We are very pleased to officially announce the collaboration between Salangen Biennale and If Paradise Is Half As Nice (IPIHAN) for organizing the temporary outdoor exhibition of contemporary art at the Salangsverket in Salangen, northern Norway. Salangen Biennale 2023 will be the second coming of the exhibition in the ruins of the abandoned iron mill from early 1900. After an open call for curators by the Salangen Biennale organisation, the proposal of If Paradise Is Half As Nice was considered a new and exciting way of approaching the project.
If Paradise Is Half As Nice is a project run by a group of artists and has the shape of a self-organised artist-in-residence program. During the Salangen Biennale 2023, fourteen artists (seven If Paradise Is Half As Nice artists and seven guest artists (from Norway and/or from or with roots in Northern Norway) and two historians (one If Paradise Is Half As Nice historian and one guest historian) will live, work and exhibit for five weeks at the Salangsverket.
The location Salangsverket is an abandoned iron mill which was running for a short period from 1907–1912. The ruins of this industry are placed from the mountain Storhaugen, 656 meters above sea level, down to the shoreline. The total area — following the route from where the iron ore was taken out of the mountain to the processing and shipping out of Salangen — is about 10km long and we have several spots with ruins, planned to use as exhibition spaces for Salangen Biennale 2023.
If Paradise Is Half As Nice is an art initiative that has been running since 2012 and Salangen Biennale 2023 will be the thirteenth edition. The co-operation with Salangen Biennale will be a new chapter in the history of the project, in both location and dimensjon. The location will be Salangsverket for five weeks. During this period the participants will build a base-camp, work on their individual art works and prepare the final show of results. Intensively working and living together is the core of artistic production and social community. To open up the whole process of this for the audience, there will be a program with lectures, visits, exhibitions, movie screenings and other events during the five weeks. After the working period, the final results will be shown on location. Here we expect works that are in any way inspired by what the factory and its surroundings have to offer. With many of them being temporarily site specific installations.
From left to right: Michiel Jansen (If Paradise Is Half As Nice), Vidar Laksfors, Markus Richter, Semla Köchling (Salangen Biennale), Ties Ten Bosch (If Paradise Is Half As Nice), Sabrina van der Ley (Sør-Tromp Museum) in front of one of the ruins from Salangsverket, Kraftsentralen.
The curator selection by the Salangen Biennale took place in August 2022 and recently two members of If Paradise Is Half As Nice (Michiel Jansen and Ties Ten Bosch) traveled to Salangen to scout for locations and meet up with the team of Salangen Biennale. After some long and exciting days, the working on new ideas on how to shape the Salangen Biennale 2023 is rolling. If Paradise Is Half As Nice is in full swing to make a final selection of seven guest artists and one art historian.
If Paradise Is Half As Nice and Salangen Biennale will be at the Salangsverket from June 19th until July 23th 2023, during which we will host several events that will be open to the public. From July 21st until July 23rd the main event and final exhibition with the outcome of the project period will be shown at the ruins of Salangsverket. We will have guided tours and other activities during this weekend, also in cooperation with local contributors, based in Salangen and the region.
If Paradise Is Half As Nice