LIAF reveals artists

25 international artists have been invited to contribute to Lofoten International Art Festival with commissioned works and site-specific installations.

LIAF_PressScreen_1On 10 July, Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF) revealed the names of the artists invited to exhibit in this year´s festival. 25 international artists will contribute –to the 8th edition of LIAF through new commissioned works and site-specific installations, a press release states. The press release goes on to describe Lofoten – where the festival is set – as ´one of the most unusual cultural locations in the world – an archipelago located on the northwest coast of Norway, just above the Arctic Circle.´

As LIAF is without a permanent venue, the festival is ´inventing new venues for each edition´. This is done by infiltrating and moving through the local landscape:

– LIAF 2013 takes its international participants and audiences to unusual sites such as a garage, a library, a shed, a hotel, a cinema, an Am-Car club, a residential house, a former shop, an old warehouse, the ocean and other public places, the press release says.

The appointed curators of LIAF 2013, Bassam El Baroni (Egypt) Anne Szefer Karlsen (Norway) and Eva González-Sancho (Spain), has rephrased the title of the famous 1956 Richard Hamilton collage ‘Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?’ to ´Just what is it that makes today so familiar, so uneasy?´ as the title for this years festival. The curators want to ´question the current human predicament of being stuck in a continuous loop, where the predominant ideas that shape our world are unsustainable and unimaginative when it comes to solving everyday problems.´

In a previous interview with Kunstforum (in Norwegian) Bassam El Baroni explains how the concept for this years festival grew out of a desire to link Lofoten and the world together without focusing on Lofoten as an idyllic place:

– The situation in the world today, «the Stationary State» (editor´s note: a term used by political theorist Gopal Balakrishnan to describe a situation of permanent socio-economic crisis), is best visualised as antagonism – as resistance or hostility between peoples, between the people and the government or between people and political ideologies. And this is what, from our perspective, makes our time particular.

According to the press release ´the curatorial attitude aims to create a reflection on how art can position itself as a profession and as a vocabulary within societies in which the protocol of contemporary institutional art practice is built on the idea of instigating, designing, or manufacturing some form of antagonism through its programming.´ The curators considers ´the scarcity of art institutional structures in Lofoten´ an opportunity for the festival ´to immerse itself in the fabric of the local community, its domestic, commercial and public spaces while exploring the current moment’s global uneasiness.´

Featured artists at LIAF 2013 are Bani Abidi, Sven Augustijnen, Anne Böttcher, István Csákány, HC Gilje, Pedro Gómez-Egaña, Shilpa Gupta, Leslie Hewitt in collaboration with Bradford Young, David Horvitz, Adelita Husni-Bey, Sinisa Ilic, Adrià Julià, Mahmoud Khaled, Karl Larsson, Laida Lertxundi, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Nana Oforiatta Ayim, Oliver Ressler, Allen Ruppersberg, Walid Sadek, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Lisa Tan, Olivier Zabat and Knut Åsdam.

LIAF is a festival for contemporary art taking place in Lofoten on the northwest coast of Norway every second year. LIAF presents works by international artists in a local and site-specific context and seeks to be an open, experimental and including meeting place for artists, audience and locals. The festival was initiated in 1991, as a local art exhibition with a broad range of expressions and with a regional focus. In 1999 the festival was given an international profile, changing its name to Lofoten International Art Festival.

LIAF 2013 opens on 6 September in Kabelvåg and Svolvær and last to 29 September.

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