Matti Aikio

Matti Aikio’s video installation Building Nomad Refugee Camp is an intensive, surprising and exciting piece of art. It intertwines presence and flight, knowledge and dreams, culture and theatre. Sámi Center for Contemporary Art provides the public with an exceptional art experience during a short exhibition of Aikio’s work in the former DSF building in Karasjok.

In Building Nomad Refugee Camp, the spectator meets a kind of a temporary camp furnished by, for example, reindeer hides and televisions. The quartet of videos comprises stories on Sámi nomadism and the vulnerability of reindeer to predators, a fascinatingly beautiful tableau with a sauna lávvu that lets out smoke, and interior views of an apartment. Here, urban life meets nature, an artist or a refugee meets reindeer herders and hunters. The camp site, which could both be a refugee camp and a nomad’s ordinary short-term camp, turns out to be linked by a long, dark tunnel with a free town, or an area one can flight to, representing also a suggestive and magical reuniting with nature in a nocturnal environment.

In the same temporary exhibition facilities, we show, at the same time, a presentation by Ekaterina Kravtsova, the first artist-in-residency of the Iver Jåks Residency Program that we launched in 2012. Since mid-July, Kravtsova has been staying in the residency in Karasjok, and, here, we exhibit the Work in Progress that was initiated and started during her stay in Karasjok.

The two exhibitions are available for the public only for a short period in temporary facilities, that is, in the former main building of the Sámi Folk High School in the centre of Karasjok.