Arctic Action took place from 13th to 27th of October 2021. It was an intimate festival with 4 artists. The artists participating were: Bianca Hisse (Brasil), Shahrzad Malekian (Iran), Monali Meher (The Netherlands) and Sarah Trouche (France). The artists worked togehter to present great performance works to the audience of the Arctic.
This year we also had an indoor performing space and a place to meet locals to discuss art and its importance in todays society.
The official opening took place at the new Spitsbergen Artist Center in Nybyen the 18th of October.
All within the frame of our vision:
- Arctic Action wants to be an alternative to the traditional live performance art festivals in the sense that most of 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.
Since 1998 Meher’s art practice involves various disciplines. The most significant one is ‘Performance Art’. Decay, hybridization & transformation: Creating new identity; reshaping belongings; intimacy; a dialogue of matter and memory all these constitute the language of her work. “Time” as a factor, is central to her practice, whether it’s a wrapped object or a performance. She uses time as medium, which is extended, assembled and captured. The aspects of continuity, repetition, vulnerability, duration, temporality, awareness, situation and public involvement are also inherent qualities that inform her art practice.
Graduated in Fine Arts from Sir J. J. School of arts, Mumbai. Received ‘Unesco -Aschberg’ residency, Vienna 1998, Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten 2000-‘01, Amsterdam, KHOJ New Delhi 2004, VASL residency, Karachi, Pakistan 2008, ComPeung, Thailand 2011, ‘Casa Masaccio’ Italy 2012. Performed and exhibited work internationally; Tate modern, Sinop Biennale Turkey, Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Art Dubai, ‘Rebelle’, MMKA Arnhem, NRLA Glasgow, Prague Biennale 5th, MAXXI museum Rome, Guangzhou Live, China, Infr’action Sete, France, LA 7 Gothenburg Sweden, IPA Istanbul Modern Museum, 4th Thessaloniki Biennale, University UFO & Sustainability 2014, Ghent, Venice International cinema and performance art, Bochum kunstmuseum Germany, ICASTICA ’13, Arezzo Biennial, where Meher received the prestigious ‘Golden Chimera Award’ for innovation and originality, in 2016 ‘Ritual Traces’ SAWCC New York, Beijing Live, Biennale Arte Dolomiti, Italy and Dakar biennale, DAK’ART 2016. In 2017 Kathmandu Triennale and Manifesta HQ Amsterdam, 2018 ‘Connecting Threads’ BDL museum Mumbai, 2019 Stedelijk kunstakademie, Kunstroute Waregem, and ‘Walking’s New Movements’, conference at University of Plymouth, UK. In 2020 she participated in group show, ’Living, Forgiving, Remembering’, De Kerk, Museum Arnhem. Meher received LIVE Funds 2009, BKVB Amsterdam. In 2011 manifested ‘The Bridge Is Open’, public Space installation under Willem’s bridge, Haarlemmerpoort, Amsterdam; funded by AFK, Fonds BKVB, co-operated by DIVV, DOCK Stadsdeel West. This installation can be viewed untill 2025.
Sarah Trouche (1983-) is a French visual artist. She studied at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Paris National School of Fine Arts), where she trained under artists such as Jean-Marc Bustamante, Jacky Chriqui and Guillaume Paris. She complemented her training under artist Mike Kelley at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design LA where she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in 2007 and at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK where she graduated with a Master in Performance-Making in 2008. She also took a short-film directing course in 2014 at the Gaîté Lyrique, a digital arts center located in Paris.
In 2008, Sarah Trouche teamed up with architect Benjamin Herr to create a European multidisciplinary artist collective, “winterstory in the wild jungle”
Sarah Trouche’s work revolves around her many journeys and expeditions, which bring her in contact with a vast array of communities, from micro-societies to globalized metropolises. Her critical scrutiny reveals the growing anomalies, ambiguities, and social and political contradictions that underlie the places she’s visiting.
Her artistic media are mainly performance, photography and video. She is a recipient of the Extramural Villa Médicis grant in the living arts category for her Arriba project and she participated in numerous collective exhibits, both in France (“Camera as release” for Paris Photo 2014, Centre d’art le Lait, le 104, the Brownstone foundation) and abroad (Artbat fest 2014 in Kazakhstan, Marrakech Biennial 2014 in Morocco, OCAC Taipei in Taiwan, New York Armory Show in the States, Hokusen gallery in Tokyo, Japan). She’s also been invited to collaborate with several art schools, namely the École des Beaux-Arts de Metz and the École des Beaux-Arts d’Annecy in France and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte in the States and the National Taiwan University of Arts abroad.
Her work has been acquired by JP Morgan, Sjberwin, the Luski collection, the Benenson Collection, the Mosquera Collection and the IADA foundation.
She is « chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres » since 2019 , one of thé highest distinction from french ministery of culture
Bianca Hisse (b. São Paulo, Brasil) lives and works in Norway.From a double movement between choreography and visual arts, her work investigates how today’s societies are choreographed by global demands. She graduated from Kunstakademiet i Tromsø in 2019 and has a BA in Performing Arts from Pontificia Universidade Catolica de São Paulo (2016).
Her works have been featured across Norway and internationally, including: Kunstnernes Hus, Tromsø Kunstforening, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka (Croatia), BABEL Visningsrom for kunst, Small Projects, Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic (Zagreb), and others. Among festivals where she performed are: Sofia Performance Art Festival (Bulgaria); BONE Performance Art Festival (Switzerland); Performance Art Bergen (Norway); 13festivalen at Galleri Konstepidemin (Sweden), The 12th International Media Arts Festival (St. Petersburg).
Shahrzad Malekian (Iran) lives and works in Oslo. She is a visual artist working with video, performance and sculpture/installation. Using the body as a tool for exploration and as a medium, her practise explores the body in a social, cultural and political context. In her practice-based research, she applies collaborative and participatory approaches to explore performativity and interaction in both art institutions and public spaces. Her work has been shown internationally in exhibitions and museums in Iran, Brazil, USA, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Portugal and London.
Her video works have been selected for International Film Festival Rotterdam (2013), Gothenburg International Film Festival (2013), and Doclisboa(2019). She was a finalist for the MOP CAP 2015 prize and nominated for the Follow Fluxus - After Fluxus 2017 prize.
Malekian holds a BFA in Sculpture from Art University of Tehran and an MFA in Art and Public Space from Oslo National Academy of Art, Norway. She lives and works in Oslo.
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. After two quiet years defined by Covid we will again invite artists to Svalbard and Arctic Action. Applications are out and we hope for support so we once again can enjoy performance and avantgarde art in the Arctic wilderness.
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.
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
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Institut Français de Norvège
Kulturrådet, Norsk Kulturfond
'Korkpenger' from Longyearbyen Lokalstyre