About OCA : Organisation

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway is a non-profit foundation created by the Norwegian Ministries of Culture and of Foreign Affairs in 2001. Its principle aim is to foster dialogue between art practitioners in Norway, including Sápmi, and the international arts scene, and support artists based in Norway in their activities around the world. As a result OCA’s discursive, exhibition, publication, residency and visitor programmes focus on bringing to Norway the plurality of practices and histories at the forefront of international artistic debates, as much as they are concerned with actively participating in such debates nationally and internationally. OCA has been responsible for Norway's contribution to the visual arts section of La Biennale di Venezia since 2001.

OCA is part of the network Norwegian Arts Abroad, a collaborative initiative to strengthen Norwegian arts at home and abroad through cooperation between participating organisations, by collectively addressing common issues, sharing knowledge and creating meaningful synergies. Norwegian Arts Abroad consists of seven arts organisations funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Music Norway, Norwegian Crafts, Norwegian Film Institute (NFI), Norwegian Literature Abroad (NORLA), Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), Performing Arts Hub Norway (PAHN) and The Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DOGA).

OCA's core objectives are:

  • To raise awareness internationally of Norwegian artistic and cultural practice.
  • To promote internationally outstanding practices by Norwegian artists and cultural producers.
  • To be the leading conduit of information about Norwegian contemporary art practices, for researchers and audiences both in Norway and abroad.
  • To present in Norway lectures, symposia and visual key developments in international contemporary art practice.
  • To explore synergies between the artistic and academic worlds.
  • To act as a forum for discussion and for the production of intellectual discourse on art and culture.

The activities of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway are manifold:

International Support

OCA offers financial support enabling non-profit international institutions and international curators to place Norwegian artists, curators and critics within professional exhibitions and contexts. OCA accepts applications on three deadlines throughout the year: 1 February, 1 May and 1 October. Applications are accepted from non-profit entities, and priority is given to exhibitions taking place in key international art institutions and project spaces. Support is also given to solo exhibitions and group exhibitions initiated by international curators including Norwegian artists, as well as to Norwegian art professionals organising exhibitions and projects abroad. Norwegian artists and international artists with permanent residence in Norway may also apply for support. The objective for support is to foster the professional consideration and exhibition of Norwegian art abroad, innovative artistic production and a creative process of dialogue and collaboration within the spectrum of contemporary cultural practice. Applications are assessed by an international jury appointed by OCA. Click here for more information.

International Support for Galleries and Independent Exhbition Spaces (ISGIES)

The International Support for Galleries and Independent Exhibition Spaces (ISGIES) is initiated and funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and administered by the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) for the promotion of Norwegian galleries and independent exhibition spaces in international art fairs and temporary exhibition arenas. The International Support for Galleries and Independent Exhibition Spaces (ISGIES) shall contribute to the increased demand and the internationalisation of Norwegian contemporary art, including visual arts and crafts. The grant should stimulate international efforts for galleries and independent exhibition spaces who work in Norway to promote Norwegian contemporary art abroad, particularly with respect to participation in renowned international art fairs, as well as in temporary exhibition arenas. The categories covered by the grant are art fair or display fee, transportation, insurance and information material associated with the presentation. Applications are assessed by an international jury appointed by OCA. Click here for more information.

International Residency Programmes

OCA provides International Residencies for Norwegian artists, curators and critics in a number of international venues. Click here for details and deadlines.

International Studio Programme (ISP)

The International Studio Programme Oslo is available for international artists and curators by invitation for a stay from two weeks up to six months, independently or in connection with research in Norway. The programme comprises three studios located in Grünerløkka, Oslo. Click here for more information.

International Visitor Programme (IVP)

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway runs an International Visitor Programme to support international curators and cultural producers in their research in Norway for upcoming exhibitions and projects. Participation in the programme is by invitation although requests for visits are considered based on availability when addressed to OCA. Click here for more information.

OCA Notations

Notations unfolds as a series of programmatic activities – performing, writing, thinking, fragmenting, exhibiting, moving, eating and socialising – that will reflect upon the potential for artistic practice as an alchemical sphere of public action. The Notations replace the institution’s previous Semesterplan.
Notations is activated by participating artists, curators, writers, critics and intellectuals of diverse disciplines and take place within OCA’s public space in Oslo. Their explorations find synergies with OCA’s interrelated national and international activities, as well as its publication series Verksted. Seeking to catalyse new thinking, Notations reflects upon the current state of affairs within the arts globally, by shifting the accent from the dynamics of exchange and production to those of social reproduction. Click here to go to the Notations programme.


Verksted was launched by Office for Contemporary Art Norway in 2003 as a series of publications and seminars focused on current discourses relating to contemporary production, culture and aesthetics. Verksted was expanded in 2006 with a renewed commitment to exploring the relationship between philosophy and aesthetics. With OCA's move to Nedre gate 7 in 2008, Verksted extended its research and investigation into OCA's public space, with presentations of artworks as well as workshops, discussions and conferences.

Statutes of the Foundation Office for Contemporary Art Norway

Click here to download OCA's statutes in Norwegian (PDF). For English (PDF) version, please click here.