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AFK (NO) FOR OUTDOOR FESTIVAL, ROME

For the third year running, Nuart Festival was invited to curate the Norwegian Pavilion at the 2016 edition of Rome's Outdoor Festival.

AFK is a Bergen-based artist whose monochrome stencil-based artworks are often laced with political undertones. In the past few years he has established himself as one of Norway’s leading street artists with his work being among some of the most exceptional examples the country has to offer.

For his participation in Outdoor Festival, AFK took the current global migration crisis as the starting point for his installation, which touches upon psychology, biology, current affairs and statistics in reflecting upon the causes of this on-going crisis. 

“With all the information we are fed about political, religious and racial differences being the cause of so much unrest, could we be neglecting to acknowledge what is at the heart of the matter? Regardless of all the reasons we may assume to be the cause, there is one consistent factor that unifies most of the violence in our world…men. This is no revelation of course, yet we continue to emphasize and group these perpetrators by their affiliations rather than their gender” says the artist.

It is commonly recognised that education is the dominant factor that determines levels of poverty, social unrest and the manifestation of violence. Likewise, the most extreme examples of academic suppression are in societies where men make all the rules. Psychologist, Steven Pinker perhaps sums it up best in the following statement: “The parts of the world that lag in the decline of violence are also the parts that lag in the empowerment of women.”

If the world was ruled by matriarchal societies, would women be the ones committing the bulk of violent acts, or is it man’s fundamental hardwiring that is to blame? To what degree has testosterone played its part in our evolution and are we able to suppress its negative effects through education and the empowerment of women?

AFK’s two murals for Outdoor Festival, titled ‘Hard Wire’ and ‘The Climb – Struggles To Connect’, invite the viewer to meditate on these ancient residues of aggressive behavior and their manifestations in contemporary everyday life.

For more information visit Outdoor Festival's website.

Photographs by Alberto Blasetti and courtesy the artist.

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