Hvileåret: Rest, Growth and Activism is an 18 month long participatory and artistic-research project housed at Storeteigen bygdatun in Øystese developed by Bergen based artist, Amber Ablett. It aims
Hvileåret: Rest, Growth and Activism is an 18 month long participatory and artistic-research project housed at Storeteigen bygdatun in Øystese developed by Bergen based artist, Amber Ablett. It aims to create a collective space to investigate, learn about and question the role of rest in growth.
Hvileåret focuses on rest within activism and those who fight against oppression through collective thinking, writing, sound, workshops and interventions in the grounds of Storeteigen.
Storeteigen is run by Kunsthuset Kabuso as an alternative space to work with participatory and research based projects. The project began in February 2022 and will run until the summer of 2023.
Hvileåret uses the traditional farming method vekselbruk (crop rotation) and the importance of the hvileår (in English known as the fallow year- a year which allows the soil to replenish its nutrients) as an analogy for the importance of pausing and reflecting in our work for societal change.
Rest can be seen as an act of resistance in a society that pushes us to be productive at the expense of our well being; becoming overwhelmed and exhausted can actually hinder the changes we want to see- exhaustion can also been since as a tactic to maintain the status quo- that only benefits the few privileged in our global society. The writer, professor, and civil rights activist, Audrey Lourde said: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare”. Whether these changes are in how we view our resources or the structures that privilege a few and oppress others, this project turns to methods of farming that are in tune with the natural cycles of growth to learn how we can view rest as an active tool for change.
Holding this project in a bygdatun has special significance beyond the link to farming. The bygdatun is a collective space: one you work, live and socialise around and so informs the framework for this participatory project that will encourage shared thinking, learning and play.
Amber Ablett is an artist and writer based in Bergen, Norway. Using performance, text, sound and re-enactment, her work looks at the importance of belonging to how we be together, with an focus on how our society shapes, reflects, controls and limits our multifaceted identities. Ablett uses her own position, as a mixed race woman living in Norway, as a starting point to create a space for questioning communality and shared thinking; she is interested in how we learn about ourselves through learning about other people. Stepping away from spectacle, Ablett often uses workshops and gatherings as a platform to share and open up her practice.