expansive sámi architecture library unfolds inside nordic pavilion at venice biennale

expansive sámi architecture library unfolds inside nordic pavilion at venice biennale

Joar Nango brings sámi architecture archive to Venice biennale

 

Sámi-Norwegian architect and artist Joar Nango has dedicated over fifteen years to curating a comprehensive collection of books exploring topics pertinent to Indigenous architecture. This year, alongside a team of collaborators, Nango presents Girjegumpi: The Sámi Architecture Library, which serves as a multifaceted structure, a vibrant social space, and an insightful library on Sámi architecture. The creation is showcased at the Nordic Countries Pavilion within the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023

 

The term Girjegumpi cleverly combines two Northern Sámi terms: ‘Girji,’ which translates to ‘book,’ and ‘Gumpi,’ referring to a compact mobile reindeer herder cabin mounted on sleds and typically hauled by a snowmobile. This word interplay encompasses the essence of the project—a repository of knowledge, an archive, and the very structure that houses and transports these elements. Inside the lively pavilion, visitors can explore the extensive book collection spanning from rare titles and contemporary volumes, as well as artworks, materials, design details, and found objects. 

expansive sámi architecture library unfolds inside nordic pavilion at venice biennale
Girjegumpi: The Sámi Architecture Library by Joar Nango and collaborators at the Nordic Countries Pavilion (18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia) | image by Laurian Ghinițoiu (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0. (also head image)

 

 

the nomadic nature of Joar Nango’s Girjegumpi

 

Joar Nango is an architect and artist based in Romsa/Tromsø, Norway. His work is rooted in Sápmi – the traditional Sámi territory covering the northern regions of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula in Russia. Through building, site-specific interventions, design collaborations, photography, publications, and video, Nango explores the role of Sámi and Indigenous architecture and craft in contemporary thought.

 

Girjegumpi represents the culmination of the Romsa/Tromsø-based creative’s extensive research and dialogues over two decades. As a nomadic and communal library, the project has evolved through site-specific adaptations, embarking on a journey across diverse locations in both Sápmi and the expansive Nordic region. Along this journey, Nango has collaborated with multiple artists and craftspeople such as Katarina Spik Skum, Anders Sunna, Ken Are Bongo, and Anders Rimpi, among others.

 

Nomadic by design, Girjegumpi is a living testament to the significance of Indigenous culture in contemporary architectural discourse and construction. It emphasizes collaborative work, adaptable building techniques, resource management in a rapidly changing climate, and a mindful approach to landscapes and nature. Through this project, the Sámi-Norwegian architect fosters a polyphonic understanding of the world, expanding architectural perspectives.

expansive sámi architecture library unfolds inside nordic pavilion at venice biennale
inside the pavilion, visitors can explore an extensive book collection, as well as artworks, materials, design details, and found objects | image by Laurian Ghinițoiu (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.

 

 

Girjegumpi at The Nordic Countries Pavilion of venice biennale

 

At its core, Girjegumpi houses an extensive archive of over 500 publications, delving into topics such as Sámi architecture, traditional building knowledge, activism, and decoloniality. This versatile space serves as both a gathering spot for large groups and a tranquil reading room, encouraging solitary study and reflection. As a critical endeavor, it provides a platform for Indigenous imagination.

 

The Nordic Countries Pavilion, designed by Sverre Fehn in 1962, symbolizes cooperation among the Nordic countries. Within this context, Girjegumpi opens its doors to an international audience, fostering the continued growth of knowledge, collaboration, and solidarity that transcends national boundaries.

expansive sámi architecture library unfolds inside nordic pavilion at venice biennale
the versatile space serves as both a gathering spot for large groups and a tranquil reading room | image by Laurian Ghinițoiu (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.

expansive sámi architecture library unfolds inside nordic pavilion at venice biennale
the library features over 500 publications, from rare titles to contemporary volumes | image by Laurian Ghinițoiu (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.

expansive-sami-architecture-library-unfolds-inside-the-nordic-pavilion-at-venice-architecture-biennale-designboom-full-00

inside of the Nordic Countries Pavilion | image by Laurian Ghinițoiu (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.

expansive sámi architecture library unfolds inside nordic pavilion at venice biennale
the Girjegumpi project has traveled across the globe as a nomadic librarys | image by Laurian Ghinițoiu (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.

expansive-sami-architecture-library-unfolds-inside-the-nordic-pavilion-at-venice-architecture-biennale-designboom-full-01

vibrant colors, textures and material emerge within the pavilions | image by Laurian Ghinițoiu (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.

expansive sámi architecture library unfolds inside nordic pavilion at venice biennale
the library delves into topics such as Sámi architecture, traditional building knowledge, activism, and decoloniality | image by Laurian Ghinițoiu (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.

expansive sámi architecture library unfolds inside nordic pavilion at venice biennale
audiovisual material is also available within Girjegumpi | image by Laurian Ghinițoiu (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.

expansive sámi architecture library unfolds inside nordic pavilion at venice biennale
collaborators of Girjegumpi: the Sámi Architecture Library by Joar Nango and collaborators at the Nordic Countries Pavilion | image by Laurian Ghinițoiu (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.

expansive sámi architecture library unfolds inside nordic pavilion at venice biennale
Joar Nango in Venice, 2022. | image by Knut Åserud

 

 

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Joar Nango at the inauguration of 'Girjegumpi: the Sámi Architecture Library' by Joar Nango and collaborators at the Nordic Countries Pavilion (18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia) | image by Federico Sutera (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.
Joar Nango at the inauguration of 'Girjegumpi: the Sámi Architecture Library' by Joar Nango and collaborators at the Nordic Countries Pavilion (18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia) | image by Federico Sutera (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.
inauguration of 'Girjegumpi: the Sámi Architecture Library' by Joar Nango and collaborators at the Nordic Countries Pavilion (18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia) | image by Federico Sutera (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.
inauguration of 'Girjegumpi: the Sámi Architecture Library' by Joar Nango and collaborators at the Nordic Countries Pavilion (18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia) | image by Federico Sutera (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.
launch of 'Supplement 7: Uncle Doug’s Fishing Shack' (May 20, 2023). part of 'Girjegumpi: the Sámi Architecture Library' by Joar Nango and collaborators at the Nordic Countries Pavilion (18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia) | image by Federico Sutera (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.
launch of 'Supplement 7: Uncle Doug’s Fishing Shack' (May 20, 2023). part of 'Girjegumpi: the Sámi Architecture Library' by Joar Nango and collaborators at the Nordic Countries Pavilion (18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia) | image by Federico Sutera (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.
conversation on 'Architecture in Sápmi' with Astrid Fadnes, Jenni Hakovirta, Grethe Johanna Minde, Joar Nango, Káre Raija Anti, Katrine Rugeldal, Eveliina Sarapää, Magnus Antaris Tuolja and Mary Ailonieida Sombán Mari (May 20, 2023). part of 'Girjegumpi: the Sámi Architecture Library' by Joar Nango and collaborators at the Nordic Countries Pavilion (18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia) | image by Federico Sutera (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.
conversation on 'Architecture in Sápmi' with Astrid Fadnes, Jenni Hakovirta, Grethe Johanna Minde, Joar Nango, Káre Raija Anti, Katrine Rugeldal, Eveliina Sarapää, Magnus Antaris Tuolja and Mary Ailonieida Sombán Mari (May 20, 2023). part of 'Girjegumpi: the Sámi Architecture Library' by Joar Nango and collaborators at the Nordic Countries Pavilion (18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia) | image by Federico Sutera (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.
conversation on 'Architecture in Sápmi' with Astrid Fadnes, Jenni Hakovirta, Grethe Johanna Minde, Joar Nango, Káre Raija Anti, Katrine Rugeldal, Eveliina Sarapää, Magnus Antaris Tuolja and Mary Ailonieida Sombán Mari (May 20, 2023). part of 'Girjegumpi: the Sámi Architecture Library' by Joar Nango and collaborators at the Nordic Countries Pavilion (18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia) | image by Federico Sutera (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.
conversation on 'Architecture in Sápmi' with Astrid Fadnes, Jenni Hakovirta, Grethe Johanna Minde, Joar Nango, Káre Raija Anti, Katrine Rugeldal, Eveliina Sarapää, Magnus Antaris Tuolja and Mary Ailonieida Sombán Mari (May 20, 2023). part of 'Girjegumpi: the Sámi Architecture Library' by Joar Nango and collaborators at the Nordic Countries Pavilion (18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia) | image by Federico Sutera (2023). CC BY-SA 4.0.
Joar Nango, Girjegumpi in Jokkmokk, 2018 | image by Astrid Fadnes
Joar Nango, Girjegumpi in Jokkmokk, 2018 | image by Astrid Fadnes
Joar Nango, Girjegumpi in Jokkmokk, 2018 | image by Astrid Fadnes
Joar Nango, Girjegumpi in Jokkmokk, 2018 | image by Astrid Fadnes
Joar Nango, Girjegumpi in Jokkmokk, 2018 | image by Astrid Fadnes
Joar Nango, Girjegumpi in Jokkmokk, 2018 | image by Astrid Fadnes

project info: 

 

name: Girjegumpi
architect: Joar Nango
location: Nordic Countries Pavilion
event: Venice Architecture Biennale 2023

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