"This year we’re encouraging artists to work as much as they can outside the framework of the festival, to get off the beaten track and explore the periphery: the side alleys, the edgelands and those less obvious spots in and around the city, areas with the possibility of creating one-to-one encounters between the work and the individual." So says Nuart Festival founder and curator, Martyn Reed, who for 18 years, has been leading perhaps the most revered street art festival in the world. Through a critical academic program, and over 26 artists from around the world descending upon Stavanger, Norway from September 6—9, the festival will feature site-specific murals, installations, interventions, and temporary exhibitions.
Each year, the Nuart crew develops their programmin around a theme, and this year's is both ambitious and broad. The borrow the "title from Sun Ra’s Afrofuturist jazz classic Space is the Place, a knowing nod to Geographer Yi-Fu Tuan’s 'Space and Place' but also a recognition that for some, art is the only way to escape the violence of reality." There are so many ideas in taking from Sun Ra's masterpiece: being lost, being reborn, this idea of reestablishing one's self in both place and space, reclaiming what has been taken by the "status quo" if you will, in the case of how what Sun Ra's film addresses. We at Juxtapoz are also fascinated by the use of technology in this conversation, as Sun Ra philosophized about technology and art as means of escape.
The organizers go on to note: The festival is a call for street artists, urban interventionists, graffiti writers, academic punks, the marginalized, the dispossessed and out-and-out outsiders to come together and collectively support the development of a culture that Nuart believes still maintains revolutionary potential.
Tarkovsky’s “The Zone”, Burroughs’ “Interzone”, Shoard’s “Edgelands” and Hakim Bey’s “Totally Autonomous Zone” all inform this year’s theme but it’s perhaps the thoughts of French Botanist Gilles Clément, writing on nature and the garden, that can be taken as the strongest metaphor for the battles we face in creating and supporting new forms of unsanctioned public art practice, which underpins this year’s festival:
“Garden books don’t mention wild creatures, except how to fight against them, the vagabond has no place here. However, the garden is made from nature, and seeds recognise no boundaries between territory that is policed and space that is wild. For them, anywhere can be inhabited. The constant influx of mobile species represents a considerable force against which the struggle to garden is transformed into a war. There is no lack of arms. In the garden of my childhood, you had to obey the rules: follow implicitly the commercial instructions. We had to smoke out, spray, burn, weed, find every possible way of treating rebellious nature, so disastrously inventive.”
Skur 2 - a purpose-built art gallery on the idyllic Norwegian fjords - will host the festival’s indoor exhibition from Saturday 8 to Sunday 30 September while Tou Scene Centre for Contemporary Arts - a former 19th century brewery-cum-multidisciplinary arts venue – hosts the Nuart Plus International Street Art conference and public opening of the festival on Saturday 8 September at kl1300.
Nuart Festival 2018 artists: AFK (NO), Alice Pasquini (IT), Carrie Reichardt (UK), Conzo & Glöbel (UK), Elki (UK), Ememem (FR), Ener Konings (NO), Fintan Magee (AU), Helen Bur (UK), Jan Vormann (FR), Jazoo Yang (KR), Máret Ánne Sara (NO), Martin Whatson (NO), Milu Correch (AR), Miss.Printed (NO), Murmure (FR), Nafir (IR), Nimi & RH74 (NO), Nina Ghafari (IR/NO), Nipper (UK/NO), Octavi Serra (ES), Said Dokins (MX), Skurk (NO), Snik (UK), Tref (NO) and Vlady (IT).