is to create a sustainable and innovative event entitled Arctic Action(AA), showcasing major international artists representing different tendencies in performance art.
For the last two years we have produced this event as a nine days festival where all artists collectively were invited for a short period of time. We will do that again in September, but for most of the other months of the year the fourth edition of AA will again be focusing at one artist at the time. We understood that this given focus on one artist at a time was the best way of realizing a quality-focused event of live art in Svalbard. To give time to the artist to be impregnated by 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.
AA will give the invited artist the time and possibility to work more profoundly, as to be able to integrate Svalbard's natural landscape and its impressive qualities and singular expressions. In other words to give the artist time to create an artwork of quality on the same unique level as the environment.
The natural environment of Svalbard is one that breaths respect of nature, of man and of animal life. Its stillness and silence, its majesty and endless dimensions give the impression that it was here that the earth originated. It generates an almost spiritual and religious quality, which in the context of AA, is a natural surrounding which best could be described as tailor-made for live art. It is a context, which through its unique qualities will appeal to the most important artists in the field, and stimulate their creativity.
This unique landscape will not only give a background or a backdrop to the live works produced, but a space of natural stillness and silence which will make the human actions in the live performances more poignant and striking. What will be presented is a human action of movement or non-movement in a landscape that through its seemingly endless dimensions will give the performed human action a visual perspective beyond imagination. The environments multifaceted dimensions will clearly impregnate each artistic production, and give the digital images of its remediation a visuallity that can only be impressive. The natural space of Svalbard will trigger the artist's creation of images that will go beyond imagination.
Sometimes an image can speak more than a thousand 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 of the global issues for a sustainable future are rising around the world, we believe that AA through its production of convincing artist images will be able to strengthen and support this development.
We do believe however that besides the local population, the core audience of AA, will be the followers of the remediation of the event on the Internet. This target group constitutes an unlimited number of people, which is why a media strategy focusing on the social media is of vital importance, promoting the event on the world art stage.
We need to make the remediation of the live performance attractive and explore different, yet unknown formal ways in close collaboration with the artist to achieve a new work, a new result from the starting point of the realized work. The live performance work produced by the artist will not be a performance for video or for photo, but these two media will be integrated through the artists' own professional visions as to create a new end result, an art work by itself.
The project does also necessarily have to initiate a discussion on the possible collaboration between environmental research and contemporary art. We started this work last year and will continue to develop these possibilities in 2018.
The video below is from Arctic Action hosting 7 international artists in Longyearbyen and Pyramiden from 10th to 17th of September 2018. The video shows some of the actions in Pyramiden.
From the 20th to the 30th of March
Born in 1966, Yann Marussich, a unique character of the contemporary dance, delivers performances which have a true impact on the audience: « scraped, disturbing, provocative, authentic ». Since 1989, he signed a score of performances and choreographies diffused all over Europe and the world. From 1993 to 2000 he evolved in the field of artistic programation as director of the « Théâtre de l’Usine » (Geneva) where he programmed almost exclusively contemporary dance and more specifically new forms of expression. He is the founder of the ADC Studio (Geneva) created in 1993.
In 2001, Yann Marussich choreographs Bleu Provisoire, his first totally motionless piece. Since then, he is sinking into introspection and the control of stillness meanwhile confronting his body to diverse solicitations, or even agressions. That is where the poetic space of the performer is located, in an often violent contrast between what his body is undergoing and an absolute impassivity.
Today, he is moving towards solo performance and Body-art in its poetic aspect. His last performances which he considers as a fullfledged style have been presented in many festivals in Switzerland and abroad. Autoportrait dans une fourmilière , Morsure , Traversée , Blessure  and Soif , Bleu Remix, Nuit de Verre , Brisures, Ex-Pression  and Bain Brisé . L’Arbre aux Clous, L’Oeuf du serpent and Glassed  a collaboration with Carter Tutti, one of the pioneer of industrial music. Crash! and Hyphos with students of the Geneva University of Art and Design , Rideau!  and La Chaise with Filipe Espindola and Sara panamby .
In December 2015 - January 2016, a performative exhibition of the works of Yann Marussich was programmed at BAC - Le Commun, called Experience of Immobility - 20 years of performance Acts in Geneva with the support of FMAC, Loterie Romande, the city of Geneva and Ernst Göhner Foundation.
In 2008, he won the Ars Electronica price in the category Hybrid Art with the performance Bleu Remix. He was an associate artist at the Grütli Theater for the 2010-2011 season. Since 2011, Yann Marussich is supported by the Department of Culture and the Municipal Fund for Contemporary Art (FMAC) of the City of Geneva.
From the 21st to the 29th of April
The woman as an occurring subject in my installations or performance work is represented as living in a state of occupation. This occupation or ‘occupying’ force is issued through political conditions within her environment and this results in influencing the otherwise peaceful quality of her world. There are both private and public elements that manipulate this world.
The occupying force has many facets: it can take the shape of physical tangible realities of the everyday, such as in a wall of concrete, a fence, a checkpoint, a curfew, a barrier of stone – or it can reassign it’s force unto a face of a child, a home, a language, and cultural, traditional expectations. There are limitations on her personal freedom as well: the woman, the mother, the lover, the guide, the protector. She seeks justice and longs for change. She is not blind to the opponents around her and pushes forward with enduring strength – and at times, she feels that it is almost as if she has to assume a sort of madness in her behavior so that she can live unharmed by oppression, in an attempt to always protect those she loves from negative forces of fear.
In my art works, the woman I represent lives in a world that attacks her values, her love, her spirit on a daily basis, and for this reason, she is in a state of occupation – and her world could be here in Palestine or elsewhere; and despite all, she looks towards her future with a smile.
The subject/woman I represent in the majority of my work is weighed down with oppression but is filled with ambition; she is saner than she should be and yet she is also a little mad. She is both fragile and strong, she is fully aware and responsive, and she is constantly on the move. And every move she makes, every act, is an act that exhibits awareness towards her surrounding environment, while simultaneously being an act of revolt towards social orders/conditions.
Raeda Sa’adeh (Palestine) was born in Um El Fahem in 1977, and received her BFA and MFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. She was the winner of the first Young Artist of the Year Award organised by the A.M.Qattan Foundation in 2000. Her work in photography, performance and video has been exhibited widely internationally in Europe and the US. Recent exhibitions include ‘Re-Orientations’ at the European Parliament, Brussels; ‘No Man’s Land’, at the GEMAK Museum, The Hague, Holland; ‘In Transit’, House of World Culture, Berlin; ‘Biennal Cuvee’, OK Centre, Lens, Austria (all 2008); Infr’action Festival International d’Art Performance, Se’te, France; and ‘About Time 2’, Kunstmuseum, Denmark (2007). Her work was included in the Sydney Biennial of 2006 and the Sharjah Biennial 8, 2007. She lives and works in Jerusalem. In 2015, Al-Monitor considered her among 50 people shaping the culture of the Middle East.
From the 21st to the 30th of July
Boris Nieslony was born 1945 in Germany, lives in Cologne. He has worked intensively as a performance artist, curator, archivist and independent scholar, staging various installations, interventions and artist projects since the 1970s. He is the founder of Black Market International, a performance group that meets regularly in various configurations to realise group performance projects. And also the instigator of the ASA foundation, a platform for a self-organizing rhizomatic network of performance artists and theorists.
Nieslony is recognizes as one of the most prolific and significant contributors to performance art. Nieslony creates unpredictable and unrepeatable improvisational performance works that manifest “an encounter and its effects”. Responding to local circumstances, Nieslony develops images attuned to the moment, rigourously searching for the truth of self-recognition at the intersection of history and live presence. His impressive performance style stems from the motto “life is art enough”.
From 10th to 20th of August
Saskia Edens was born in Geneva where she is graduated in 2002 from the Ecole supérieure des Beaux-arts and the Ecole des Arts décoratifs. From 1999 to 2000 she studied at the Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna. Today she lives and works in Basel, Switzerland.
Saskia Edens works with molten metal, video, photography, drawing, painting as well as with moulding techniques, performance and the elements. What is the common base to all these medium is the energy and the gesture that allows transformations process of matter and being. She performs the painting, draws with fire, or makes experiences under earth. After this encounter with the elements, she lets the entropy doing the rest.
Since 2007 she has been working profoundly on live performances, participating in international festivals of performances in Asia (2007 KEAF; South Korea; 2013 Guangzhou Live 4; Macau), in Europe: Nordic countries Diverse Universe Tour 2013, and Estonia, Latvia, Germany, UK, France (Infr'action, Le Printemps de Septembre), Serbia, Poland, Switzerland (Bone Festival, Art of Encountering, etc) Sweden, Spain and America (New York, Desert of Nevada).
In her performance art, she has collaborated with other artists like Non Grata group (Estonia) and sound artists like Daniel Buess, Mathieu Sylvestre and with the artist Jérôme Karsenti.
Her artworks (installations, videos) were shown in Switzerland and abroad -including in the Fotomuseum Winterthur (Darkside II), the Kunstmuseum Chur, in Kunstmuseum Thun, Kunsthaus Baselland, in the Wyspa Progress Institute in Gdansk, in the gallery Kritiku in Prague, in Kunstverein Freiburg and in the gallery Nicola von Senger Zürich.
Besides ephemerals actions, her Art-in-architecture project 'Magma' was realized in 2013 as a permanent installation for the School building of Brunnmattschulhaus in Basel.
From 10th to 20th of October
Anne Rochat was born in 1982 in Vallée de Joux, Switzerland.
She positions the human body at the centre of her artistic work, a body flexible and strong, subtle and athletic, wild and acrobatic. Her postures are incongruous and a little absurd and lead her into offbeat situations, she expresses herself with forbidden gestures we can only dream of engaging in ourselves. The artist takes her position through actions both sensual and powerful, mellow and savage, disturbing, sometimes funny and always informed by rigouruous aesthetic discipline. Spectacular without being a spectacle, the live art performances of Anne Rochat invite us to marvel.
Rochat travelled widely in Asia, prior to her studies at Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne(ECAL). In 2011-2012, she took up an art residence in Varanasi. India, followed by a year long stint at the Swiss Institute of Rome(ISR). She has been awarded many notable prices including Prix Irène Reymond(2013), Prix Kiefer Hablitzel(2012), Bourse culturelle du Canton de Vaud(2011), Bourse culturelle de la Fondation Leenaards(2010), Swiss Awards, Art Basel(2010).
From the 10th to the 17th of September
Arctic Action is preparing to host 7 artists from Finland, Åland, Sweden, Denmark, The Faroe Islands and Svalbard.
This project is a collaboration that will create a Nordic network between different island communities in the Nordic region and Gothenburg. We want it to happen through focusing on nature, food and performance art. The project is initiated by ComLab, Gothenburg. Partners in the project are: Performance Kitchen (Copenhagen / Faroe Islands), Åland Action Art (Åland) and Arctic Action (Svalbard). The selected islands taking part in the project are: The Faroe Islands, Åland and Svalbard with Gothenburg as the city partner. These islands are all remote with wild and impressive scenery. The communities on these islands are relatively small and the people are dependent on and influenced by the nature. Our goal is to arrange creative meetings between artists, visitors and locals, where we build our activities and art works around the existing sustainable society. We wish to do this through formal and informal gatherings, performances, workshops, discussions, artist talks and good local meals where we can learn more about each other in a relaxed atmosphere. We hope for interesting dialogues and close relations to create strong ties between the artists, but primarily between the artists and the society they meet for further cooperation and sustainable development in the spirit of art and culture.
Artists participating are: Chuyia Chia (S), Joakim Stampe (S), Peppe Rosvik (F), David S Lopez (D), Sunniva Gudmundsdottir Mortensen (Faroes), Ursula Sepponen, (Åland). Host and local artist is Stein Henningsen (N)
Photos of Peppe by David S.L. Restrepo, Ursula Sepponen og Stein Henningsen
Peter Rosvik (1968)
After living his childhood in Stockholm suburbs Peter Rosvik in 1980 arrived to the Swedish Finnish countryside in Finland with his family.
Before enrolling Fine art school in Nykarleby in Finland he studied to a chef. Since 1994 his work has been exhibited in Finland, Scandinavia and from the millennium shift internationally.
Peter Rosvik has a long experience of working with crossover art strategies in diverse cultural communities. He is one of the founders of the contemporary art project space Platform (founded 2000) in Vaasa, Finland.
He works in a variety of media, including fine art, video, sound, and installations. Since 2007 he focuses on performance art exploring what he calls ‘the often specious distinctions between the artificial and the natural of being human’. Concepts that underpin cultural construction, such as belonging, marginalisation, dialogue and other forms of socio cultural phenomena appear to fascinate him.
By combining material and immaterial elements of analogue, electronic, and digital visualises his artworks extensively explores various combinations of visual, noise and body expressions as humanity.
Peter originates performances that play with conceptions of art as cultural memory and art as personal conceptions of identity. His current artworks focus on statements of embodied experiences of human exclusion and inclusion in society and culture.
All photos of Chuyia by Peppe Rosvik & Ursula Sepponen
Born in 1970 in Malaysia, lives and works in Gothenburg. Chuyia Chia moved to Singapore in the late 1990s and is now based in Gothenburg. Her artistic training is originally painting, but her main artistic practice is now within the realm of performance and installation art. Chuyia Chia's artistic direction has developed with of her identity as an immigrant in the 1990s, giving her global outlook and concern. Thus in her work she pays particular attention to environmental responsibility and food, focusing on relationships and the communication between people. Her perspective is often how the body can express these contexts and communicate knowledge and emotions to the viewer. Chuyia has participated and have commissioned international exhibitions, festivals and events in more than 32 countries includes China, Poland, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, France, Belgium, Peru, Argentina, Russia, Canada, USA, Finland, Germany, Mexico, Thailand, Italy, Cameroon and so on. Her most recently commission work is the Singapore Biennale 2016.
Chuyia Chia was trained from the School of Art Education (Malaysia), Nanyang Academy of Fine Art (Singapore), Curtin University of Technology (Australia) and Valand School of Art Gothenburg University (Sweden).
All photos of Ursula by Peppe Rosvik
Ursula Sepponen is a Finnish artist based in Åland. She works primarily with performance, film and video art but also with painting. She often works in site specific ways, using elements and materials found in her surroundings, therefore her performance works can seldom be fully planned beforehand or repeated in other spaces. The foundation of her work is often related to existential questions about death, guilt, individual suffering and questions of social disadvantages. In her latest works, memory and the body's connection to memory has played an important part.
Ursula was born in Helsinki in 1978, but lived her first childhood years in Kökar, an island municipality in the south-east of the Åland archipelago, known for its ruins of a Franciscan monastery from the 15th century. In her artistic practice, a sensitivity and responsiveness to nature and familiarity with the language of religious symbolism can be sensed. Ursula has a background in the fashion industry but became tired of the consumerism she was part of and moved back to Åland to come closer to the nature.
Since 2012, Ursula has participated in and organized multiple performance art events in Finland and other Nordic countries and she is the founder of the artist-run organization Åland Action Art. Ursula has shown her work in the Nordic countries, Estonia, Germany and Japan. She has studied art in Finland, Denmark and Romania, and has a BA in Fine Arts from Novia University, 2014, and a BA in Crafts and Art from 2004.
Photos of Joakim by Peppe Rosvik and Ursula Sepponen
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 twenty 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 can not 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.
All photos of Kaisa by Peppe Rosvik
Kaisa Luukkonen is from Tampere, Finland,now based in Gothenburg working with performance and installation art. She was born in Kuopio in 1974, from where fathers work took the family to Brasil and Indonesia and back to Finland during the childhood and adolecanse years of Kaisa’s life. She studied a commerce and pottery in her after high school and in few years she come in contact with sculpture by working as a model. She studied a BA degree in a very traditional art school of Polytechnical School of Satakunta Kankaapää Unit ( formerly known as Kankaapää Art School ). After school and few traveling years Kaisa Luukkonen ended up finding her place in Tampere and in the arms of Rajataide Assosiation. She has worked there as a Vice President and as Gallery Manager. She was the Co-Producer of MediaPyhät-media art happenings between 2009- 2012. She is currently one of the people working with Tampere based performance club Perfo.
Kaisa Luukkonens work is in contact with moral ambiguity of human condition. Her installations often modify and duplicate the ready made to create an alternative universe that embraces the viewer. Her performance work has become more visually oriented over the years but still it retains a strong socially interactive quality with the audience.
All photos of David by Peppe Rosvik
Born in Medellín, Colombia, David Sebastian Lopez Restrepo studied a Bachelor of Fine and Visual Arts at the Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnoloógica de Colombia (U.P.T.C.),where he experimented with installation, video art and performance while working as a teacher at the preschool and pedagogic research center, “Rayuela”, where he experimented with different forms of pedagogy and developed a project with children producing short films. When graduated from U.P.T.C, Sebastian travelled to Argentina where he studied a Master in Combined Artistic Languages at Universidad Nacional de las Artes (U.N.A.). His art works have been presented in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Finland, Denmark and in the Faroe Islands. His work is part of the Colombian Consulate’s “Artists abroad bank”. Currently, the artist lives in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he is the director of Performance køkkenet an organization of contemporary arts,recently he had organized the International performance art festival Body Landscapes with the support of the Danish Arts Foundation. He is also work with video art, collage,installation, mail art and artist’s book.
All photos of Sunniva by Peter Rosvik
Visual and Cultural Anthropologist.
Bachelor in social and cultural anthropology from the University of Copenhagen. Final year spent in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where final thesis was written. The thesis examined memory and construction of past within the group of Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo, mothers who lost their children during the Argentine Dictatorship,
From 2011-2015 I resided in Argentina, while traveling several times through the Southamerican continent. For the last two years I have been writing articles about Latinamerican and European issues for the Faroese newspaper, Dimmalætting. Throughout my stay in Argentina, I assisted with performance registration, photography and video. I also also assisted with the production of sevel art projects.
In 2015 I started my master in social and cultural anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. My field of interest is visual anthropology, indigenous and sea culture, food ways and memory. My fieldwork was conducted in Northerncolombia among the indigenous Arhuaco people and the empirical focus was sea culture and memory. The thesis were presented as a multimedia project, available on the internet in march/april 2017. Part of my photographic register of the stay among the Arhuacos can be seen on the artistic online publication: http://readsalt.com/the-arhuacos/
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 fifth edition of 2019 we will hopefully do both. We have decided to invite a small group of artists and scientists in September. As soon as the artists and scientists have agreed to take part and the budget allows it we will publish it on this web page.
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, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Finland and of course Norway, Henningsen has an established position on the contemporary live art scene.
Lena Håkansson, professor at the University in Svalbard and specializing in climate history, is our link to the scientific world.
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
ARCTIC ACTION ART
c/o Stein Henningsen
P. O. Box 732