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Kolonialen

The present exhibition is a gift from the North Atlantic artists to the old warehouse in Copenhagen, which is re-emerging - in a new age and new forms - in its old function as a cultural and economic meeting place for the four countries.

At the exploratory meeting in Tórshavn in 2000 with Vigdís Finnbogadóttir and Kaj Elkrog about the plans for a North Atlantic House in the magnificent old warehouse on the port of Copenhagen I was immediately seized by enthusiasm for the amazing idea, and there and then the seeds of the present exhibition were sown.

I contacted my artist colleagues Vignir Jóhannsson in Island and Buuti Pedersen in Greenland, who wholeheartedly shared my enthusiasm. And in a good and inspiring cooperation with the board for the North Atlantic House the idea of a large Icelandic-Greenlandic-Faroese contemporary exhibition began to take form.

Denmark has a more than hundred-year old tradition of artist societies, where artists unite in exhibition groups and invite other artists to join them in large group exhibitions. The present exhibition is inspired by this artist-controlled form of organisation. It is in other words not a curated exhibition, but one left entirely to the artists.

The co-operation group discussed several options and agreed on an exhibition with the young and the middle-aged generations from the three countries, which would enable us to show a broad selection of what happens on the art scene right now. The exhibition therefore takes place both outside on the wharf itself and inside the three-storeyed building, and we have chosen artists that work with different materials and techniques and have different artistic and personal standpoints, but at the same time represent the prevailing schools of art and art trends in their native countries.

Our intention has been to create an exhibition which is of high artistic quality and at the same time extravagant and exciting.

The several-hundred-year old history of the house as a centre for North Atlantic trade has significance for this exhibition. For centuries the natural production from the Danish possessions in the North Atlantic were imported and purchased here. This has produced commotion and excitement and not least an exchange of ideas and culture.

This historic background endows the opening exhibition with a unique dimension, which has been important for both the artists, the co-op group and the board of directors.

The exhibition is a result of a fruitful and rewarding cooperation of all involved parties. On the practical, the organisational as well as the creative level. In addition to arranging the exhibition itself, the cooperation group and the coordinator has procured and installed detachable partitions and lighting and found solutions to all the anticipated and unanticipated questions and problems which appear in a project like this.

But it has been fun. We have met all the fiery souls that have created this house and have enjoyed the privilege of being part of this pioneer work.

We want to take this opportunity to thank the participating artists and our Danish colleagues, who have assisted us in so many ways.

The co-op group has received invaluable support from the coordinators of the exhibition. First Rúna Hilduberg from 2000 and then Helgi Fossádal from 2002, both from Tórshavn. They have gathered all the threads and made everything work both practically and financially. And in addition the firm of Vasti in Klaksvík, which has produced the book and printed papers.

Birta Fríðbjørg Højgaard Berg has with her great knowledge participated in the whole process and is responsible for the design of the exhibition. Edison + Co, Copenhagen is responsible for the lighting design and the exhibition technology.

We would also like to thank the authorities in Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands in addition to the Nordic funds for financial support

Moreover a number of individuals and organisations have supported and contributed to the exhibition.

Finally we wish to express a very special and warm-hearted thank-you to Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, Kaj Elkrog, and Morten Meldgaard for having faith in us. We also owe a debt of gratitude to Karin Elsubudóttir and Anna Bogadóttir from the administration and to the rest of the board.

On behalf of the cooperation group
Buuti Pedersen
Vignir Jóhannsson
and myself Astri Luihn

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