Press Releases

Official opening of Artica Svalbard and its Artist-in-Residence Programme

Published 2017/04/06

Photo: A K Dolven, 2016.


Carlos Casas, Oddvar I. N. Daren, Lars Palgaard and Mette Henriette as OCA's first artists-in-residence within the newly established Artica Svalbard foundation in Longyearbyen, Svalbard archipelago
Artica Svalbard

OCA, currently embarking on a long-term collaboration project with Artica Svalbard, is pleased to announce that Carlos Casas, Oddvar I. N. Daren, Lars Palgaard and Mette Henriette are OCA’s first artists-in-residence at the newly established foundation in Longyearbyen.

Artica Svalbard and its Artist-in-Residence Programme was officially opened by H.M. Queen Sonja of Norway together with the Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland on 30 March 2017 at 18:00, followed by statements from the founders and collaborating partners. The launch concluded with a series of breakfast dialogues on 31 March 2017 with the aim of engaging with Svalbard’s local community as well as national and international guests.

Artica Svalbard’s partners programming the residency are Norwegian PEN, the H.M. Queen Sonja Art Foundation and Office of Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), each of whom will substantially strengthen Artica Svalbard’s activities by selecting artists and writers from their networks to undertake residencies, engage with the local community, and catalyse public programmes on Svalbard over a period of three to nine months each, starting from this year and due to continue over the years to come. The residency includes a specially commissioned print workshop, which will also be available for the local community.

OCA will also contribute by connecting its International Studio Programme (ISP) to Artica, through OCA’s ISP+ programme.

For more information about OCA, please contact Communication Manager Tara Hassel

About the artists

Carlos Casas is a filmmaker working across documentary filmmaking, cinema, and contemporary visual and sound arts. His work has been exhibited in a number of venues and festivals including Hangar Bicocca, Milan; Netmage, Bologna; Documenta, Madrid; and Fondation Cartier, Paris. A modern day explorer, Casas’s works deals with the idea of survival, death and the archaic. He has just concluded a trilogy of work dedicated to the most extreme environments on the planet; Patagonia, Aral Sea and Siberia. He is currently working on a film about a cemetery of elephants on the borders between India and Nepal, and he is part of the ongoing exhibition ‘Ten Days Six Nights’ at Tate Modern, London.

Oddvar I.N. Daren, an artist working across genres with paintings, objects, sculptures and land art. He received his education from the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, Norway (1977–81) and the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, The Netherlands (1982–84). He has held solo exhibitions at Bodø Kunstforening, (2015); Trondheims Kunstforening, (2013); Galleri F15, Moss (1986) and Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Bærum (1985). His work has recently been presented in the group exhibition ‘Silent Revolt’ at The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo (2016) and Trondheim Kunstmuseum (2007, 2017).

Lars Paalgard, studied at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art (1978–82) and the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (1983–85). He has been part of exhibitions in Norway and abroad, and his works are included in public collections such as the Arts Council Norway and the Trondheim Kommune (Trondheim municipality). Paalgard was one of the initiators of G.U.N (Galleri Uten Navn / Unnamed Gallery) and Sound of Mu in Oslo. Recently his work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium (2014) and Galleri 69, Oslo (2016) and in the group exhibition ‘Silent Revolt’ at The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo (2016).

Mette Henriette is an independent musician, improviser and composer based in Norway. She studied at The Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo and has taken private lessons from musicians such as Maja Ratkje, Eivind Buene and Sidsel Endresen. At the age of 19 she received a scholarship to study at the School for Improvisational Music in New York, where she connected and performed with a number of free improvisers, some of which she formed bands with and toured Tajikistan and USA.
She has worked with legendary figures such as performance artist Marina Abramovic, producer Manfred Eicher, photographer Anton Corbijn and theatre director Robert Wilson among others.

About the Artica Svalbard Foundation
The participation of international artists and writers from all fields, in both the Artist-in-Residence Programme and the Public Programme, has been conceived with a local and international perspective. Residents will contribute to the cultural life of Svalbard through dialogue with the local community, its resident researchers and various professionals, together with the investigations and critical thinking of the participating artists and writers. With this in mind, Artica Svalbard intends to promote discussions and collective thinking about the Arctic and its importance across the planet concerning issues of resources, nature, technology, society, culture and geopolitics in relation to the global world we live in today, and within the environmental and political changes we are facing collectively – both internationally and within the circumpolar region itself. These artists and writers will contribute to Artica Svalbard through the work and research carried out during their residency. Their investigations and thinking will inspire a series of public programmes of talks and seminars which intend to stimulate a wider critical and philosophical exchange of ideas, research and expressions, throughout the circumpolar region and internationally.

Artica Svalbard was founded by the The Norwegian Ministry of Culture, Fritt Ord (the Freedom of Expression Foundation) and SpareBank1 (Northern-Norway’s Cultural Business Development Foundation) on 8th November 2016. The foundation of Artica Svalbard has been made possible through generous support from The Norwegian Ministry of Culture, Fritt Ord, SpareBank1 and the DNB Savings Bank Foundation.

About the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA)
The Office for Contemporary Art Norway is a non-profit foundation created by the Norwegian Ministries of Culture and of Foreign Affairs in 2001. Its principle aim is to foster dialogue between art practitioners in Norway and the international arts scene, and support Norwegian artists in their activities around the world. As a result, OCA’s discursive, exhibition, publication, residency and visitor programmes focus on bringing to Norway the plurality of practices and histories at the forefront of international artistic debates as much as it seeks an active presence in international arenas. OCA has been responsible for Norway’s contribution to the visual arts section of the Venice Biennale since 2001.

About the other collaborating partners

Norwegian PEN Norwegian
PEN is the Norwegian division of PEN International, founded in England in 1921 by Amy Catharine Dawson-Scott as an international literary association founded to promote friendship and international cooperation among writers everywhere. PEN is an acronym for ‘Poets, Essayists and Novelists’, later broadened to ‘Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists’. Norwegian PEN was founded as the national division by Johan Bojer in 1922.

Like several European and North American members, Norwegian PEN works primarily with freedom of expression issues, mostly internationally. Norwegian PEN is active in PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee and the IFEX (International Freedom of Expression exchange) network.

The H.M. Queen Sonja Art Foundation
The H.M. Queen Sonja Art Foundation was established in 2011 to generate interest in and promote the development of graphic art. The Foundation stages the Queen Sonja Print Award every other year. The first award was given to Tiina Kivinen in 2012. The cash prize is taken from the yield on the Foundation’s capital along with any gifts or other contributions received by the Foundation. In addition, the prize-winner also receives an educational stay at the art studio Atelje Larsen in Helsingborg, Sweden. The amount of the cash prize is determined by the board.

With its focus on international graphic art in all its expressions and media, the Queen Sonja Print Award is set to become the most prestigious prize within this field of contemporary art.