Lorenzö: Way North – Chronicles of Nervei

24.09.2016 - 23.10.2016

Monday 24.10. @10AM

The artist gives away and signs the works from the exhibition for free.

Welcome to choose a memory from Nervei for yourself!




You don’t come to Nervei by chance or by accident.

Nervei is not an ordinary Finnmark village.

It’s a community, established by the sea, enclaved by nature with yet no road access.

Nervei is a place you choose to live in, a place where you decide to stay.

Or leave.

Nervei is a world in itself.


Way North is an artistic, cross-media visual project, which relates three months of the everyday life in Nervei, a village in northern Norway only accessible by sea route during the winter. During a trip to Finnmark in 2012, Lorenzö Chmiel had the chance to chat with some inhabitants of Gamvik. When he asked a man how it was to live there, he simply gave him this beautiful answer: “We fight with the wind, we fight with the snow, we fight with Nature. You can risk your life when you go get groceries. It’s beautiful. You feel so much alive.”

Through the story of the life in this village, Way North pushes the viewer to question his own relationship with the unknown and with the Nature. Way North tells the story of men and women who decided to live a different everyday life. Their ordinary is our extraordinary. Through the images of these ordinary people living extraordinary days, Lorenzö Chmiel wants to shake up the cosy blanket under which the audience lays, and ask the viewer these simple questions: «Could I do it? Could I live there?»

Way North is not an aesthetic fresco celebrating the pre-Arctic territories. Way North pushes the viewer to leave his personal matrix in order to question his own relationship with Nature and civilisation. The project focuses on four themes: the inhabitants of the village; the everyday life; the environment and the weather; the notion and the perception of time. Each of these themes are featured through small chronicles, telling their own stories, at their own pace, submerging the viewer in a bubble of sensations.

The inhabitants of the village are photographed with a 8x10 camera on direct positive paper that was processed at Nervei, using filtered river water and Caffenol. These formal portraits in black and white temporal markers, providing little to no element of context. The everyday life is depicted through photos and films, telling little stories and real life tales. The films are captured through a static point of view: the camera is used as an open window through which the viewer can let her/his eyes wander freely. The environment and the weather are represented using sounds, films and photos. “Represented” is the right word, as the strength and power of the wind, the soft but overwhelming clench of the snow and the bite of the cold can only be “represented“ and not restituted.

Time, and time perception are rendered through the rhythm of the movies and the pace of the actions depicted. In Nervei, time units are different. You have to learn to be patient, you have to learn and accept to wait. Planning and schedules evolve through their own chronology, following the elements. Each chronicle can be seen independently, having its own artistic existence. But the project gains its force and meaning when viewed as an ensemble in the final exhibition. Images, films and sounds interact one with another, constructing a pattern of perceptions that transposes the viewer in a unique dimension.

The exhibition has been supported by The Arts Promotion Centre Finland/National Council for Visual arts 

More information: http://lzo.fr/waynorth/