The third edition.

Focusing on the strong artist unions in Norway, solidarity economics, the political and artist governed and artist-run scene, and how political artists work and organize. Or don´t organize.

Curated by artist Sverre Gullesen and founder Tanja Sæter.
Curatorial contributions by Valentinas Klimasauskas and by Fotogalleriet.

I thought I could organize freedom
How Scandinavian of me

Hunter by Björk
(Homogenic, 1997)

Locations: Molde, Håholmen, Kristiansund, Hurtigruten and Bergen.

What lies in solidarity economics and the uniquely strong artist run scene in Norway?
In the third edition we presented artists engaging in artist organizations and artist unions, the political art scene in Norway and how it operates, mixed with international views on collaboration and future prospects.
Speakers included artists, unions, curators, museums, writers and institutions relating to the topic. The program consisted of talks, debates, installations, conversations, presentations, podcasts, exhibitions, screenings, food, performance, group conversations and readings.

We presented artists with desire to influence our society. These are artists with a professional and political commitment to the art field or to their community, but also artists with an art production who seek to influence a larger public. What are the driving forces behind the artists, and what strategies are used to achieve an impact?
How is the politics of exhibition and the institutions affected and what are the international differences?

The journey started in Molde and we spent three days on the island Håholmen, before continuing to Kristiansund, boarding the former mail ship Hurtigruten and ending in Bergen. Travel dates 15 – 20 of October, 2019.


Alt går bra

Alt Går Bra / Tout Va Bien

Alt Går Bra / Tout Va Bien pursues affirmative aesthetic forms, elaborated through philosophical and historical inquiries. It´s exhibitions, discursive events, and publications portray Classicism and Romanticism as deep structuring principles, well beyond the realm of aesthetics. Alt Går Bra is a group of three visual artists researching the intersections between art and politics.

Fredriksens. From the photo series Til Ungdommen / For the Young, by Vanessa Baird and Mette Hellenes. 
Commissioned for the third edition in 2019. 
Photo by Vanessa Baird and Mette Hellenes.

Vanessa Baird

“It´s something like being Samantha Fox.
After 30 years, without breast implants.
Being trapped in your underwear, falling. Its dark. Your going to spend the rest of your life recovering from femoral neck fracture.
With a vague memory of the past.”

Trine Bille

Trine Bille / Copenhagen Business School

Trine Bille is Professor, Ph.D. at Copenhagen Business School, Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy. She got her Ph.D. from University of Copenhagen, Department of Economics. Her main research interest is cultural economics and cultural policy, and she is one of the leading researchers in this field. She has published more than 100 books and articles on the subjects. She is president elect for ACEI, The Association of Cultural Economics International.

Trine Bille participated as keynote speaker with the lecture: Artists Earnings and the Value of Art. Presenting on her extensive research on the artist’s economy.

 dsc1911 1 kopi

Kristian Øverland Dahl

“As a kid I always wanted to stand up for some higher motives or ideals and it was important for me to participate in having a good discourse on art and politics. So to take part in union work came naturally. Later on I put emphasis on the living conditions of the average artist.

I’m not that focused on or interested in the extremes. (sorry)"

Addoley Dzegede

Addoley Dzegede

“Through the Addoley + Anna podcast, we have had the opportunity to observe and discuss both the shared and different realities, expectations, and concerns artists have depending on their geopolitical belonging. Our intent is to further our understanding of the varied realities artists face, and in this iteration of the project, seek advice from seasoned professionals.”



Fadlabi works with painting, text, and performance and he runs Khartoum Contemporary Art Center in Oslo together with Karin Erixon. KCAC is “a cultural center in exile”. While waiting for democracy in Sudan, the center is temporarily located in Oslo. The main goal of the space is to do discursive projects originating from Africa and the Middle East and to build bridges that promote understanding of different cultures in the world.

Ida 2019 1

Ida Madsen Følling

Følling has held a position at the boards of different art organisations / unions: The Drawing Society as a board member (2014-17), NBK (the Norwegian Artist Union) as deputy chair (2017-19), and from June 2019 she’s the deputy chair at UKS (Young Artists Society). In her artistic practice she has been working with projects that puts art production at the center of a urban eco system, and that thematizes urbanism, art production and liberalistic city development trends.

Anna Gudmundsdottir. Photo: Johnny Vaet Nordskog.

Anna Marie Sigmond Gudmundsdottir

“I think of artists as warriors, and that Harpefoss Hotel is an institution for anyone who wants to do something or say something before they enter the huge battlefield “out there”. A place in space where idiots and geniuses have fun together… Provided they talk true!”

Trond Hugo Haugen presenting his work at Håholmen in Hustadvika. Photo Kobie Nel.

Trond Hugo Haugen

“At young age, I became part of the cultural scene in Stavanger, where I started to work as a concert promoter and independent venue booker. Organizing concerts is all about attention. You are the host; you invite musicians to your city, and the audience to your event. You open up your space for other’s artistic expressions – you share. You have to be conscious of the landscape you are moving in, legislation, preferences, and other activities. That was my starting point and experience when I later started as a professional visual artist myself. Namely, that one is a part of a larger organism, of a community, that is shared with others. This position fit naturally with the person I am and the person I was raised to be. My interest in politics and the conditions for artistic activities grew parallel and where later to be centered around the art policy, political art and the role of the artist in society.”

Kebbe Life by Mette Hellenes

Mette Hellenes

Since the 1990´s Hellenes has provided satirical drawings for NBK union magazine Billedkunst, and the newspaper Morgenbladet, commenting on the art and political scene. She makes exhibitions, books, animation, and collaborates with Vanessa Baird as Kebbe Life.

Still from "Bright future horizons" by Anna Ihle.

Anna Ihle

“My commitments are twofold. Partly, I want to be a part of a field which is in movement, in a space where we deal with our challenges in both artistic and political manners. It’s what I crave in life. Secondly – we need practitioners from a huge range of backgrounds and identities for us to move forward. To get there we need to organize.”

Presenting the talk While My Practice Gently Weeps, on the aftermath of the budget and funding cuts of the 2011 VVD government in the Netherlands.

Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk / A Tale of A Tub

Central to Lekkerkerk’s work are social and political discourses revolving around daily living and working practices, cultural norms, and ideologies. He particularly focuses on debates concerning the Anthropocene, ecology and climate, post-humanism, and the increasing entanglement between nature and culture.

Lekkerkerk participated in Coast Contemporary with the talk While My Practice Gently Weeps, on the aftermath of the budget and funding cuts of the 2011 VVD government in the Netherlands.

Tania Bruguera Tatlin’s Whisper #5 2008 at Tate Modern © Tania Bruguera

Isabella Maidment / Tate

Dr Isabella Maidment is Curator, Contemporary British Art at Tate. Recent projects she has curated include “Anne Imhof: Sex”Joan Jonas: Moving off the Land, and the 2018 Turbine Hall Commission: Tania Bruguera.

After L. F.

Trine Røssevold

“I believe one of the most important issues for the art associations today is to make sure that there are artists creating art all over the country. This is also a democratic issue. So, for this reason I have been engaged in political work for the artist association BKMR, in my region, and NBK, on a national level. I have also been on the local municipality council for one period.”

Carolina Saquel, Untitled (arbol con personajes), still from Distancia webseries, directed by Carolina Saquel and Camila Marambio

Carolina Saquel

Carolina Saquel is an artist based in Paris, France. She holds a degree in legal studies, and was a practicing lawyer before obtaining a BA in Santiago de Chile focusing mainly on video and photography.

Ruben Steinum

Ruben Steinum

“Art is a fundamental, universal human activity that exists in all cultures. Therefore, it is crucial to ensures that everybody has the opportunity to work with art and to experience both historical and contemporary art, regardless of social and economic background.”

Marthe Elise Stramrud. Photo: Julia Kidder

Marthe Elise Stramrud

“It has always felt natural to shape, change, and improve my everyday life. This skill is something that turned out to be especially useful after becoming an artist and observing and experiencing forms of bias and injustice within our field. The first time I experienced that protesting actually works was a game changer to me. By working together in a systematic way we can make real change in society (in small but significant steps). As long as our field has structural problems, we have to keep on fighting.”

Kenneth varpe portrett

Kenneth Varpe

“The foundation of which the art institution that I operate within and benefit from today, was built by the work and effort of people before me – and I see it only natural that I too should contribute in the maintenance, and improvement, of this.”

Kiyoshi Yamamoto. Photo: Preben Holst

Kiyoshi Yamamoto

For many years, Yamamoto has been inspired by the German artist and textile designer Anni Albers (1899-1994), who through a lifelong career explored textiles in a minimalist and graphic design language. He sees no contradiction in the fact that something that is industrially produced can also be seen as art. He is an active artist union worker.

Ragnhild Aamås performing at Håholmen in Hustadvika. Photo: Kobie Nel.

Ragnhild Aamås

Ragnhild Aamås has initiated and run reading groups since 2012, and held various offices in the artist associations UKS (Young Artists Society), NBK (the Norwegian Artist Union) and BOA (the association of visual artist in Oslo and Akershus county). A board member of U.F.O. — an exhibition guide for Oslo. In 2015 she reimagined and rebuilt the artist run exhibition and project space Podium together with Ayat Tuleubek and Ignas Krunglevicius.

Valentinas Klimasauskas starting off the participatory performance "Everybody Reads Fishing on Håholmen Havstuers ship. Photo: Kobie Nel.

Valentinas Klimašauskas

Valentinas Klimašauskas is a curator based in Vilnius, Lithuania, and he participated with the participatory performance and fishing trip Everybody Reads Fishing! Everybody Reads […]! is a series of nights of horizontal readings that are inspired by both the slogan by Roberto Bolaño: “Reading is always more important than writing” and open structures like Anonymous Alcoholics or Speakers’ Corner at Hyde Park. Everyone attending is kindly invited to read something according to a chosen topic of that evening.

Håholmen island in Hustadvika. One of the locations in 2019.

Speakers 2019

Agnes Nedregård, Artist and Chair of BKFH Visual Aritsts Union, Hordaland, Bergen

Alicia Knock, Curator, Centre Pompidou, Paris

Antonio Cataldo, Artistic Director, Fotogalleriet, Oslo

Anna Sigmund Gudmundsdottir, Artist and co-running Harpefoss Hotell (culture house and gallery), Telemark

Axel Wieder, Director, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen

Bas Hendrikx, Curator and Director, Kunsthalle Amsterdam

Branko Boero, Artist and part of Tout Va Bien, Bergen/Paris

Camilla von Køppen, Head of Education, Ekebergparken, Oslo

Carolina Saquel, Artist, Spain

Elise Cosme Hoedemakers, Curator, Bodø Biennale, Bodø

Geir Haraldseth, Curator, Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo

Isabella Maidment, Curator, Tate Britain, London

Kari Berge, Director, Sandefjord Kunstforening, Sandefjord

Katia Krupennikova, Curator, V-A-C Foundation, Moscow and Amsterdam

Kenneth Varpe, Artist and board member of Stavanger Kunsthall, UKS -Young Artists Society and Vederlagsfondet, Copenhagen

Kirsti van Hoegee, Artist & Director, KRAFT, Bergen

Kristen Alfaro, Arts Planning & Evaluation Officer, Barbican Centre, London

Kyrre Bjørkås, Head of Visual Arts, Kulturtanken / Arts For Young Audiences, Oslo

Léon Kruijswijk, Curator and Project Manager at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin

Lisa Andrine Bernhoft-Sjødin, Curator, Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo

Mathijs van Geest, Artist & Director, Hordaland kunstsenter, Bergen

Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Director, A Tale of a Tub & The Office for Curating, Rotterdam

Paul Clinton, Writer and Scolar, Goldsmiths, University of London

Ruben Steinum, Artist and Chair of Norske Billedkunstnere (the Norwegian artist union), Oslo

Trine Bille, PhD. Copenhagen Buisness School, Copenhagen

Trond Hugo Haugen, Artist and Chair of Kunstnernes Hus and Oslo Open Art Festival, Oslo

Timotheus Vermeulen, Writer and Scholar, Universitetet i Oslo (UiO), Oslo