Contemporary Art from RidduDuottarMuseat

Storgata 95

26. January 2008 - 17. February 2008

Mari Hildung

Perspektivet Museum celebrated Sámi Week 2008 by opening a fresh, youthful and innovative art exhibition, which offered selected works of art from RiddoDuottarMuseat, De Samiske Samlinger i Karasjok. A total of 20 pieces of art were presented, all of high quality, with a diversity of expressions and techniques. Several works have not been on displayed before in Norway.

”I produce pictures; I also happen to be Sámi. What I do isn’t necessary Sámi art; rather, it is art produced by a Sámi. Art cannot be determined by your origins or your ethnic identity. But that doesn’t mean that one’s roots and environment don’t show up in one’s work,” says Merja Aletta Ranttila, who was represented at the exhibition with graphic items. Ranttila comes from Karigasniemi in Finland.

Critical postcardsMarja Helander was represented by four photographs. She is originally from Utsjok, but grew up in Helsinki; she got together with her Sámi relatives during her school holidays. Although her photos are rooted in her Sámi background, they tell us about a modern human being who feels set adrift when placed in a traditional Sámi context. By the same token, she often feels alienated in the non-Sámi environment in which she grew up. Helander feels that the Sámis in Finland are often characterized as though they were still living in the 1940’s, as though the modern world had not put its mark on Sámi society. These are some of the reasons why she wants her pictures to be viewed as critical postcards, as it were.

Old mythical storiesThe artist and poet Rose-Marie Huuva is from Kiruna in northern Sweden. Her picture is called Ahku 448 vuorkka, and shows a photograph of her grandmother against a backdrop of small ”gifts” wrapped in colourful fabrics (see photo illustration). In each gift there is a little remembrance. In the museum’s small film room you could see ”Silbaduoddariid”/ ”Behind the silverwind.” a short film of 3 ½ minutes by Gjert Rognli from Kåfjord in northern Troms. This is a surrealistic and spiritual journey, in which the shaman takes us into the realm of the dead in order to find out what sacrifices are required. The film is beautifully poetic and has won a number of prizes.

Other exhibitorsThe only exhibitor living in Tromsø Andreas Sarri from Kiruna. He showed three photographs from the exhibition ”Welcome to shittown.” The subjects are from the Sámi town Lovozero outside Murmansk. Other artists who were represented by their works are these: Odd Sivertsen (painting), Asbjørn Forsøget (painting), May-Liss Nilsen (painting), Arnold Johansen (graphic art), Outi Pieski (painting), Marja Helander, Edil Sande (collage) og Alf Magne Salo (painting).