Matt Packer and Arne Skaug Olsen appointed curators of Lofoten International Art Festival 2015.

Matt Packer is a curator and writer currently based in Northern Ireland. He is Director of CCA (Centre for Contemporary Art) in Derry~Londonderry, and an Associate Director of Treignac Projet in France. Packer says he is delighted to have the opportunity to co-curate LIAF 2015: What makes LIAF so unique is not only the spectacular scenery and sociability of the Lofoten Islands but also its remarkable history of developing artistic dialogues that extend outwardly from Lofoten and into other arenas. As a festival it has a restless ambition to think-through new models of curatorial approach at a time when the formula for larger-scale biennale-type contemporary art events seems ever more standardized.  As such, I’d like to think that curating LIAF 2015 will not only be a conversation about art and artists but a conversational experiment in public practice.

Matt Packer was Curator of Exhibitions & Projects at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery at University College Cork in Ireland from 2008 to 2013. He has curated numerous exhibitions in institutional and independent capacities including group exhibitions O Chair O Flesh (Treignac Projet, 2013),  FWA: Freeing Welsh Architecture (Treignac Projet, 2012), School Days (Lewis Glucksman Gallery, 2011), When Flanders Failed (Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, 2011), Getting Even (Lewis Glucksman Gallery / Kunstverein Hannover, 2009. His writings have been published in magazines and journals including Kaleidoscope, Frieze, Source Photographic Review, Concreta, Photography & Culture, and Camera Austria.

Arne Skaug Olsen is a curator, art critic and writer based in Bergen in Norway. He is a regular contributor to Nordic online web journal for art criticism, kunstkritikk.no, and has published writings in Camera Austria, Klasskampen, Billedkunst and Kunstjournalen B-Post, among others. Skaug Olsen is also excited: It is an honor to be trusted with the task of co-curating the next LIAF, one of the most important recurring art events in Norway. I have followed the biennale closely, and on two occasions been part of the LIAF crew, in different capacities. It´s a privilege to now be a part of the festivals history, and to shape it´s future. Lofoten is truly a unique place, especially because of all the open minded and welcoming people in the region, but also because their outspokenness and their interest in art and culture. Conversations in Lofoten are never dull, and I´m looking forward to participate in the ongoing dialogue with the people of Lofoten about what role art and artist should play in their community, and beyond.

Arne Skaug Olsen was curator at Visningsrommet USF in Bergen (2008-2011), and he was a founding co-editor of Ctrl+Z Publishing and founding member of Flaggfabrikken – centre for photography and visual art, both based in Bergen. Skaug Olsen currently teaches at the National Academies of Art in Oslo and in Bergen, and has previously worked at Nordland Vocational College of Art and Film in Lofoten, and Tromsø Art Academy among others. He has had a series of positions in Norwegian art life, most recently a board member of Young Artists Society (2012-2014).

Photos: Matt Packer and Arne Skaug Olsen. Courtesy LIAF