SÁMI CONTEMPORARY 7.3.-25.5.2014

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Exhibition history 2010-2014

The international exhibition will present over 20 Sámi artists, focusing on high quality and challenging works of contemporary art. Artists discuss specific values and practices from inside Sámi culture and contemporary global art. The Sami are the northernmost indigenous people of Europe, who have their own culture and own languages.

Rovaniemi Art Museum is based at the Arctic Circle in Finland. The essential focus of exhibitions, art education and exploration is the northern dimension, with thesuohpangiehte.jpg museum working actively both locally and internationally. Sámi Contemporary has been made possible with joint between the University of Lapland, the Sámi Centre for Contemporary Art (Karasjok, Norway) and the Norbottens museum (Luleå, Sweden). Curators of this project are Tuija Hautala-Hirvioja, professor of art history at the University of Lapland, Jan-Erik Lundström, director of the Sami Center for Contemporary Art, and Riitta Kuusikko, curator at Rovaniemi Art Museum.

Today’s Sámi artists work explicitly, and often on a deeply personal level, with suppressed histories and unuttered issues in the context of the present and its globalized framework. Also among Sámi artists, backgrounds and experience are diverse, many having grown up outside of the Sápmi region, thus bringing multi-vocal or even contradictory heritages to their artistic practice. Also such a crucial issue as the language is inherently complex, with different generations having extremely different experiences. Yet another network of importance today is the Sámi involvement with the global concerns of indigenous peoples around the world.

A richly illustrated catalogue as well as a seminar, during its first presentation in Rovaniemi, will accompany the exhibition. While the catalogue will develop further the content and thematic of the exhibition.The seminar (March 6th, 2014 at 11-15) examines northerness largely focusing on current Sámi issues. The seminar gives a chance to meet the artists and take the floor. Also workshops for children and youth will be arranged in conjunction with the exhibition. The essential content of the workshops will be based on the art works of the exhibition. The aim of the workshops is to give the children and youth, who are living in the northern areas tools to increase their knowledge and interest in Sámi culture, which, of course, is a part of their own culture.

The exhibition will be inaugurated in Rovaniemi Art Museum, Korundi 7.3.-25.5.2014. The new culture house Korundi offers splendid facilities with large exhibition rooms for this comprehensive overview of contemporary Sámi art. After this premiere presentation, a travelling version will be presented at Norrbottens Museum in Luleå, Sweden 18.6–24.8.2014 and at the Sami Center for Contemporary Art in Karasjok, Norway 14.11.14–4.1.2015.

Artists of the exhibition are:
Matti Aikio, Marja Helander, Markku Laakso &Annika Dahlsten, Outi Pieski, Merja-Aletta Ranttila and Suohpanterror from Finland; Victoria Andersson, Tomas Colbengtson, Per Isak Juuso, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Lena Stenberg, Anders Sunna and Liselotte Wajstedtfrom Sweden; Hanne Grieg Hermansen, Aslaug Juliussen, Inger Blix Kvammen, Joar Nango, Charlotte Nilsen, Synnøve Persen, Odd Marakatt Sivertsen, Marita Isobel Solberg and Ingunn Utsi from Norway.

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The project is suppted by Sametinget (Sweden), Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation and Nordic Culture Fund.

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