The Saint-Petersburg based artists’ collective Sever7 is named after a Soviet expedition to the North Pole drift ice and the group is lead by both a collective intelligence and the individual practice of each of the artists.
Last week the collective visited Kirkenes as part of BAR International 2016. The group, made up of artists Alexander Tsikarishvili (RU), Anna Andrzhievskaya (RU), Piotr Diakov (RU), Nestor Kharchenko (RU) and Nestor Engelke (RU), toured the local area around Sør-Varanger and explored the concepts of local food and informal meeting places.
On the first day of the residency the group visited the Skolt Sami museum in Neiden where they learnt about traditional use of herbs including their use in teas and liquors. The five artists then collected herbs from the area around the museum with guide Honna Havas who showed them edible plants of the area.
The collective traveled to Pasvik where local food producer, Marit Sundt, held a workshop showing the group how to use local ingredients found in the forest. While in Pasvik the group also received an introduction to local agriculture at Svanhovd Norsk institutt for bioøkonomi and at cheese maker, Ivar Øverli.
The physical and social sculptures that Sever-7 create incorporate audiences as a vital component – projects such as experimental theatre where visitors are both an audience and actors, or artist-run gallery bar where a dialogue is a payment for your drink. Peculiarity, experimenting and questioning norms are driving forces behind Sever7 production, when the outcome depends on artists´ mood, audience´s engagement, local weather and the constellation of stars.