A gumpi is a small mobile dwelling built on skis and pulled by snow machine. Used by nomadic Sámi reindeer herders, these structures allow people to follow the seasonal movements of animals across the landscape. Sámi artist and architect Joar Nango often incorporates references to Indigenous vernacular structures and objects such as the gumpi in his work, inspired by the ingenuity and improvisation embedded in items created for everyday use on the land. The way these structures reveal distinctive relationships to land, along with principles of reuse and sustainability, are central to Nango’s investigations.
In Nango’s installation, the gumpi becomes a vehicle for learning and exchange, screening episodes of the ‘improvised’ TV series Post Capitalist Architecture TV, a discussion-based exploration of the research and ideas motivating his practice. The series includes episodes on materiality and vernacular architecture, nomadism and movement, and decolonization. The final episode considers the gumpi itself, exploring the ways new technologies have changed reindeer herding, human interaction, and culture. Filmed from his van during the pandemic, Nango streams conversations with contributors from across the globe, projecting them onto a hand-sewn screen made from fish stomachs. The van’s TV studio setting, including the fireplace, draws from the aesthetics of the laavu, a traditional Sámi dwelling similar to a teepee.
Nango reflects that “through architecture, I am trying to reclaim space for the Sámi culture within the built environment, trying to make some sort of repair. I am trying to rediscover things and maybe also reimagine some of these potentials that, due to colonization, were not allowed to bloom or fulfill themselves.”