Nordic Pavilion, 59th International Art Exhibition. La Biennale di Venezia
The Sámi Pavilion by Katya García-Antón
Giardini della Biennale, Venezia
April 23 – November 27, 2022
In a historic first, the Nordic Pavilion in Venice is transforming into ‘The Sámi Pavilion’, with a project commissioned by the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) featuring the Sámi artists Pauliina Feodoroff, Máret Ánne Sara, and Anders Sunna during the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2022. This transformation of the Nordic Pavilion celebrates the art and sovereignty of the Indigenous Sámi people, whose nation extends across the Nordic countries and into the Kola Peninsula in Russia.
This project – the official Nordic contribution to Biennale Arte 2022 – comes at a critical time in the history of the Nordic region – where Truth and Reconciliation Commissions addressing Nordic colonialism have started in Norway and Finland and are in discussion in Sweden; when the Sámi are making restitution claims for their art and artifacts and at a time when the Arctic is experiencing unprecedented consequences of the climate crisis.
‘The Sámi Pavilion‘ exhibition is curated by a group consisting of Sámi scholar Liisa-Rávná Finbog, OCA’s director and chief curator Katya García-Antón, and Sámi land guardian Beaska Niillas; curatorial assistants: Liv Brissach ( February 2020 – March 2022), Raisa Porsanger (February 2020 – December 2021) and Martina Petrelli ( February 2022 – May 2022). To mark this historic event, “The Sámi Pavilion” will be inaugurated on 21 April 2022, by Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway and the Presidents of the Sámi Parliaments in Norway, Sweden, and Finland.
By appointing the artists Feodoroff, Sara, and Sunna to create a project that transforms the pavilion, OCA Norway – the commissioner of the Nordic Pavilion for the Biennale Arte 2022 – aims to draw attention to the excellence of these Sámi artists, as well as the international relevance of their art and experiences.