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ÁRRAN 360° and ARCTIC XR Premiere at Venice Biennale Sámi Pavilion

Aug 25, 2022
by IAQ

In the world premiere of two unprecedented film programs, visitors to the Sámi Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale will be immersed in original films designed for 360-degree screens by some of the world’s leading Indigenous circumpolar filmmakers. ÁRRAN 360° is a curated selection of films created by directors from Sápmi, and ARCTIC XR features creations by digital media artists from Canada. Both projects will use cutting-edge 360-degree screens to display the films in a format that mirrors the circular nature of Indigenous storytelling.

ÁRRAN 360° and ARCTIC XR are presented as an official part of the extended program of the Sámi Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale de Venezia. This film festival is an important first-of-its-kind format that is part of what makes this year’s transition of the Nordic Pavilion to the Sámi Pavilion at the Venice Biennale a unique and historic change for Indigenous artists around the world. 


Behind the scenes of Liselotte Wajstedt's Eadni/Mother (2022)
Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia Photo Meja Wajstedt © the artist 
Presented by the International Sámi Film Institute in collaboration with the Norwegian Film Institute and the Office for Contemporary Art Norway, ÁRRAN 360° will screen from August 26 to September 10, 2022. ARCTIC XR, curated by Dr. Julie Nagam and Dr. Heather Igloliorte, will screen from September 2 to 5, 2022.

The film programs will also come to Canada in fall 2022 when they are shown at Nuit Blanche, happening October 1 and 2 in Toronto, ON. Curated by Artistic Director Dr. Julie Nagam under the theme “The Space Between Us,” this year’s Nuit Blanche focuses on connection to place and community and bridging cultures.

Árran is a Northern Sámi word that describes the hearth of a lávvu (a traditional Sámi tent), which has historically been the place where Sámi storytelling takes place. Much like the larger-than-life 65-square-metre qaggiq built in Iqaluit, NU, in March 2021, the film lávvu at the Sámi Pavilion is the size of a building—much larger than a traditional lávvu. The size and shape of the lávvu allows the ÁRRAN 360° and ARCTIC XR projects to meld cutting-edge technology with ancient methods of Indigenous storytelling to present modern stories about circumpolar cultures. 


Still from Ann Holmgren Aurebekk’s Ovias (2022)
Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia Photo Ann Holmgren © the artist

ÁRRAN 360° features the following films: 

  • Ann Holmgren Aurebekk, Ovias – A young woman embarks on a journey into a dreamlike otherworld to discover that every tiny action we do in this world has a direct resonance in a myriad of other realms.

  • Elle Márjá Eira, EALLU - Girdnu / Reindeer corral – Standing at the heart of the girdnu (reindeer corral) surrounded by reindeer moving in a circular motion, the viewer will experience a sense of the great forces that exist at the heart of reindeer herding.

  • Hans Pieski, Muohtačalmmit – The immense power of water and humans’ dependence on it will be contemplated in this surreal video art piece. 

  • Liselotte Wajstedt, Eadni/Mother – Háldi is a forest creature that may lure children into the woods. Filmmaker Liselotte Wajstedt says, "Eadni means mother in Sámi. Háldi is someone who wants to be a mother. Maybe she is the mother of us all. Mother Earth, who knows?" 

  • Marja Helander, Áfruvvá/Mermaid – The áfruvvá is a Sámi sea-being, the ghost of a drowned person. Yearning for warmth, she emerges from the sea to a world devoid of humans and experiences humanity through an abandoned museum. 

  • Siljá Somby, Daate dijjien – After a sacred Sámi drum is abducted by a Christian priest, we are taken on a journey beyond space and time that reveals more about the drum’s innate power. 

KoyczanCaseyEleghaaAllAtOnceStill copy

Still from Casey Koyczan’s “Ełeghàà; All At Once” (2022)
Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia © the artist 
ARCTIC XR showcases the following films:

  • Casey Koyczan, “Ełeghàà; All At Once” – Inspired by legends, our current climate and society, and tentative future outcomes, this short film asks what our world was, what it is now and how it might be in the future. 

  • Mark Igloliorte, Tuvak Akkusinialuk Siaggijâk – Join four Indigenous skateboarders for a session and an experience on the Dettah Ice Road over the frozen Great Slave Lake as part of a larger investigation into language and land.

  • Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Tartupaluk – Welcome to the Republic of Tartupaluk! Live action, animation and VFX bring to life a poetic and humorous imaginary Inuit utopia set on a tiny island. 

  • Melaw Nakehk’o, The Way Home – A young man walks home. Remembering the journeys we have made across our territories, like the journeys we make today. 

  • Nyla Innuksuk, Mikigiaq – An inexperienced hunter is determined to hunt foxes in the nearby woods, but ends up catching something much more unexpected instead. 

  • Tanya Tagaq, Ajagutaq/Parhelion – This excerpt from the artist’s novel Split Tooth (2018) was inspired by a dream. Attendees are transported to a magnificent landscape in Nunavut where arctic beings and spirits become one.


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