WORK         ︎         ABOUT
Sound piece and publication (2018)
An attempt to uncover how language is used to construct a common symbolic reality, maintain a community and build a representation of shared beliefs.

Russenorsk is an extinct trading language that only existed in
Northern Norway and the Barents region for 150 years during the Pomor trade. The language consisted of 200 words, with very simplified grammar. Which words were so indispensable for this community that they became part of the language?

In this work, the vocabulary directly relating to trade (various types of fish, cereals, merchandise, weight and volume measurements etc) have been removed. The remaining words reveal what was considered essential for the survival of the community – the everyday rituals used to build common traditions, ceremonies and frames for the act of trading.

These symbolically and ritually important phrases are presented in two ways in this piece:

1) As a publication, printed on a specific type of paper and format used in traditional Russian canteens, as a mat on the tray that you put your food on. The publication was printed in Arkhangelsk at a printing house threatened by permanent shutdown. The audience are invited to take and bring home a copy of the publication.

2) As a 2-channel sound piece, with the phrases recorded by one person from Northern Norway and one person from Arkhangelsk. The phrases are played on shuffle with one voice in each speaker.

The title ‘Moja på tvoja’ is russenorsk and means “mine on yours” or: I speak your language.

The work was developed in Tromsø, in Arkhangelsk and in between, itself becoming a part of the transactions that are still an important part of relations in the Barents region.

Moja på tvoja won the Jury Prize at The 74th North Norwegian Art Exhibition in 2020. 

Sept 2018 @ Selektor Festival, Arkhangelsk, Russia (Curated by Kurant Visningsrom, Tromsø, Norway)
Jan–Dec 2020 @ The 74th North Norwegian Art Exhibition / Nordnorsken