The group exhibition Expedition Konst (Art) displays a selection of works that refer in different ways to the residency and experiences in the Arctic and Antarctic. The exhibition, which has been added in collaboration with the Polar Research Secretariat, highlights the artist program arranged by this authority since 1988/89. Since its inception, artists from various backrounds have accompanied research expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic together with researchers from fields such as geology, marine biology, meteorology, climate and sustainability research. The meetings that have taken place between researchers and artists have proven to be both inspiring, rewarding and sometimes complicated. Both similarities and differences between artistic and scientific practices have been laid bare, but also how and in what ways the polar regions have been approached, what reflections have been raised, what has been chosen to investigate and interpret, and with what results.
Among the many artists who have participated in the Polar Research Secretariat’s artist program since 1988, a number have been selected. In addition, the exhibition includes some works by artists who have stayed at research stations such as the Tarfala research station in Kebnekaisefjällen and the Polar Research Secretariat’s research station in Abisko. The artists participating in Expedition Art are Bigert & Bergström, Josef Bull, Dascha Esselius, Lars Lerin, Hanna Ljungh, Svenerik Jakobsson, Johan Petterson and Sigrid Sandström.
Overall, the selection of works by these artists has become both strong, rich and multifaceted. The shown materials and techniques vary from oil and watercolour paintings to stone and bronze sculptures through installations, objects, photography and film. Light, ice, mud, sediment, cold and heat, travel, animals and nature, social togetherness, art and science, as well as reflections on the environment and climate, are among the things that have inspired the participating artists. Their experiences during the expeditions and at research stations have led to interesting reflections on our existence, both on a personal level and in a wider sense: who are we, where are we going, how do we take care of our planet, what do we do with animal life , natural resources and ourselves. But it is not a task the artists are tasked with but the result of hospitality and respect on the part of the Polar Research Secretariat.
Curators: Johan Petterson and Karin Sidén
Displayed Bigert & Bergström’s works:
"Expedition," 2007. UV-printed photo on vinyl globes, LED bulbs, cable, 180 × 140 × 80 cm "Drip Drop Future," 2006. Video documentation of a research trip to the North Pole with the icebreaker Oden, HD 10 min.loop "Winter Storage," 2017. Stuffed polar bear, car tires, 200 x 70 x 140 cm "Solar Egg," 2017. Stainless steel mirrors with titanium gold colour coating, steel, stone, wood, brass, glass, LED’s, solar panels, batteries, rubber, 588 x 567 x 455 cm "Backstage Diorama" series, 2008. Vinyl stickers on glass, photographs, 60 x 80 cm each
Photos: Lars Engelhardt