Amund Sjølie Sveen’s performance NORDTING will be shown for the first time in Sweden at Samtidskonstdagarna14 September 2018
During Samtidskonstdagarna (Contemporary Art Days) in Boden on the 14-16th of November, a Swedish audience will see the performance NORDTING/The Northern Assembly for the first time. NORDTING/The Northern Assembly is a performance work by the Norwegian artist Amund Sjølie Sveen.
– This project is located in between different categories of art, or in all categories at the same time. That is also the strength of the project: it’s not theatre since it’s not fiction, it is both an art piece and an authentic political manifestation. It comprises a lecture, performance and music. I call a mix of a people’s assembly, a partyshow and a political powerpoint lecture, Amund Sjølie Sveen says, and continues:
– What I want to achieve with this project is to investigate and change both the historical narrative of tThe North and the structures that are in power in the North. The strategy is both artistic and political: to create both reflection and commitment through the means of destabilizing the categorization of both ‘art’ and ‘public’. And also to use the project’s ambiguity and use angels that the common politics can’t, or won’t, use.
Amund Sjølie Sveen describes the art project as follows:
“With an ambition to question and change both the present narrative and the power regime of the North, The Northern Assembly has travelled extensively in the Arctic region during recent years, with its marching bands, stockfish, powerpoint presentations and political analysis. 32 people’s assemblies have been held, tonnes of t-shirts have been sold and litres of vodka have been drunk. Songs have been sung, prayers have been said and people have voted for independence for the North – time and time again.
The North, the Barents region, is an area with classical colonial traits. Political and economic power is located far away, always in the south, and the economic and developmental discourse describes the land as an “Arctic frontier”; an area between civilization and the unknown; a liminal zone, a tabula rasa, a land of resources, a land of possibilities for the conqueror and investor. It is time for the people of the North to fight back. It is time to take control of the fish, it is time to take control of the region. With this first visit to Sweden, The Northern Assembly enters the next phase in the battle for a United North. What will the people of northern Sweden say to the proposal of establishing a United Barents Union? Are they ready to see Arctic Russia as a friend? Are they ready to cut ties to the bourgeoisie of Stockholm?
There is no better place to continue this work than in Boden; a city build in part on Arctic cooperation and the transportation of iron ore between Kiruna and Narvik, and built in part to keep the North divided, through its defence of the Swedes against (Soviet) Russia, as the military hub of northern Sweden. Boden is yet another Arctic hotspot that allows us to investigate the living paradoxes of the North – and a perfect site for a NORDTING.”
NORDTING/The Northern Assembly will be performed during Samtidskonstdagarna in Boden on the 14th–16th November. Read more about the work and Amund Sjølie Sveen’s artistic practice at nordting.no and amundsveen.no