From 31st of August to the 6th of September, I returned to Beelitz-Heilstatten to partake at the EEA-G14, not as a student but as a somewhat nostalgic adviser and critic. As a student I participated in the EEA09, and during this period I had built a valuable international network of peers. The EEA is the creative child of Harry Heyink, professor at the Gerrit-Rietveld Academy. It is a summer residency that has been taken place each year in the wonderful-light filled woods of Germany. Each summer around forty-five of the most ambitious young art students from art academies in Europe, England and America are invited to come live and work together in an intensive atmosphere, some would even call it an art boot-camp. The students get up at 7 a.m, have breakfast together, take the bus from their temporary hotels, to their studio’s which are located in the historical ruins of the Beelitz-Heilstatten sanatorium complex. Here they start their day at 9 a.m at the round circle, working more or less until 5 pm. The evenings are filled with guest lectures and discussions, and of course artistic work and equally artistic partying. The emphasize of the program is to challenge students to get out of their comfort zone, to be critical and generous towards each other. Naivety and energy is encouraged: It is very much a process loaded space where often magic tends to happen. This year however, will be the last edition in these spectacular Berlin woods. We will temporarily say goodbye to the beautifully run down architecture. All good things must come to an end, and an end is just a new beginning.
Below some attempts at capturing a few of the moments to be remembered.
From 15th – 24th of August 2014 I am invited by Pikene på Broen, to come and visit the Barents regions, more specifically the border region between Norway and Russia. I was asked to develop an installation for Barents Spectacle 2016. Following this question I proposed to develop a follow up to the inmersive installation called Without Waiting for her Reply, shown last April in Bergen. This visit is my first introduction to the high north and my main goal at the moment is to meet people and to find out what drives them to live in these sometimes extreme cold or polluted environments. For the past week I have been exploring Kirkenes at the top tip of Norway, and Nikel an ore mining city in Russia. I have been running from hot til here: invited into people’s homes I’ve met a very social and open minded culture and diverse in many ways. Below you can see the first pictures. The stories however will have to wait a little, I am still right in the middle of it so as my guide Roman here in Russia would say, ‘leave it be, piya…’ so I will leave it be for now, more to follow soon (!)
lavvu at Hobbybua in Jarfjord
Special herbs, used for tea and medicinally for blatter infections
not blueberries, I am nots ure about the name, but you can make a drink from them.
Sundown at Kirkenes
Andreas, Pikene’s director with his Objet Trouve, at Lanabukt.
A visitor, just outside of Grenselandsmuseet
Flavia, the new dance teacher at Kirkenes
A side from the harbour
Karin Danielsen, herb expert and pensionist who I will be working with upcoming year!
cooking Thai food for Theresa from Samovar teatret and her parents
Skikk og bruk!! Very interesting reading
Theresa H. Holand from Samovar teatret
Hello Lenin! I have arrived in Nikel
The Nickel municipality building
The church! Build traditionally without any nails.
The mining plantation in the distance
Roman, my guide, the best guide in the world!
The mining landscape, from a distance
Visiting a wonderful lady, Evgania, at her colorful home
The food she prepared
An interior shot!
Home made pickled cucumber with laurel leaves, garlic and onion.
Boxing gloves, a fragment of the local gym.
At the gym in Nikel
Weight, at the gym in Nikel
Roman and Kola, taking working out very seriously. I was pretending to fit in, in the mean while.
Here I am.
Roman and Kola in action!
Asian details in the house
All the medailles won by local sporters
Another brotherly fight.
Emfi, a Beautiful photographer who just moved from St. Petersburg to Nikel.
Emfi and the love of her life, Dimitri.
Ivan and Valentin, respectively lawyer and globetrotter and entrepreneur.
Valentin and Ksusa who works at the local bar taking care of administration and atmosphere, a lovely couple
Garages! Where all the men go work on their cars.
Inside one of the garages
Roman an kola, discussing about car repair issues.
Inside the garage
Graffiti on the streets of Nikel: Hope!
Graffiti: We don’t fucking care, we are dancing!
At the art school for students between six and eighteen years old.
Detail of drawing tables and chairs for very tiny bodies
Nikel has a good collection of antique cars
The local football field, better not fall here.
The mining view
Green water from left over metal residues
The mining view
Kola throwing a stone in to the deep mining hole
With my guide.