Curatorial focus of the fifth edition taking place in September 2021 will be lauched this spring.
- the fourth edition.
In the fourth edition of Coast we looked to the future and focused on AGE, and age in the art world, first and foremost from a female perspective.
Curated by the founder of Coast, Tanja Sæter.
Constructing Structures Program
Constructing Structures – 2020 Catalogue
The location was the Hovedøya island, and Covid-19 turned this into a very a different edition, with a shortened conference program and an extended exhibition period, lasting from September 15 to October 18, welcoming thousands of visiting Oslo locals who traveled by ferry to the island.
Hovedøya island has an important historical value as a central defense island used by the armed forces, and as a location for the Cistercian Monastery. Hovedøya Abbey opened May 18 in 1147 by monks from Kirkstead Abbey in England. During the Mediaeval period the Monastery was a leading economical force in the Oslo-region. The Monastery was burned and looted in 1532. The ruins are among the most complete ruins of a medieval Norwegian monastery and stone bricks from the ruin were recycled and used to build Akershus Fortress in Oslo.
In 1872 it was established a quarantine hospital on the island to protect the population from possible disease from sailors. When the World War II ended the island was used as an internment camp for women to prevent spreading of Sexual Transmittable Disease among Norwegian men and to punish women suspected of having a relationship with a German soldier during the war. Many wrongly captured and held imprisoned without a trial. The island was named The Doomed Girls Island among Oslo locals.
A glitch in the system
In the fourth edition of Coast we focused on AGE and age in the art world, first and foremost seen from a female perspective, and the unfair treatment of male and female art workers taking place today. Artists and curators were invited to reflect of the matters of age, gender equality especially in the art world, and how to improve the situation. We will also look at the lack of buildings in the history of women and how this affects our legacy and history not being housed. Who builds, who constructs and who owns? Who and where are the masons in history and today?
It is a fact that the art scene is one of the least equal places to work when a woman reaches the age of 35-45. The work situation is often lightly to change in connection with childbirth. Growing older is a general threat to a woman’s future career and many drop out of the arts in silence and in shame for not managing to balance their artist career with having children or just the fact that they became older, childbirth or not. There is no one to address, nor to blame when you are in the middle of it. If the problem is domestic and your artist partner is possibly the main problem this makes the need to shine a light on the situation even harder. In music, dance and teather the support systems seems to be stronger.
Is contemporary art the worst in class? Does the belief in talent, the free market and in ”free art” make life an unfair survival of the fittest game for most women in the arts?
One of the structural equality problem we are addressing within the arts for this edition is called the double equality paradox.
A reading suggestion is Norwegian Artists and the Double Equality Paradox by scientist Mari Torvik Heian from Telemarksforskning.
Heians writing is describing severe problems within the arts community and it was published online at Kilden – kjonnsforskning.no, a gender research organisation and website, in Issue 1-2, 2018.
A New Initiative
During the fourth edition Coast Contemporary launched a program and a woman’s initiative in collaboration with artists and the art scene in Norway and international friends wanting to contribute, aiming to improve gender inequality in the arts and to make it easier to survive as a ”female artist” after the invisible age of 40. The development, implementation and the adjustments of the programme will continue to 2024 and is supported by Norsk Kulturråd / The Arts Council.
We wish to create a reversed domino effect sending ideas back and forth between institutions, artists and organizations, including the public, other working sectors outside of the arts and build this initiative together.
Mapping work that is already done in other areas of the world is also a goal. If you wish to contribute and share good work, networks or thoughts please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This initiative was a part of Coast Contemporary and founder Tanja Sæter´s plan when founded in 2015, and she is the curator of the fourth edition.
We included parts of the dramatic history of the island in this strange Covid-edition, a well hidden history for most Oslo-locals, as most people only know the island as a place of pleasure where you go for a swim and to visit the monastery ruins. The female history is not marked or shown in any way. It is an unwanted part of our cultural heritage and it is still complicated today.
As a part of this edition Coast Contemporary applied for new signs on the island addressing the complicated and in many ways unwanted female heritage and the internment camp on the island. This application was granted and new signs will be placed on the island informing visitors of the full island history, wanted or not.
You are cordially and earnestly invited to attend!
Stay safe, wear a mask.
Founder & Artistic Director
Coast Contemporary is generously supported by
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Norwegian embassies in Berlin, London, Rome and Paris
The Royal Consulate General in New York
The Municipality of Bergen
The Municipality of Oslo
Vestland County Municipality