Elina Waage Mikalsen

Elina Waage Mikalsen is a multidisciplinary artist and musician from Tromsø. She works with sound, performance, textile, installation and text, has her background in art and film, and was awared the title Young Artist of the Year at the international indigenous festival Riddu Riđđu in 2015. Since then she has participated in a number of group exhibitions and performance programmes. Elina's artistic work is strongly intertwined with her Sámi and Norwegian background. Her work is based on the body and landscape, oral storytelling traditions and the gaps in her own family history. It's important to her that the Sámi view on the world is taken seriously, with humans and nature inextricably linked. The holes that the Norwegain assimilation has created, in the form of loss of language and cultural heritage, have become her starting point for imagining and discussing what these holes represent, what matter they constitute and how they continue to affect the people in our societies. As a decolonial practice she collects fragments of stories, materials and practices, and explores tensions in the spaces in between, where the ambivalent and ambiguous is found. She sees ambiguity as an important tool to challenge western narratives related to the body, landscape and dominating storytelling. In her sound work, she often combines the use of voice with field recordings, electronics and self-built instruments to create aural spaces that lie somewhere between reality and fantasy. It is the emotional and narrative qualities of sound that interest her, and how it can function as a time machine – causing time to collapse and setting both the future and the past in motion.

Photo: Viktor Bomstad