Nordic NomadsDecember 7, 1998
NORDIC NOMADS, curated by Andrea Kroksnes
Until recently, Scandinavia had been an often-overlooked site in the international contemporary art scene. In the early nineties, a new generation of young Scandinavian artists began to summon greater attention to Scandinavian art by gathering, exchanging ideas, and showing their work in artist run galleries. Out of this discourse grew a community that, from its very beginning, disrespected national borderlines. These artists are nomads, always in movement, not constrained to fixed cultural identities. Their strategies include crossing and networking remote sites in order to link and articulate positions that had no voice.
Nordic Nomads presents a selection of these artists, not in an attempt to reconstruct nationalistic stereotypes, but rather to articulate culture as a complex structure in which the planes of ethnicity, gender, class and sexuality intersect. Nordic Nomads presents diverse and complex perspectives rather than generic or singular ones. All of the participating artists travel extensively and many live outside their country of birth, allowing them to get “mixed up” in disparate cultural settings. These artists are not pursuing romantic group identities or pure Nordic traits. They address such international issues as feminist and gay identities, politics and cultural practices. If there is a common theme in their diverse work – which spans painting, sculpture, photography, video, installation and performance – it is their shared interest in the crossover, the hybrid, and the impure.
Participating artists – Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Lotta Antonsson & Annika von Hausswolff, Knut Åsdam, Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Simone Aaberg Kaern, Joachim Koester, Ann Lislegaard, Annika Lundgren, Tal R, Torbjörn Rödland, Annika Ström, and Lisa Strömbeck – have achieved significant exposure in Europe, but many are just beginning to be recognized in the United States. For some, this will be their premiere exhibition in this country.