Hilde Methi and Neal Cahoon currently in The North Escaping residency
posted by Milla Millasnoore on 3 May 2024

During their The North Escaping residency, curator Hilde Methi and researcher-practitioner Neal Cahoon continue their collaboration and will follow up some curatorial threads from their previous work together during LIAF 2019 and The Kelp Congress. They will work with artists Anne Lindgaard Møller, Erik Fallgren and Espen Sommer Eide, and will explore together the local ecologies, mythologies, and communities in Kilpisjärvi in May 2024.

Part of a new long-term and entangled series of seasonal curatorial enquiries relating to the current socio-environmental issues that connect the rurality and diversity in the North – from the invasive pink salmon in the river systems, to the effects of an accelerating green energy transition, to the disappearance of palsa mires, the centralisation of services, the need for preservation of old growth forests & the importance of attending to soil substrates – this first investigation will take The Illusion Machine as a departure point.

The Illusion Machine was a term used by environmental and art historian Ortrun Veichtlbauer to describe the effect of the monumental, panoramic northern landscape artwork that was exhibited by artists Joseph Krieger and Johann Adalbert Heine in Berlin at the end of the 19th century, which arguably sowed the seeds of modern tourism in the north due to the seemingly causal relationship between "the image" and mobility of visitors – most notably Germany's last emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II – who was so impressed with the artwork that he planned a trip to the north the following year.

Under the umbrella of The North Escaping, the Bioart Society will organize a series of activities. This includes six transdisciplinary research residencies at the Ars Bioarctica residency program, accommodated with a public outreach program in Helsinki, and the production of artworks, workshops and events stemming from the residencies.

The aim of the residencies is to explore the current and approaching transformations in the North, to investigate the possible consequences of these developments, and how we can build cultural capacities to deal with them. The residencies call for the arts to work with design, architecture, natural sciences, humanities, engineering, indigenous stakeholders, the public at large – and other who feel they have a say in this – in transdisciplinary collaborations to develop new skills and knowledge.

The North Escaping is supported by Nordisk Kulturkontakt.

Hilde Methi is a curator living in Kirkenes. She builds ongoing collaborations infusing artistic ideas in local settings. She curated and produced the Sámi Dáiddafestivála (2008-2012); Dark Ecology (2014-2018) with Sonic Acts; & was a curator of LIAF 2019. Through 2023 she started a long-term art and research collaboration on soils with several partners. Her most recent exhibitions are Electrifiction, ripples and a glass plate (Fotogalleriet), Sentient Soils Study (Mustarinda) and the event The Academy of Rhythmorfology #2 (with Signe Lidén) at Oslo Fjordskole (all 2023).

Neal Cahoon is a researcher-practitioner working across the fields of poetics, listening, publishing, and curatorial practices. He was part of the curatorial team for LIAF 2019 and worked as the curatorial leader at Pikene på Broen in Kirkenes between 2020 and 2023. Neal is a member of the Mustarinda Association, the Post Humanities Hub, and now works as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Lapland within the Intra-living in the Anthropocene research team.

Espen Sommer Eide is a composer and artist based in Oslo, Norway. His artistic practice involves time-based media with a special focus on music and sound, characterized by an experimental approach to instruments, archives, places and languages. His recent practice forms long-term relationships with specific areas – the border area between Norway/Russia/Finland, and the nature reserve of Østensjøvannet in Oslo. His works have been exhibited and performed at Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen Assembly, Manifesta, Marres, Henie Onstad kunstsenter, Stedelijk Museum, De Halle Haarlem, and more. Sommer Eide is part of the collaboration-duo Vertical Studies, and is also a member of the performance/art collective Verdensteatret, with extensive international touring and exhibi­tions.

Anne Lindgaard Møller (b. Mørke, Denmark, lives and works in Tromsø, Norway) is a visual artist working with photography, text and installation. In 2018 she moved to Northern Norway to let the wind, the weather and the different seasons have a greater influence on her everyday life and art practice. Her works are often site-responsive, based on materiality and histories of place. Process and transformation are important elements in her practice as well as language, poetry and storytelling. Central to Anne's explorations are an interest in our connectedness with the more-than-human world.

Erik Fallgren (b. Gothenburg, Sweden, lives and works in Tromsø, Norway) is a maker, designer and jack of all trades. Formally trained as an artist he has since art school worked in many creative fields among others in Swedish film- and TV-series productions as scenography assistant and set decorator. Since 2019 he has been affiliated with Tromsø kunstforening/Tromsø Art Association building and shaping art exhibitions. Currently he works as a workshop manager at the Art Academy in Tromsø. Erik's tacit knowledge of the hand and body has a wide range of trade skills but he finds himself most at home in the wood workshop where he often creates unique objects and solutions with scrap wood.

Photo 1: Hilde Methi by Oleg Khadartsev
Photo 2: Neal Cahoon by Ville Rinne