Aage Gaup (b. 1943, Børselv) is an artist and stage designer based in Karasjok.
Aage Gaup has been working as an artist and set designer since the early 1970s. He was a member of the legendary Masi group which was the forerunner of the Sami Artists’ Association formed in 1979, which later established Sámi Dáiddaguovddáš in 1986. On display at Välkommaskolan is an installation of large wooden sculptures he made for the exhibition Old Language – New Forms and Refugees, 2018, at Sámi Dáiddaguovddáš [Sami Centre for Contemporary Art] in Karasjok, Norway. Here Gaup manifests his interest in the visual language found, for example, among the symbols on the ornate drums of the Sami shamans known as Nåjder. If the symbols are already three-dimensional, their language constitutes a kind of fourth dimension. Gaup’s knowledge of scenography is apparent in the light and sound design that accompanies the sculptures developed in collaboration with Halvdan Nedrejord (sound) and Kurt Hermansen (light).
The charcoal drawings are based on drawings Aage Gaup found when cleaning out his mother’s old house. The drawings illustrate Aage and his mother’s flight to Áiterohtu during World War II, where Gaup’s grandparents lived in their traditional goahti huts. But the Germans caught up with the young family and they were forcibly deported to southern Norway. The small drawings were on the back of some Christmas cards and on the page of a calendar; an ephemeral testimony to a hidden trauma.
Many of Aage Gaup’s works relate to Sami mythology or the Sami experience, but often also a universal approach that stands up for oppressed people around the world. The sculpture, which is carved from mangrove wood, is an expression of traditional Sami knowledge of both woodwork and carpentry. This passive war machine is at once threatening and ridiculous, a picture of the futility of patriarchal vanity. The sculpture Sleeping War Machine was made in Maracaibo, Venezuela, as part of the exhibition project Maya, Sami, Barí, Wayúu, Yukpa, Añú, Arte Contemporáneo in which several indigenous artists from Venezuela and Guatemala participated at the invitation of the Centro De Arte De Maracaibo Lía Bermúdez.
As part of Woven Songs, in collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden.
Johtin / Reisen, 1989
Wood, root, reindeer skin
Lihkuhisvouhta; Lihkku; Biegg-oimmoš; Biegg-oimmoš; Bahádahkki, 2018
Bearráigeahčči, Báhtareaddjit, Boddu, 2018
Charcoal on painted wood
A part of the installation Dološ giella – ođđa hápmi ja báhtareaddjit (Old Language – New Forms and Refugees)
Sleeping War Machine, 2003
Mangrove wood and paint