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LIAF 2022 – Fantasmagoriana

Museum of the Sun

Kaare Espolin Johnson (1907–1994) was a Norwegian artist who lived in Nordland, in East Finnmark and Bodø. Afflicted from an early age by an illness that made him progressively blind, Espolin produced paintings, drawings and engravings with such a technique that the figures seem to be carved out of darkness. Constantly oscillating between realism and and surrealism, the artist depicted in his work both the harsh life of fishing communities and tales from Sami and Norse mythology. The Espolin museum in Kabelvåg has been rearranged on the occasion of LIAF 2022 – Fantasmagoriana. Six contemporary artists confront the imagery expressed in the artist’s visual explorations, considering it in a new light.

Artists in the exhibition:

Gaia Fugazza

Olof Marsja

New Mineral Collective

Thebe Phtogo

Christine Rebet

Rimaldas Vikraitis

LIAF – Lofoten International Art Festival

LIAF, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is the longest-running art biennial in Scandinavia. The 2022 edition of this nomadic festival will take place at Nordnorsk kunstnersenter in Svolvær (which has produced the festival since 2009), and at five different venues in Kabelvåg. The curators have chosen Kabelvåg partly because Nordland Art and Film College belongs here; a school that offers high-quality education in the field of moving images. Kabelvåg was also the place where Dada artist Kurt Schwitters was interned for a short period during World War 2.

Instead of starting with a concept, LIAF 2022 – Fantasmagoriana is based on an oral retelling of a story. This story conveys an archaeology related to the Arctic as a landscape for Gothic literature. Sharing the story was a way of handing over tacit knowledge, where information about natural, fictional and political events could freely weave together into new maps, which in turn evolved and adapted to the different contexts within which the invited artists operate. 

The exhibited works establish a direct dialogue with the architecture that houses them. Francesco Urbano Ragazzi made it a rule that no temporary structures should be built, and that only technical equipment that already existed on the site should be used. This format responds in a concrete way to the urgent need for rethinking the way we produce major art events, in terms of their environmental impact. The same principle has guided the organization of travel and transport, as well as the choice of works – many of which have monumental dimensions although they are made of extremely light materials.

Read more https://info.liaf.no/