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CoSA - Concerning The Spiritual in Art

CoSA startet out as a collaboration between the artists Inger-Reidun Olsen and Marianne Skjeldal (LATERNA) and Thale Fastvold and Tanja Thorjussen (LOCUS) in 2016. Through our various artistic practices in performance art, dance, photography and drawing, LATERNA and LOCUS collaborated from 2016-2018 in exploring the spiritual in contemporary art as well as researching the spiritual in art that unfolded 100 years ago in Europe. Through our collaboration we merged performative- and visual arts traditions and shared knowledge and experience from each practice.

In the early 1900s Wassily Kandinskys’ publication “Concerning the spiritual in art” (1911) was published and many other artists such as Hilma af Klint and Emma Kunz, was influenced by spiritism, séances and alternative lifestyles, among others vegetarianism. In the last years we have seen a return of the spiritual expressed in contemporary art, especially in connection to ecological and environmental thinking, renewed focus on indigenous knowledge and our relationship to nature.


CoSA aims to channel and interpret the spirit of places (Genius Loci) into our artworks. By travelling to and exploring sites with spiritual reference or history, we re-create lost rituals and create new artworks. In dialogue with the place, we include material, objects, sound, movement and actions in relation to each chosen site. ​​

Our first journey together took us on a research trip to Monte Veritá in Switzerland, followed by our project initiation in Athens during Documenta 14 opening week (April 2017) in collaboration with The Norwegian Institute at Athens, with performance and book launch. Our next event took place at summer solstice at Áhkánjárstábba / Stalloen, in Kvalsund, Hammerfest, in Norway, followed by performance by LATERNA during Dansefestival Barents in Hammerfest in November 2017.

Since summer 2018 LATERNA is running the CoSA project on their own, and in May 2018, LATERNA received 3-year funding from Arts Council Norway for CoSA Part 2, 2018-2020.

See CoSA Part 2, 2018-2020 for more information!


In 2020 we will create an extensive research publication with texts by theorists, art scholars and artists.


To see all events in 2017 scroll further down!

(And stay tuned for coming programme for CoSA 2018/2019/2020.)


The 2017-project is supported by Arts Council Norway, Fond for lyd og bilde and The Norwegian Institute at Athens. 

Activities 2017 

I. Fossum, Oslo (NO). February 25th. Research.

 Photo by André Wulf /Dreiemoment as for LOCUS and LATERNA

II. Monte Verità, (CH) April 3rd.-5th. Research.

Photo by LATERNA and LOCUS

III. The Norwegian Institute at Athens (GR). April 6th. Performative event, book launch, artist talk.

Photo by Fili Olsefski

IV. Hill of the Muses, Athens (GR). April 10th. Performance. 

Photo by Fili Olsefski

V. Áhkánjárstábba, Kvalsund (NO). June 21st at summer solstice (and June 20th). Performance. We also held an open public showing on June 20th, for invited people as well as people randomly passing by.

Photo by Rino Engdal

VI. To the root - As if we were speaking the language of nature, October 8th at Museum of the St. Petersburg Avant-Garde (RU).  


Photo by Ekaterina Shelganova

VII. Áhkánjárstábba, Kvalsund/Hammerfest (NO). Two performances at Danefestival Barents, Arktisk Kultursenter, November 10th and 11th.  

Photo by Elisabeth K. Nilsson

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