What, strictly speaking, is a good place to be? How do we create good places? In which way can we be allowed to help define what a good place is?
In this exhibition, the ways we relate to our physical surroundings, and the methods we use in order to acquaint ourselves with a place, is explored. In various ways, the works in the exhibition investigate how we relate to the history of a place when we plan to build or develop something, and how spending time in a place over time – by being physically present – can lead to new perspectives.
The exhibition primarily uses the city that the three participating artists work and live in, Tromsø, as a starting point. Additionally, we gain insight into the process surrounding the building of a sami museum in the far north county of Finnmark. The issues highlighted are equally relevant for the city where the exhibition is held, Svolvær. Reflections regarding where it is “good” to be unfold through workshops with local children, as well as opportunities for the visitors to contribute throughout the duration of the exhibition. Two of Kristin Tårnes’ films are part of the exhibition, one of them made in collaboration with Kristina Junttila. In addition, the project Mellomrommet (The Space in Between) is presented, which is a collaboration between Kristin Tårnes and Margrethe Pettersen.
The two collaborative projects in the exhibition are both results of lengthy processes and interventions into different city spaces in Tromsø. Along with Kristina Junttila, Kristin Tårnes has, for the duration of a three-year period, filmed everyday and slightly absurd activities in an area that has been subject to great transitions throughout this period: Verftstomta in the outskirts of downtown Tromsø. After the shipyard that operated there for a period of over 100 years moved, most of the area’s buildings were demolished, large areas of the harbour basin infilled, and the foundations of new buildings begun to take shape. With this project, Tårnes and Junttila wish to represent a different voice in the debate surrounding city development by questioning an individual’s ability to affect such processes. Is today’s city development to the benefit of the city’s inhabitants?
In 2011, Margrethe Pettersen started making various interventions and surveys in an overgrown garden in the outskirts of central Tromsø. Between 2013 and 2016, she collaborated with Kristin Tårnes on this project. This has now resulted in a publication, launched in connection with this exhibition, and an installation that contemplates this place and how semi-public spaces like this can be reclaimed.
In addition, the film (over)tro ((super)natural) from 2016 is part of the show. It concerns the building of the Skolte Sàmi museum in Neiden, Finnmark. The museum was built in 2009, but did not open until 2017. This film presents and reflects on the various theories surrounding what caused the issues, and various traditions connected to belief in the supernatural. What importance does the history of a place have in relation to the development of something new?
Kristin Tårnes (b. 1985) is a visual artist who primarily works with site specific projects and narrative films, often in collaboration with others. Tårnes has an MA from the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, and has been living in Tromsø since 2011.
Kristina Junttila (b. 1977) is a performance artist who works from a wide definition of what a performance can be, alone and in collaborations. Juntilla has a BA from the Turku Arts Academy, an MA from Helsinki Theatre Academy, and is currently a PHD fellow at the Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art and Creative Writing.
Margrethe Pettersen (b. 1977) is a flower decorator and artist. Her works often use a specific place – its growths and histories – as starting points. Pettersen has a BA from the Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art and Creative Writing and is currently finalizing an MA in art and public spaces at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts.