Exhibition: Morten Torgersrud (NO)

Curator: Kjersti Solbakken/LIAF (NO)

13/04 - 26/05 2024

Morten Torgersrud

The exhibition Virvel (Vortex) by the artist Morten Torgersrud is a collaboration between Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF), the exhibition space NOUA and the Borderland Museum. The exhibition consists of a series of photographs from Morten Torgersruds immediate surroundings in Kirkenes alongside a selection of photographs by Ellisif Wessel from the period 1890–1920. The documentation of infrastructure and industry interleaves with photographs from the artist’s family album. The material is presented side-by-side with the artist’s own photographic works, and the juxtaposition sparks an interaction between the images that brings them into play. The abundance of images creates new, spontaneous and apparently random connections that transcend traditional division and classification.

As a self-taught photographer, the revolutionary communist socialite woman Ellisif Wessel documented the multicultural life on the border with Russia, in the midst of the progress of industrialization. When Morten Torgersrud places Wessel’s landscape photography side-by-side with found images and his own photographs, it’s as if the fluid transitions between family album, archival materials and the viewfinders of the two photographers create a new, overriding subject. Wessel’s photographs of waterfalls, rivers, trees, ice caps, coastlines and mountain ranges were taken in an era where industrialization gained serious momentum and defined a border area characterized by continuous negotiation and displacement.

The exhibition is part of Lofoten International Art Festival 2024 and forms a run-up to the festival opening in Svolvær on September 20, 2024.

Lofoten International Art Festival – LIAF – is Scandinavia’s longest-standing art biennale and presents works by local and international artists in a place-conscious context. This year’s festival, the 18th of its kind, is curated by Kjersti Solbakken. LIAF aims to be an open, experimental and accessible meeting-ground for artists, contributors, collaborators and spectators. LIAF has no permanent arena, but is staged in a different part of Lofoten each time. Since 2009, the festival has been run by Nordnorsk kunstnersenter. LIAF has its own artistic council.

The exhibition is supported by Arts and Culture Norway, regional project funds from Kunstsentrene i Norge, BKH and Bodø2024.


Morten Torgersrud lives and works in Kirkenes. He studied photography at the University of Brighton and the University of the Arts in Bergen. Torgersrud works based on his immediate surroundings in Kirkenes and with the local photographic history from the area. Torgersrud has, among other things, exhibited at Hordaland kunstsenter, Galleri Hippolyte in Helsinki, Murmansk Oblast Museum, Sami Centre for Contemporary Art in Karasjok, Treignac Projet in France, Nordnorsk kunstsenter, Preus Museum and the Kunstnerforbundet. Group exhibitions include the Art Museum in Norr, Kiruna; Lillehammer kunstmuseum; Fotogalleriet, Oslo and Konstnärhuset, Stockholm. In 2011, he was awarded BKH's photography prize for the text and slide work 'Circulating sites', which was shown at the Vårutstillingen at Fotogalleriet in Oslo. Torgersrud has published six books and has been purchased by the North Norwegian Art Museum, Preus Museum, KORO, and is represented in the Sami collections in Karasjok.

Kjersti Solbakken (b. 1984, Valnesfjord) is a freelance curator and writer based in Oslo, Norway. Solbakken is assigned as curator of Lofoten International Art Festival - LIAF 2024, organized by the North Norwegian Art Centre. Between 2017 and 2022 she was appointed director of Kunstnerforbundet, one of Scandinavia’s oldest artist-run exhibition spaces. She has been appointed director of Galleri Format and Fotogalleriet and has curated exhibitions for institutions such as Telemark Kunstsenter, Hordaland Kunstsenter and Astrup Fearnley Museet. In 2007 she co-founded the small press Feil forlag and from 2011-2013 she ran the non-profit project space Holodeck. Education includes an MA degree in curatorial studies at Bergen Academy of Art and Design and a BFA in Fine Arts at the Academy of Arts in Oslo, Norway. In 2022 she was granted the curator residency at International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) through OCA.

Exhibition opening
Saturday 16. April
13.00 - 16.00
NOUA Exhibition Space

Artist and curator tour
Saturday 16. April
14.00 - 14.30
NOUA Exhibition Space

Opening party
Saturday 16. April
19.00 - 23.00
NOUA Seminar room

NOUA Exhibition Space
Storgata 56, Bodø

Free admission