Poetics of the material
Sámi culture is often seen and interpreted as being close to nature. In Sámi artistry, this closeness is most commonly apparent in the duodji tradition, in which delicate Sámi handicraft combines function and art.
Many contemporary Sámi artists—including younger generations—are familiar with duodji’s focus on understanding the possibilities of materials, but also view it as a means to communicate with global culture and raise global questions.
In 2016, we can observe both a romantic longing for nature and a desire to live in contact with natural resources and relate more closely to the natural environment. Even in southern Scandinavia, Sámi often retain a deep relationship with the land of their ancestors and feel strongly about the poetics of traditional Sámi life. This begs the question, ‘Are Sámi artists naturally closer to the language of environmental art because of Sámi traditions and values?’
Environmental art opens our eyes to new perspectives on our common world and to ways of reinventing and re-experiencing that world. It can offer a fresh experience of Ii as a place. Artists are chosen for the Ii biennale on the basis of the connection described, using their relation to traditional Sámi livelihoods as a reference point. The biennale asks, ‘Can we observe a link between environmental art and the traditional Sámi use of natural materials?’
The 2016 Ii Biennale aims to create new suggestions for how traditional livelihoods and Sámi identities can be understood in modern global economical and political surroundings. We hope to explore and suggest new forms and channels of Sámi art.
Curated by Marja Helander and Maria Therese Stephansen.
Marja Helander (b. 1965) lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. After originally training as a painter at the Lahti Institute of Fine Arts from 1988 to 1992, Helander then pursued her interest in photography and graduated from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki in 1999. Since then she has presented works in solo and group exhibitions both in Finland and abroad. Helander’s work explores the question of identity with regards to her Sámi background, the Sámi being the indigenous people of Scandinavia. Recent work has focused on landscape in which dark, mysterious views are portrayed without people. These examine the modern union between nature and mankind as not harmonious, but dark.
Maria Therese Stephansen (b. 1981) lives and works in Hammerfest, Finnmark, Norway. She is working as a manager of the education service, exhibition curator and project manager for The Museum of Reconstruction in Hammerfest. She is also a freelance curator, writer and producer. She was project manager for HFT 2013 – Nasjonal kunstfestival, a national art festival focused on site-spesific art and is the leader of Hammerfest Kunstforening. Stephansen took her Master’s degree in Visual Culture, on the subject social art projects, at NTNU in Trondheim. Her subjects are the science of art, media and philosophy. She has also studied curating at Høyskolen i Telemark. She has worked within a broad range of the cultural field, but has a special interest for dance, performance, political and activist art, social/community art-projects and the contemporary art in general, with a deeper interest for Sami art, and contemporary art from the Middle East.
AIB 5 / 2016 chosen artists:
GUIDED TOURS TO ART PARK ON SATURDAYS AT NOON
June 18, July 2, July 16 and August 6 (Pappilantie 16, Ii). Free entrance.
Ask for guided tours: firstname.lastname@example.org
ART II BIENNALE SEMINAR 2016: WEDNESDAY AUGUST 17 AT 10-16.30
Art Ii Biennale is presenting Sámi environmental art in 2016. Sámi culture is often seen and interpreted as being close to nature. In Sámi artistry, this closeness is most commonly apparent in the duodji tradition, in which delicate Sámi handicraft combines function and art. Many contemporary Sámi artists are familiar with duodji’s focus on understanding the possibilities of materials, but also view it as a means to communicate with global culture and raise global questions. AIB16 Seminar offers new angles Sámi art and use of material as well as presents artists and artwork of AIB16.
AIB16 Seminar Programme
Merja Briñón, Executive Director, KulttuuriKauppila Art Centre
Duodji as Sami experiences in Contemporary art
Irene Snarby, researcher, UiT Norges Arktiske Universitet,
SARP The Sámi Art Research Project
Art Ii Biennale 2016: Poetics of the Material
Marja Helander, Curator/Artist and Maria Therese Stephansen, Curator
Arts in the Environment – some examples of the materials
Anu Miettinen, Regional Artist, Arts Promotion Centre Finland
All Public Art isn’t Made to Last: Life Cycle of Temporary Art
Hanna Hannus, Project Planner & Miisa Pulkkinen, Head of Communications,
Artists’ Association of Finland
Political Art and the Situation of Sámi People
Matti Aikio, Visual Artist
AIB16 seminar is free of charge. Sign up for the seminar by sending mail to email@example.com
Please let us know, if you have any special diets or allergies.