Lina Viste Grønli, Kim’s Benches, Vågsallmenningen, Bergen
In 2022, we can expect a wealth of projects under the banner of the Queer Culture Year in Norway. Lina Viste Grønli’s benches honouring Karen-Christine (Kim) Friele’s unique fight for gay rights are a worthy fanfare ushering in the year. Among other things, Friele’s work contributed to the abolition of section 213 of the Criminal Code, which criminalised sexual acts between people of the same sex. The benches are a historically aware choice that also contributes to redressing the imbalance in the number of women and men being celebrated in public spaces. A generous and inclusive project in all its simplicity.
Hanan Benammar, Bel Chorus, Aqqalu Berthelsen, and Cynthia Pitsiulak, This Is Our Body, Arctic Moving Image and Film Festival, Harstad
The performance This Is Our Body addressed the missionary and priest Hans Egede and his efforts to colonise Greenland three hundred years ago. It was a complex and intense work that took us on a procession along the Harstad coastline to Trondenes church for throat singing and electronica before ultimately ending at the beach where Egede’s body parts (made of bread!) were paddled out to sea. Participation from the local priest and the choir Bel Chorus, as well as a text written by one of Egede’s descendants, helped to provide an essential framework for the successful implementation of this site-specific work. Packed with symbolism and references, the work is based on dark events from history, yet also included aspects of humour. This Is Our Body was a commissioned work created for the 2021 Arctic Moving Image and Film Festival, curated by Kristian Skylstad.
Exhibition in the living room of my 88-year-old father Amal Ghosh, London
Possibly not an event of general interest, but rather a reminder of what is important. Amal Ghosh came to London from Calcutta in the late 1950s and has been an active artist for a lifetime. He taught at Central St. Martins for many years and was the first non-Western artist to be employed by the institution. His media have been enamel, stained glass, and painting, and in recent years watercolour and drawing, for practical reasons. In October, it was finally possible for us to see each other again after two long years. We have lost a couple of valuable years together, just like everyone else who has family in other countries. On my last day in London, he showed my brother and I what he had been working on recently: a series of colourful large-format paintings. My most rewarding conversations about art are those I have with my father, and this was definitely my most important art experience this year.
– Ida Lykken Ghosh has a broad background as a producer, curator, and consultant working in the field of contemporary art, focusing particularly on photo, sound, and video art. She has worked at Fotogalleriet, Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), and Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF). Ghosh has played a key role in the development of the video art archive. Since 2018, she has been director at Atelier Nord in Oslo.
For this year’s contributions to the Advent Calendar, see here.