"By the way, I can’t imagine a performance being stronger or ‘with more surrender’ on record, than the one vocalist and front woman Mara did live, a real eye catcher."
By Nicolas Dewulf
Born 1977 in Tromsø, Norway Marita is a visual artist and musician from Manndalen/Olmmáivággi, now based in Tromsø in the north of Norway. Marita works on the borderline between art, life and science, focusing mainly on sound, performance art and installation. She likes to experiment with different media, and her work is often site-specific and relational, reinforced by a strong performative tension. Her oeuvre is characterized by a straightforward and sincerely personal expression. Mysterious and enchanting. Approaching the audience with an utmost seriousness and taking it with storm, she consistently shakes up the crowd of spectators. Inspired by elements from Sámi, Kven and Northern culture and subcultures, and from relations to people and places, she embodies personas of varied but particular properties; The seer, the witch, the sage or the jester. Equally understated, minimal and expressive, the works explore a world of challenge, strangeness, melancholy and desire with narrative passages or content. At times autobiographical, she mixes with more symbolic and ritualistic elements. Her experience as a Sami, a woman and a citizen of the world are interweaved into her living pictures, which are multi-layered works stemming from deep reflection.
She had singing lessons since the age of 7, she has ventured through soul, opera, pop, rock and jazz, and has developed her own personal style and artistic expression, using her voice and body in experimental ways.
Solberg studied at Nordland Art & Filmschool and the National Academy of The Arts in Oslo between 1997 and 2007, and has since then been in residence at Fordypningsrommet Fleinvær (Norway), The Art & Life Institute in Kingston, New York, at Puskinskaya-10 in St. Petersburg, at Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan, The Watermill Center in New York (Robert Wilson), The Performance Studio in London (David Thorp) and participated in several art and music-related stays in USA (Rosendale, New York City, Miami, Alaska), Italy (Sicily, Venice), Russia (Arkhangelsk, St. Petersburgh), Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Shigaraki), Norway, UK (London, Newcastle, Liverpool), Spain (Majorca, Barcelona) and in France (Avignon, Paris, Charleville). Touring with her music projects Mara & The Inner Strangeness, Maras, The Tom Waitresses and Strange Mara in Italy, Russia, USA, UK and Norway.
From 2014 to 2016 she has partly been a residence in New York, hosted by Jill McDermid & Erik Hokanson (Grace Exhibition Space, GAPAF, Rosekill Festival for International Performance Art and Linda Mary Montanas Art & Life Institute.
Here she has done several performances over the past two years next to other reknown artists like;
Linda Mary Montano, Martha Wilson, Marilyn Arsem, Arai Shin-Ichi, Thomas Albrecht, Nyugen Smith, Tif Robinette, Ian Deleon, Hector Canonge & Camil, Coco Dolle & Shawn Bishop with Legacy Fatale, Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle, Claribel Pichardo Jolie, Clara Diamond, Veronica Vera, Yolteotli (Raquel Du Toit + Cinema), Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Agrofemme, Rudi Salpietra, Lital Dotan, Huisie He, Share .nyc, Manuel Vason, Mayread Delaney, Vela Phelan, Alice Vogler, Lisa Stertz, Brian McCorkle, Joseph Ravens, Jacob Cohen, Maria Luisa Zayd Buti, Jane Wang, Esther Neff, Geraldo Mercado and Sindy Butz and more.
Upcoming: Festspillene i Nord-Norge/Arctic Arts Festival in Harstad 2017, Performing at Edinburgh Art Festival, 2017, and she has an exhibition with Ingeborg Annie Lindahl in The North-Norwegian Art Center in Svolvær, Norway coming up in june 2018.
Trond Ansten (NO) b.1984, is a Norwegian artist based in Tromsø who primarily works with fine art, video and brew. Working together with Mara on a project called Dorski Morhua. He received his education from the State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe, Baden Württemberg, and previously studied biology and expedition guiding. In his practice he is exploring the relation between man and nature through various media. His works are shown internationally in galleries and film festivals such as Gallery Mustanapa, Rovaniemi, Anthology Film Archives, New York, CCA-gallery, Glasgow, I-Factory, Shenzhen, China,Alternative Film/Video Festival, Belgrade.
Terry Smith (UK) Projects together; Performance in The Museum of Modern Art in Venice during the International Performance Art Week in Venice (2014) and Venice Agendas (2015) in Venice and Newcastle. Venice Agendas is a development of a sound art project by Bill Furlong and Mel Gooding started in 1973. Joseph Beuys and Philip Glass are some of those who were interviewed. Venice Agendas has taken place in the Venice Biennale since 1999. Connections to Strangelove and Uncovered.
Ingeborg Annie Lindahl (NO) Artist living in Harstad. Working on a project based on our northern Norwegian language, expressions and symbols. Background of the project is inspired by the saying that northerners have a very pictorial and verbal language. Lindah and Solberg will do field work in northern areas to investigate and map the visual language. A recess around symbol and image reality consisting of symbolism and stories. We are also working towards a joint exhibition in 2018.
Non Grata, Estonian performance group always touring the world.
Nina Yhared (Mexico). Studying PhD at the Institute of Art and Design in Mexico City. Met in NYC in autumn 2016 and they had an event That Public Private Space in Brooklyn, NYC together. Yhared & Solberg work with a performance art project between Norway and Mexico, entitled "Sugar Traces". Themes are based on exploration around female performance artists and their migrations.
Adam Zaretsky (USA) Bioartist and crazy game cabinets man working with exciting things in relation to the body and nature, he challenge, invent, explore and play. Professor at the Department of Visual Arts at Resselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Zaretsky & Solberg will work together on a project that is based on haplogroups, genes and movement patterns of genes. The Saami people will be a base, that is Solbergs herritage, they ask questions, do research and challenges conventional "laws". This will result in performance projects around the world.
Performing also with Stig Arne Sigmund Pettersen (Norway), Erik Nilsson (Norway), Christo Stangness (Norway), Øystein Elle, The Shakespeares Wild Sisters (Taiwan), THAT PUBLIC/PRIVATE SPACE in Brooklyn, NY, Rosekill Farm, The Bowery Poetry Club and Williamsburg Music Center, mmmMaras (Tromsø), Mistberget (Oslo, Majorca), Ingeborg Annie Lindahl (Norway), ASK Collective (Harstad, Bergen, Sigerfjord), Möc-pop (Oslo), Ine Camilla Bjørnsten (Island), Hector Canonge & Jacob Cohen (NY), Yuki Kawahisa (NY), Manuel Vason(London), Bols (Tromsø), The Legendary Antler Sisters (Tromsø, Norway), Stardust*, Tina Derakshan (Tromsø, Iran), The Ephemeral Arts Connection (Sicily).
December 2015 marita was invited to the X Contemporary during Art Basel in Miami, in addition, Here she was also part of NonGratas performance under Satellite Art Fair. Roadtrip from Miami to NYC with performances in ia Kingston, Pittsburgh and Brooklyn, NYC .
Since 2013 she had projects in Arkhangelsk and later St. Petersburg through HIGH NORTH.
New collaboration is imminent and other new prosjects are taking shape.
She was the chairman of SDS (2013-2015) and RadArt (2012-2013),
She was one of the members of the Artistic Council in SDS / SDG. (2010-2012).
Member of NNBK, RadArt, Tono, BandOrg, Gramo and Musikernes Fellesorganisasjon.
"All the while she was going round the room, looking the spectators and musicians in the eyes, seemingly in her own world, acting out her emotions. Her presence and her voice, sometimes a cry, sometimes a murmur, always intense, were filling the place, creating the sound and the silence. Her way of singing, so powerful and free, reminded us of Björk’s…"