Festival Exhibition 2020: Local artist in international light

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Festspillutstillingen 2020 (c) The Icelandic Love Corporation
Festspillutstillingen 2020 (c) The Icelandic Love Corporation

Festspillene i Nord-Norge presented the plans for the exhibition «Water and Oil», where the artist group The Icelandic Love Corporation looks at the Norwegian avantgarde artist Ragnhild Kaarbø's art and what they find in her life's work. The exhibition was supposed to be part of this year's festival, but will now be available for 2 weeks from September 26 in Galleri Nord-Norge in Harstad.

Hidden in an enclosed space

In Galleri Nord-Norge, the local avantgarde artist Ragnhild Kaarbø's art has been locked inside a cramped small room, a closed door with her nameplate. Here, several of her works have been stored for a number of years. Festival director Ragnheiður Skúladóttir is pleased to be able to present her art to a larger audience, and has therefore invited The Icelandic Love Corporation to present new works based on Ragnhild Kaarbø's artistic heritage and how they see her.

- It is a great pleasure to give Ragnhild Kaarbø the attention and space she deserves, her art is recognized both nationally and internationally, but literally takes up very little space here in Harstad. Her art is also put in an interesting context when The Icelandic Love Corporation presents completely new works, inspired by her life and artistic work, so this is a unique opportunity to see a local artist in an international light, says Skúladóttir.

From MoMa to Galleri Nord-Norge

The artists Eirún Sigurðardóttir and Jóní Jónsdóttir are The Icelandic Love Corporation. The works they have presented since the beginning in 1996 have a consistent feminist perspective, which together with humor and sincerity characterize the work for the group. Their artistic methods are adapted to each project.

- It is really a big event to welcome The Icelandic Love Corporation to Harstad and Ragnhild Kaarbø's art. These artists have held many individual exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world, from MoMa in New York to AroS in Denmark. Throughout their careers, their work has been very well received by both audiences and critics. The works of The Icelandic Love Corporation enchant its audience with their ironic charm and subtle political message. They take advantage of the close and fleeting everyday moments and make them glorious and extraordinary, says Skúladóttir.

Current social issues

The renowned artist Ingeborg Annie Lindahl is the curator of the exhibition, and has also arranged for two talks where several interesting questions are raised:

- How we relate to history, and what can happen in dialogue between artists is something I especially look forward to that we put the spotlight on in this exhibition. Furthermore, it is interesting to look at who gets space and attention to create, which is highly relevant today, and was also an important part of Ragnhild Kaarbø's life in the early 20th century, says Lindahl.

Local cooperation

Festspillene i Nord-Norge is presenting the exhibition in collaboration with Harstad Skipsindustri, which has an extra close relationship with Ragnhild Kaarbø.

- We are happy that we as a partner with the festival get to be part of this particular exhibition. Harstad Skipsindustri has a special relationship with Ragnhild since she was the daughter of Anna Elisabeth and Rikard Kaarbø, the founders of what has now become Harstad Skipsindustri. We are extra excited that the exhibition will be curated by Ingeborg Annie Lindahl, since she did a very good job in the collaboration on the sculpture "Light over land" outside the Kaarbø building which today houses Equinor, says general manager Ola Karlsen in Harstad Skipsindustri.

The festival exhibition 2020 "Water and oil" opens on September 26, and is available until October 10.