arkhangelsk international cultural center


The Third International Photo Festival in Arkhangelsk


The Third International Photo Festival took place in the exhibition gallery of the Arkhangelsk Union of Artists from the 20th of May to the 4th of June 2016.

This year, the theme of the festival and its exhibition was Perspectives. We’ve invited over the last years many artists into our Artist-in-Residency program, many came on grants of the High North AiR cooperation. In this year’s exhibition we invite to take a look at the North of Europe from a Russian-Norwegian point of view.

The artists exhibiting work with photography and video. We presented artists that focus on the particular landscapes of the North (Sigfrid Hernes), others that take a look at the people living here (Igor Samolet) and yet others that try to grasp the history and the traditions (Natalia Egorova/Emilija Skarnulyte). Some of the works are more of a documentation or the result of artistic research (Margrethe Pettersen), while other works focus on aesthetics (Ina Otzko).


Electric Cinema provided an extensive program during the whole exhibition period, including seminars, movie screenings and presentations.


This year’s photo festival was organized by Yulia Medvedeva and Cornelius Stiefenhofer. The festival is generously supported by the High North AiR Network-AiR Barents 2016, with funds of Barentskult and Arts Council Norway. It is also made possible by long-lasting and trustful relations with Troms County Council, the Ministry of culture of Arkhangelsk region, and of course our host – the Arkhangelsk regional branch of the Russian Union of Artists.



Ina Otzko (1972) is born in Sandnessjøen, Northern Norway. She completed three Masters, two in Goldsmiths College University of London, UK (MA Image and Communication 2004, MFA Fine Art 2007) and one in UdK / Universität der Kunste in Berlin, Germany (MA Sound Studies 2012). Ina has visited Arkhangelsk, Murmansk and St. Petersburg in 2015 as part of the High North AiR Network.


Natalia Egorova was born in 1985 in Petrozavodsk. Participated in the Barents Spektakel 2015 (Kirkenes, Norway); the «Kalevala through the eyes of Russian artists» (2014-15, Museum of City Sculpture, St Petersburg; Center of Culture, Helsinki; Yanka Kupala State Literary Museum, Minsk, Belarusthe); the «Frontier» , the «Dust» (2012-13,Laboratoria Art&Science Space, Moscow); Athens Video Art Festival 2012, (Athens, Greece); International Experimental Film Festival “Vallecas Puerta Del Cine 2011 (Madrid, Spain). Natalia has spent one month in Nordland in summer 2015 as part of the High North AiR Network.


Sigfrid Hernes was born 1956 in Voss (Norway) and works as an artist, currently on a five-year work stipend for artists from the Norwegian government (2013-2018). She has studied at Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo and Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Dresden, and Statens Kunstakademi, among others. Solo-exhibitions include shows in Alstahaug Kunstforening (Sannessjøen, 2016), G Tromsø (Tromsø, 2014), Nordnorsk kunstnersentet (Svolvær, 2013), Narvik kunstforening (Narvik, 2013) or at Galleria 5 (Oulu/Finland, 1999). Sigfrid Hernes visited Murmansk as part of the High North AiR Network in 2014.


Margrethe Pettersen (b. 1977 in Tromsø) is educated as a florist and has a bachelor from the Academy of Contemporary art in Tromsø. Pettersen is interested in the relationship between culture and nature. She works in different medias, the content of her work is predominately consisting of organic matters, time and space in one way or another, and the themes often questions the powers of definition, transformation and social interactions. She visited Arkhangelsk as part of the High North AiR Network in Summer 2014.

Igor Samolet is a professional documentary photographer, who was born in Kotlas in 1984. Igor currently based in Moscow and Kotlas, the main theme of his creation is human relations. As an artist he works on projects for a long time and in personal places, by this he tries to reach the necessary level of truth and openness in order to get to see all facets of life. He won the silver medal of the German Photobook Award with his book “Be Happy”. He was part of the Manifesta 10 projects «Generation START» and «Двенадцать задумывающихся фотографов» in St. Petersburg in 2014. Igor has spent one month in Nordland in summer 2015 as part of the High North AiR Network.


Emilija Skarnulyte is a filmmaker and artist, born in Lithuania. She graduated with a BA in sculpture at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan, and with an MA from Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art. Skarnulyte works with film, video, photography, installations and sound performances. Different geological ungrounding processes, through layers of cultural strata and sub conscious, are present in Skarnulytes work. In 2009 Skarnulyte received the Italian National Prize for Fine Arts. Emilija visited Arkhangelsk in Summer 2014 as part of the High North AiR Network.


Second Festival of Photography in Arkhangelsk

The Second International Photography Festival in Arkhangelsk was a great success. After its start in spring 2013, the Arkhangelsk Union of Artists hosted art photographers from Russia, Norway, Germany, Sweden and other countries on its premises. This fesitval program included again exhibitions, lectures, workshops, presentations and discussions. Official opening was on the 1st of May in the Exhibition Gallery of the Artist’s Union.

Main objective of the festival is to show the broad variety of contemporary art photography and propose the exchange of views and opinions among photographers as well as between the citizens of Arkhangelsk.

We showed the photography exhibition Blue Cats and Skies by Jacinthe Lessard (Montreal), Frederick Vidal (Hamburg), Sylvia Döbelt (Leipzig) and Yusuke Nishimura (New York) from the collection of ROSPHOTO Saint Petersburg. Frederick Vidal and Sylvia Döbelt were in Arkhangelsk for the opening!
The exhibition in Arkhangelsk contained works by Frederick Vidal which he made in Arkhangelsk in summer 2014.

A second exhibition showed works by the Lofoten-based artist Maria Gradin, she showed original prints of photographs she shot in Arkhangelsk and Arkhangelsk Oblast in 1999. 

During the exhibition, we showed books on contemporary art photography and artistic photo books  by Norwegian artists. The selection of books and more was done by Kristoffer Dolmen in cooperation with Fotogalleriet, Oslo. Kristoffer Dolmen, responsible for Arts and Culture at Nordland County Council, gave a short lecture on contemporary art photography in Norway on the 02/05/2015.

Traditionally, we include a video art program into the festival program, this year by the artist and curator collective F-R-A-N-KRage Is a Terrible Thing to Waste was screened on the 02/05/2015.

Part of the festival was an international group residency project, organized by Pikene på Broen (Kirkenes). Participants included Maria Gradin, Marusiya Baturina, Nik and Nadya Degtyarev and Cecilie Haaland. There was a presentation of these artists on the 06/05/2015.

The Photography Festival was organized by Cornelius Stiefenhofer with the Artist’s Union and Oleg Samoilov, supported by Pikene på Broen, Nordland County Council, Hamburger Kulturbehörde and the General Consulate of Germany in Saint Petersburg.

All events took place in the Exhibition Gallery of the Artist’s Union.

Built with