ERROR: gender
2021 - Harstad

Format: Art installation with live performances and art exhibitions
Group installation/performance at Arctic Arts Festival in Harstad, Northern Norway
Project idea: Mari Bø and Íris Stéfanía Skúladóttír 
Contributing artists: Mari Bø, Íris Stéfanía Skúladóttír, Eva Svaneblom, Josefin Winther, Ingvill Fossheim, Jóhanna Vala Höskuldsdóttir, Sigríður Eir Zophoníasardóttir, Alma Bø, Åsne Storli, Karianne Andreassen, Rósa María Óskarsdóttir, Mali Galaaen Røsseth

Photo: Jamie M. Bivard, Sebastian Wilches, Renate Jensen and Lise Marie Mathisen

ERROR: gender is an art installation with live performances. As an audience you are welcomed into our Hub; a safe and tactile space where you can explore art, talk about what you are seeing, or just hang around and enjoy the atmosphere. 
 

About the project

ERROR: gender opened in 2021 at the Arctic Arts Festival in Harstad in Northern Norway, it was situated in the middle of the city centre and was open from 14-21 for the entire seven days of the festival, with 18 happenings throughout the week. The goal of the project was to use art as a way of briding gaps in conversations about gender, sex, bodies and sexuality. We had several strategies for reaching out to the audience, and artistic experiences was one of the foremost strategies we used. The main arena of the project is a dome shaped tent that we refer to as the Hub, constructed by Maxim Narbrough in collaboration with scenographer Ingvill Fossheim in Finland.

 

Situated in the middle of the city square, the Hub quickly became part of the public space in Harstad and a natural place to drop by during an outing in the city. We had many visitors dropping by to explore the space, both babies, families with young children, older people and youths, and we had several interesting conversations through the week. The placement of ERROR: gender in the middle of the city created an intimate and closed space within the public space, where covnersations and thoughts about topics that might be considered ”taboo” were welcomed. 


Conversation starters 

There were two performers in the Hub at any given time, who could greet visitors, tell them about the project and answer questions. There were also covnersational cards with facts, questions or thought provoking information about gender, bodies and sexuality. These were places throughout the space and were well used by the people visiting ERROR: gender. The ”Silent Disco Lectures” were also gered towards creating discussion and coversations about art, here we had a 20-30 minutes artist talk followed by 15 minutes of silent disco. The format worked really well, and facilitated several interesting discussions with the audience. Some days we taught how to fold an origami vulva, an activity that turned out to be a great conversation starter. 
 

Happenings 

There were 18 different happenings throughout the week, with 3 happenings that were only accessible online. In addition to these, we had different exhibitions every day. Some one the things you could experience in the exhibitions were audio works, video works, photographs, collectible cards or literary excerpts. Some days we had specific themes; the opening day had menstruation as a theme (”You had an orgasm and we forgot to throw you a party”), and the closing day had orgasms as a theme. 
 

Link to performance ”Bodies meet matter”

Link to video about ”Story Circle”  

Link to workshop performance ”Linedance With Me”

Supported by
- 2021 Residency at Dansearena Nord with project funding
- 2021 Residency at Figurteatret i Nordland with project funding
- 2020 KORO

- 2020 Norsk Kulturråd, Fri Scenekunst Dans 

- 2020 Fond for lyd og bilde 

- 2020 Norsk Kulturråd, Norsk-Islandsk Kultursamarbeid 

Has played: 

- 2021 Arctic Arts festival, Harstad, Norway