When I first got accepted into this summer course I knew quite littler about Lesvos. My first thought was the refugee crisis and its reputation in the news and media, especially the Moria camp. I also remember my teacher in 2016 travelled to Moria to help as a volunteer during the Christmas holiday. After I started this course I began to research the island and talk about it with friends and family.
There was an outdoor art exhibition at my university (maybe some of the teachers and students at UiA also visited this) that consisted of many different types of art installations- from abstract, functional and pretty to purchasable, silly and political art. This was an art collective in Kristiansand that tried to show the many different sides of art and what it could be. The piece that fascinated me the most was about the refugee crisis in southern Europe. It was a slushie bar where you could order free slushies. The counter surrounding the person giving out slushies was a big pool filled with different boats and small people with life jackets and floating rings. The drink was placed in floating cup holders and sent away to you. At the same time, you were asked if you wanted to save a refugee. I was a little put out at first, but it made me really think about me in this world full of social and political challenges and how art can bring up these questions in so many various ways.
I found the pictures from UiA’s article about the event here: https://www.uia.no/en/news/80-participants-gather-for-international-art-symposium-at-uia
Hi Katrine, thank you for sharing this example of Pelle Brage’s recent artwork! I suspect you got just as puzzled as the artist intended… The aspect of participation, coupled with the silly / funny / serious combo, kind of forces us not just to observe but to try to find out how to navigate the situation. (I stood back and avoided the slushie altogether, cowardly just observing)