press release

Lofoten International Art Festival, the biennial on the eponymous archipelago off the Northern coast of Norway, just celebrated the opening of its 8th and most international edition to date, curated for the first time by an international team of curators: Bassam El Baroni (Egypt), Eva González-Sancho (Spain) and Anne Szefer Karlsen (Norway). Last weekend’s opening attracted the highest number of visitors to date, with an increasingly significant number of international art professionals visiting the event.

Until 29 September 2013 the 38 works, by 26 artists from 17 different countries, are on view in Kabelvåg, Svolvær and the nearby island of Svinøya. Many of them have been commissioned especially for LIAF 2013, and the rest have been re-contextualized to immerse themselves into the unconventional venues where this year’s festival take place, such as an Am-Car Club, a hotel room, an old Fish Factory, a residential house, a wooden shed and a private garage.

LIAF 2013 puts itself at the centre of the local community; its domestic, commercial and public spaces while exploring the current moment's global uneasiness. This topic was something that the well-visited one-day seminar on Saturday focused on. Talks by speakers such as Matthew Fuller and Aaron Schuster focused on the interrelationship between permanent crisis, economy, media, art and theory, and engaged the audience in an active debate.

During the opening reception on the square of Kabelvåg, the audience took part in the American artist David Horvitz's live performance Stone Soup, to which the artist had brought ancient stones from Shwangunk mountain in the state of New York to Lofoten. Other ingredients were donated by the local audience and other participating artists and the soup became a metaphor for the exhibition itself - independent entities, coming from different locations, and arriving in one single location to form a temporary totality.

LIAF has again, thanks to curators, artists, team and audience turned into a unique and engaging, warm and including festival, bringing our attention to serious and burning matters, says Helga-Marie Nordby, chair of the LIAF board. The eighth edition has become a diverse and prolific exhibition penetrating the big question raised by the curators: Just what is it that makes today so familiar, so uneasy? LIAF is a place for exchange and involvement on multitude levels, and through the exhibition, the inserts, publication and seminar, the curators have created a productive and complex platform looking into some of the pressing realities of our time.

Lofoten International Art Festival 2013 Just what is it that makes today so familiar, so uneasy?

6 - 29 September 2013 Vågan municipality; Kabelvåg and Svolvær, Lofoten, Norway

Opening hours: Monday - Friday: 3 - 8 pm Saturday - Sunday: 10 am - 8 pm

Curated by: Bassam El Baroni, Eva González-Sancho and Anne Szefer Karlsen

Artists: Bani Abidi, Sven Augustijnen, Ann Böttcher, Mircea Cantor, István Csákány, HC Gilje, Pedro Gómez-Egaña, Shilpa Gupta, Leslie Hewitt in collaboration with Bradford Young, David Horvitz, Adelita Husni-Bey, Sini?a Ili?, 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, Knut Åsdam.