Curated by Milena Høgsberg and Heidi Ballet


LIAF 2017 proposes speculations about the future of the Lofoten archipelago and its surrounding sea. Titled I Taste the Future, the biennial sets out to reengage the idea of the future without succumbing to apocalyptic visions and draws on science fiction as a thinking tool to widen the scope of possible scenarios.

The biennial is rooted in Henningsvær, a fishing town of 460 inhabitants with a long history that is linked to cod, which has been coming to spawn in Lofoten for centuries. In this setting, a group of artists were asked to imagine life 150 years from now. The exhibition engages in a kind of co-thinking, offering speculations of what the future might mean. The results are spread across three exhibition venues and several public spaces.

Existing and newly commissioned works resist ideas of futures that result in the exploitation of humans and nature. The limiting impulse to think exclusively from the perspective of the nation-state and the impulse to view nature and the oceans solely for the purpose of resource extraction are addressed in two archives where science-fiction and research merge as stories. The artworks offer a series of counter-narratives that move beyond “future as usual” and consider diverse modes of unpacking gender, race and class divisions.

For the duration of the biennial, the curators will be present to host an ongoing program of films, talks and site-specific performances. The program aims to rethink notions of “belonging” and “owning” in relation to territorial identity and responsibility. The exhibition culminates in The Henningsvær Charter, a gathering of artists and scientists who will collaborate to write a charter for the future safeguarding of oceans.

Participating artists

Pia Arke & Anders Jørgensen, Eglė Budvytytė, Youmna Chlala, Jimmie Durham, Ho Tzu Nyen, Daisuke Kosugi, Marysia Lewandowska & Neil Cummings, Adam Linder, Ann Lislegaard, Elin Már Øyen Vister, Mondo Books, Michala Paludan, People’s Kitchen Tromsø, Sondra Perry, Lisa Rave, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Fabrizio Terranova, Silje Figenschou Thoresen, Filip Van Dingenen

The film program is organized in collaboration with Nordland kunst- og filmfagskole (Nordland Art and Film School), Kabelvåg.

The Henningsvær Charter is organized in collaboration with TBA21–Academy; Trondheim Academy of Fine Art and the Strategic Research Area Oceans at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

About Lofoten International Art Festival

LIAF is a biennial festival for contemporary art taking place in Lofoten, a cluster of islands located on the Northern Coast of Norway, just above the Arctic Circle. Since 1999, LIAF has presented works by international artists in a local and site-specific context. LIAF is organized by the North Norwegian Art Centre (NNKS).

LIAF and NNKS receive operational support from the Arts Council Norway, the counties of Finnmark, Troms and Nordland, and the municipality of Vågan.

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