The Idea of North

 Date:28/05/2009 - 31/05/2009
 Type:Culture, Contemporary Art
 Location:England, London

The North is in itself an empty term if it doesn’t come with a more specific definition. A new exhibition, curated by Norwegian Marthe Fjellstad, asks "north of where you are now? North of where you started out? In the north of a country, or north of the Arctic Circle?"

Between the artists represented in 'The Idea of North', ideas that relate to somewhat ideal notions of what the North is, or should be, are explored and questioned.

This exhibition features work by artists from Norway, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the UK. All of them come from, or have felt a (be) longing to one or more areas that are North; the Arctic, the northernmost part of the UK; the Nordic countries, the North Pole itself. At the same time, all of them can be said to come from the South (South of the Arctic Circle, south of the Northern countries, south of Alaska and the tundra), and are looking at the North from their southerners’ perspective.

The work ranges from visual investigations of concepts of the North through existentialist and feminist statements to a sonic journey, narrated by inhabitants of the Arctic North. Evident in many of the works is a (self) critical look at current and historical politics in and perceptions of northern areas, explored through works with universal themes and concerns. Also apparent in several of the works is a sense of yearning, a need to understand the North as a geographical and cultural location or to contextualize one’s own identification with the North. 

With this exhibition the ongoing research project Museum of the North comes to its first physical manifestation, introducing the pretext for further research. Looking at the North from a range of perspectives, this project will eventually take such different forms as talks, publications, web pages and live performances.

The exhibition includes works by Victor Burgin, Ulf Carlsson, Joakim Eskildsen, Glenn Gould, Jennifer Littlejohn, Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen and Norwegians Olsen & Johansen.

Olsen & Johansen met whilst studying Fine Art Photography and have worked together since 2006. They use film as a way of recording intuitive performances infused with theory and personal reflections. Their work has been exhibited both in Norway and in the UK and is mainly influenced by existentialism and the identity and situation of modern man. Olsen & Johansen’s stated aim is to become the new Munch.

The Idea of North
28 May – 31 May
Saturday-Sunday: 12pm-5pm
Thursday-Friday: by appointment only

Front Projects
Unit A, 45-47 Lower Clapton Road
London E5 0NS


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© Jennifer Littlejohn, The Dogs, from Expedition to the Far North

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