Fri Jan 31 - Sun Feb 2 2014
Opening Weekend

City of Winter

During the inauguration weekend, central Umeå will change face. City of Winter will fill it with snow, ice, fire and video. An array of international artists will create works based on their relationships to snow and ice, and will together transform Umeå.

Welding flames sear ice blocks. Snow meets metal, graffiti and video. Behind a barrier of snow and ice a man keeps himself alive solely through a fire. In Vänortsparken, 55 art- and architecture students from Sweden and Poland meet in a common art project.

Burning ice pillars replace electric lights and lead us on through the unrecognisable city. Huge fires form gathering points. Artistic and self-creative happenings, that you are free … encouraged … to join are taking place here, there and everywhere.

City of Winter is divided into eight parts. They are:

– Nordic Outbreak – Confronting Elements
– Miroslaw Balka Studio of Spatial Activities, Department of Media Art, Academy of Fine Arts, Warszawa, Poland and Laboratory for Sustainable Architectural Production, Umeå School of Architecture – S-NOW apersonalformofarchitecture
– Carolina Falkholt – Utopi (Utopia)
– Tomasz Domanski – Square Dome
– Lars Lundqvist – Barriär
– Dan Lestander – Sånt är livet mina vänner (Such is life my friends)
– Aurora – Norrskensborgen (Northern lights citadel)
– Ice pillars as burning markers

(More information on the different parts below.)

Project manager & curator: Dan Lestander

Dan Lestander (born 1959 in Arjeplog) is active as an artist in Luleå and is the artistic leader for  X-Border Art Biennial / Luleå Art Biennial, which focuses on contemporary art and is Scandinavia’s oldest international art biennial.

Lestander was part of the team winning an Olympic Gold Medal in snow sculpture at the Olympic Art Festival in Albertville, France 1992. Among other things, Lestander has showcased his works at the World Fair in Hannover 2000 and most recently with Nordic Outbreak at Kiasma in Helsinki, Finland, and at Reykjavik Art Museum in Iceland.

All the parts of City of Winter:

Nordic Outbreak in Umeå
Nordic Outbreak is a stroll exhibition in Rådhusparken with moving visual art by contemporary Scandinavian artists, which is presented by the Streaming Museum in the public arena. The exhibition was launched in New York in March 2013, and then travelled around Scandinavia and other parts of the world during the autumn of 2013. Nordic Outbreak researches contemporary dynamics in Scandinavian moving visual art and new forms of expression in the digital age. Nordic Outbreak in Umeå is curated by Tanya Toft.

Nordic Outbreak in Umeå comprises the following works of art:

– Pernille With Madsen, Transition (works from 2008-2009).
– Miia Rinne, SEA (2012).
– Dodda Maggý, There, there (2013)
– Dan Lestander, Dreams and Wishes (2010)
– Sigurdur Gudjónsson, Veil (2012)
– Ken Are Bongo, The wind whispers there is someone behind the tundra (2006)
– Antti Laitinen, Snowman (2006)
– Superflex, Burning Car (2008)

Read more about Nordic Outbreak here.

S-NOW apersonalformofarchitecture
This is a project for dialogue, exchange of thoughts and mutual work. Participants are students from Miroslaw Balkas Studio of Spatial Activities for work at the Warsaw College of Art (31 people) and at Umeå School of Architecture (22 people). In January 2014, students from both schools will gather in mixed groups, discussing common thoughts and ideas that will result in objects of snow, ice or as performance acts – being showcased at Vänortsparken in Umeå.

The main event will be when the students come to Umeå from Warsaw to make the project a reality, between 26 January and 3 February, 2014 as part of the opening of Umeå as a European Capital of Culture.

More details about the specific parts of the project in this PDF.

From the Polish side, the project is led by professor Miroslaw Balka  and research assistant Anna Jochymek. On the Swedish side, professor Walter Unterrainer and deputy principal Julia Ternström-


– Miroslaw Balka Studio of Spatial Activities, Department of Media Art, Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, Poland
– Laboratory for Sustainable Architectural Production, Umeå School of Architecture

The project is co-initiated and co-produced together with the Polish institute in Stockholm:

Carolina Falkholt – Utopi
Carolina Falkholt creates a monumental and site-specific artwork on a large snow wall at the intersection Kungsgatan, Sveagatan in Umeå.

Since the late 90s, Carolina Falkholt has been developing the art form of graffiti towards a musical, performative and social practice and is today one of Sweden’s best-known graffiti artists.

Her paintings emerge through the interaction of several factors such as the biographical, current events, local history and feminism. With her art Falkholt occupy a large area in the public space and her fearless statements often provoke debate.

Tomasz Domanski – Square Dome
Four doors that lead to the inside of the dome are temporarily blocked off by large blocks of ice. Steel walls and locked doors prevent you as a spectator from entering. Instead you can look forward to warmer days when the weather slowly helps to melt the ice.

You can hear the amplified sound of melting ice and of falling drops of water as they meet cold metal, coming from inside the building. This monotonous sound image makes it easier to feel the interior’s cold, quiet atmosphere. Indistinct forms of the undiscovered interior can be made out through the transparent ice door. Mystical, curiosity arousing emptiness evokes fantasies that become something to reflect over as you take in the dome.

The dome can also remind us of the function of safe food storage, and be a place where we can preserve distant memories that have become dormant. The synergies that can be evoked in the interplay with the public depend on us all and our dedication to do “nothing” other than to curiously wait and gain an awareness of the passing of time. Almost like the contemporary character in the play “Waiting for Godot” we become hypnotised. We want to leave, but can’t move from the spot.

Lars Lundqvist – Barriär
Lars Lundqvist remains isolated behind a snow and ice wall throughout the inauguration weekend. From outside you, as a spectator, can perceive him through the flames of the fire he keeps burning. Lundqvist will end his isolation on Sunday 2 February, 14.00.

Dan Lestander – Sånt är livet mina vänner
The outcome is clear but not without a struggle. The ice block slowly rotates on its axle while fire forms it. Welding flame on ice. Burning argument against evasive manoeuvres. The melt water runs down into the hot iron pan and evaporates. The metamorphosis is complete.

Aurora – Norrskensborgen
Since time immemorial, the northern lights have evoked wonder and fascination. When the lights with their pulsating, billowing trails reminiscent of a being take up the night sky, sometimes with perceptible sound, everything stops. One of nature’s fantastic spectacles spreads itself over the heavens before eventually, when least expected, slipping away into the winter night.

Nobody can with certainty say how this phenomenon occurs, but during Umeå2014, we have the opportunity to see and experience the northern lights forms through Auroras snöborg (Aurora’s snow citadel) at Renmarkstorget. The citadel is inspired by both the form and movement of the northern lights.

From the right-hand side of the snow citadel, you can wander up along a climbing, winding trail. The two towers, Aurora’s eyes, have ice lenses and form the citadel’s highest points from where the water chute in the left wing starts. Inside the citadel, you will find sheltered seating and a café.

Ice pillars as burning markers
The classic hay barn pentagonal form is the inspiration behind the three-metre-high ice and fire pillars. Placed strategically, the pillars light up the otherwise darkened city and guide us to the different parts of the inauguration programme.

Friday Jan 31 2014 14:00 - 02:00 Central Umeå
Saturday Feb 1 2014 02:01 - 02:00 Central Umeå
Sunday Feb 2 2014 02:01 - 16:00 Central Umeå

Organizer: Umeå2014
Part of a project: Winter City 2014
Curator Dan Lestander

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