In collaboration with the curators and producers behind Dark Ecology – the Dutch organisation Sonic Acts, and the Norwegian curator Hilde Methi, SALT will present seven artworks throughout Spring 2018 that were originally produced and exhibited in the Norwegian-Russian border zone between 2014 and 2016. The Dark Ecology project was inspired by the ideas of the philosopher Timothy Morton, who argues that our knowledge about the human impact on the globe makes it necessary to rethink the concepts of nature and ecology. Ecology is ‘dark’.
The first instalment opening on 8th of February 2018 is the sound installation unearthed 2014-2018 by BJ Nilsen in The Arctic Pyramid every day from 08/02 till 13/05, the video installation Barents (Mare Incognitum) by HC Gilje in Lillehjella every day from 4pm, 08/02 till 16/03, and a screening of the video Vilgiskoddeoayvinyarvi – Wolf Lake on the Mountains by Justin Bennett 08/02 and also 22/03.
The second manifestation takes place on the 21st and 22nd of March 2018 with the performances Pasvikdalen by Jana Winderen and Conflux by Signe Lidén, as well as the exhibitions Nikel Materiality by Tatjana Gorbachewskaya & Katya Larina, and Prospecting – A Geological Survey of Greys by Cecilia Jonsson.
unearthed 2014-2018 by BJ Nilsen captures the uncanny contrasts within soundscapes on the borderland between Norway and Russia, where the sparse beauty of the Arctic landscape meets industrial decay and heavy pollution. The installation invites participants to pay attention to the nuances of these sounds as they travel along the structure of The Arctic Pyramid at SALT, and to think about the landscapes, geography, and circumstance that they represent. unearthed 2014-2018 stems from unearthed, an ongoing collaborative project between BJ Nilsen and filmmaker Karl Lemieux (CA) that was originally commissioned by Sonic Acts/Dark Ecology in 2014.
The sound installation unearthed 2014-2018 by BJ Nilsen (NL/SE) will be presented in the Arctic Pyramid from the 9th of February until the 13th of May 2018.
Barents (Mare Incognitum) by HC Gilje depicts the border zone, facing the North Pole, between Norway and Russia. The video shows a slowly rotating view of the Barents Sea: up becomes down, East becomes West, as the custom-built orbital camera slowly rotates around its own axis and captures the world that revolves around it. The view allows for an atypical exploration of the space and landscape to be experienced, as borders and thresholds become invisible and the potential disaster inherent in the ocean is made visible. The installation’s proximity to the Bjørvika shoreline may serve as an additional reminder of the pertinence of the conceptual issues that Barents (Mare Incognitum) raises: Where North may also become South, just as East becomes West.
The video installation Barents (Mare Incognitum) by HC Gilje (NO) will be presented in Lillehjella from the 9th of February until the 15th of March 2018.
Vilgiskoddeoayvinyarvi – Wolf Lake on the Mountains by Justin Bennett is told from the perspective of Viktor, a fictional geologist who worked on the Kola Superdeep Borehole (KSD). At 12 kilometres deep, the KSD is one of the deepest man-made holes on Earth, and a remnant of a Soviet geology research project that started during the Cold War. In addition to gathering data about the geology of the Earth’s crust, it was also part of a network of seismic listening stations which functioned as an early-warning system for natural disasters. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the KSD was slowly decommissioned and eventually abandoned in 2008. In Vilgiskoddeoayvinyarvi – Wolf Lake on the Mountains, Viktor has decided to continue living at the site after all his colleagues have left. Viktor’s voice guides us around the KSD, linking the features of his surroundings to aspects of the past, to himself, and to the connections between the geology of the area and Sami shamanism and divination.
The video Vilgiskoddeoayvinyarvi – Wolf Lake on the Mountains by Justin Bennett (NL/UK) will be screened in Árdna on Thursday the 8th of February and on Thursday the 21st of March, as well as during other Sauna Sessions (TBA).
Pasvikdalen by Jana Winderen is based on recordings made both in and around Pasvikelva, the border river between Norway and Russia. Imagined as a journey from inland to the sea ice, the work forms a captivating aural environment where participants can embark on a voyage into the depths. During Pasvikdalen, the listener is encouraged to discover the complexities and strangeness of the unseen world, and to think about their relationship to the non-human voices and sounds that they encounter.
The audio-performance Pasvikdalen by Jana Winderen (NO) is part of the event on Wednesday the 21st of March between 18:00 – 19:30.
krysning/пересечение/conflux by Signe Lidén is a light journey through complex territories – An expedition with bow and arrow across pastures, mountains, as well as manmade landscapes, military zones, harbours, mining areas and settlements in the border zone between Norway and Russia. On the arrow, there is a flute, and in the flute, a microphone. The arrow lands somewhere and that somewhere becomes a recording station and a point of view until a new arrow-shot decides the next site of recording. The journey is filmed horizontally and vertically as a balloon is fixed to the traveller’s backpack, capturing the movements from the wind´s perspective. In this respect Signe’s work explores the coincidental in the ‘points of references’ on which knowledge systems and worldviews are based.
The audio-visual performance krysning/пересечение/conflux by Signe Lidén (NO/NL) is part of the event on Wednesday the 21st of March between 18:00 – 19:30.
Nikel Materiality by Tatjana Gorbachewskaja & Katya Larina explores the mining town of Nikel through the prism of the unique material substances that it has created. The story of Nikel is that of a place that transformed the natural environment, seemingly no longer dependent on its geographical, geological or atmospheric attachments to the Earth – It could have been artificially and technologically built anywhere. But due to volatile economic and political circumstances, Nikel was left without sufficient central control. The materiality of the artificial organism of the city started to interact directly with the natural conditions of the unique Arctic climate and ecosystem, forcing Nikel’s artificial materiality to adapt to survive.
Nikel Materiality by Tatjana Gorbaschewskaya & Katya Larina (DE/UK/RU) showcases excerpts from the comprehensive catalogue of research materials in Lillehjella, opening on Wednesday the 21st of March, and on display until the 13th of May.
Prospecting: A Geological Survey of Greys by Cecilia Jonsson is an interdisciplinary art project that appropriates geological methods of extracting, analysing, and categorising mineral specimens. The artist commissioned a drilling operation at Prestefjellet, near Kirkenes in northern Norway, where cylindrical rock-core samples were extracted from 2.5-billion-year-old primary rock, 170 metres below the earth’s surface. The rock cores of metamorphic gneiss were originally displayed as sculpture beside the borehole, then shipped to The Geological Survey of Norway’s laboratory where the artist conducted various analyses and microscopy of the stone in search of the bedrock’s shades of grey tones. The project makes visible geology as a visual composition, and as a challenge to the human perception of colours.
The mixed-media installation in which the photography of the rock’s microstructures is an essential component, Prospecting: A Geological Survey of Greys, by Cecilia Jonsson (NO/SE) opens on Thursday the 22nd of March and will be on display in Árdna until the 13th of May.