The curatorial companion of the 2019 edition of the Lofoten International Art Festival is a creature that is all arms and tube-feet, an ancient and familiar sight on the beaches, in the rock pools, and along the seabeds below the harbour waters on these islands. It is an echinoderm, a starfish (or sea star, if you prefer), a being that senses and lives in ways we can only imagine.
Our starfish-inspired curatorial arms are not fully fledged titles, but rather directions, suggestions, and bridges that allow emergent behaviours and discussions to come into play. In different ways they are tied to places and to practices, to ideas, events, and observations, and to all the residents whose lives involve intertidal happenings. In Digermulen, in Valberg, in Ramberg, in Skrova, and in Svolvær, the arms are already creeping their way, fumbling and tasting, finding the feel of these localities and discovering the processes that are taking place above and below the shoreline.
Our confirmed participants are already busy with these “armed discussions”, voicing, listening, building, making, and involving themselves in projects that are embedded in these local settings. During the exhibition month, opening on the 30th of August and taking place throughout September 2019, these arms will entangle, knotting and flexing and caressing, allowing the processes and artworks involved on each arm to join the conversations introduced by the others.
“If everything is of equal importance, then it is important to include everything.”
– Ancient Nordic Proverb
This section of the website will provide an additional insight into the workings of the curatorial arms, as well as the longer-term goals of this edition of the festival. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll post a series of reportages, interviews, narratives, thoughts, fragments, fictions, and speculations. This place will be our scrapbook, home to a growing collection of cut-offs, and bits & pieces. It will be an expanding document dedicated to the working through of all of these intertidal ideas from as many perspectives as we can include.
The first chapter (published soon) will begin in Digermulen at the site of Blue Harvest (a local seaweed farm start-up) as we travel by boat to check the ropes where the sugar kelp is beginning to grow…