Carola Grahn, born in 1982, is of South Sámi descent. She grew up in Jokkmokk and received a Master’s degree in fine arts from the Royal Institute of Art in Sweden in 2013. She lives and works in New York. In her work, Grahn combines text, photography, installations and sound into storytelling pieces. Intense emotions are often the point of departure in her praxis. Grahn studies social relationships and the relationship of humans with nature in order to understand our given roles and the ways in which they both relate to an individual’s self-image and influence society.
Carola Grahn’s contribution to the Art Ii Biennial consisted of three wooden signs with short, hand-carved sentences, positioned in the Ii area in places where the text matched the landscape. The blunt statements brought to mind human relations. My Name is Nature responded to the human desire to connect with nature and be absorbed by the sublime. This work presented the idea of nature as a human-like subjective entity with consciousness and emotions. Nature was portrayed as a self-willed and unwilling lover who feels taken advantage of. As Grahn stated, perhaps this lover called Nature is not as eager to connect with humans as our fantasy might suggest.
Grahn’s work took the theme of the Biennial to the level of our civilisation as a whole. Her work could be seen as a comment on our modern society’s endless demand for resources. It also pointed to the discrepancies between our thoughts and actions regarding nature. She represents a new generation of Sámi artists and works on a conceptual level, mixing traditions and media.