Kåre Kivijärvi

Photographs from Finnmark in the 1960´s

Storgata 95

4. February 2009 - 22. March 2009

Mari Hildung

Faithful to tradition we celebrate Sámi Week in Tromsø with an exhibition where the Sámi are reflected in one form or another and mode of expression. This year we are delighted to be able to invite the general public to an encounter with two photographers who in their respective ways are unique in the Nordic artistic and photographic landscape.

The exhibition deals with identity, moods, everyday life, people, nature, closeness and distance. Most of the photographs feature strong images of life in a remote landscape and of encounters between traditions and ways of life, past and present, time and space, silence and noise.

The photographs define Kivijärvi’s interpretation of multicultural Finnmark in the 1960s. Kivijärvi’s surviving collection is characterised by the artist’s awareness of cultural, social and religious diversity, and his commitment to marginalised group on the edge of society, particularly in the northern regions.

The photographs are from the exhibition 15 years on – the new age has begun, which was held at The Museum of Post War Reconstruction for Finnmark and North-Troms, and are a gift from the evacuation committee to the museum. In cooperation with the Henie Onstad Art Centre, the committee extracted these photographs from the Centre’s library of Kåre Kivijärvi’s works. The photographs have never before been reproduced and are thus regarded as cultural history material rather than art.

Photographer Kåre Kivijärvi (1938-1991) was at his most productive during the 1960s. Some of his more famous images are of the fishing community in Barentsburg. Kivijärvi’s breakthrough in Norway came in 1971 when he was selected as the first photographer to participate in Statens Høstutstilling, the State-sponsored art exhibition held every autumn in Oslo. Today, he is regarded as a pioneer in Norwegian photography. Kivijärvi used the term “the moment of truth” to describe the moment he took a picture.