Naysa Andrade, daglig leder ved Arteriet på Lumber, forteller litt om tingene som ble oversett under Strumgeist-utstillingen, og hva Arteriet er når media ikke skriver om dem.

Av Maja Hagen Torjussen Foto: Arteriet

– Can you explain about the pilot-project for the previous exhibition – it seems the objective got a little lost in the media campaign?

– Arteriet is first of all an art gallery with a spring/summer program and a fall/winter program, but the space within arteriet allows us to also be platform for experimental and generative art, but also interdisciplinary projects. In terms of organization, it allows us a dynamic program, and within this framework we support so-called popup projects and we have a strong relation with other art projects both local and national, and even international.

The pilot project has since 2017 given us a chance to learn and establish an improved relation between arteriet, the artist and the public. A good example is the artist2artist curator project. The podcast «A talk with the artist», it is great to see how this has evolved to a publication which we hope to repeat also this year. Also this year we have had a project called «Challenge the artist». We invited a non visual artist to place itself outside of the comfort zone and create a visual exhibition. In this case we were interested in what a writer could articulate from the perspective of a narrative of words to a visual expression. We decided to invite Cornelius Jakhelln to represent our «Challenge the artist» project.

–  Will the pilot project change in the future?

– Nothing is decided, and it’s always part of an ongoing evaluation of current and future projects. Most often the projects evolve and become part of the gallery’s program or life, if you like.

I believe the «Challenge the artist» is an interesting project. With this particular artist it created a lot of controversy. The exhibition challenged us, it challenged the audience, and art sometimes do. As a gallery we will continue to bring diversity, challenges, raise questions to the public. Present art from the specter of handcraft to technology. And continue to offer emerging and established artists a space to feel free to express themselves.

–  Sturmgeist exhibition is over. What have you learned?

– The Angel of death exhibition was in many ways a new experience for us at arteriet. We decided to make our statement clear on our web site, but otherwise letting the artist and the exhibition speak for itself. This decision among other things is something we are currently evaluating. I think what we see is that freedom of expression within the art community and freedom of speech are so important to uphold with so much turmoil and turbulence within our society.

– With that said, the Sturmgeist (Cornelius Jakheln) exhibtion has ended. Arteriet has a tight program with over 20 different events per year, which I am quite proud of. Now we have a new exhibition with the artist Kaja Haven, it’s called Loop Ekko. It’s a sensorial experience. People should definetely come and see it.

–  Is there an art wise perspective on the current exhibition versus the previous one?

– The exhibitions are curating an artist based on the work, the quality, the experience and their proposals. I don’t want to dive into a comparation of exhbitions, they are all unique in their setting and expression. Our gallery space is flexible and open to different perspectives. While our previous exhibtion was fundamented on a project title «Challenge the artist», where the motivation is to bring the artist out of their comfort zone and to view their result.

–  What should we expect from Arteriet in the future?

– The only thing which is certain is that arteriet is a strong defender of freedom of expression and freedom of speech. We will continue to have provoking artists and exhibitions present in our gallery who are willing to question the current status quo. At the same time, provocation has never been our mantra.

However, what we do have is a very interesting autumn program. We do have exhibitions of concept art, a focus on technology, an international art video festival, collaborating with UIA among others. We have concerts, stand up comedy, workshop for kids and all ages. The podcast, litterature. We are working on our first interactive art project at arteriet. We are moving in the right direction.

–  The last exhibition got large media coverage vs other exhibitions at Arteriet. Why is that?

– There were several reasons for the large media coverage of the previous exhibition at arteriet. The exhibition was controversial. It was also tapping directly into a deep conflict in town, which I think Kristiansand barely had recovered from. And the coverage was largely political and to lesser extent artistic.

We do wish that artists, not only the artists at arteriet would receive the media coverage they do deserve. Unfortunately, in most media outlets the cultural sections have been severely limited. This is something most of us in the art community suffers from.

–  If you could choose any artist to exhibit at Arteriet – who would it be and why?

– There are several artists, regional, national and international that I would love to bring to arteriet. But our capacity prevents us. Still, I a stubborn, with a strong preseverance. But a natural step for me being Venezuelan is to bring an international artist from a latinamerican country to arteriet.

We have invited the venezuelan artist Nelson Garrido to have an exhibition with us, to hold a conference, and a course in collaboration with Kunsthall, and an AIR with Agder Kunstsenter, which he has accepted. He is for many

regarded as a controversial artist. After 2 years we finally got the possibility to bring him to Norway, with a large thanks to Kulturrådet og Fritt Ord, but COVID-19 restrictions put a stop to that. Hopefully we will have him here next year.

– Why should art enthusiasts go and see Loop Ekko?

Art enthusiasts should simply visit the exhibition because it is a really cool exhibition. It combines art forms such as technology and landscape sounds. It’s playful and wonderful. The exhibition, as with all our exhibitions and which we always aim for, is to reach for the curious ones, and we do hope to stimulate or trigger that curiosity. With Loop Ekko we think it is quite obvious. The non-art enthusiasts should come to arteriet for the exact same reasons. It’s also open for all ages…

– What makes Arteriet different from SKMU, Kunsthallen and Agder kunstsenter?

I am not sure if we are that different from the other galleries in town. Yes, we are a smaller gallery, we definitely have a smaller budget, less staffing. But we have activities and projects that other galleries don’t have. We may also be more flexible. But our goals are the same, which is to bring great art and exhibitions to Kristiansand.

And I believe that bringing an artist like Nelson Garrido to Kristiansand creates a wonderful collaboration between a few galleries in town, and I would like to say: it utilize the strength of the different galleries.

–  Should Arteriet be moved closer to town?

– It is an interesting question, and a complicated one to answer. Because I don’t really see the location of arteriet as «critical». It’s actually not more than a 5 minutes drive from Kvadraturen, and without a doubt we are people being quite mobile. At the same time, we do see that it proves a bit more challenging to encourage our community to come to arteriet to experience exhibitions with artists from outside of Kristiansand. Maybe in town that challenge would be non-existent. But our project Tørst & Tegning is full booked. And people come in cars, on bikes and with public transportation.

And I quite enjoy the location within an industrial area, the space of the gallery, it is spacious. The scenery, the view to the sea and the view to Bragdøya and to Odderøya. It is quite special. And to me it seems like more and more people are discovering it.

–  How is the financial situation at Arteriet?

– Arteriet is a nonprofit artspace. Recently we received support from Kulturrådet which allows us to keep running the gallery as normal, even with the severe consequence as Covid-19. We are also extremely happy for the support from Agder Fylkeskommune financing part of our activities. But mainly Arteriet is driven by the passion for the art itself and not for profit. Unfortunately we received no benefits or compensation due to COVID-19, but we do manage to get by.

Our effort to bring quality and diverse experiences at arteriet are still largely based on volunteer work. But we are taking steps forward, both through recognition as an independent thriving art gallery, but also with a more economically secure and stable gallery.

– What do you miss in the Krisiansand art world?

– The art scene in Kristiansand, including music and litterature, is quite vibrant and as far as I can tell is thriving. There is so much happening, a lot of cool projects and activities, and there is something for everyone. And I can see that a lot have changed in the years I have lived in Kristiansand. It’s not entirely missing, but I would wish there was even more curiosity and engagement especially towards artists coming from outside our local community.