12 artists from 10 countries spanning 4 continents will descend upon Stavanger, Norway this August for the 17th edition of the world’s leading street art festival. Site-specific murals, installations, interventions, and temporary exhibitions will be supplemented by Nuart Plus – the festival’s satellite program of academic and industry debates, artist presentations, film screenings, workshops, guided tours and more – from Thursday 31 August to Sunday 3 September. Tou Scene Centre for Contemporary Arts – a former 19th century brewery-cum-multidisciplinary arts venue – will host the festival’s indoor exhibition, entitled ‘Rise Up!’, from Sunday 3 September to Sunday 15 October.
This year’s festival is dedicated to exploring ‘power’: questioning who has it, who doesn’t and how sanctioned and unsanctioned street and public art can challenge prevailing mechanisms of control. It will attempt to tackle those grand historical narratives that until recently the arts have been in retreat from: issues of politics, space, justice, place, beauty, history and not least ‘capitalism’, a word we hear less and less of as it is replaced with the ideology of ‘culture’. Paradoxically, Nuart Festival is a recognition that culture is not always a medium of power, but can also be a mode of resistance to it. Leading practitioners from across the spectrum of street art, activism and artivism will come together for a community driven and responsive ‘Street Art’ celebration that does not simply take art out of the context of the museum but emphasizes its potency as a catalyst for civic agency and direct participation in shaping the city we want to live in.
Nuart Festival Founder and Director, Martyn Reed says:
“The real power of “street art” is being played out daily on walls, buildings, ad shelters and city squares the world over. This year’s Nuart Festival will bring together a diverse combination of of artists, activists and academics to reflect upon the fluidity of this transgressive new movement. We believe that when you want to challenge the powerful, you must change the story. It’s this DIY narrative embedded within street art practice that forms the bonding agent for stronger social cohesion between citizens from a multiplicity of cultures, as our lead artist Bahia Shehab will attest. It is this narrative that is acting as the catalytic agent towards street art becoming a vehicle capable of generating changes in politics as well as urban consciousness. Nuart’s programs are designed specifically to explore and silently challenge the mechanisms of power and politics in public space. Nuart’s annual academic symposium, Nuart Plus, acts as a platform for a resurgency in utopic thinking around both city development and public art practice, and whilst recognizing that street art is often co-opted and discredited by capital it also recognises that even the most amateur work is indispensable in stimulating debate and change in a Modern society resistant to seeing art, once more, as part of our everyday life.”
Nuart Festival 2017 artists:
Ampparito (ES), Bahia Shehab (EG), Carrie Reichardt (UK), flyingleaps presents Derek Mawudoku (UK), Ian Strange (AU), John Fekner (US), Know Hope (IL), ±maismenos± (PT), Igor Ponosov (RU), Ricky Lee Gordon (ZA), Slava Ptrk (RU), Vermibus (DE). A full program of events and schedule will be announced in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please visit www.nuartfestival.no for more information on this year’s artists.