Rehearsing Hospitalities: Conflicting Relations


Artists: Matti Aikio, Emily Johnson, Ali Rosa-Salas, S.J Norman, Ana Beatriz Sepúlveda, Elina Waage Mikalsen, Karoline Trollvik, Wanda Nanibush

Conflicting Relations brings forward Indigenous perspectives on matters of hospitality—and the various forms of inhospitality that Sámi peoples in particular experience. This event initiates a dialogue with artist Matti Aikio, the 2022–2023 Vera List Center Sámi Fellow. The Fellowship is a collaboration between the Vera List Center, Frame and the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York.

The day-long public programme on Saturday 11 March is divided into two sessions. The first session reflects on diverse modes of hospitality and its attendant politics among contemporary art institutions. Pairs of speakers include choreographer Emily Johnson with Ali Rosa-Salas (Henry Street Settlement), artist S.J Norman with Ana Beatriz Sepúlveda (Performance Space) and artist Elina Waage Mikalsen with Karoline Trollvik (Office for Contemporary Art Norway). Pairs of artists and host institutions discuss how they redefine practices, understandings, and engagements between them.

In the second session, Sámi artist Matti Aikio’s practice is presented in conversation with Anishinaabe curator, artist, and educator Wanda Nanibush (Art Gallery of Ontario). Aikio’s practice considers the ongoing conflict between the Sámi culture and the Nordic nation-states’ use of natural resources. By considering Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination, Matti Aikio expands on his research on settler-colonial attempts at claiming Indigenous identity in Finland.

Rehearsing Hospitalities 2023 is part of the EU-funded project Islands of Kinship: A Collective Manual for Sustainable and Inclusive Art Institutions.