Kunsthall Trondheim
Past exhibition

Sissel M. Bergh, Carolina Caycedo, Elin Már Øyen Vister
Kunna Guanna Concha

Boathouse rose from Tresfjord, Norway. Photo: Øyvind H. Vestad. Courtesy: Creative Commons

The exhibition Kunna Guanna Concha brings together works by artists Sissel M. Bergh, Carolina Caycedo, and Elin Már Øyen Vister, in a collaborative project initiated by Øyen Vister. The exhibition focuses on matriarchal lineages and aims to bring forth Indigenous, queer, and eco-feminist perspectives that have largely been excluded from the Western historical canon. The exhibition features works by Janicke Schønning and David de Rozas.

The artists investigate colonial history and neo-colonialism, as well as how people related to land before patriarchal relations and monotheistic Christianity spread across geographies that are today known as Saepmie and Norway, and before Turtle Island and the U.S. were colonised by Europeans. The exhibition asks: What kind of relations between land and people, and which genders and sexualities were commonplace? For example, many Indigenous cultures know more than two genders, and the Sami languages use only one pronoun, dïhte (Southern Sami), which applies to all genders. In the exhibition, the artists shine a light on the etymology of words that stem from a time in which matrilinear fertility cults were common, in order to celebrate the diversity of understandings of gender that have since been, and still are, repressed through the expansion and his-tory of the patriarchy.

The title of the exhibition, Kunna Guanna Concha, refers to the same word in Norwegian dialect, Southern Sami, and Spanish. By studying specific words and place names we can catch a glimpse of the past and gain insights into other forms of social structures and relations to life and land.

Queer legacies – other forms of community and kinship – can be uncovered and potentially reclaimed by looking towards the inscriptions of the land, and the way in which places and land areas were named and related to in the past. The artists in the exhibition invite us to listen to and resonate with nature, spirituality, resistance, and joy.

Curators: Stefanie Hessler with Katrine Elise Agpalza Pedersen and Kaja Grefslie Waagen


The exhibition and its official program is supported by Arts Council Norway, the Association of Norwegian Visual Artists (NBK), Torstein Erbos Gavefond, The Fritt Ord Foundation, Trondheim municipality and Trøndelag county/Trööndelagen fylhkentjïelte.

The exhibition Kunna Guanna Concha and its official program is Kunsthall Trondheim’s contribution to the 2022 Queer Cultural Year.

Queer Cultural Year: 2022 marks the 50-year anniversary of decriminalization of sex between men in Norway, when section 213 in the Norwegian Penal Code was lifted. In order to address this, Skeivt arkiv, the National Museum and the National Library will collaborate to communicate and discuss queer art, culture and history all over Norway.