Lay of(f) the Land / Chicago


We are delighted to present the group exhibition Lay of(f) the Land: Nordic Narratives at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago. 

Exhibition text by curator Vasia Rigou:

"Profoundly influenced by Nordic culture, landscape, and even weather, the Art Alliance of the Arctic South (A-A-A-S) consists of eight artists whose work spans medium and scale—from intricate collages and life-size sculptural installations to evocative video pieces and design objects. Their synergy stems from a shared ethos: a deep-rooted connection to nature, and a place-specific gaze upon environmental and cultural discourses. With this comes an unraveling of identity—both personal and collective. The vast, almost otherworldly Nordic landscapes serve as both muse and narrative, embodying themes of colonization (literal and figurative,) ecological devastation, and the continual process of mourning and healing.

From their unique vantage points in peripheral locations, far removed from traditional art centers, the artists offer a distinct and intimate perspective, shedding light on worldwide socio-economic dilemmas and the imminent climate crisis. A heavy physical presence permeates their work, reflecting both past and present, tradition and contemporaneity. Vulnerability and empathy underscore their narratives, prompting deeper existential introspection as they urge viewers to ponder art's pivotal role amidst global shifts, raising imperative questions about our shared future.

In essence, the A-A-A-S encapsulates a delicate balance between the old and the new, the local and the global. Introducing Northern Scandinavia's next-wave artists to the United States, this group exhibition is set to challenge, provoke, and inspire, prompting us all to consider our collective path and the pressing need for change. Ultimately, it urges a look inward—to the roots and to the self."

When: Exhibit Opening with the Artists Friday, April 5, 6 p.m.; Exhibit Closes Sunday, June 16, 2024
Where: Swedish American Museum, Andersonville, Chicago

The exhibition is made possible thanks to support from the Nordic Culture Fund, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee, regional art funding from Norrbotten and Västerbotten, The Swedish Arts Council, Alfred Kordelin Foundation and Svenska Kulturfonden. We would also like to acknowledge the support from, and extend our gratitude to the Swedish American Museum and curator Vasia Rigou.

Image: Hanna Kanto for Teater Char Da Mar, Photo Julien Griffit