Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway

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LIAF 2019 takes its inspiration from the multitude of inhabitants, materials, struggles, and processes that reside and take place within the wide intertidal zone surrounding the Lofoten islands in Northern Norway. Read more about Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway.

The festival has a history dating back to 1991 when it began as festival with regional and national scope. LIAF has gradually evolved into an international biennale of contemporary art. The organizers acknowledge the complexity of place and seek to present works by international artists in a local context as well as to be an open, experimental and including meeting place for domestic and international artists, audience and locals.

Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway
Windmill prop for Wind Theatre. Photo: Futurefarmers

The LIAF 2019 festival is spanning across five weekends in September and presents a program of High Tides, including the Kelp Congress—an event exploring the artistic and cultural dimensions related to kelp and other macroalgae.

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Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway
During the years, exhibitions and art works have been displayed in places such as a mountain top, a park, a garage, a library, a fish rack and a private home

Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway
The festival has no set venue in Lofoten, but is re-created every time by exploring and integrating its surroundings in Lofoten. “In this intertidal zone creeps the starfish,with an eye on each arm, a witness to several events at once,” says the curatorial companion of LIAF 2019 and adds: ”These arms are waving with gestures suggestive of camaraderie, struggle, excitement, curiosity, and movement for the sake of movement.” The curatorial arms have aimed to open up a set of diverse conversations that can entangle and connect in unfamiliar ways.

During the years, exhibitions and art works have been displayed in places such as a mountain top, a park, a garage, a library, a fish rack and a private home. Expanding, exploring and gaining new insight through art is the festival’s motive force. Each festival features a new curator or team of curators, bringing fresh ideas and ambitions to the project.

Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway
The festival has no set venue in Lofoten, but is re-created every time by exploring and integrating its surroundings in Lofoten

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Former contributing artists
Former contributing artists have included Gillian Wearing, Lawrence Weiner, AK Dolven, Inghild Karlsen, Ken Lum, Olafur Eliasson, Mari Slaattelid, Elmgren & Dragseth, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Pipilotti Rist, Geir Tore Holm, Eija-Liisa Athila, Jesper Just, Amar Kanwar, Tori Wrånes, Michel Auder, Kjersti Andvig, John Giorno, Lene Berg, Lindsay Seers, David Horvitz, Mahmoud Khaled, HC Gilje, Karl Larsson, Shilpa Gupta, István Csácány and Lisa Tan.

Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway
. “In this intertidal zone creeps the starfish,” says the curatorial companion of LIAF 2019

Former curators
Former curators include Tor Inge Kveum, Per Gunnar Tverbakk, Vibeke Sjøvoll, Gry Ulrichsen, Göran Christenson, Maaretta Jaukkuri, Taru Elfving, Richard Borgström, Helga-Marie Nordby, Thora Dolven Balke, Linn Pedersen, Anne Szefer Karlsen, Bassam El Baroni, Eva González-Sancho, Matt Packer, Arne Skaug Olsen, Milena Høgberg and Heidi Ballet.

Like the tide, LIAF 2019 ebbs and flows through the year in four small communities across the entire archipelago. The festival opens August 30 and runs through September 29 and features talks, performances, film screenings, DJ sets, and live music taking place in Svolvær.

Related: Lofoten- An Isolated Archipelago of Striking Rugged Beauty

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. LIAF is organized by the North Norwegian Art Centre (NNKS). The curatorial team of LIAF 2019 consists of Hilde Methi, Neal Cahoon, Karolin Tampere, and Torill Østby Haaland.

Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg

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