”Memories of the North” by S-U-B. Galleri S12 in Bergen, Norway

1 maj, 2016 01:16

Memories of the North is an exhibition of ongoing investigations into the theme of Nordic cultural identity, souvenirs and nation branding – curated by art/craft/design-collective S-U-B. The first venue of the exhibition tour was Galleri S12 in Bergen, Norway in April 2008.

How well do our existing national symbols, souvenirs and cultural icons, represent our diverse contemporary societies? What does it mean to travel and what is a souvenir? How can we craft alternatives to those currently offered by the travel and souvenir industries? The assembled artists are engaged in a long term investigation of these questions, that continues as the exhibition travels to new venues in the Nordic countries.

In February 2007 the Scandinavian art/craft/design-collective S-U-B (Sissi Westerberg and Benjamin Slotterøy ) invited four other artist groups from Denmark, Finland and Norway to a meeting in Stockholm, a seminar in Rovaniemi and a two week artist residency at Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter in Lofoten (”Souvenirs”), to provide a foundation for the participants and a starting point for research. Three individual artists have also been invited to join the project that currently hosts 16 artists.

The initial concept was to invite socially-engaged artists and artist collectives to use their diverse practices to explore the project themes of Nordic cultural identity, souvenirs, tourism and nation branding. Most of the artists have responded to this request by creating participatory projects that engage local communities in a search for ways to create ”truer” representations of people and places. These projects question, acknowledge and re-create symbols and stories by inviting the public to engage in different forms of aesthetic dialogue: workshops, participatory interventions, performances and an exhibition that displays the results of these activities. The project grows as the participants engage other artists and local communities along the way.

Program: PLAKAT S12 program

Poster: Plakat S12 bilder


The Bergen-based artist-collective Temp – the members have backgrounds in visual art and craft, often working in the medium of installation and ceramic sculpture. Temp also works as a team of curators. For two years the group ran a gallery/project room in Bergen. Galleri Temp was a new platform for art projects and exhibitions, dedicated to young art and a meeting point for the most current movements in Scandinavian art, craft and design. Temps project investigates and collect memories and stories connected to travelling and to the idea of another place. ”We want to use the souvenir-plate as a point of departure to investigate both the local/global and private/public context of the souvenir”. One of the most typical souvenir forms, and perhaps the most widespread, is the souvenir plate. Since the 19th century in Northern Europe, when some argue tourism began, porcelain/bone china plates and cups could be found with the inscription: ”Memory from…”, ”Souvenir from…”, accompanied by a simple flower decoration and later a picture or drawing of the sight in question.

Daniel Peltz

”2,96 cm Movement” – workshop with Daniel Peltz (US). Join this growing “Micro-Tourism-Movement” by helping to move Bergen 2,96 cm to the west.

Daniel Peltz is a U.S. based multimedia artist working primarily with film and video technologies. Daniel’s background and continued interest in anthropological methods has informed his media works which are exhibited as public interventions, theatrical set pieces, live performances and installations. Daniel lives in Pawtucket, RI and is an Assistant Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design in the Department of Film/Animation/Video.

Benjamin Slotterøy / S-U-B

Slotterøy is collecting knitted socks from the inhabitants in Bergen to create an artwork that the community has contributed to, and therefore also is a part of. Visitors can contribute to the design of the “sock-sculpture” by bringing their socks to the gallery. They can also influence the actual shape of the body of work, by possibly sowing their socks on to it. Together we hope to create one big piece of souvenir – a memory from all the people involved in the project. We urge all inhabitants in Bergen to submit their leftover socks to Galleri s12!

Info:S12 Invitasjonskort A5

My Flag by S-U-B

What flag would you want to represent you? This question is posed by S-U-B to the public, giving them a chance to design their own flag. “We want to give the participants a chance to define them selves in colour and form and to be proud of who they are”. By transforming the drawings into “real flags”, S-U-B wants to create a different representation of these people that is apart from nationality. “My Flag” remains as an interactive workspace trough out the week, were the visitors can sit down and make a drawing of their flag. The sewing of the flags will be done at the spot by S-U-B and volunteers.

The Stockholm based art/craft/design collective S-U-B, who are the initiators of the Souvenir project. The group, formed in 2003, represents a variety of artistic expressions ranging from jewellery, glass and ceramics to sculpture and performance, exhibiting individual works as well as collaborative projects. Usually the projects are carried out in a local context, inviting other artists as well as locals to take part in the creative process in different ways, aiming to develop a more interactive and democratic design process.


Lotte Sloterøy

Lotte Slotterøy is an artist based in Lurøy/Norway. She is working in various fields such as expressionistic painting, installation and performance. Lotte creates her own surrealistic fantasy world – connotations to social relations, comic and politics, are often settings in her work. Lotte Slotterøy has participated in numerous exhibitions in Scandinavia and in the UK. ”One of the most popular souvenirs in Norway is a mix of a terrifying monster and a sentimental creature, more known as the troll. Trolls exist in people’s fantasy and dreams through inherited superstitions. They are passed on continuously by a rich storytelling tradition through fairytales and some actually think they exist.  In 2006 Slotterøy created her own troll through knitting. The troll costume is like an empty shell that comes to life when people put it on. The participants may also continue knitting on the troll’s tale in the exhibition-space and have a photograph taken as a memory / souvenir of the event”. More info here:


Eemil Karila & Kalle Lampela make-up the Rovaniemi based artist group C.S.C.A.A. (Contemporary Santa Claus Artist Association), working in various fields of art and theory with exhibitions and lectures. Since the formation of the group in 2003, C.S.C.A.A. has been analyzing cultural identity and tourism and its effects on cultural development in Lapland. Lately C.S.C.A.A. has been engaged in bringing people together by organizing social events that aim to overcome gaps formed by bureaucracy.

The making of a fake leather sofa…


Moving Places, Moving Objects

With the souvenir-plate and souvenir aesthetics as a point of departure, the Bergen based art group Temp, are investigating and collecting memories and stories. Souvenir aesthetics are traditionally idealised, coarse, and generalised, far from any connection with the place of origin or the ‘authentic experience’. Connected to travelling this idea of ‘another place’ is an important part of building (national) identity.The plates are a mixture of manipulated readymade souvenirs and personal memory plates. At the meeting-point of these categories, we hope to show the local/global and private/public qualities of the souvenir and how we bring our own reflections with us when we travel.As a backdrop for the project, Temp has created a wall painting/wallpaper. The beach and the palm trees are as much a part of Norwegian contemporary identity as fjords and farms. They are also symbols of the Norwegian invented place: ‘Syden’ (’The South’), which is an idealised and generalized name for a beach holiday somewhere south. Every Norwegian will know exactly what and where you mean when you use this expression. So, is this a more real, authentic representation of our national identity than an object made in China, in slightly off colors, depicting people in national costumes saying ‘Memory from Norway’?Moving places Moving objects is exploring this landscape of the private and public identity through objects we invent as meaningful: the souvenir. And the souvenir works, doesn’t it?


“Nordic Adventures” – excursion in the harbour of Bergen with RACA. Trips set off from Fisketorget. Book your free travel at Gallery S12

Pulsk Ravn og Johan Carlsson combine two different backgrounds –architecture and graphic design. They work across these disciplines both as a group and in collaboration with others in order to develop new ways of looking at design, architecture and art. Most of RACA’s projects take place in the public realm, exploring social codes and cultural values in connection to social systems and everyday situations.

Eva Brownies

”Nordic Heavy Metal Intervention – “Golden Fish – Part II”

Karoliina Taipale (visual artist and curator), Maria Hakkarainen (visual artist, comic drawer, musician and dj) and Eliza Karmasalo (visual artist and graphic designer) are part of the Helsinki based Eva Brownies – artist collective. They work individually and as a group and have organized group exhibitions such as – Behind The Mascara (2006) and Behind the Mustache (2008), investigating differences and similarities between genders, aiming to study and strengthen identities of women and men.

Nils Viga Hausken – Public Embroidery

Nils Viga Hausken is an artist based in Copenhagen, exploring contemporary cultural and social values through the use of embroidery. The challenging and time-consuming art of cross-stitching is juxtaposed with modern media such as mobile phone text messages. Hausken has participated in numerous exhibitions in Denmark, Norway and internationally.

For more infornation about Memories of the North visit:

Program: PLAKAT S12 program

Poster: Plakat S12 bilder

Brokeback Lofoten / Benjamin Slotterøy