Damien Ajavon, Jannik Abel, Bård Breivik, Tina Buddeberg, Adrian Bugge, Carola Grahn, Johanne Hestvold, Annette Holdensen, Marius Heyerdahl, Lars Holdhus / Matskogen på Landås, Inghild Karlsen, Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology, Ingrid Elsa Maria Ogenstedt, Mustarinda, Jumana Manna, OEI (Jonas (J) Magnusson and Cecilia Grönberg), Viktor Pedersen, Anders Sunna, Monica Sjöö, Sørfinnset skole/ the nord land, Egil Storeide, Lada Suomenrinne, Jenna Sutela, Jon Benjamin Tallerås, Silje Figenschou Thoresen and others.
«Earthworks» is a large-scale thematic exhibition exploring the role of art in the history of ecological resistance movements in the Nordic countries. At a moment when ecological questions – and their relation to questions of social justice and colonial conditions – are becoming increasingly pressing, this major research project looks at artistic work dealing with nature from a multiplicity of viewpoints, with works by visual artists, writers and activists, working as individuals or in groups.
Nature is one of the crucial topics in Nordic art histories; through landscape painting and the artistic interest during the 19th century in its stunning geographical features, artists developed fields of working that were regionally specific. In Norway, the image of coastal and mountain landscapes became a pillar of national identity and are still featured in marketing today. On the other hand, since the 1960s, the precarity of nature became an important topic for many artists, with concerns for the environment and the future of nature as well as humans depending on these resources. In this exhibition, Bergen Kunsthall explores the relevance of nature for artistic debates, how nature is approached, how nature is conceptualised and constructed: what do artworks tell us about our changing relationship to nature, but also how we conceptualise ourselves as human beings? How do we understand ourselves as part of the environment (and nature)?
The exhibition draws historical lines between some of the earliest examples of what is known as Land Art and recent generations of artists treating nature as a collaborative partner. Artists and works in the exhibition include Marius Heyerdahl’s early eco-activist project Den siste alke (The Last Auk), Tina Buddeberg’s Dreamvalley, in which humans and animals co-exist, and works by Carola Grahn whose works often combine dark humor, popular culture and Sami traditions. Another focus of the project is on ideas of collaboration and community building, with many contributions that include discussions, workshops and performances, using the exhibition as a site for participation and a platform for multiple voices.
One of the gallery spaces at Bergen Kunsthall becomes a project space to be activated by artists, writers and curators as a collaborative space for working and thinking together, with a changing presentation throughout the duration of the exhibition period. The exhibition includes several sections of documentary material, selected by research collaborators.
Curated by Axel Wieder and Silja Leifsdottir.