SALT – A culture explosion in Norway

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 12th August 2015
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    Nordophile is proud to present SALT, an extensive and varied programme of art and culture throughout August, with an all Norwegian list of artists.     The artists Edvine Larssen, HC Gilje and Caroline Bergvall will each present a commissioned art installation on the beach. You can experience  Jenny Hval, Mari Boine and Bjørn Eidsvåg play concerts in breathtaking […]

    Nordophile is proud to present SALT, an extensive and varied programme of art and culture throughout August, with an all Norwegian list of artists.




    The artists Edvine Larssen, HC Gilje and Caroline Bergvall will each present a commissioned art installation on the beach. You can experience  Jenny Hval, Mari Boine and Bjørn Eidsvåg play concerts in breathtaking surroundings, and let yourself be seduced by the DJ concept Solitude Sessions. SALT introduces a series of concerts with young Norwegian talents. They will give intimate solo concerts in the atmospheric Cafe Naustet and Agora; Marthe como el planeta, Ingeborg Oktober, Nagel and Sophie Kvam, Fredrik William Olsen, Morten Myklebust and Psyence Fiction.

    Every Saturday there will be sauna in one of the world’s largest saunas with panoramic view!



    Marte Antonsen

    For thousands of years people have followed the movement of animals and the seasonal rhythms in the Arctic landscape. Footprints are few. SALT is inspired by and moves in that same Arctic landscape with care and respect“.

    SALT begins its journey on an Arctic beach on the mountainous island Sandhornøy. Sandhornøy is in Gildeskål municipality in Northern Norway, just south of Bodø. SALT opened in August 2014 and will stay at Sandhornøy until 2016. Over the coming years, SALT will travel across the northernmost part of our planet, making a home in Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Ireland, Scotland, Spitsbergen, Alaska and Russia.

    SALT consists of several structures taking their form from the fiskehjelle (fish rack), a strong symbol of the livelihoods of the people of the north. Within these simple and portable structures, the audience is invited in to experience extraordinary art projects, concerts, theatre, readings and local food cultures.

    The world is watching the Arctic. It is estimated to hold more than twenty percent of the world’s currently unexploited oil reserves; it is the home of many of the world’s most vulnerable environments. Climate change is increasingly visible, the rate of change exceeding that of any other part of the world. What will happen as ever larger areas become ice-free, with nations and global corporations pushing for the extraction of oil and minerals?



    Martn Losvik

    Mankind has inhabited the Arctic landscape for ten thousand years. Arctic nomads wandered with the ice, taking advantage of available resources from coastal areas and a mountainous countryside. Their concern for and close relationship to nature means that archaeologists are able to find few remnants of their culture. This is the essence of the Arctic indigenous people’s philosophy and the guideline for SALT’s eight year long journey, which will be a cultural platform focusing on our common future, lifestyle and on environment and climate changes.

    Northern Norway has been the uninterrupted abode of more people than anywhere else in the Arctic region. This has been possible due to the abundance of fish at the outskirts of the Gulf Stream, as well as the inventiveness and stubbornness of its inhabitants. To endure long winters, all kinds of food preservation methods had to be invented. Two of the most successful were the salting and drying of fish on rocks (clipfish) and the drying of fish on fiskehjell constructions – the fish rack (stockfish). For thousands of years, such fish racks have been seen along the northern coast, on exposed headlands and small islands, where winds are strong and fish dries fast. Today, in many places, these are in the process of being torn down and forgotten.



    Martn Losvik

    The fish rack has a form that reflects the coastal mountains. It has solid, strong poles that allow gusts of wind to slip through; it is a steep, slender and tall structure with an inherent Arctic flexibility; its lightness effectively enables it to be erected and taken down in a day in case people need to move along the coast. Since the poles float, they can also be dragged behind a boat when people look for new land, new seas and a new life. SALT has an equally flexible and fundamental function, albeit using art as the primary means of support.


    Featured artists


    Edvine Larssen

    For her new work at SALT Looking Close. Looking Far.Larssen will be in close dialogue with the people, history and places at Sandhornøy and the surrounding islands in Nordland over a period of one year. The first part of the work titled Pust is presented in the Pyramid, and offer a new way to navigate and experience the existing site at SALT. The installation was premiered Saturday 8 August, and involved a conversation on the artist’s next project Looking Close. Looking Far. with curator Helga-Marie Nordby og Edvine Larssen. Local people who would like to contact the artist are very welcome to email the artist: hedvine[a]

    Entitled PUST (‘BREATH’ when translated to English), the work features a bright neon coloured textile installation, similar to the form of a curtain or large boat sail, which will cover one end of the largest of the wooden pyramid structures that is housed on the beach at SALT, acting as a highlight or marker in the landscape. The theatrical curtain, made from a transparent and lightweight fabric, will be visible from the sea and will live within the area’s striking scenery, evolving with the changeable weather conditions and moving with the wind and rain.

    At intervals during the project, the curtain will become a backdrop for the ongoing project Looking Close. Looking Far. and be raised up to mark the next stage of the project’s evolution.

    Since 2013 Larssen has been a Research fellow in the Norwegian Programme for artistic research at the Art Academy in Trondheim, NTNU with the project: Theatrical, but not theatre. Architectonic, but not architecture. Sculptural, but not sculpture. In this research project Larssen is using the Japanese concept [Ma], dealing with different layers of time and space, as a tool or method for creating art works in-between different fields. Her work for SALT is part of this research.

    Gunnar Holmstad
    HC GILJE is a Norwegian artist working with light, sound, architecture and space. SALT has commissioned Gilje to create a light motion installation for the fish rack structure, the Pyramid.

    Since 2006 Gilje has worked on a long-term project he has called Conversations with Spaces. It incorporates elements from his earlier practice: exploration of physical spaces in his videos, creation of spaces in his stage work and improvisation from his live work.

    This project explores, mainly through large-scale installations, perception of change and transformation in the meeting between the ephemeral media of light, projection, sound and motion with physical structures.

    Gilje aims to activate spaces and structures that are experienced through our bodies, seeing the body as the link between our mind and the physical world. He links perception of time and space to motion as it passes through spaces, objects, bodies and landscapes.

    Caroline Bergvall

    Caroline Bergvall is a French-Norwegian writer and artist working across media, languages and art-forms, based in London since 1989. Her projects alternate between installations, live performances, sound and audioworks, books and printed texts, as well as net-based pieces.

    On 23 August 2015, at 9am in the morning, Bergvall will present Watchman (68°12’N), a special time and site-specific performance at SALT, which invites the audience to call in the day as a communal experience.

    Watchman (68°12’N) is part of Bergvall’s ongoing work Raga Dawn, a sunrise vocal performance performed outdoors from the last hours of night until the very early morning during the Summer months, to accompany and celebrate the rising of day.

    From May – September 2016, Bergvall will perform Raga Dawn as a travelling trajectory at some 10 European sites of varying latitudes. The piece changes according to the length of the sunrise, from twilight to the first rays of the sun. The composition is an open and changing cycle of time-specific vocal and instrumental pieces, written for two voices (spoken and sung).


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    Photo Tom Martin

    Watchman (68°12’N) will be performed on the beach at SALT, from the very early hours of the morning until the sun reaches over the mountain and down to the beach. Celebrating the rise of day, the piece releases serenity and a spirit of hope, collective openness and amorous connectedness. It explores sounds and structures from mantra morning traditions to create vibratory connections between the two live voices and the very sparse frequency-based sound design. Passing birds’ songs, solar winds and meteoric showers are invited into the open composition.

    The title Watchman (68°12’N) is loosely inspired by the early medieval European morning poetry, the “alba”, in which secret passionate lovers are warned by the watchman, their accomplice, that dawn is calling in and that they soon need to separate.

    Here, the collective spirit of the performance also calls up the large rhythmic seasonal and diurnal patterns that re-connect beings to their bodies, to their surroundings.

    Artistic team:

    Lead artist: Caroline Bergvall
    Singing voice: Anouk Molendijk
    Sound design: David Scrufari
    Dramaturgy: Michèle Pralong

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    Gunnar Holmstad


    Music programme

    SALT presents a series of concerts with young Norwegian talents. They will give intimate solo concerts in the atmospheric Cafe Naustet and Agora; Marthe como el planeta, Ingeborg Oktober, Nagel and Sophie Kvam, Fredrik William Olsen, Silje Hansen, Psyence fiction and Lamark.



    Martin Losvik

    Outdoor stage – Gildehallen

    Experience Mari Boine and a family concert with Bjørn Eidsvåg. In Agora amphi, with a panoramic view to the beach, sea and sky, Jenny Hval will perform. SALT also introduces the concept “Solitude Sessions”.


    Martin Losvik

    Every Saturday 10pm – 1am the outdoor stage Gildehallen, will hold different DJ’s all giving different interpretations of SALT and the beach which it is situated.

    The DJs are Snasen, DJ Strangefruit, Ådne Meisfjord (120Days/ Serena Maneesh) and DJ Karima.

    Head to to find out more

    All photos provided by

    Featured image; Martin Losvik