Opening of documenta 14 in Kassel

Published 2017/06/08

Iver Jåks, Myggen (the Mosquito), 2000. Photo: Guri Dahl / Kunst i offentlige rom (KORO). © Iver Jåks/BONO 2017


The opening of documenta 14 in Kassel, Germany
Artistic Director: Adam Szymczyk

Press and professional preview: 7 June / 13:00–20:00,
8 and 9 June / 10:00–20:00

Exhibition dates: 10 June­–17 September 2017

OCA is pleased to announce the opening of documenta 14 in Kassel, under the artistic directorship of Adam Szymczyk, with the participation of artists Andreas Angelidakis, Albert Jærn, Iver Jåks, Bouchra Khalili, Britta Marakatt-Labba (with Simon Issát Marainen and Axel Andersson), Keviselie/Hans Ragnar Mathisen, Joar Nango (with Wimme Saari, Anders Rimpi, Uyaraqk and Tarrak), and Máret Ánne Sara.

For the first time since its inception in 1955, this year’s quinquennial exhibition documenta is hosted equally in two cities, Athens and Kassel, where a major number of Sami and Norwegian artists have been selected to participate. This coincides with the 100th Sami Jubilee, celebrating the first congress of the Sami people held in the Methodist Church in Tråante (the South Sami name for for Trondheim) on 6 February 1917 on the initiative of Elsa Laula Renberg, an advocate of Sami rights and leader of the Sami Women’s Association. Writer and activist Niillas Somby was one of the opening speakers in the documenta 14 public programme 'Parliament of Bodies, 34 Exercises of Freedom', on 16 September 2016. Synnøve Persen’s work is on public view until 16 July 2017 at the EMST – National Museum of Contemporary Art as part of documenta 14 in Athens, and saxophonist Mette Henriette performed the sound choreography ‘In Between’ at Megaron, the Athens Concert Hall, on 9 May 2017 as part of the official documenta 14 event ‘Listening Space: All the in-between spaces’. Click here to read about the Sami/Norwegian participation in documenta 14 in Athens.

To honour and celebrate the artists participating in documenta 14 in both Athens and Kassel, Her Excellency The President of the Sami Parliament of Norway Vibeke Larsen is present at the opening events in Kassel.

During 2016–17, OCA dedicates its research and curatorial focus to indigenous art and thought, as well as to the cultural history of Sapmi/Northern Norway. This reflects a broader commitment to urgent, contemporary indigenous issues of global importance, while honouring the Sami Jubilee. Within this context, OCA curated a symposium on Sami art and activism in August 2016, held in in the Sami Parliament, Kárášjohka/Karasjok, which also 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 facilitated the documenta 14 team's research into recent history, artistic practices and developments within the local communities in Sapmi/Northern Norway.

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 from in 1995. Throughout his career he worked at the intersection between art and architecture, often expanding into other disciplines such as curating and writing. His has held solo exhibitions at the ALT Art Space, Istanbul, 2016; the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, 2014; ‘CrashPad’ for the 8th Berlin Biennial Kunstwerke, Berlin, 2014; The Breeder, Athens, 2013; GloriaMaria Gallery, Milan, 2012; Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2009 (with Angelos Plessas); Inmo Gallery, Los Angeles, 2006; MU Centre for Art and Architecture, Eindhoven, 2005; The Breeder, Athens, 2003, and the Visionaire Gallery, New York, 2001. His work has been presented in group exhibitions, including the Liverpool Biennial 2016; the Chicago Architectural Biennial 2015; Frieze Foundation commissions, Frieze Art Fair London, 2013; 13th Venice Biennale 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, Istanbul, 2008; 798 Art Space, Beijing, 2008; Artfront Gallery, Tokyo, 2007. Works by Andreas Angelidakis are to be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens and the Zabludowicz Collection in London.

Angelidakis’s work will be on view in the Stadtmuseum. He will also screen a film at the Fridericianum.

Albert Jærn (1893–1949) was an illustrator well known for his ex-libris art. He studied at the Norwegian National Academy of the Art and Craft Industry (now the Oslo National Academy of the Arts). At the age of 14, he started to work as an apprentice for his father, who was an artist and designer, before working for a book printer. In 1924 he delivered his first illustrations to the Aschehoug Publishing Company, and over the years he created over 500 book covers for them. His book project Og så kom befrierne: Utdrag av min dagbok 1940–1945 (And then came the liberators. Excerpts from my diary through five years), which will be presented at documenta 14 in Kassel, consists of about 100 woodcuts accompanied by short texts and illustrations. These personal anecdotes describe the atrocities witnessed by the Norwegians during the country’s five-year long occupation by Hitler’s forces. The book consists of reflections and sober poetical descriptions of everyday life, personal and family situations, challenges with constraints and food rations, and descriptions of raids and arrests. The accounts are satirical and at times grotesque. The civil resistance is emphasised, at a time when freedom of expression and the free press were under pressure. Keeping this wartime journal put Jærn in great personal danger. His home in Oslo was ransacked by the Nazis several times and he was also arrested; however, he managed to keep his work out of reach from the occupiers.

The work Og så kom befrierne: Utdrag av min dagbok 1940–1945 (And then came the liberators. Excerpts from my diary through five years) will be on view at the Neue Galerie.

Iver Jåks (1932–2007) was born into a family of reindeer herders in Kárášjohka/Karasjok. He studied at the Norwegian National Academy of the Art and Craft Industry (now the Oslo National Academy of the Arts) and at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Jåks was an illustrator, painter, sculptor and a duodji (traditional Sami handicraft) artist, working with natural materials such as wood, horn, skin and bone. He looked to old Sami culture and religion for inspiration, including the patterns representing different layers of spiritual worlds found on the Sami drums used for shamanistic rituals. Jåks illustrated a number of Sami books and worked on commissions on public buildings such as the RiddoDuottarMuseat in Kárášjohka/Karasjok, and the Tromsø University Museum. He is represented in the collections of The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo; the Northern Norway Art Museum (NNKM), Tromsø; and the Arts Council Norway. He received the Arts Council Norway Honorary Award in 1992, and in 2002 he given a knighthood, in the First Order of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. The Museum of Contemporary Art (the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo) held an Iver Jåks retrospective exhibition in 1998–99.

Jåks’s work will be on view at Palais Bellevue.

Bouchra Khalili is a an artist based between Berlin and Oslo, currently teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Khalili holds a Master in Film from Sorbonne Nouvelle and an MFA in Visual Arts from the 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 using 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 the collective voice, to investigate the ability and the limits of imagery 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, including: the 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 Tangiers, Morocco, dedicated to promoting film culture in North Africa. For La Cinémathèque, Khalili has curated and co-curated numerous film exhibitions in Tangiers and abroad, including at the 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 Gottschalkhalle.

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 throughout Scandinavia. Her central medium is embroidery and the epic, History, is a 24-metre 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 Documenta Halle where she will also present the musical performance Yoik and History, 7–10 June from 17:00 to 17:30. She has invited artists Simon Issát Marainen and Axel Andersson to perform along with her.

Keviselie/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 Ottoneum.

Joar Nango is an architect with a degree from the NTNU in Norway, and a practising artist. He works with site-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 oppositions and contradictions in contemporary architecture. Recently, he has worked on the theme of the Modern Sámi Space through – amongst other things – a self-published zine series entitled ‘Sámi Huksendáidda’: the fanzine, the 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. He currently lives and works in Tromsø, Norway. He has held several exhibitions in Canada, at the 161Gallon gallery (2007) and the Gallery Deluxe Gallery in Halifax (2008), at the GallerySAW in Ottawa (2013) and at the Western Front in Vancouver (2014). Nango’s work has also been exhibited internationally in Ukraine, Finland, China, Russia, Colombia and Bolivia.

Nango will present the performance European Everything at the Post und Hansa Haus, 7–11 June from 20:00 to 20:45. He has invited artists Wimme Saari, Anders Rimpi, Uyaraqk and Tarrak to perform along with him.

Máret Ánne Sara is an artist educated both through journalism and the arts. As an editor and indigenous journalist, she has covered indigenous issues around the world, while her creative mind has observed and picked up artistic influences internationally. Máret Ánne comes from a traditional reindeer-herding family situated in the heart of the Sápmi region. She studied art/illustration in the UK, and product design in Guovdageaidnu (Kautokeino), where she currently lives and works. Sara has designed visuals for Sámi artists and fashion designers. She is a published novelist and has exhibited in the field of visual arts since 2003. She is one of the founding members of the Dáiddadállu/Artists Collective Kautokeino. Sara is Sami.

Sara’s work will be on view at the Neue Neue Post.

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 that of Hans Ragnar Mathisen, Britta Marakatt-Labba, and Synnøve Persen).

For more information on the Sami and Norwegian participation in documenta 14, please contact the OCA Communication Manager Tara Hassel.

For enquiries regarding documenta 14, please contact the d14 Head of Communications Henriette Gallus.

OCA's International Visitor Programme (IVP)
d14 Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk, d14 Editor-in-Chief of Publications Quinn Latimer and d14 Curator Candice Hopkins participated OCA's International Visitor Programme (IVP) in August 2016.

History of Norwegian participation in documenta
Previous Norwegian participants in documenta include: 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. Andreas Angelidakis, Bouchra Khalili, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Hans Ragnar Mathisen, Joar Nango, Synnøve Persen, Máret Ánne Sara and Niillas Somby in documenta 14/Athens, 2017, Artistic Director: Adam Szymczyk. Andreas Angelidakis, Albert Jærn, Iver Jåks, Bouchra Khalili, Britta Marakatt-Labba (with Simon Issát Marainen and Axel Andersson), Keviselie/Hans Ragnar Mathisen, Joar Nango (with Wimme Saari, Anders Rimpi, Uyaraqk and Tarrak) and Máret Ánne Sara in documenta 14/Kassel, 2017, Artistic Director: Adam Szymczyk.

About OCA
The Office for Contemporary Art Norway is a non-profit foundation created by the Norwegian Ministries of Culture and of Foreign Affairs in 2001. Its principle aim is to foster dialogue between art practitioners in Norway and on the international arts scene, and support Norwegian artists in their activities around the world. As a result, OCA’s discursive, exhibition, publication, residency and visitor programmes focus on bringing to Norway the plurality of practices and histories at the forefront of international artistic debates, insofar as they are concerned with actively participating in such debates nationally and internationally. OCA has been responsible for Norway’s contribution to the visual arts section of the Venice Biennale since 2001.