Anastasia Savinova works across different disciplines including sculpture, installation, drawing, video, performance, and found objects. Her practice revolves around ecologies and human relationship with the "more-than-human world". She investigates how everything is intertwined and how we are always emerging as a part of something greater.
During Barents Spektakel 2023, Anastasia Savinova and John Andrew Wilhite-Hannisdal will present their collaborative work Dialects of the Deep, which has been developing since June 2021 through a series of online meetings and residency visits to Kirkenes and Sør-Varanger. Dialects of the Deep reflects on underwater voices, and opens up for dialogue between humans and underwater beings. The sound-sculpture installation evokes the life cycles of fish and investigates how they are symbolically and physically connected to human life. The voices of cod vibrate the wooden boat-bodies, exploring old relationships and creating new harmonies. Photo: Maxim Vlasov
John Andrew Wilhite-Hannisdal is a composer and sound artist currently living in Oslo, Norway. John Andrew's works retain a playful and often theatrical nature which gestures to the world outside the works. John Andrew's music often engages with field-and-archival recordings as well as site-specific sounds. John Andrew leads the project Torsketromming with scientist Rebekah Oomen.
During Barents Spektakel 2023, Anastasia Savinova and John Andrew Wilhite-Hannisdal will present their collaborative work Dialects of the Deep, which has been developing since June 2021 through a series of online meetings and residency visits to Kirkenes and Sør-Varanger. John Andrew will also contribute to the lecture event by Rebekah Oomen on Saturday 25. February, and the concert featuring Per Anders Store and Sainkho Namtchylak on Tuesday 28. February, both of which are held in the exhibition space. Photo: Jonas Carlsen
Pauliina Feodoroff is a Skolt Sámi theatre and film director and land guardian from Keväjäu’rr in the Finnish part of Sápmi and Suõ’nnjel, in the Russian part. She connects various fields of knowledge – Sámi, artistic, scientific – in theatre and film projects and also in political activism and ecological restoration projects. Feodoroff is an advocate for Sámi water and land rights and has served as President of the Saami Council. She co-drafted the mandate for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Finland in 2019.
For Barents Spektakel 2023 Pauliina Feodoroff will present the video installation part of her work Matriarchy, which was exhibited as part of ‘The Sámi Pavilion’, at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, through a commission by OCA. She will also lead the guided bus tour Steer the way, Njâuddamon Sunday 26. February as part of the “B2B:From the Baltic to the Barents Sea” project, co-curated by Pikene på Broen and Baltic Circle festival. Photo: Hanna Parry
Born in 1991 in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Pavlo Grazhdanskij now lives and works in New York City, USA. His artistic research interests centre on: strategies of representation; the problematics of documentary and found material; artistic approaches and manual labour in data processing and collection; biopolitics; images of survival strategies; abstraction.
During the finissage of Barents Spektakel 2022, Tine Surel Lange and Pavlo Grazhdanskij presented their collaborative sound art project, Two sides of the River, which became a lasting metaphor for the present difficulties involving how to initiate cross-border dialogue following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Imagined by the artists as a call and response sound experience across the Pasvik river, the work could not take place as planned because authorities in Nikel silenced one side of the performance due to the risk of a “snow storm”. One year on, the artists present a memory of the event, and will use the festival as a continuation point for their collaborative work together. Photo: Pavlo Grazhdanskij
Per Anders Store is born, raised, and still living in Kirkenes. As an improviser, composer and musician he draws from his experience of being a Northerner and is in constant search of fitting sounds and textures. His music is focused on the longer lines, but he also can’t help but being influenced by his work as a music educator and organiser.
During Barents Spektakel, Per Anders Store joins sound-artist John Andrew Wilhite-Hannisdal and critically acclaimed Tuvan throat singer Sainkho Namtchylak for a concert inside the installation Dialects of the Deep in the old fire station. Store will play his experimental electronic music together with the music of Cod fish in a searching and utopian performance. Photo: Kjell Gunnar Monsen
TBA G is composed of Linn Haldrup Lorenzen and Per Magnus Barlaug. Linn Haldrup Lorenzen is a performing artist working within theatre and performance contexts. She has worked with Fix&Foxy, Live Art DK and Bianca Casady and is a part of the performance group “Cunts Collective”. Per Magnus Barlaug is a Norwegian actor, performing artist, and graduate of the Akademi for scenekunst. Since 2015 he has worked in various different theatre setups in Norway, Estonia, and Lituania, and has been working at Samovarteateret in Kirkenes since 2021.
TBA G will present ZøvnZaun during Barents Spektakel 2023 - an interactive theatre performance about the loss of sleep. The performance deals with sleep deprivation as a symptom of a modern society which is demanding that we are available and productive 24/7. At the same time, ZøvnZaun explores having control and giving up control in an uncontrollable control-obsessed society. With help from audiovisual and vibrating elements, the performance raises questions about society’s capitalisation on our health. Photo: Inga Aleknaviciute and Lise Johansson.
Pia Lindman works with performance art, healing-as-art, installation, microbes, architecture, painting, and sculpture. As a result of many years of investigation into the body and its place within cultural spaces, Lindman's ongoing work involves encounters with multiple realms of organic and inorganic life.
During Barents Spektakel 2023, Pia Lindman will present And then there are silences that speak of something else, still there, a series of digital paintings based on treatments given to Sør Varanger residents and the inspiration of connected life in the North. The workalso involves a performance taking place on Sunday 26. February in a 70-seater sauna in the village of Bugøynes as part of the “B2B: From the Baltic to the Barents Sea” project co-curated by Pikene på Broen and Baltic Circle festival. Photo: Carl Spartz
Polina Medvedeva explores practices and ways of being often considered "informal" or "non-conformist", such as shadow economies and subcultural/communal care practices. Her work merges documentary filmmaking, AV performance, and installation, inviting the viewer to become immersed into her observations, emphasising how lived experience does not fit into rigid categories of inside/outside, belonging/exclusion, formality/informality.
For Barents Spektakel 2023, Polina Medvedeva will present an adapted version of her recent interactive sound installation, A Knock From Below Heard At The Bottom, where, equipped with an electromagnetic microphone, the audience becomes a voyeur, a foreign agent, an onlooker and an accomplice scanning the space that feigns normalcy. The work is an assemblage of conversations which are intercepted, listened in on, recalled or recorded, in an attempt to search for sparks of civil disobedience amid the absurdity of censorship. Photo: Verena Blok
Arctic landscapes, surrounding sounds, mythologies, and sound choreography are some of the inspirations that shape the works by the Norwegian composer and interdisciplinary artist Tine Surel Lange. Based in Lofoten, Northern Norway, her work is rooted in organic material – with a focus on listening, space, and how connotations colour how we listen to and experience art.
Tine Surel Lange and Pavlo Grazhdanskij presented their collaborative sound art project, Two Sides of the River at the finissage of Barents Spektakel 2022, which became a lasting metaphor for the present difficulties involving how to initiate cross-border dialogue following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Imagined by the artists as a call and response sound experience across the Pasvik river, the work could not take place as planned because authorities in Nikel silenced one side of the performance due to the risk of a “snow storm”. One year on, the artists present a memory of the event, and will use the festival as a continuation point for their collaborative work together. Photo: Tine Surel Lange
With a total of eight talented musicians on stage, the energetic soul funk band Fieh are known for their ecstatic and danceable live shows. The music is characterised by a 70s vibe with elements of jazz, funk, R&B and soul - mixed with modern pop and hip-hop.
The group originally rose to fame with the breakthrough single "Glu" in 2017, and has since released several critically acclaimed albums and toured both in Norway and abroad. The dance floor at Samfundshuset is certain to be filled in double-quick time on Saturday evening when Fieh begins to drop the beats at Barents Spektakel for the very first time! Photo: Jonathan Vivaas Kise.
"The Godfather of Russian rock and reggae" - or simply just "BG" - as he is often called, is a figure who is considered one of the founders of Russian rock music. For a Western audience, Boris Grebenschikov can be considered the equivalent of a Russian Bob Dylan, David Bowie or Marc Bolan. Today the legendary vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter is once again banned in Russia because of his position against the war. With wisdom-laden lyrics and a fantastic band, we are looking forward to a very special concert with Boris Grebenschikov in Kirkenes during Barents Spektakel! Photo: Evgeny Konasov
Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha (False Money) have been making people laugh, cry, and dance since 2009. The band’s music is a unique fusion of different ingredients with the main elements being Balkan grooves and old Finnish tango and humppa.
The Lapland-Balkan band have released six critically acclaimed albums, but are best known for their wild live shows, feeling equally at home within the hippest Helsinki dance floors or the rough village parties of Lapland. They have toured more than 20 countries around Europe and will come to Kirkenes for the first time during Barents Spektakel 2023! Photo: Ilkka Arola
Dimitri Thomas-Komissarov is a U.S born artist residing in Norway. His practice explores and questions the human relation to fact, through investigations of the notion of truth within different mediums that have a basis in evidence. Much of his work is conducted through or around photography, while exploring and questioning the modern human relationship towards images.
Dimitri Thomas-Komissarov’s ongoing project Factum investigates and reshapes material from the printing press of Kirkenes´s local newspaper, Sør-Varanger Avis. Through this dialogue, the artist has been working with the aluminium plates that are used to physically print the newspaper in combination with his own photography to investigate the issue between information vs. disinformation. Photo: Dimitri Thomas-Komissarov
Niilas is a composer, artist and sound artist who weaves together genres, instruments and electronics into a unique musical expression. Rooted in his Sámi background and club culture, he creates sparkling, melancholic melodies, such as on his third solo album Stone Skipping (2022), where joik meets Iranian santoor and Moog Matriarch in dialogue together.
Niilas won the Spellemann Award in the electronica genre for his album Also This Will Change in 2020, and has since become known for energetic, cross-genre concerts, where the audience is taken on a musical journey through field recordings from the Arctic in harmony with deep bass. Niilas will play in the Ävv skoltesamiske museum on the Sunday of the festival.
The Pigeon-Gram Collective are a group of writers based in Arkhangelsk, Bodø, Lainio, Norrbotten, Nuuk, Petrozavodsk, Girkonjarga/Kirkenes, Romsa/Tromsø, Syktyvkar and Tornio. In 2021 they published their first collection of texts through a project initiated and developed by Troms and Finnmark County Council and Tekstbyrået, which aimed at connecting Barents region writers during the pandemic.
For Barents Spektakel 2023, The Pigeon-Gram Collective will collaborate with Kirkenes’s newly established sauna association to present a sauna audiobook experience, Sauna Stories, in the backyard of the exhibition at the Old Fire Station, complete with sea view. Bookings can be made online closer to the festival, and drop-in sessions are possible when there is space. A changing room is provided and towels can be rented from the exhibition space. Photo: Pikene på Broen
Rebekah Oomen is an evolutionary ecologist interested in how organisms respond to environmental change, including how adaptation to local environments in the past influences contemporary plastic responses and future environmental adaptation. She combines field studies and experiments with genome sequencing to understand how Atlantic cod have evolved to different environmental conditions in different places and what this means for how they respond to current challenges like overharvesting, climate change, and noise pollution.
Inside the Old Fire Station, Rebekah Oomen will present a scientific exhibition connected to the current collaborative work and research being done collectively by the group Torsketromming. The research project will be developed further through Rebekah´s lecture: Dialects of the Deep: What can listening to cod tell us about their communities and how we impact them? taking place on Saturday 25. February within the exhibition space. Photo: Maja Wilhite-Hannisdal
Sainkho Namtchylak is an experimental singer, born in 1957 in a secluded village in the south of Tuva, an autonomous Russian state bordering Mongolia. Now based in Vienna, she is known for her Tuvan throat singing or Khöömei. She has an exceptional voice, spanning seven octaves and is proficient in overtone singing; her music enmeshes avant-jazz, electronica, modern composition and Tuvan influences.
During Barents Spektakel 2023, Sainkho Namtchylak will join Kirkenes's own Per Anders Store and sound-artist John Andrew Wilhite-Hannisdal for a unique concert inside the installation Dialects of the Deep. Photo: Doris Kittler
Friform Kirkenes Presents: Stian Westerhus - a guitarist, composer and creator of a soundscape that is as mysterious as it is massive, intimate, and unique. He will take to the stage in Samfundshuset with his solo project on the Sunday evening of the festival. The show is experimental and improvisational, creating a sound that challenges many of our concepts of genre.
Westerhus has won the Spellemann Award in the jazz category together with Sissel Endresen, and has been previously nominated in both the open class and the contemporary music class. He has also contributed and collaborated on the records of a number of other musicians, including Ulver, Motorpsycho, Lasse Marhaug, Maja Ratkje, Susanne Sundfør and Nils Petter Molvær. Certain to be a special, exploratory, abstract experience! Photo: Therese Voldsæth
TØNDRA are a Sámi electronic music duo from Finnmark. Their music is best described as an airy mix between analogue and digital sound textures with modern beats. Accompanied by dreamy visuals for their live show, the duo will keep the rhythm steady and surprising on Saturday evening of Barents Spektakel 2023. Not to be missed! Photo: Anna Jarosz
Verdensteatret is an Oslo-based artist collective founded in 1986 by Lisbeth J. Bodd and Asle Nilsen and consists of performance artists, visual artists, musicians, software developers and poets who together have developed an intricate audiovisual language. Their work is characterised by a dedicated long-term development and an ongoing experimentation within different media and manifests itself in spatial orchestral works. By and with: Ali Djabbary, Asle Nilsen, Espen Sommer Eide, Janne Kruse, Laurent Ravot, Magnus Bugge, Martin Taxt, Niklas Adam and Torgrim Torve.
For Barents Spektakel 2023, Verdensteatret will present Trust me tomorrow: a sensorial and diffracted experience where rendering is happening between the actual space and memory. Trying to find the railing, a guide, something to orientate within the groping darkness. In a world that is folding back into itself. The work speaks to the ability or failure to get into each other’s heads. Photo: Jenny Berger Myhre, Signe Fuglesteg Luksengard, Verdensteatret
Witch Club Satan consists of Nikoline Spjelkavik on guitar, Victoria Røising on bass and Johanna Kleive on drums. It is a new project by the Andøy-based theatre company Lost and Found productions. Witch Club Satan is a neo-feminist black metal performance in 4 acts. It is a musical, dramatic ritual of unknown effect. The show will awaken the primal scream that has been building up inside us, and together we will transform. The goal is simple – you will never be the same again.
Evoking the ghosts of mining past, during Barents Spektakel 2023 this special show will take place in the unique industrial setting of Lokstallen - the old locomotive repair station for the Sydvaranger’s railway line. Witch Club Satan is a concert, a theatre performance, a high mass service, and a climate summit. You don't come here to sit back, but trust that the witches want you and the world to be well, and that the time we have together will be a profound celebration. Photo: Helge Brekke
Mieskuoro Huutajat is a choir that doesn't sing a note. 20-40 decently dressed men enter the venue in a paramilitary manner and begin to scream, bellow and shout excerpts from national anthems, children's ditties or international treaties. Petri Sirviö is the founder, composer and conductor of the group. The choir was founded in the late 1980s. It all started with surprise performances for unsuspecting audiences anywhere in the Oulu region: streets, community events, spectacular nature spots... Now Huutajat has become one of the most popular ambassadors of Finnish art. The choir feels equally at home in prestigious music festivals, museums of contemporary art, country fairs and underground clubs. Huutajat will take part in Barents Spektakel’s opening show and will perform in Samfunnshuset on 24. February. Photo: Timo Heikkala.
A Russian Engineering Theatre (AKHE) was founded in 1989 as an independent group, in terms of both style and form. They then developed into a theatre collective with a base of six members. They are considered cult icons within the independent art scene in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and they have toured extensively around the world.
AKHE aims to create a unique dream-like theatre of chaos and symbols, filled with countless absurd elements. They work with physical props to create a psychological play combining fantastical images and scenography. During the summer of 2022, AKHE emigrated from Russia due to their opposition against the war and the political situation in their home country. Today they are based in France. A Russian Engineering Theatre (AKHE)will take part in Barents Spektakel’s opening show on 24. February. Photo: Alexander Kazanskii.
Fridaymilk is a nomadic art institution with an interest in the complex relationship between humankind and the environment, as well as the indigenous and industrial heritage of the northern territories. For ten years, Fridaymilk has been forming the local northern art community and initiated various international collaborations and projects from a base in Murmansk, including the audiovisual art festival Inversia. With the war outbreak in Ukraine, the project team decided to close the Russian chapter and move into a nomadic mode.
At Barents Spektakel, Fridaymilk - represented by the producer Zhanna Guzenko and the artist and filmmaker Oleg Khadartsev - will present Nomadic Base at Terminal B in Kirkenes, which becomes the space for various artistic performances, activities, a place to meet, and the festival bar. Photo: Astrid Fadnes
Art group Yav is an experimental art collective in Russia, founded and led by Anastasia Vladychkina. Anastasia creates art in many different ways: through tagging, art-objects, invisible street-art, museum intervention, virtual and augmented reality, and immersive raves. Yav’s art is idea driven. Ideas and meanings are the foundation and aesthetics, style and context wrap around them.
Yav, represented by Anastasia, is developing its own mobile application - AR Hunter. The application is an aggregator of objects in augmented reality, making AR technology available to everyone during the festival.
The Home theatre programme for the Barents Spektakel 2023 is produced in cooperation with the Theatre of resistance, a platform uniting Russian theatre artists, spread all around Europe, who are standing against the war in Ukraine. These home theatre productions will be staged in private homes in Kirkenes, Tromsø, Bodø, Tornio/Haparanda, Berlin and Tumanyan.
Productions include: To the FSB Officers Who Attended My Events produced by K., The Propaganda Machine produced by D., Bye, Dad produced by Alexander Kudryashov, 80° produced by P.G., Corridors produced by Ekaterina Bespalova, Kalykhanka produced by Masha Sapizhak, Moja på Tvoja produced by Evgeny Goman, and Do not be afraid to be happy… produced by A. Konovalov, M.NArschevskii, V.Gorski. *Some authors prefer to be anonymous.
Kletterkollektiv is a professional industrial climber collective based in Berlin. They will collect an international team of world-class highline artists and riggers to deliver a breathtaking slackline performance and safety for the tightrope walker and audience for the Opening Show of Barents Spektakel 2023.
Nomadic Base is the transit zone of the airport, the uncomfortable cafe at the railway station, and those self-destructing chats in Telegram. The up-until-recently Murmansk-based Inversia festival has switched into a nomadic mode and will now invite people to their transit bar in the very centre of Kirkenes. Laboratories and workshops explore the outer space of the border town, evening performances transition to nightly experiments with sound and moving images, while morning sessions will help ground everyone who wants to calm their puzzle-headed thoughts and feelings for a while.
Contributors: Alexander Rishaug / Daria Boldyreva / Vera Dvale / 1999Q / Sergey Kostyrko / Maria Komarova / Puppet Masters / Iva Matiyas / Symphocat / SHOPLIFT / Gregor Pankert / Anna Prilutskaya / Rotwick Patoy / Philipp Guzeev / 3_a / Alex ArctiSoul / Boris Shershenkov /Marina Karpova