WORK         ︎         ABOUT
FORENING FOR HANDLINGSROM
Artist collective based in Tromsø, Norway
2019-ongoing
Forening for handlingsrom is an artists’ collective based in Tromsø, Norway. The collective consists of 9 artists who came together through a shared commitment to process-based art, collaboration and community.  

In August 2020 Forening For Handlingsrom were invited to a take-over of a gallery in Tromsø Kunstforening, and responded by creating a space which we felt to be lacking - for ourselves, for TKF and for Tromsø at large - a space for meeting, for conversing, for improvisation and spontaneity, for working, for being, and for art. We framed the moment of creation, the act of making, as being a site for coming together, and the act of creating space together as an act of political empowerment. Over the course of the 16 days, we held 12 events, including a flea market, after-work pub and alcohol-free cocktail bar, conversation cafe, a concert and workshops, to which (including the exhibition) there were over 600 visitors of all ages.

In 2019 the group also worked together in the collective project Naust og Fiskemottak, a non-hierarchical, process-based art project situated in public space. Ownership of development, budget, and future was taken by everyone through regular meetings, actions, critique and consensus decision making. The project ran across a period of 6 weeks, a variety of process-based artistic activity spanning this period (which included multiple collective meetings each week), culminating in a final week of vibrant activity. The discursive and collaborative framework which came out of this laid the foundation for how the collective Forening For Handlingsrom would practice and produce together in future.

The work of Forening For Handlingsrom is intrisically collaborative, highlights personal and collective agency, conversation and flux. The lines between curation and art are actively blurred, maintaining a focus on producing space to gather, to meet, to act and to create, as a means of empowerment and political and artistic development.

We operate on a non-hierarchical basis, engaging a loose form of consensus decision making, and place conversation and honest critique highly in our collaboration. We work to establish individual and collective agency within our projects, trying to create space for ourselves, artwork, collaborators and audience to act with agency, reflection and responsibility. We take what we are doing seriously, but not ourselves. We want to riff, research, learn, make and have fun. We believe in presence being integral, to meet with others, and stand for what we do, and we try to operate with what we already have or is already deemed ‘unwanted’ as an act of creative pragmatism, and to limit our environmental trace.

The artists who make up the collective have a diverse span of experience, practices, knowledge, and ages, allowing a diversity in capacity, skill, approach, energy and critical perspectives. The artists all have a commitment to and share a deep interest in working with self organisation and artist-run initiatives, creating spaces and opportunities for artists and audiences to come together.  

Forening For Handlingsrom is made up of: Ruth Aitken, Thor Birkedal, Liv Bangsund, Andrea Conradsen, Steinar Hauge, Robert Julian B. Hvistendahl, Malin Lin Nordström, Anna Näumann, & Rurik Sjösten.