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“Running an art gallery in the high Arctic is not a job for most people,” Elizabeth Bourne wrote three years ago in a lengthy feature about Galleri Svalbard when she traveled from her hometown of Seattle to Longyearbyen for the debut of her exhibit at the gallery – or, more precisely, her first exhibit.
She’s had two more since moving to Svalbard a few months after publishing that feature and on Monday she’ll officially preside over the first exhibit as the curator of the gallery building, taking control of from the city which has managed it as a gallery since 1995.
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I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.