Exhibition opening in Brazil featuring Sápmi artists
Fra utstillingen ved MASP / From the exhibition at MASP. Foto: Maria Tripodianos / Kode
A large number of Sámi artists are represented when the extensive exhibition "Indigenous Histories" opens at the prestigious art museum MASP in São Paulo this Friday.
The exhibition will come to Kode in April 2024.
"Indigenous art is becoming increasingly relevant internationally and represents an important counterpoint," says curator Irene Snarby.
"Indigenous Histories" is an exhibition collaboration between Kode and the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP).
It opened in São Paulo on Friday, October 20, and in Bergen on April 26, 2024.
Snarby is one of the 12 curators for the exhibition, which presents art and visual culture from seven world regions in South America, North America, Oceania, and the North/Sápmi.
The exhibition includes 285 works by more than 170 artists, spanning from before European colonization to the present day. One thematic section is also dedicated to indigenous activism around the world.
The exhibition is curated by artists and researchers of indigenous heritage, and Snarby is responsible for the Sápmi art section on behalf of Kode.
She has selected Sámi artists for the exhibition (see the list below) and was in São Paulo with the artist Lena Stenberg to finalize the exhibition along with the rest of the international curatorial team.
Additionally, a group of Sámi and Norwegian artists is represented in the eighth section of the exhibition, which is devoted to international indigenous activism.
Kodes kurator for den samiske avdelingen i utstillingen, Irene Snarby, i midten. Til venstre Line Daatland, direktør for samling og utstillinger ved Kode, og til høyre kunstner Lena Stenberg. Foto: Maria Tripodianos.
Adriano Pedrosa, direktør MASP, Petter Snare, direktør Kode, Line Daatland og Irene Snarby sammen med Mette Tangen, generalkonsul i Rio de Janeiro og Odd Magne Ruud, Norges ambassadør i Brasil. Foto: Denise Andrade
Irene Snarby sammen med andre kuratorer for utstillingen, som til sammen teller tolv personer fra syv verdensregioner, alle med urfolksbakgrunn. Foto: Maria Tripodianos
Irene Snarby og representanter fra MASP sammen med andre kuratorer for utstillingen, som til sammen teller tolv personer fra syv verdensregioner, alle med urfolksbakgrunn. Foto: Maria Tripodianos / Kode
A Historic Moment
Snarby believes that the time is ripe for indigenous thinking, especially in a time of massive climate challenges:
"Many of the artworks represent an important counterpoint to the growing overconsumption and environmental destruction," Snarby points out.
"We have vastly different challenges depending on where we live on the planet, but something that is common in Sámi thinking, as well as in other indigenous groups, is a close connection to nature and a deep respect for the generations before and after us," says the curator.
Many of the Sámi artists have previously encountered unexpectedly narrow boundaries in the art field:
"Modernism has dominated the field and defined the boundaries of what art should be. Sámi art expands the concepts, with a profound respect for craftsmanship, traditions, and the tactile. I believe this is having a significant impact now," Snarby states.
Norway has been lagging behind
Snarby is looking forward to showcasing the exhibition in Norway at Kode next year.
"This is a massive initiative, involving stakeholders from some of the world's foremost institutions in indigenous art, such as the National Gallery of Canada, which has made significant contributions to the field in recent years," Snarby says.
Internationally, there has been a significant and genuine interest in contemporary Sámi art for a long time, and Snarby believes that Norway has been lagging behind in promoting indigenous art.
"As early as 2003, Sámi artists participated in a prestigious exhibition in Venezuela, and they were heavily represented at Sakahàn at the National Gallery in Canada in 2013."
"The breakthrough in Norway only came in 2017 with the efforts of Documenta 14 in Kassel and the performance 'There is no Sámi Dáiddamusea' at the Nordnorske kunstmuseum. The response has been tremendous all along," Snarby says.
The Sápmi artists represented in the exhibition
- Ingunn Utsi (b. 1948)
- Lena Stenberg (b. 1961)
- Iver Jåks (1932-2007)
- Marja Helander (b. 1965)
- Outi Pieski (b. 1973)
- Britta Marakatt-Labba (b. 1951)
- Joar Nango (b. 1979)
- Katarina Spik Skum (b. 1971)
- Alf Salo (1959-2013)
- Geir Tore Holm (b. 1966)
- Jon-Ole Andersen (1932-2023)
- Raisa Porsanger (b. 1988)
- Gjert Rognli (b. 1966)
- Márjá Karlsen (b. 1998)
- John Andreas Savio (1902-1938)
Also included are two works from unknown Sámi artists before 1900 and a photograph by Sophus Tromholt (1851-1896).
In the section that focuses on indigenous activism, the group Suohpanterror, Arvid Sveen, Máret Ánne Sara, Anders Sunna, and Linda Aslaksen are represented. Snarby received assistance from Susanne Hætta in curating this section.
Press release in Norwegian