Eva la Cour
(Photo provided by Eva la Cour)

My name is Eva la Cour and I am a Danish visual artist based in Copenhagen (Denmark) where I live, as well as in Gothenburg (Sweden) where I am employed as a PhD candidate at Valand Academy, the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, at the University of Gothenburg.

I graduated from the Jutland Art Academy in Denmark in 2010 and from Media and Visual anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin in 2011, and since then I have worked independently as a visual artist with both exhibition-making, research and teaching.

ENCOUNTERING SVALBARD: In fact, just after graduation from the art academy I was invited on an artist residency on a boat sailing around the high Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, which eventually informed my master thesis in media and visual anthropology: The residency sparked a series of questions regarding the kinds of infrastructures that allow tourists, scientists and artists alike to access and experience Svalbard, and the ways in which these experiences feedback on the Arctic as an imaginary geography. Subsequently, I returned to Longyearbyen to do fieldwork as a taxi-driver, and produce the film The Tour.

THE FIGURE OF THE GUIDE: Structured as a guided (taxi) tour around Longyearbyen, The Tour tries to reflect upon the ways in which films in themselves are guiding the imaginary geographies of the Arctic. It is a visual montage guided by the voices of three different taxi drivers and their motives for being on Svalbard, which in effect questions any clear distinction between the archipelago’s ‘hosts’ and ‘guests’.

Now, my current PhD project can be regarded in connection to this. The Figure of the Guide: Mediating the Arctic Terrain is an artistic research project attentive to the guide as a pathfinder and mentor, and useful tool to analyze and produce a shift from representation to mediation in relation to the “image political” Arctic – a fundament explicitly related to artistic practice, but also to the Arctic’s neo-colonial location in the context of environmental crisis.

ARTISTIC RESEARCH: My artistic practice has thus for almost ten years – in multiple forms, including film, installation and writing – been informed by research related particularly to Svalbard, but lately also to the Disko island in Greenland. What really interests me is the intersection between environmental histories and their mediation; imaginary geographies and their materialities. I am interested in bridging anthropological debates on practice and the construction of knowledge with contemporary discourses on decoloniality and materiality, and like to claim that this bridging allows for a mode of inquiring that lack previous research: Through a critical approach to the notion of the essayistic film-experiment, and use of collaborative live-editing, my current practice based PhD research brings together questions of ‘how to construct an altered sense of historical / contemporary narrative?’ with ‘how to share authorship and ownership in a live-situation?’. Because this situates the guide in a context of image production. And what becomes visible then is a truly rough landscape. Not only a rough landscape in the sense of its footage from Svalbard, but also a rough landscape of writing, thinking and performing. A landscape as a kind of palimpsest, that is constantly over-written, and thus touches upon (related) questions of ownership and authorship.

If you would like to contact me, my email is: eva.lacour@akademinvaland.gu.se.

Publications include:

La Cour, Eva. (2018). “A Montage of Notes from Svalbard: Mediating the Arctic through Artistic Research.” Artistic Visions on the Anthropocene North: Climate Change and Nature in Art. Edited by Gry Hedin and Ann-Sofie N. Gremaud. Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/Artistic-Visions-of-the-Anthropocene-North-Climate-Change-and-Nature-in/Hedin-Gremaud/p/book/9781138232631.

La Cour, Eva. “The Landscape as Image.” (2017). Exhibiting the everyday. Edited by Carsten Friberg and Raine Vasquez. NSU Press. http://repositorio.ul.pt/bitstream/10451/27990/1/%5B2017%5D%20A%20Phenomenology%20of%20Interaction_Joao%20Baptista.pdf.

La Cour, Eva. (2014). Films on Ice. Contributor to the book. Edited by Scot MacKenzie and Anna Westerstahl Stenport. Edinburgh University Press. https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-films-on-ice.html.

Artistic displays/projects include:

La Cour, Eva. (2018). “Where and Where to? / Sumi Sumullu?” Exhibition. http://hospitalprisonuniversity.net/eng/eng_index.php#displays_eng.php.

La Cour, Eva. (2015). “Composite/De-Composited.” Experimental film. http://www.art-action.org/site/en/cat/rech/_cat_motcle.php?p=84&motcle=.

La Cour, Eva. “Svalbard, a live-narrated montage/The Arctic Dwelling Project.”