Susanne Hætta foto Ingerid Jordal 1067x1600

Curator sprout from Dáiddadállu

News 19.11.20

- It is the first time in 40 years that we have an exhibition dedicated to Mázejoavku where everyone in the group is represented. The public will see works that have never been shown before, so it will be a special experience. That's what DD's Susanne Hætta says, who has curated her first exhibition Iežamet - That which is ours, which opens at Guovdageainnu Gilišilju on Sunday 22 November.

Photographer, writer and now curator

There are not many Sami curators, at the same time as it is widely discussed internally in the environment, such as e.g. here at Dáiddadállu. Susanne Hætta is one of three who have recently been accepted into CIMAM's curatorial program StayHome Curatorial Online Residency, which the Office for contemporary art initiates in collaboration with the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art.

We have had a chat with Susanne about the special exhibition which will open to the public immediately and about the position of (Sami) curator.

Is this the first exhibition you are curating?

-Yes. It is also connected to my book, Mazejoavku. Indigenous Collectivity and Art, which was recently published under EadnámetMaid. It is the work of the eight artists. The theme of EadnámetMaid, violence against nature, was also something that these 8 artists were concerned with, namely the Alta action. The exhibition thus draws direct lines from 40 years ago to the present day.

Untitled 1 photo Susanne Haetta 1800x1200

How have you progressed in the work on the exhibition?

-First I have oriented myself around the works, to put together an exhibition. Some people spend years curating, I had 2 months. I understood that there were works by 8 artists, and had a dialogue with most of the artists and was looking at works that could be relevant. I wanted the works to go into the theme with a subtle emphasis on Sami rights, Sami life, mythology and Sami nature thinking. I have also worked on finding works that have not been shown, in order to bring in something new.

What do you think the difference in the exhibition would have been if there had been an outside curator versus a Sami curator?

- That is a difficult question. I have a different perspective because I know the history of Mázejoavku so well, and I have information about works that have never been shown, so I have a unique advantage there. Also that I can look at it in a different way because here are artists with whom I feel a kinship because we are Sami artists. It was very nice that Dáiddadállu asked me to do it here.

Selection for CIMAM's StayHome Curatorial Online Residency

CIMAM, the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art, and OCA - Office for Contemporary Art Norway, launched the collaboration project StayHome Online Curatorial Residency to support curatorial and research development of professional contemporary art persons living in Norway, with priority to professionals from Sami or diaspora backgrounds .

Susanne is one of the three selected for the programme.

- It is exciting to have an international mentor to be able to develop in that direction. There are Sami curators, but we need more and the field needs to be developed. That's why programs like CIMAM are very important. But it is clear that having a Sami curatorial education or a course in Sami curatorial practice would be good, for example under the auspices of Sámi Allaskuvla, says Susanne.

Tell us about the works in this exhibition. What is special about them?

-Josef Halse and Synnøve Persen often paint abstractly, but both are rooted in nature and the Sami landscape. I would like to show that. Synnøve Persen painted figuratively early on during her art education, but stopped doing so after 1978. She has painted only 3 figurative works in total and it is very unique that we have included 1 of them in the exhibition.

Rannveig Persen's works are not easy to come by, but I was able to borrow a drawing made by Máze when she lived at the artist centre. It is directly connected to Máze with a view from where she lived. It is a very nice connection to the landscape and that time.

Hans Ragnar Mathisen is known for his maps with only Sami place names. It was completely unheard of in those days. We will be exhibiting one of the first hand-drawn maps.

Then we have "Sarahkka" by Berit Marit Hætta, which has not been shown before. It shows the exquisite craftsmanship behind the work with her background as a duojár and connection to the Sami mythological world. I am very happy to be able to present it.

You have collaborated with DD artist Ann-Sofie Kallok. What role has she had and what does it mean to have DD (a bunch of artists) and resort to tasks like this?

- There is a lot of work, so it is good to be two. Dáiddadállu and we have also collaborated with the Gilišilju Riddo Duottar museum. It is very positive. They provide premises and expertise. Anso (Ann-Sofie) is a duo and a designer, which has been a great help when it comes to placing works in the room, and at the same time practical as she lives in Kautokeino. It is good to have someone to confer with in the artistic decisions I make. Very good!

"Iežamet - What is ours" shows works by the Sami artist group Mázejoavku, mainly early works. Mázejoavku was established by eight Sami artists in 1978, was also called Masigruppa or Sami Artist Group. It consisted of Aage Gaup, Trygve Lund Guttormsen (d. 2012), Josef Halse, Berit Marit Hætta, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Hans Ragnar Mathisen, Rannveig Persen and Synnøve Persen.

Part of EadnámetMaid

The exhibition opens at Gilišilju/bygdetunet in Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino on Sunday 22 November at 1 p.m. The exhibition is made in collaboration between Dáiddadállu and RiddoDuottar Museat, as part of the digital art event EadnámetMaid earlier in November.

EadnámetMaid shines a spotlight on violence and abuse of nature. The project is produced by Dáiddadállu and is a collaboration with the Sami Parliament in Norway and the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA). You can find more information about EadnámetMaid here: https://www.daiddadallu.com/bl...