Maaretta Jaukkuri is a visionary curator and professor of contemporary art who has, throughout her career, influenced students, theorists, artists and the public. It is in her name, and supported by those whom she has touched, that the Maaretta Jaukkuri Foundation was initiated, led by the collaborative effort of Antony Gormley and A K Dolven. The Maaretta Jaukkuri Foundation (MJF) is a not-for-profit organisation, founded on the 10th of August 2014.
Maaretta Jaukkuri Foundation is situated on an island in Lofoten, on the edge of a continental shelf. Like other far away peripheries, the place is sensitive to changes. It is a region of extreme fragility, where we are implicated with changes in nature and the urgent challenges these create. The Foundation is in the process of establishing an infrastructure that can support thinking and promote meetings between formal and informal competence. The Fellows are free to define the way they spend their time, but are encouraged to leave an imprint that will generate tools for further thinking which can inspire guidelines for the Foundation's activities as well as ripple out, over time, through both private and public channels.
A Text By Maaretta
The house is situated halfway along the Haverringen, the long road that runs through the village of Kvalnes. The road winds along the shore of the Norwegian Sea. Its closest neighbors, somewhere beyond the horizon, are Greenland and the Spitsbergen Islands. It lies in an inhabited rural area that offers ample peace and tranquility in a majestic natural environment renowned for its beauty and ever‐changing moods. Here one becomes keenly aware of and sensitized to nature but also the threats it is facing. We are confronted with nature in our daily life, in a real and ethically compelling but gentle manner. The house and the international fellows’ program that it has been running since 2018 is called The Place. The philosophical term place has been defined by the father of phenomenology Edmund Husserl as a “kinesthetically felt situation”. This resonates with the aims of the program. Our time is imbued with conflicting and contradictory stories and divisive news, attitudes, and aspirations, all competing for our attention. It can often feel paralyzing to try to make sense of all this crosstalk. We seldom have time to experience and experiment with what we really feel and think based on an actuality, or “what is coming into being, what is taking shape” (Gilles Deleuze). We know that fresh perceptions, new images, knowledge, and understanding are based on sensory experiences. It involves opening our eyes and our body to seeing and grasping what is taking place in and around us. The goal of The Place is to give our Fellows time and a place for experiencing this majestic landscape with its continuously changing weather and dramatic seasonal changes of light. The house functions as a simple but hopefully comfortable hub with its collection of books, which is currently being built and organized. It is based on my private library and thus reflects my interests, but hopefully it can slowly be further expanded into a library that more comprehensively provides means and tools for better understanding our time both individually and collectively. There is also a telescope for looking at the stars. The Foundation is arranging small-scale seminars to take a deeper look at some of the themes that are highlighted in the Foundation’s work as well as to reach out to people living in Lofoten and beyond. “Stories told and re-told” was the title of the first seminar arranged in 2019, followed by “Tacit knowledge” in 2022. Both these seminars took place in Kabelvåg. They will hopefully continue and in the future with the involvement of a growing number of Fellows who have stayed at The Place. We also know that change is driven by individuals who are ready to see things from a wider perspective, who are willing to go deeper into their own thinking, who respect and are curious of fields of knowledge other than their own specialty, and who have a sense of humor and an understanding of the paradoxes that often hold more truth than any simple dualism that we so easily tend to lean on. Maaretta Jaukkuri
A Warm Thank you from Maaretta
The Place owes its very existence to relationships of trust and inspiring co-operation. It has been made possible by the generosity of artists who have donated their works. I wish to express my heartfelt and lasting gratitude to Per Inge Björlo, Kari Cavén, Tony Cragg, Dorothy Cross, Anne Katrine Dolven, Anne-Karin Furunes, Antony Gormley, Dan Graham, Alfredo Jaar, Anish Kapoor, Cildo Meireles, Esko Männikkö, Björn Nörgaard, Markus Raetz, and Superflex. The building is situated on land gifted by Anne Katrine Dolven, who owns a house and studio in close vicinity. Sir Antony Gormley initiated the donations, and he, together with Anne Katrine, contacted the artists. Antony’s studio in London took care of the practical side of the donation project together with Audhild Dahlström, who until 2018 worked as the first director of the Foundation. Audhild worked tirelessly and with true dedication to making all this happen. Many thanks also to Ánde Somby, JD, who helped with legal expertise in establishing the foundation. The building was designed by the Finnish architect Kimmo Aslak Liimatainen, who with his fellow architects of the Ryhmä/Group won the Golden Lion at the Venice Architectural Biennale 1996. I co-operated with the Group in a couple of exhibition architecture project while working at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki. Much of this first phase of the project took place without my knowledge, which I now, having recovered from the enormous surprise, truly appreciate. I hope and know that the generosity all these artists will inspire us all in many ways in our future work.