøve Persen is a visual artist and poet, living in Bevkop on the Norwegian side of Sápmi. She studied painting at the National Academy of Fine Arts, Oslo, and was one of the founders of the influential Máze Artist Group, an artist collective that reformed the work of Sami artists. Synnøve Persen has published several collections of poetry and has performed her poetry extensively in readings and musical collaborations. Her paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her most recent solo exhibition was at Adde Zetterquist Kunstgalleri in 2016, while her first took place in 1983 at Tromsø Kunstforening. Persen’s art is in many public and private collections in Norway and elsewhere. She has also been a consistent political activist. She was a leading figure in the Alta-conflict, participating in the 1979 hunger strike outside the Norwegian parliament in Oslo. One of her early art projects was a proposal for a Sami flag which was used during the 1979 demonstrations. Persen has been an important organiser of Sami artists, both in developing the Sami Artists’ Union and establishing the Sami Center for Contemporary Art in Kárášjohka (Northern Sami for Karasjok).
Persen’s work will be on public view at the EMST – National Museum of Contemporary Art.
Máret Ánne Sara is an artist educated both within journalism and arts. Editor and indigenous journalist, Sara has covered indigenous issues around the world, while her creative mind has observed and picked up artistic influences internationally. Sara comes from a traditional reindeer herding family in the core of Sápmi. She has studied art in the UK, and product design in Guovdageaidnu (Northern Sami for Kautokeino), where she currently lives and works. Sara has designed imagery for Sámi artist and fashion designers. She is a published novel writer and has exhibited visual art since 2003.
Sara will present in the public space of Athens, and with a number of events connected to her ongoing project Pile of Sápmi in May 2017.
Niillas Somby is a Sami political rights activist, journalist and photographer. Somby is a resident of the village Sirma in Tana. He is known as one of the seven Sami hunger strikers outside the Norwegian Parliament in Oslo in 1979 in connection with the Alta conflict. His most recent book is Gumppe diimmus, which written in Northern Sami has not yet being translated into English. A direct translation of the title would be "In the Hour of the Wolf". In the book Somby retells the story of the Alta conflict, the hunger strike moment, his activist attempts against the seizure of politics on the Sápmi territory, the period of refuge in Canada during the 80s, and the search for alliance with other indigenous communities. Somby has been directing documentaries which address today's problematics in Sápmi which include Gáddegánddat about salmon fishing; and Soagis Sallenii about birch tree (both 2003). He was the subject of the 1999 documentary Give Us Our Skeletons!, a film directed by Paul-Anders Simma who retraces Somby’s family history in searches for the head of his ancestor, Mons Somby. Mons Aslaksen Somby and Aslak Jakobsen Hætta were executed by decapitation on 14 October 1854 for murder, following a rebellion against the Norwegian government; their heads, claimed by the Norwegian government for scientific research were held within the collection of 900 skulls at the Anatomical Institute, in Oslo.
Niillas Somby was of the opening speakers of the public programmes of documenta 14 Parliament of Bodies, 34 Exercises of Freedom on 16 September 2016.
Additional texts for the exhibition guide have been written by Katya García-Antón on the work of Máret Ánne Sara, and by Hannah Horsberg Hansen on Hans Ragnar Mathisen, Britta Marakatt-Labba, and Synnøve Persen.
For more information on the Sami and Norwegian participation within documenta 14, please contact OCA's Communication Manager Tara Hassel.
For enquiries on documenta 14's please contact d14 Head of Communications Henriette Gallus.
OCA’s IVP Programme
d14 Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk, d14 Editor-in-Chief of Publications Quinn Latimer and d14 Curator Candice Hopkins participated within OCA's IVP (International Visitor Programme) in August 2016.
History of Norwegian participation in documenta
Previous Norwegian participants in documenta are: Rolf Nesch in documenta 1 1955, Artistic Director: Arnold Bode. Anna-Eva Bergman in documenta 2, 1959, Artistic Director: Arnold Bode. Edvard Munch in documenta 3, 1964, Artistic Director: Arnold Bode. Wenche Mühleisen in a satellite programme of documenta 7, 1982, Artistic Director: Rudi Fuchs. Olav Christopher Jenssen in documenta 9, 1992, Artistic Director: Jan Hoet. Matias Faldbakken, Toril Johannessen, Aase Texmon Rygh and Hannah Ryggen in documenta 13, 2012, Artistic Director: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev.
The Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) is a foundation created by the Norwegian Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs in 2001 to develop cultural collaborations between Norway and the international arts scene. Currently directed by Katya García-Antón, OCA curates national and international exhibitions, seminars and publications, supports Norwegian artist's and curator's projects abroad, and invites international curators and artists to Norway for research purposes. Since 2001, OCA has been responsible for curating the Nordic Pavilion in the Venice Biennale.