Coast Contemporary

Performance by Hanne Lippard during the first edition in 2017. 
Co-presented with Kunsthall Stavanger and Hanne Mugaas. 
Curated by Helga-Marie Nordby and Tanja Sæter. Photo: Laimonas Puisys.
Performance by Hanne Lippard during the first edition in 2017.
Co-presented with Kunsthall Stavanger and Hanne Mugaas.
Curated by Helga-Marie Nordby and Tanja Sæter. Photo: Laimonas Puisys.

Coast Contemporary is an international nomadic platform for art, meetings, food and discourse. It is also a journey and an assembly bringing together artists, curators, critics, institutions, art workers and the public for a multi-day program of performances, talks, screenings and a conference program.

Dates: September 16. – 22.2024
Location: Oslo & Bergen

Oslo: 16. – 20.09.2024
Bergen, for the International Program: 20. – 22.09.2024

The venues, people, focus and locations changes every edition. We do not have a special format.
We aim to present a rich artistic program and work as a link to generate future collaborations by slowing down. We wish to make it easier to survive as an artist or art-worker by creating a safe space to speak and present your work.

Coasts seven editions has contributed to 340 reported collaborations in 12 countries.

We welcome you to explore our archives to discover previous productions, artists, curators, institutions, partners, podcasts, Art Prize, press and printed matter.

Coast Contemporary is based in Oslo, Norway, run by artist & founder Tanja Sæter.
Head of digital presentations is artist Kenneth Varpe.
Graphic design by NODE Berlin and Anyone.


Coast Contemporary is kindly funded and supported by

Arts and Culture Norway – Kulturrådet / Kulturdirektoratet
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the embassies in Paris, Reykjavik, Copenhagen, Vilnius, Helsinki, London, Rome and Berlin and the Consulate General in New York.
OCA – Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Bildende Kunstneres Hjelpefond BKH – The Artists Relief Fund
Bergen Municipality
Nordland County Council


Our seventh edition, titled ‘Ocean Eyes’ was curated by Valentinas Klimašauskas from Lithuania, and took place in Lofuotta/Láfot/Lofoten and Bergen, September 18. – 22. 2023.

Please read about artistst and focus below.

Sensory walk by Elin Már Øyen Vister in Nyvågar during Ocean Eyes. Co-produced with the Riddo Duottar Museat. Photo: Severine Fromageat.
Sensory walk by Elin Már Øyen Vister in Nyvågar during Ocean Eyes. Co-produced with the Riddo Duottar Museat. Photo: Severine Fromageat.

The programme for Ocean Eyes, Edition Seven in Lofoten, 2023

The artists that participated in ‘Ocean Eyes’ 2023

Yaa Addae (GH/UK), Kjetil Berge (NO), Pia Eikaas (NO), Elisabeth Færøy (NO),
Kåre Aleksander Grundvåg (NO), Morten Norbye Halvorsen (NO),
Signe Johannessen (NO), Kaare Espolin Johnson (1907-1994, NO),
Sarah Kazmi (PK), Lars Laumann (NO), Bjørn Mortensen (NO), Sandra Vaka (NO), Sille Storihle (NO), Istvan Virag (HU), Lin Wang (CH),
Elin Már Øyen Vister with Lina Salomonsen Sjølie, Máret Rávdna Buljo and Torgeir Norkild (NO)

Valentinas Klimašauskas about Ocean Eyes

The forthcoming installment of the Coast Contemporary festival, titled ‘Ocean Eyes’, is poised to deliver an open thought-provoking program that celebrates various aspects of (im)possible collaborations and encounters with the unknown, be it the future, unthinkable, untold stories or the ocean, for example.The title ‘Ocean Eyes’ refers to the sentient ocean on the planet Solaris described in the novel by Stanisław Lem of the same title and a popular song by Billie Eilish, among other things. The ocean, which is one of the examples of the unknown, is a dominant force in the Lofuotta/Láfot/Lofoten Islands. At the current time of multiple ecological and sociopolitical crises, it inspires thinking about (im)possible (in)human collaborations with it.
Read the full Curatorial Statement on Valentinas Klimašauskas profile.

Collaborative Institutions 2023

Riddu Duottar Museat, Kárášjohka – Karasjok, Sápmi.
Henie Onstad Art Center at Høvikodden outside Oslo.
The North Norwegian Art Centre in Svolvær, Lofoten.
Museum Nord and the Espolin Gallery and Lofoten Aquarium.
Kabelvåg School of Moving Images.


Performance Lecture on Restorative Love Economics, Somerset House, October 2022

Yaa Addae

Yaa Addae (GH/UK) is a participatory curator, writer, and community researcher. Their practice is informed by the liberatory power of the imagination, play, and restorative love economics: bringing love to the systemically underloved. Yaa works to reimagine cultural infrastructure and in 2019 co-created ‘Black Diaspora Literacy: From Negritude to Drake’, a 10 week course supported by Tufts University’s Experimental College. Later, they were a researcher for Ano Institute’s Mobile Pavilion and Cultural Encyclopedia of African Art.

Kjetil Berge og Göran Ohldieck, censored image from MASKS, 1982

Kjetil Berge

Kjetil Berge is an artist and curator based in London and Kvalnes, Lofoten. Currently Berge is working on crocheting textiles referring to the idea of the comfort blanket, extending into forms evoking flags, screens and nets. Drawing on his early introduction to art through crocheting he takes on a process of bending time by extending the thread from his early life through to present concerns.

Queer pirate flag. Salt Art & Music solo exhibition, 2022.

Pia Eikaas

Pia Eikaas´s artistic practice is centered around city spaces, through the act of flâneusing and with a queer feminist lens she tries to examine how our cities are organized and what stories they hold. Looking at water in cities as a possible potential for telling queer stories and examining the potential of a retelling of the city through the medium of analogue photography.

Hiking in Lofoten with Elisabeth Færøy, 2023. Photo Valentinas Klimasauskas

Elisabeth Færøy

Elisabeth Færøy is a former performance artist from the visual arts field, turned into hula hoop queen. In all her work, Elisabeth creates moments for meetings, with the essence of being present in what is. A local guide in Lofoten, running creative retreats like the Arctic Bodypainting retreat. She also runs the open stage concept MØLJE (also the name of the local fish dish, a mix of arctic cod, roe and liver) where the local community get the chance to share anything from art, music, poetry, lectures, new business and film.


Kåre Aleksander Grundvåg

Through various sculptural techniques and process-based projects, Grundvåg explores a non-human architecture. Material experimentation, bio-mimetics and traditional knowledge are included as elements in the practice, with the coastal landscape of Northern Norway as a frame of reference.

Dance Derivé Mouth. The Lithuanian and Cyprus Pavillion, La Bienale di Venezia, 2013.

Morten Norbye Halvorsen

Morten Norbye Halvorsen is an artist and composer, whose sound works and musical performances are guided by props, websites, photographs, scripted recordings and concert appearances in an ongoing exploration of collaboration and sound.

Signe johannessen. still hic sunt dracones (foto tasneem chan

Signe Johannessen

Signe Johannessens work speculates on hybrid bodies, historical paraphrases and the potentials of the posthumous. Playfully combining episodes from her own biography and historical archives, her work continuously renegotiates the traumas and the pleasures of intimate relationships between women, children, and other animals, while expanding the notion of family and kin.

Johannessen is presented in a co-production collaboration with North Norwegian Art Centre in Svolvær, Lofoten. Curator Torill Østby Haaland and Director Marianne Hultman.

Sjøtroll/Sea Troll (1967) by Kaare Espolin Johnson. Image at the courtesy of the Espolin Gallery, Museum Nord.

Kaare Espolin Johnson (1907-1994) & The Espolin Gallery, Museum Nord

Between various inspirations of the concept of the festival “Ocean Eyes” is an image of “Sea Troll” (1967) by artist Kaare Espolin Johnson. Somewhat rough and open-to-various interpretations, the image depicts the possibility of the relationship between what may be called (more than) human (fisherman), imaginary (a chthonic sea troll) and nature (fish/ocean/wildness/unknown). At a certain point in his life, the artist had a vision of minus 22 which deeply affected his vision but also his technique and style. In the biographical documentary about the artist’s life in the Espolin gallery, Johnson talks about the necessity of having a chthonic soul companion and the picture of the sea troll suggests a possible realization of this need.

Home Sweet Home, digital photo print on archival hahnemühle satin rag paper, Oslo, 2022

Sarah Kazmi

Sarah Kazmi (PK) is an interdisciplinary artist and a writer whose artistic practice moves across research and visual production, observing the relationship between food, language and politics. She works with the medium of writing where her texts are visual, rhythmic and performative; often conveyed through a variety of disciplines, which includes sound pieces, video, installations and performance.

Season of Migration to the North, 2015,
Video instalation.

Lars Laumann

A gifted storyteller Laumann draws inspiration from the margins of pop culture and people and phenomena on the outskirts of society presenting these explorations in videos, textiles, installations and printmaking.

Trompe-l'œil. Solo exhibition at Gyllenpris Kunsthall, 2022.

Bjørn Mortensen

Text from Mortensens exhibition Feeding Fetish, by curator Marie Nerland, VOLT.
In the ceramic sculptures artist Bjørn Mortensen has worked on in recent years, he has often returned to overloading an object with potential functions. He has made sculptures that could serve as both a container, birdhouse, incense holder, fountain, flower pot and garden fireplace at the same time. These manifold functions have nevertheless only marked a potential within the objects. In the works for the exhibition at VOLT in Bergen, his aim has been to activate all the potentials at the same time. Using the title Feeding Fetish, Mortensen both hints at how these works may function, but also at how he himself has worked when creating them, “feeding” them with new layers, objects and functions.

Curator Marie Nerland, founder of VOLT, will also be present during Ocean Eyes.

2019 10 14 kunsthall stavanger sandra vaka lo 12

Sandra Vaka

Through a conceptual approach to photography, Vaka juxtaposes seemingly incompatible factors such as water and technology, the eternal and the perishable. In particular, she explores how human perception, body and identity evolve in a constantly changing reality and nature. Both humor and seriousness are combined when Vaka explores everyday things that we connect to our body, such as towels, straws and screens, with a nod to desire, consumption and pleasure that characterizes today’s consumer society.

The Group Crit, by Sille Storihle

Sille Storihle

Storihles artistic practice encompasses a body of work in dialogue with queer archives and pasts, exploring relationships between power and performativity. Their current research and work focuses on live action role-playing games (LARP) as an artistic methodology in the production of moving images.

During Coast Contemporary Storihles latest film, The Group Crit, will be screened in the cinema at Kabelvåg School of Moving Images. The film was created in collaboration with students at the school, as a part of a workshop.

Istvan virag pixel pitch 4 webres 17

Istvan Virag

Istvan Virags (HU) artistic research revolves around alternative economic theories (e.g. ecological economy, post-growth). In recent years he has been developing projects that aim to visualise friction between the established and new paradigms of global governance, and explore alternatives to the dominant neoliberal perspective of the homo economicus.

Virag is presented in a production collaboration with Henie Onstad Art Center at Høvikodden.

The Silk Roads, from The Exotic Dreams and Poetic Misunderstandings project. Solo exhibition at Kunsthall Grenland, 2019. Cobalt blue porcelain, 10 x 4 M. Photo: Aliona Pazdniakova

Lin Wang

Lin Wang (CH) mainly works with porcelain as a material, and through performance that uses various expressions such as food, video, smell and tattooing. In her work, Wang seeks to expand the understanding of what ceramic art can be understood as, and how ceramic art can be used to penetrate private, social and public spheres.

Elin Már. Photo: Solfrid Sande

Elin Már Øyen Vister

Elin Már Øyen Vister is an artist and forager with their base on Røst, South -Westernmost part of Lofoten (Norway/Sápmi). With a broad background in audio and music (as DJ and producer, and in-field recording and radio), they bring an interdisciplinary approach and experience of a multitude of practices to their expression. Már is occupied with listening as life practice and as a way to compose, sense, and experience the world, much inspired by Pauline Oliveros’s Deep Listening philosophy and aesthetic philosophy.

Elin Már has invited Lina Salomonsen Sjølie, Máret Rávdna Buljo and Torgeir Norkild to the sesory walk Listening in the footsteps of Ane Truls, is a sensory walk through cultural heritage sites of Kabelvåg / Gábelváhke, that can be understood as an artistic response or dialogue with The Truth and Reconciliation Commission´s report.

The walk is Co-presented with partnering institution, the Riddu Duottar Museat.

Valentinas Klimasauskas. Photo by Visvaldas Morkevičius.

Valentinas Klimasauskas, Curator of ‘Ocean Eyes’

Valentinas Klimašauskas from Lithuania is the appointed curator of the seventh edition of Coast Contemporary, titled ‘Ocean Eyes’, taking place in Lofuotta/Láfot/Lofoten Islands in the north of Norway.

Read more about the upcoming edition here.