This radio show takes you to Norway through the sounds of contemporary art. To introduce her field recordings, Cathy Byrd calls in from Berlin to Jolt Radio. You’ll hear about projects by artists Tori Wrånes, Jana Winderen, Ánde Somby, Marita Isobel Solberg, Charlotte Nilsen and Amund S. Sveen through voices and sounds recorded in Oslo and Tromsø, Norway.
Listen to our sonic experience of Norway on iTunes, or anywhere you go for podcasts!
From Cathy’s notes:
I find myself in this part of the world because I’m a member of the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art (IKT), an organization designed to support and connect curators in our global community. This year, more than 100 curators meet in the capital city of Oslo and in Tromsø, a town that lies north of the Arctic Circle.
Everywhere we go, I discover that listening is vitally important to a meaningful experience of contemporary culture in the region.
One of my strongest first impressions is a video representing the work of musician and performance artist Tori Wrånes. In her solo exhibition titled Hot Pockets at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo, she uses costumes, props, voice and movement to create suggestive and hypnotic pockets of time – secret spaces in her realm of magical thinking. Let’s listen to a few minutes of the audio track from a three-hour live performance that Wrånes staged in 2014 with a cast of amazing characters.
On our last evening in Oslo, after two intense days of presentations and museum and gallery visits, we gather at SALT, a nomadic art project currently situated on the city’s shoreline, overlooking the famous Opera House. One of SALT’s pyramid structures is an amazing sauna. While we’re inside absorbing the intense heat, we listen to a set of Polar Sound Tracks. The one by Norwegian artist Jana Winderen transports us beneath the surface of the frigid fjord outside the window.
In Tromsø, we encounter contemporary interpretations of Norway’s indigenous Sami culture. The Sami are people are perhaps best known as nomadic reindeer herders. Historically, their community has flowed across national borders in the far north. The next sound experiences represent different readings of the Sami song form known as yoiking. Our first day above the arctic circle begins with Sami artist Marita Isobel Solberg’s performance inside the Tromsuh Academy of Contemporary Art and Creative Writing. We also get to hear Sami historian Ánde Somby‘s traditional and contemporary yoiking.
While in the Far North, we visit artists studios in Kysten, the name given a building that used to be a hospital, now part of the Troms County Culture Center. In the atelier of Charlotte Nilsen, advocate of Slow Fashion, I learn how she merges traditional Sami style clothes with contemporary dresses, shirts and coats, and she teaches others how to make their own hybrid clothes. I capture one more sonic experience during the Transborder Café at a local theater where artist Amund S. Sveen presents a performance lecture that imagines the possibility of forging a United States of Barents from the territories at the edge of the Barents Sea.
Contributed by Evelyne Zapata for Fresh Art International.