Maaretta Jaukkuri Foundation

Documenta 14 in Kárásjohka, Sápmi

Launch of documenta 14’s `South as a State of Mind' in Kárásjohka, Sápmi, within a day-long public programme

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway presented the second volume of documenta 14’s journal South as a State of Mind in Kárášjohka, Sápmi (Karasjok, Norway), together with documenta 14’s Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk and Editor-in-Chief of Publications Quinn Latimer who both introduced one of the world’s largest exhibitions and conducted short readings from the journal on Saturday 27 August 2016.

From OCA director Katya García-Antóns introduction

How are frontiers questioned from a Northern vantage point, and how might this questioning suggest a new form of worldliness which eschews exhausted and interlinked notions of territory, power and resource exploitation? Can concepts of aesthetics and community enacted in the region during the nineteenth and twentieth century – many of them led by artists and intellectuals from its indigenous communities – be sought out again to enlighten this debate? Will the climate change which is so acutely visible here, result in the formation of navigation channels opening the so-called Highway to Asia, and support China´s current insistence on denoting itself in international debates as an Arctic nation? What will be the impact of the climatological relations between the melting ice caps of the Arctic and the increasingly devastating monsoons in India and Bangladesh? Will the stores of the Seed Vault become a global rescuer, in zones of environmental catastrophe as was the recent case with Syria´s war-torn pistachio plantations?

The public presentation of d14 #2 volume was part of an intense day of public programming which included lectures, conversations and music, together with Sami artists and activists speaking about crucial moments in their recent history and today’s challenges within the region. Among the contributors were curator and former director of the Sami Center for Contemporary Art Jan-Erik Lundstrøm in conversation with Hans Ragnar Mathisen, Britta Marakatt Labba and Synnøve Persen, focusing on their commitment as founding members of Sami Artist Group 1978–1983 / Mázejoavku: sámi dáidojoavku; presentations by Associate Professor of Sami Literature at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway Harald Gaski and film-maker Gunilla Bresky on the work and life of Nils-Aslak Valkeapää; an address on the rhetorics of Western law and indigenous philosophies of justice by writer, yoiker and Associate Professor of Law at UiT Ánde Somby; Associate Professor Hanna Horsberg Hansen from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art and Creative Writing of UiT engaging in a debate about today’s art production, activism as well as territorial and environmental issues with Dáiddadállu/ Artists Collective Kautokeino (a group of practitioners which includes, among others, Elle-Marja Eira, Rawdna-Carita Eira, Elle-Sofe Henriksen and Máret-Ánne Sara).