Arctic Action wants to be an alternative to the traditional live performance art festivals in the sense that the performances will take place outdoor in the impressive arctic scenery. Arctic Action will give the invited artist the time and possibility to work more profoundly, as to be able to integrate Svalbards’ natural landscape and its impressive qualities and singular expressions. In other words to give the artist time to create an unique and new art work of quality on the same unique level as the environment.

We understood that this given focus on one artist at a time was the only way of realizing a quality-focused event of live art in Svalbard. To give time to the artist to come closer to the environment, to fully understand it, feel it and work in it. This tailor-made event design for Arctic Action further corresponded to the stated objective to produce a professional high definition digital remediation of the work in video as well as in photography for a continued redistribution on the Internet. To introduce the digital aspect of the event as a core quality, as a fusion of the live and the digital

Out of the numerous live art festivals on the international scene, not one gives emphasis to environmental sustainability and digital remediation. This is clearly two of the qualities that distinguish this project as an art manifestation.

Arctic Action is a different international live event focusing on one artist at time within an ecological approach. Moreover, discussing issues on the relationship of sustainable development and its relation to art, as well as art’s relation to scientific research on the environment.

Ali Al-Fatlawi & Wathiq Al-Ameri


Lives and works in Zürich, Switzerland
Ali Al-Fatlawi & Wathiq Al-Ameri won the Price performance Switzerland in 2011, which was followed more recently with the prestigious Swiss Art Award 2012. awarded the Ali Al-Fatlawi & Wathiq Al-Ameri are based in Switzerland and collaborate together as part of the studio Urnamo founded in 2002. They have known each other since their childhood and they studied together at the Bagdad Arts Academy in Iraq. In 1994 they decided to set off on an Odyssey. With false papers and just three US dollars in their pockets they crossed the border into Jordan. There they worked as ‘Copyists’ – reproducing classic Arabic paintings and so earning enough money to travel to Sudan and take a truck through the Sahara, into Libya and finally to land in Switzerland. There the two artists founded the studio Urnamo with the idea of further developing their work through collaboration. Ali and Wathiq have already graduated from their studies at the F+F Art and Media Academy in Zurich.

Artists statement :
The performances, which we present since 10 years, all have the same basic idea. We want to find a material with which we are as another substance, and combine it with the locality, in order to display different images. Does it positively or negatively affect our work? That is questionable. Certain, however, is that the action by the many areas of content and other art works differ. The large volume of material that go from place and time and the inexhaustible possibilities of topics, always makes the actions renewable and expressive. The same work can be monotonous, although no changes in the resulting images can be perceived. In another art form, these images of a work are not possible.
We believe that the whole action art work is designed to present images; but also moments without images. Under this form of experimental work in our presentation: images, moments, change, and disappear only remaining in our memories. We hope that this is what the audience will come across. Together, all the images of an action target, our present topic. You will be welcomed by images through translated feelings and not through the intellect. This makes a pure mediation possible.

Joakim Stampe


Born in 1959, lives and works in Gothenburg.
Joakim Stampe is today one of the leading performance artists in Sweden. Since 2006 he has created more than 100 performance art works and is frequently invited to festivals and events all over the world. He has showcased his work in more than fifteen countries in Asia, Europe, as well as in North and South America.
Born into a creative environment, his parents were both renowned and socially engaged artists, Joakim Stampe started out to draw and paint in his early childhood. Going from easel painting to object painting, he became in the early 1990’s more and more involved in ephemeral street art. From 2006 and the start of Live Action, which he co-founded, Joakim Stampe subsequently started to focus on performance art. However, without leaving his work with Public Street art behind which he today has developed into the ephemeral world of water painting.
Highly imaginative, Joakim Stampe’s performance work cannot be categorized to a certain style. In his work he has a predilection to find and use new and unexplored materials. Having understood the inherent qualities of performance art, i.e. time, body and mind, human scale, and the role played by imagination and immediate intuition, he usually refuse to repeat or reproduce earlier works. He is also known to consciously expand the palette of materials used in his performances. Going beyond the traditional and more and more banalized materials in performance art, Stampe tries to invent and renew his own immediate world of materials, objects, and how to work with them. As such his work is very much intuitive and imaginative, although he usually have a story to tell. Whether it is about his own personal background, contemporary politics or both, he creates images of poetry, conceptual but always with an emotional mind.

Tanya Mars


Born in 1948, lives and works in Toronto
Tanya Mars is currently teaching performance art and video at the University of Toronto Scarborough and is part of the graduate faculty at the University of Toronto.
Mars is a dedicated feminist performance and video artist who has been involved in the Canadian art scene since 1973. She was a founding member and director of Powerhouse Gallery (La Centrale) in Montreal (the first women's art gallery in Canada), editor of Parallelogramme magazine for 13 years, and very active in ANNPAC (the Association of National Non-Profit Artist-run Centres) for 15 years. She has also been an active member of other arts organizations since the early 70's. Her work is often characterized as visually rich layers of spectacular, satirical feminist imagery.
In the 70s and 80s Mars’ work focused on creating spectacular feminist imagery that placed women at the centre of the narrative. Since the mid-90s her performances have included endurance, durational and site-specific strategies. Her work is political, satrical and humorous. She has worked both independently and collaboratively to create both large-scale as well as intimate performances.
She has performed widely across Canada, in Valparaiso, Chile, Mexico City, at Lilith Theatre in Malmö and at Live Action in Gothenburg, Sweden, in Helsinki and at Open festival in Beijing, at Infr’Action Paris, and Infr’Action Sète, France.
She is co-editor with Johanna Householder at Ontario College of Art & Design of Caught in the Act: an anthology of performance art by Canadian women (2004) published by YYZ books. She is also a member of the 7a*11d Collective that produces a bi-annual International Festival of Performance Art in Toronto.
In 2004 Mars was named artist of the year for the Untitled Arts Awards in Toronto. In 2008 she was International Artist in Residence at La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and futhermore the recipient of the prestigious 2008 Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. In addition a book on her work was published by FADO and edited by Paul Couillard, Ironic to Iconic: The Performance Works of Tanya Mars.

Nigel Rolfe


Born in 1950, lives and works in Dublin.
Nigel Rolfe has been active as a performance artist since the 1970s, more recently moving into photography and video, though nearly always trading in images relating to his performance work, or to specific objects used in his performances. He has developed an international reputation over the last 30 years for his careful execution of aesthetic gesture through the interaction between his body and the material world. Rolfe’s work encompasses many media that include sound and audio production, video and photography. His primary reputation for the past thirty years is working live, making performances throughout Europe, and the former Eastern Block, North America and Japan. He has participated in the Biennales of Kwangju in 1997 and Sao Paulo in 1998. His retrospective exhibition Archive was shown at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 1994, and Nigel Rolfe Videos 1983 – 1996 was exhibited as an installed retrospective at The Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1996.
He is Visiting Professor in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art in London, and Senior Visiting Critic to postgraduate fine art courses in the United States and Europe. In the 1980s and 90s he worked with the pan-European group Black Market International.
Since the late 1990s he has made solo performances in Ireland at the National Sculpture Factory in Cork in 1998, the Cork Film Centre in 2002, The Church Gallery, Limerick in 2003 and Mount Shannon, Co. Clare in 2004 both as part of the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s National programme.

Alastair MacLennan

United Kingdom

Emeritus Professor in Fine Art, University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Honorary Fellow, Dartington College of Art, Devon, England

Honorary Associate, National Review of Live Art, Glasgow, Scotland

D.o.B. 3 February 1943, Blair Atholl, Scotland


1960-65 Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, Scotland DA and Post Diploma.

1965-66 Teacher Training, College of Education, Dundee, Scotland Specialist Art Teaching Certificate

1966-68 School of Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA MFA Degree

John Giorno

The work of John Giorno embraces two disciplines: poetry and art, which have been a source of mutual fascination and inspiration for the artist. Harboring a close kinship with William Burroughs, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol, for whom he starred in the famous film, Sleep (1963), Giorno is recognized today as one of the most influential poets of his generation. He is also considered the inventor of Performance Poetry, and of Dial-A-Poem - a free telephone line to connect listeners to recordings of original works of poetry. Giorno's words transform to images in his Poem Paintings which are short excerpts from his writings, phrases that have continually haunted him. At the crossroads between poetry, visual arts, music and performance, Giorno's work directs itself toward a broad public, redefining the capabilities of poetry and linguistic form.


The idea of the project is to create a sustainable and innovative event showcasing major international artists representing different tendencies in performance art. In the first edition of the festival we decided to host one artist at the time for between 7 and 10 days. To give time to the artist to come closer to the environment, to better understand it, feel it and work in it. Then we wanted to produce a 7-10 days festival where all artists collectively were invited for a certain period of time. Maybe they will as a group working together better understand the landscape and understand their challenges, how to work with the unique nature and animal life, the stillness and silence conveyed, as well as the societal structure of the small settlements. For the seventh edition of Arctic Action we want to invite ten artists from the North to tell their stories from the North.


Our objective of Arctic Action is to profile it as an innovative and high quality event of live art on the international contemporary art scene and highlight its natural core themes, the relationship between man and nature and environmental protection.
It is our hope that the art works produced in the exceptional natural environment of Svalbard will stimulate a greater awareness on the fragility of our planet.


The curator of Arctic Action is Svalbard native, Stein Henningsen, who has an extensive network on the international scene of live art. Having been active internationally producing work in Italy, France, China, USA, Canada, Czeck Republic, Ukraine, Germany, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and of course Norway, Henningsen has an established position on the contemporary live art scene.

Our Vision

Arctic Action is a different international live event focusing on the artists working within an ecological approach. Moreover, discussing issues on the relationship of sustainable development and its relation to art, as well as art’s relation to scientific research on the environment.


Through its specific location, Arctic Action will in a natural way and quite probably through the artists work highlight global environmental issues.
Being a protected ecologic zone Svalbard is a natural example of a sustainable future. Most issues related to our planets survival and sustainability is inter-connected with Svalbard in one way or another, exemplified by the Global Seed Vault. A performance art event in this specific location can be exemplary in highlighting these vital issues.
Sometimes an image can speak more than a 1000 words, and we believe that the images created at Arctic Action will do that. Integrating the human action and its surrounding environment. Although the awareness on these global issues for a sustainable future are rising around the world, we believe that Arctic Action through its production of convincing artist images will be able to strengthen and support this development.


Org. No 914 901 774
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Contact address:
c/o Stein Henningsen
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+47 99582558