FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SNEAK PREVIEW: Viking Rappers: from New York to the North Pole Martin Johansen & Simen Braathen @ NOoSPHERE Arts in NYC, June 14 ‐ 16 2013
Opening Reception: Fri June 14, 6– 9pm Special Concert Performance by Slincraze
251 EAST HOUSTON ST NEW YORK, NY 1OOO2 WWW.NO-SPHERE.ORG
”M for Máze” rapper Slincraze represents his hometown Máze (photo by Martin Johansen)
New York, NY, May 4: NOoSPHERE Arts is proud to present Viking Rappers featuring photographer Martin Johansen and writer/director Simen Braathen. For one weekend only, the show will be open to the public for a short sneak preview and reopen in the fall for a month‐long exhibition period.
‘To represent where you come from’ has been a cornerstone in hip‐hop since the culture emerged from New York in the ‘70s. So what happens when the Bronx‐born music genre finds its way overseas to the fjords of Norway, a country monumentally different from that of its origin?
Simen Braathen and Martin Johansen have spent the last two years documenting Norwegian rap artists and the places they come from. From indigenous Sami rappers in the Arctic Highlands, who use hip‐hop as an instrument to revitalize their nearly extinct language, to American gangster‐rap fanatics down south.
Viking Rappers: from New York to the North Pole is a fun, surprising and sobering exhibit addressing what happens when different music and cultures mix. It is an ode to the city and the art form that truly changed the exhibitors’ lives. Like a way for them to say “Hey New York, thanks for giving us hip‐hop! This is what we made of it and now we hope you like it.”
Documentary Premiere & Indigenous Rap Performance Máze Represent! is a documentary by Simen Braathen and Kristoffer Kumar. Máze is a small village in the arctic highlands populated by the indigenous Sami people (also known as Laplanders). For more than 5000 years, the Sami have inhabited the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, but today their cultural heritage and language are nearly extinct. Máze Represent! tells the story of how Slincraze – a rap group from Máze, uses hip‐hop to fight negative stereotypes and bring back their dying language.
Slincraze will perform live at the opening reception and for the first time, New York can experience genuine Sami rap in a language spoken by less than 15,000 people on earth.
Martin Johansen (Norway) ‐ Photographer Martin has more than 10 years’ experience as a music and documentary photographer. His work is frequently used by genre‐relevant publications, including Kingsize, Scandinavia’s largest hip‐hop magazine, and as cover artwork for multiple award‐winning Norwegian artists. Growing up as part of Oslo’s vibrant graffiti/hip‐hop scene, Martin manages to get close to the artists he portrays, which is evident in his work.
Simen Braathen (Norway) – Writer & Director While growing up in a small fishing town in Norway, Simen used to imagine living in Brooklyn, New York, where the local bus would transform into a graffiti‐covered subway car and the beat from a boombox would reverberate between the boats on the dock. Simen has 15 years’ experience working with hip‐hop; as an artist, songwriter and concert promoter. He has helped promote more than 200 concerts throughout Norway, with artists such as 50 Cent, Wu‐Tang Clan and Lil’ Wayne. He now lives and works as a writer in Brooklyn.
NOoSPHERE Arts will be closed over the summer for renovations, so please come join us for this last round of fun before we meet again in September! NOoSPHERE Arts is located at 251 East Houston Street, between Norfolk & Suffolk Streets. The closest subway stop is Second Avenue – Lower East Side on the F‐train. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday 12– 6pm. Press viewings can be arranged prior to the exhibitions. For more information or to arrange a viewing, please contact the gallery manager at (646) 389‐8229 or mail@no‐in‐nyc.org