Just what is it that
makes todays homes
so different,
so appealing?

Lofoten International Art Festival 2013
6 – 29 September


Lawrence Weiner, WATER MADE IT WET. Remnant from LIAF 1999: Next Stop, curated by Per Gunnar Tverbakk and Tor Inge Kveum. (July 2012)


Director of NNKS Harold Hesten and LIAF2013-curator Eva González-Sancho study the map of Lofoten. (July 2012)


Visit to Vågan church, more commonly referred to as the Lofoten Cathedral. (July 2012)


Director of NNKS Harold Hesten, Chair of LIAF Helga-Marie Nordby, Board member of LIAF Sabrina van der Ley and LIAF2013-curator Eva González-Sancho look at Fredrik II's bible printed in Copenhagen in 1589. (July 2012)


Kjersti Eline Tønnessen Busch in SALT talks about aqua culture, fishing industry and historical relations to the ocean. SALT is a research- and outreach-company based in Svolvær that provide knowledge on the marine environment to the public, politicians and a broad range of stakeholders. (July 2012)


Morning view from a traditional Rorbu (seasonal house used by fishermen) in Kabelvåg. (July 2012)


Taking part in community meeting in Kabelvåg at Arbeideren. (September 2012)


LIAF 2013 started February 25th with an Insert at community house Arbeideren: Curator Charles Esche talked about the process of making the project Picasso in Palestine possible accompanied by a screening of the documentary Picasso in Palestine by Khaled Hourani/Rashid Masharawi (2012). (February 2013)


Site visits with artists, taking time to look at the sun set outside of Henningsvær (February 2013)


Head technician Aleksander Stav joins us for site visits. (February 2013)


Site visits with artists, taking time to look at the sun set and the drying flakes outside of Henningsvær (February 2013)


Looking for locations in Kabelvåg. (February 2013)


Stopped by the nation wide manifestation organised by Folkeaksjonen oljefritt Lofoten, Vesterålen og Senja (The People’s Movement for an Oil Free Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja) of cairn burning. (February 2013)


Looking for locations at Svinøya in Svolvær. (March 2013)


From the start of World Championship Cod Fishing 2013 as seen from shore in Svolvær. (March 2013)


Locals queuing up to buy the fish from the World Championship Cod Fishing. (March 2013)


One of the proud winners the first day of the World Championship Cod Fishing. (March 2013)


Waiting for the results, end of the second day of World Championship Cod Fishing. (March 2013)


View from the inside of one of the locations for LIAF 2013. (May 2013)


Site visit May 2013.


Investigating site details with artist. (May 2013)


Helga-Marie Nordby (Chair of LIAF), Anne Szefer Karlsen (Co-curator, LIAF 2013) and speakers Gopal Balakrishnan and Aaron Schuster before the breakfast forum ‘Perspectives beyond stagnation’ in collaboration with the Central Asian Pavilion 2013 at the 55th International Art Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia. (May 2013)


Introduction of ‘Perspectives beyond stagnation’ by Susanne M. Winterling (Artistic Advisor, CAP2013). (May 2013)


From the breakfast forum ‘Perspectives beyond stagnation’. (May 2013)


Deputy Commissioner of the CAP2013-pavilion Vanessa Ohlraun (Dean, Academy of Fine Art/Oslo National Academy of the Arts). (May 2013)


Co-curator of CAP2013, Ayatgali Tuleubek. (May 2013)


Co-editor of the CAP2013-publication Marina Vishmidt. (May 2013)


Co-curator of LIAF2013, Anne Szefer Karlsen. (May 2013)


Gopal Balakrishnan, professor in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Invited to ‘Perspectives beyond stagnation’ by LIAF2013. (May 2013)


Gopal Balakrishnan giving his lecture 'Further Convolutions of Capitalism'. (May 2013)


From the breakfast forum ‘Perspectives beyond stagnation’. (May 2013)


Aaron Schuster, philosopher and writer. Invited to ‘Perspectives beyond stagnation’ by CAP2013. (May 2013)


Aaron Schuster addressing issues of laziness, in a ten point presentation. (May 2013)


Susanne M. Winterling moderating questions from the audience. (May 2013)


‘Perspectives beyond stagnation’ continued over lunch. (May 2013)


Speakers Gopal Balakrishnan (left) and Aaron Schuster (right) with co-curator of CAP2013 Tiago Bom (middle). (May 2013)


‘Just what is it that makes today so familiar, so uneasy?’ is the title of LIAF 2013. By rephrasing the title of Richard Hamilton’s famous collage ‘Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?’ (1956), LIAF 2013 aims to explore a shift that can be described as one from a condition of successive crises followed by recoveries, to one where crises shape a new permanent condition. It is a question prompted by our present that seems to be stuck in a continuous loop, in which the predominant ideas that have shaped our world are unsustainable and unimaginative when it comes to solving everyday problems people face in most parts of the world.

Despite slight changes, and perhaps even small improvements, no practical alternatives have yet appeared to challenge these ideas, thus causing a worldwide state of limbo in socio-economic life. The uneasiness in our day-to-day existence appears most strikingly in the form of antagonisms, strong and sometimes violent disagreements between people, people and their governments, people and political ideologies.

Acknowledging the culture of art as an integrated part of society, crises can also be traced within an increasingly institutionalised sphere of the arts. However, the antagonisms induced by these crises are not identical to the ones we see in society at large. Bridged by a diversified media-scape, our current condition has made evident that the professional antagonisms of art constructed for the betterment of society are conditioned differently than the amateur antagonisms that are forced to the fore by injustices in society.

The curatorial attitude of LIAF 2013 aims to create a reflection on how art can position itself as a profession and as a vocabulary within societies in which the protocol of contemporary institutional art practice is built on the idea of instigating, designing, or manufacturing some form of antagonism through its programming. The scarcity of art institutional structures in Lofoten offers LIAF 2013 an opportunity to seriously consider the conditions described above, immersing itself in the fabric of the local community, its domestic, commercial and public spaces while exploring the current moment’s global uneasiness.

‘Just what is it that makes today so familiar, so uneasy?’ intends to establish an aesthetic, intellectual, and political position by bringing the public and those shaping contemporary art discourse closer to a heightened and sensitive understanding of the conditions that shape our consciousness and existence today. LIAF 2013 will feature a balanced variety of art projects that create connections with each other and their surroundings, forming a circuit of intense emotions, ideas, and positions. Additionally, great attention will be given to mediation, intensifying the project’s impact within its locale.

To that end, preceding the exhibition, yet inseparable from LIAF 2013, is a series of monthly Inserts familiarising the local public with LIAF 2013 and the discussions it promotes.

‘Just what is it that makes today so familiar, so uneasy?’ will be on view in the two centres of Vågan Municipality, Svolvær and Kabelvåg. Many of the works will be specially commissioned for LIAF 2013 – some of which will also be of a site-specific nature. LIAF 2013 will be accompanied by a bilingual guidebook and a seminar on 7 September. A publication, which will position LIAF 2013 within the larger international context, will be printed at a later stage.


Lofoten Art Festival was initiated in 1991, as a local biannual art exhibition with a broad range of expressions and with a regional profile.

From 1999, the festival was given an international profile changing the name to Lofoten Interntional Art Festival (LIAF), including both national and international artists. Situated within the Arctic Circle, Lofoten experiences one of the world's largest elevated temperature anomalies relative to its high latitude.

LIAF has taken place 7 times since 1999, presenting artists like Eija Liisa Athila, Kjersti Andvig, Michel Auder, Lene Berg, AK Dolven, Simen Dyrhaug, Olafur Eliasson, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Elmgreen & Dragset, John Giorno, Geir Tore Holm, Jesper Just, Amar Kanwar, Annika Larsson, Ken Lum, Ole Jørgen Ness, Pipilotti Rist, Torbjørn Rødland, Lindsay Seers, Mari Slaattelid, Spencer Tunick, Gillian Wearing, Lawrence Weiner,Tori Wrånes, and many more.

Previous curators have been Tor Inge Kveum (NO), Vibeke Sjøvoll (NO), Gry Ulrichsen (NO), Göran Christenson (SE), Maaretta Jaukkuri (FIN), Taru Elfving (FIN), Richard Borgström (SE), Helga-Marie Nordby (NO), Thora Dolven Balke (NO), and Linn Pedersen (NO).



The exhibition is located in three main areas: Kabelvåg, Svolvær and on the island Svinøya.

Opening times

Weekdays: 3 PM - 8 PM
Weekends: 10 AM - 8 PM

Opening of LIAF 2013

The square in Kabelvåg 6 September at 5 pm.

The exhibition is open between 6 pm and 9 pm Friday 6 September

Opening party

Arbeidern in Kabelvåg from 7.30 pm with Senjahopen – DJ Magnus Bjerke – Tromsö Dollsz Arkestra – The LIAF jazz ensemble – LIAF sashimi & international grill bar +++

Stone Soup

Artist David Horvitz will make soup on magical stones from the Californian shore, which will be served in Kabelvåg during the opening. Everyone is invited to bring ingredients to the soup, vegetables, spices etc.
Ingredients can be delivered at NNKS in Svolvær during opening hours the 4th and 5th of September from 10 am – 4 pm/ 6 pm – 10 pm.


Saturday 7 September from 11 am to 3.30 pm (at the Anna Kaarbø-hall in Thon Hotel Lofoten) is a day of reflection on the questions that the curatorial concept raises. The format given to this reflection is a one-day seminar featuring Matthew Fuller, director of Creative Programmes at the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths University of London; Aaron Levy, Senior Lecturer in the Departments of English and the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania and Executive Director and Chief Curator of Slought, Philadelphia; Aaron Schuster, a philosopher and writer; and Tiago Bom and Ayatgali Tuleubek, currently finishing their Masters at the Academy of Fine Art/Oslo National Academy of the Arts and curators of the Central Asian Pavilion 2013 at the Venice Biennale.

This roster of international speakers will deliver presentations focused on the interrelationship between permanent crisis, economy, media, art, and theory. The speakers were invited to select a keyword for their individual presentations, which would act as a link to the concept LIAF 2013. The four keywords, in alphabetical order, are: Estrangement, Sleep, Stagnation, and Transition.

The theoretical nature of the presentations will contrast with the stunning 360˚ panoramic view of the town of Svolvær and its surrounding environment offered by the seminar’s venue: a conference room on the top floor of the Thon Hotel overlooking the different sites of LIAF 2013.

After a brief introduction, the seminar will continue with the presentations, lasting between 30 and 45 minutes, each followed by a Q&A. Lunch will be offered at 1 pm during a 45-minute break.

The seminar is free and open to all.


11.00 - 11.30

Coffee and introduction

11.30 – 12.15

Aaron Levy – Estrangement
In the twenty-first century, estrangement has become a fact of biography and a way of life. But from where does this sense of estrangement come? How has it altered our political subjectivity and transformed our relations to institutions and civil society more generally?

12.15 – 1.00

Matthew Fuller – Sleep
The talk will focus on seemingly disparate issues, developing links and connections that build an intersection between them through notions of sleep. The focus will be on sleep as a cultural and philosophical object, the bio-political status of sleep in the contemporary world, and a developing aesthetics of sleep that works through both performance and science as experience. It will suggest a materialist aesthetics of the body as assemblage extending to include media and technical systems that may offer the chance for links between art, biological creativity, ecology, and the spectrum of ethical and aesthetic contestations concerning the idea or imposition of being dormant.

1.00 - 2.00


2.00 – 2.45

Tiago Bom and Ayatgali Tuleubek – Stagnation
The presentation will focus on the idea of stagnation within the Central Asian context. Tuleubek and Bom will present an overview of the current socio-political and cultural environment of these former Soviet republics, drawn from their personal experience while curating this year’s Central Asian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale under the curatorial concept of Winter – The cultural climate in which an analytical or critical public discourse is frozen, or nearly absent.

2.45 – 3.30

Aaron Schuster – Transition
Transition means going places, a from-to movement, a process of becoming issuing onto a new being. But what if the transition got stuck halfway? In fact, getting stuck in a transition is not as negative as it may sound. It all depends on how this stuckness is lived and articulated. Starting from Sartre’s reflections on his pet dog in his book The Family Idiot, Schuster will sketch different meanings of the term transition, focusing on the problem of the gap between nature and culture.

On 30 May LIAF 2013 contributes to ‘Perspectives beyond stagnation’ in collaboration with the Central Asian Pavilion 2013 at the 55th International Art Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia as a preamble to the LIAF 2013-seminar.

‘Perspectives beyond stagnation’ was a breakfast forum with historian of social and political thought Gopal Balakrishnan, who presented the paper titled ‘Further Convolutions of Capitalism’, and philosopher and writer Aaron Schuster, who addressed issues of transgression and constraint.

The breakfast forum and discussion was on Thursday, 30 May 9–11 AM, and was followed by an open discussion and tour of the Central Asian Pavilion 2013-exhibition with the curators Tiago Bom and Ayatgali Tuleubek and represented artists of WINTER, Kamilla Kurmanbekova & Erlan Tuyakov, Anton Rodin & Sergey Chutkov, Aza Shade and Saodat Ismailova.


Preceding the exhibition, yet inseparable from LIAF 2013, is a series of monthly Inserts familiarising the local public with LIAF 2013 and the discussions it promotes.


Talk by curator Charles Esche and screening of Picasso in Palestine (Khaled Hourani/Rashid Masharawi, 2012) at community house Arbeideren in Kabelvåg.


Two-week workshop by philosopher and writer Aaron Schuster at Nordland Vocational College of Art and Film in Kabelvåg.


Text interventions by poet Esther Ramón and artist Karl Larsson in local newspaper Lofotposten.


Design workshop by Luna Maurer from Moniker at Vågan Primary and Secondary School in Svolvær.


Insert at Vågan public library in Svolvær including a donation to the library collection of biennial catalogues from around the world.


Sculptural insert in public space at the island of Skrova by Rex Ifelaja Akinruntan as an element of the upcoming film project for LIAF 2013 by Nana Oforiatta-Ayim.


Performance work for stage by Adelita Husni-Bey with Dexter and Maya Hanoomansingh, as well as Rebecca Salvadori at Kulturhuset in Svolvær.


LIAF 2013 will have an extensive mediation programme catering for schools and general audiences. Throughout the exhibition period there will be guided tours and other activities. Tours can also be organised separately from the programme. Please get in touch with LIAF.

Public tours with LIAF pilots:
Wednesdays at 6 pm
Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm (except September 7)
The starting point and duration of each tour will be announced via www.liaf2013.no.

Tours with art educators/mediators or LIAF pilots can also be booked in advance by contacting the North Norwegian Art Centre.
Tel.: + 47 76 06 67 70
E-mail: post@nnks.no

Booked tours will last for 45, 60 or 90 minutes, depending on the venues you would like to visit. These are the options:
1. Kabelvåg, the Per Pedersen house (opposite Rolf the hairdresser)
2. Svinøya in Svolvær
3. Svolvær town centre
4. Various combinations of the above

The basis of the Lofoten International Art Festival 2013 programme is an exhibition that is immersed in the local community, but also explores contemporary global turmoil. Like the festival as a whole, the exhibition is intended just as much for those who live here as it is for visitors. The aim is that people from both far and near will call on the exhibition out of curiosity and leave it with a broader perspective on the world.

So how, then, can contemporary art be presented in a way that those who are not art specialists find relevant? When it came to selecting guides for the public tours, unconventional choices were made. Rather than professional art educators, a range of local people was invited to have their say. They include members of the motorcycle club Sluken, a kayak guide and a photographer who asks you to bring your own camera when exploring the exhibition, as well as children of different ages, or a singer who will sing us through a selection of works of art, but also pensioners with an intimate knowledge of local history ─ they are the ‘LIAF pilots’. With their assistance, the festival can be experienced from a variety of angles and with ever-fresh eyes that help one to see, possibly differently. Neither the works of art at the festival, nor the LIAF pilots will provide a definitive answer to the question posed by the title of the festival. The aim is to invite discussion and conversation.

Throughout most of the exhibition, schools and students will be able to book personalised tours with professional art educators/mediators. Based on selected artworks from the exhibition, the focus will be directed at the world’s political, economic and climatic situation. A recurring theme will be the connection between the local and the global, focusing on the students' own experiences. Key questions will relate to how we at the fringes of the world relate to the economic crisis, and to what extent the choices we make may have global consequences. In preparation for the tour, each student will be asked to provide a short, written and anonymous answer to the question that is the festival's title: Just what is it that makes today so familiar, so uneasy? The same question will be asked again after the tour. Will the answers have changed? Has contemporary art managed to open their minds to new ideas?

Press officer

Lise Maria Strömqvist

BUREAU N | Berlin
Julia Albani & Helena Strängberg


Berte Tungodden Ynnesdal

Head of mediation

Kristin Risan

Head technician

Aleksander Stav


Jonas Lilleengen
Knud Young Lunde
Tommy Jenssen
Lars Skjelbreida

AV installation

Pro AV, Finland (Jorma Saarikko)


Arne Skaug Olsen


Helga-Marie Nordby (Chair)
Sabrina van der Ley
Martin Jensen
Harold Hesten
Ina Otzko

Design & Development



To get to LIAF 2013 you need to travel to Svolvær and Kabelvåg in the Lofoten archipelago in the north of Norway.

By air you can travel via Oslo Gardermoen to Bodø Airport and then continue by plane to Svolvær or Leknes Airport, both in Lofoten. You can also continue from Bodø by boat. Alternatively you can fly to Harstad/Narvik-Evenes Airport directly from Oslo, then take a bus to Svolvær.

Traveling from Oslo

Fly to Bodø (Norwegian or SAS). Continue by air (Widerøe) or water (Coastal cruiser or Express boat) to Svolvær.
Fly to Harstad/Narvik-Evenes Airport (Norwegian or SAS). Then take the bus (Lofotenekspressen) to Svolvær.
Take the train from Oslo to Bodø (NSB). Continue by air (Widerøe) or water (Coastal cruiser or Express boat) to Svolvær.

Traveling from Bergen

Fly via Oslo/Bodø or take the coastal cruiser Hurtigruten. The coastal cruiser which leaves Bergen Monday 2 September at 8 PM, arrives in Svolvær Thursday 5 September at 9 PM.


  • Svolvær Helle Airport is the closest airport only minutes from Svolvær and Kabelvåg in a car. This is a small airport only served by Widerøe-flights.
  • Harstad/Narvik-Evenes Airport is approx. 2 ½ hours from Svolvær/Kabelvåg. There are busses from the Airport to Svolvær.
  • Leknes Airport is 1 ¼ hours by car from Svolvær/Kabelvåg. This is also a small airport only served by Widerøe-flights





  • Svolvær & Kabelvåg Taxi
  • Phone : +47 760 70 600

Car rental Svolvær

Car rental Evenes Airport

  • Avis +47 769 82 133
  • Budget +47 76 98 21 73
  • Hertz +47 90 08 22 28
  • Rent a wreck +47 77 00 10 44

Press Officers

National Press Relations
Lise Maria Strömqvist
+47 941 95 509

International Press Relations
BUREAU N | Berlin
Julia Albani & Helena Strängberg
+49 30 62736102

Press information, dates and programme for press members during the festival, as well as high-resolution images can be viewed and downloaded here.


Berte T. Ynnesdal
+47 901 65 243


Helga-Marie Nordby (Chair) – Independent Curator and former Director of Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art
Martin Jensen – Teacher and founder of Filmfest Lofoten
Sabrina van der Ley – Director of Department of Contemporary Art, The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Deisgn
Ina Otzko – Artist
Harold Hesten – Director of North Norwegian Center of Contemporary Art

Opening times

Festival opening Friday September 6.
Please check back for detailed programme.

September 7 – 29
Monday – Friday: 3 PM – 8 PM
Saturday – Sunday: 10 AM – 8 PM

Postal address

Lofoten International Art Festival
c/o Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter – NNKS
Postboks 285
8301 Svolvær

Visiting address

Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter – NNKS
On the main square in Svolvær