Joshua Sofaer

Art & Performance

Samlinger i Lofothjem

LIAF, Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway, 27 May-25 October 2008

Samilinger i Lofothjem (Collections in Lofoten Homes) is a project for LIAF 08, the Lofoten International Art Festival. Lofoten is an archipelago in the county of Nordland, in the north of Norway, lying within the Arctic Circle.

The project focuses on collecting and, particularly, on all kinds of collections found in the homes of the local inhabitants, aiming to connect the 25,000 population to the art festival.

It unfolds during the summer months of the festival, starting with a collecting survey open to the entire population. By way of an invitation Joshua Sofaer exhibited 350 of his own Mona Lisa Postcard collection as part of the LIAF exhibition.

The project culminated in two main outcomes. The first was a public programme of events in collector’s homes, in which they showcased something of their collections to interested visitors. The second was a series of catalogues of unusual collections that would normally not be considered worth archiving or publishing.

Some people are collectors without really knowing it: corks tossed from opened bottles of wine into a bowl, or change from their pockets thrown into a jar of coins. Other people form collections without thinking about them as a collection: vinyl records of a particular singer, t-shirts, books. We are guardians of family collections in the form of heirlooms. We all form collections by writing things down: shopping lists, letters to friends, dreams. Then there are those people who collect objects, antiques, paintings and ephemera. Practically everyone is a collector of something.

The public programme of events included:
In Flower
Monday 15 September 2008
Solvår Rosø’s collection of pelargonium flowers in Leknes. A potentially endless collection as the plants can be cross-fertilized creating new species.

Wrap Up Warm
Thursday 18 September & Monday 22 September 2008
Magna Angelsen has surrounded herself with dolls in her private home. As the winter approaches she changes their clothes from summer to winter outfits.

Coffee Morning
Saturday 20 September 2008, 12.00-13.30
Each of the coffee cups collected by Grete Winther have stories that lie behind them. This event was for women only.

Collecting Collectors
Thursday 25 September, 19.00
Lecture Room, Lofoten Museum, Storvågan
We invite you to come and share stories about your collection and hear about the Collections in Lofoten Homes project. There will be short presentations from Even Bie-Larsen about his frog collection and Roy-Inge Eilertsen about his tractor collection, amongst others.

The catalogues published were:

Frogs in literature read by Even Bie-Larsen, 1992-2008

Family Knitted Socks kept by Eirin Rønning

Top Twenty Hits compiled by Alf Edwardson, 1964-1969

Over 4,000 Advertising Pens collected and indexed by Inge Haugen

Thirty Are Better Than One: Postcards of the Mona Lisa collected by Joshua Sofaer

Samlinger i Lofothjem was curated by Taru Elfving and Rickard Borgström