Presentation of Katarina Pirak Sikku's artwork Agálašvuođa giesaldagagat

The artist Katarina Pirak Sikku presents the artwork Agálašvuođa giesaldagagat at Carolina Rediviva in Uppsala, and meets the curator Natalie King for a conversation.

Artwork title: Agálašvuođa giesaladagat
Present: Artist Katarina Pirak Sikku and curator Natalie King
Sent from: The Map and Image Unit, Carolina Rediviva, Uppsala

The presentation of Katarina Pirak Sikku's artwork will take place at The Map and Image Unit, Carolina Rediviva, Uppsala, but due to current circumstances, the presentation will be on Zoom. The artwork is in one way, an end to many years of artistic work, based on the deep and difficult traces that racial biology has left in the Sami folk home.

The archive after the Institute for Racial Biology contains 117 photo albums, 49 of which contain photographs of Sami. The album comes from all over Sápmi and is divided by area. In the artwork, each of the 49 albums has been given a special cover, sewn with the utmost care based on the area's costume tradition. The material is cloth, tin wire, beads, ribbon and lace.

All photos in the album are anonymized. Under each photograph there is a number. In this way, the artist wants to give back the story to these black and white photographs. “I've seen you, I know your story,” is what she wants to say. The title Agálášvuođa giesaldagat can best be described as a creative act in order to highlight and forever wrap and clothe the vulnerable with their own stories and traditions.

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Katarina Pirak Sikku
Katarina Pirak Sikku lives and works in Jokkmokk. In 2005 she took a Master's degree in Fine Art at the Umeå Academy of the Arts. Already during her education, she asked the question, can grief be inherited? This has led to her long-standing research into race-biological material. In recent years, she has had artistic research grants so she has had the opportunity to work extensively in the extensive archive of the Institute of Racial Biology.

Her photos, drawings, installations and text-based heritage are taken from both her immediate family history and historical facts that have influenced her personal life. Sorrow and pain are emotions that her work evokes, but also humor and a great generosity. She strives to combine reflections about the political and social as well as the private and public areas of experience.

Natalie King
Natalie King is an Australian curator, editor and arts leader. She is an Enterprise Professor of Visual Arts, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. She is curator of the Aotearoa New Zealand Pavilion, 59th Venice Biennale 2022 with artist, Yuki Kihara.

In 2017, she was Curator of Tracey Moffatt: My Horizon, Australian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, accompanied by a publication (ed., Thames & Hudson). Natalie has curated exhibitions for the Singapore Art Museum; the National Museum of Art, Osaka; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

She is widely published in arts media including Flash Art International, Art and Australia and the ABC. She is a Series Editor with Thames & Hudson for Mini Monographs. She is President of the International Association of Art Critics, Australia. In 2018 she was a finalist in the AFR 100 Women of Influence. In the 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours, King was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for "service to the contemporary visual arts".

Photo of Natalie King by Giulia McGauran and photo of Katarina Katarina Pirak Sikku: private.

Presentation of Katarina Pirak Sikku's artwork Agálašvuođa giesaldagagat