A bit of backstory to contextualize the artists included in Documenta:
“Sameparagrafen – the Sámi paragraph – was included in the Norwegian Constitution in April 21, 1988. It was not there from the start (1814), but came in after the Sámi people had been struggling since the 1970s for recognition of the right to have land. This is especially connected to the reindeer herding Sámi communities who are nomadic and who are affected if the government, for instance builds high voltage power lines through an area where the reindeer normally passes because the reindeer won´t pass under power lines, forcing the whole herd to walk around the power line structures. The question of Sámi rights broke through into broader Norwegian consciousness in a bigger way with the Alta Dam Controversy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alta_controversy. The Sámi parliament in Norway was established in 1989.The small town of Maze was also where artists got together, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Synnøve Persen, and more, to form the Sámi Artist Group in 1978.” Correspondence with André Gali, January 19, 2018.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_assembly_of_1917. Retrieved January 18, 2018
“The RiddoDuottarMuseat opened in 1972 as the first Sámi museum in Norway and at some point, they started working to establish a Sámi National Museum (which still has not come into existence). The RDM started seriously collecting art works in 1979, and have done so since, still without a museum dedicated to art. Today, the RDM museum consists of four museums and an art collection situated in different towns in Western Finnmark.” Correspondence with André Gali, January 19, 2018.
For more information, see http://icraftitravellight.com/. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
The exhibition I Craft, I Travel Light, a collaborative project between the Norwegian Association for Art and Crafts and Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum is organized by Curator Charis Gullickson and Project Manager Sigrid Høyforsslett Bjørbæk, and travelled to museums in Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, Tromsø and Karasjok.
The exhibition There Is No, the core of the fictitious Sámi art museum was presented as a touring exhibition at Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum as part of the fiction, as an exhibition on loan from the Sámi Dáiddamuse. See https://www.nnkm.no/en/news/s%C3%A1mi-d%C3%A1iddamusea-dead-long-live-s%C3%A1mi-d%C3%A1iddamusea, Retrieved January 23, 2018
To learn more about public art on the campus of the University of Tromsø, see https://publicartnorway.org/tromsoguide/. Retrieved January 23, 2018. Professor Aamold gave us a tour of the Sámi art collection on the University campus, which includes works by Iver Jåks, John Savio, and a copy of Britta Marakatt-Labba’s History (the original was on loan to Documenta). To learn more about Professor Aamold’s research, visit, https://uit.no/prosjekter/prosjekt?p_document_id=300799
The Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum has a staff of 10.
Incidentally, the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum’s collection, which had been in storage during Sámi Dáiddamusea, reopened on 22 October 2017 in a new form. It is now presented thematically (divided into People, Places and Stories) and not chronologically. Kjetil Rydland, the museum’s communication consultant, in email to Benjamin Lignel, January 2018
«Indigenous attempts to reclaim land language, knowledge and sovereignty have usually involved contested accounts of the past by colonizers and colonized.These have occurred in the courts, before various commissions, tribunals and official enquiries , in the media, in Parliament, in bars and on talkback radio. In these situations contested histories do not exist in the same cultural framework as they do when tribal or clan histories, for example, are being debated within the indigenous community itself. They are not simply struggles over ‘facts’ and ‘truth’; the rules by which these struggles take place are never clear (other than that w e as the indigenous community know they are going to be stacked against us) ; and we are not the final arbiters of what really counts as the truth.» Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies, Research and Indigenous-peoples (Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 1999) 33-34