“Hvem kan seile foruten vind” with Jessica Ullevålseter

PERFORMANCE: “Hvem kan seile foruten vind” with Jessica Ullevålseter @ SMALL PROJECTS

Jessica Ullevålseter (NO) was born in Norway but lived out of the country from 2003 – 2017 in the UK, Spain, and Mexico. She received her education from University of Barcelona and UNAM, Mexico- as well as the art tank La Colmena. She was influenced by situationism and performative art.

Her work is inspired by change and the possibility to change, in particular by the meeting. She incorporates personal questions to her art, such as colonialism- being the mother of a young Mexican boy, imperialism- whiteness, by her personal family heritage: that of resistance against the Nazis at Ullevålseter in the Oslo forest- on one side of the family, and colonization and missionary on another side of the family.

Her return to Europe in 2017 was a cultural shock and has since worked on the meeting between people in a very isolated world. Her art is to create a platform. She believes that we should, in our common meetings, be bold and make new ways into the future. It  is our personal and our eco chambers´ duty and responsibility to dig into history and family heritage to actively heal the past.

Her work is often inspired in shamanism or alchemical questions, perennial philosophy and symbolical studies.  She sees herself as an activist as well as an artist and tries to actively question the artists role, protagonism and concerning the authentic voice and message. 

She sees art as a space where the audience should be included and she does not differ in result and process.

Art is the language by which we can reconcile, as it is challenging by nature and never defined.


“Hvem kan seile foruten vind”- is a performance that speaks of the migrants and refugees we lose every year in the Mediterranean sea.

Hvem kan seile foruten vind/ who can sail without wind is an art piece that has been made through 3 stages. First stage was a participating art work. Ullevålseter started to make origami boats with people in Marocco back in may 2018 and continued both in Spain and Norway. The goal was to make one origami boat for each missing migrant in the Mediterranean Sea the same year. The vision was that,- once installed, - the audience would get a grouned idea of the numbers we tend to caracterize as abstract masses,- such as "2000 dead people"- which do not speak to our senses, but rather alienates realities.

Through workshops, the aim was also to open up a dialogue with the participants about the vulnerable topic of immigration politics.
The partakers were ranging from school children, to hipster capitalist, to former asylum seekers and random people on the streets of Madrid.

The additional performances that has been made,- focuses on honoring each and every boat. It has been executed through the topic of grief. Such as,- losing one human of our humanity- is like losing a limb of our own body. Ullevålseter believes that grief is a feeling that should be explored and honored in the Western culture,- as a fundamental step towards taking accountability and responsibility for the economic and social imbalance that has been
created and carefully sustained through history.

"Who can sail without wind" is the title of an old Scandinavian folk tune that speaks of the grieving separation between those beloved and seeks to open an empathic door to the Nordic peoples' hearts; who otherwise live very far from warzones and famine- and do not truly comprehend political tragedies.

Jessica is presented as part of the We Are Europe

Date / Time
Oct 23 | 16:00

Small Projects
Grønnegata 23, Tromsø, Norway

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