News : 2012/10

2012/10/29

Norway at the 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia 2013

Edvard Munch, The Murderer, Oil on canvas, 1910.
© Munch-museet/Munch-Ellingsen gruppen/ BONO, Oslo 2012

Norsk versjon

Office for Contemporary Art Norway and Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa

BEWARE OF THE HOLY WHORE:
EDVARD MUNCH AND THE DILEMMA OF EMANCIPATION

Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa
Galleria di Piazza San Marco
San Marco 71/c
30124 Venice, Italy

31 May–6 October 2013 (TBC)

www.oca.no

'Beware of the Holy Whore: Edvard Munch and the Dilemma of Emancipation' is a project co-organised by the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) and Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice, Italy, as the official Norwegian representation at the 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia in 2013. The project, curated by Marta Kuzma, Director, OCA, Angela Vettese, President, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa and Pablo Lafuente, Associate Curator, OCA, revolves around emancipation as an issue always vexed with contradiction – between the realm of freedom and the consequences of the isolation that often accompanies pursuing a qualitatively different, ‘alternative’ life. In his Essay on Liberation, Herbert Marcuse noted that this striving toward what is essentially a ‘new sensibility’ involves a psychedelic, narcotic release from the rationality of an established system, as well as from the rationality that attempts to change that system. This new sensibility, which resides in the gap between the confines of the existing order and those of true liberation, might lead to a radical transformation – and in this transformation art serves as a technique through which to reconstruct reality from its illusion, its imitation, even its harmony, towards a reality not yet given, still to be realised.

The impulse to operate in the margins – on the outside trying to break in or on the inside redefining the context – is one of the key driving forces in the history of art, and is also at the centre of 'Beware of the Holy Whore: Edvard Munch and the Dilemma of Emancipation'. The exhibition, which will take place at Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa’s gallery at Piazza San Marco, will bring together works from the collection of the Munch Museum in Oslo in order to explore Edvard Munch’s position within and response to the age of emancipation in which he lived, where sexual norms and traditional gender roles were challenged amid new psychological theories of sex and politics and a struggle for women’s equality. Challenged by social developments and psycho-emotional expression, Munch faced the alienation that characterised a society (the Kristiania Bohemia) bidding for emancipation but trapped in ‘reality’, struggling between two options: assimilating shared values, or going beyond them in order to construct a new frame for perception. As Munch’s illustrations for Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal warned, sex might bring death.

Munch’s emphatic treatment of these themes from 1902 to 1908, before entering the asylum, reflected an internal ambiguity and anguish. Munch described this period as an ‘eternal civil war’, after which his work moved to a more distanced treatment of subjects, in social caricatures in which he offers an ironic critique of an increasingly capitalist and permissive society. In Social Studies: Cause and Effect, made shortly after, Munch also reflected upon the conditions of artistic production and its reception, via patronage, sales, criticism and public opinion, opening new dimensions for his work, from a psychological perspective into social and historical realms.

The ‘pile of humanity’ or ‘human mountain’, a recurrent motif in Munch’s work since the early 1890s, is a pivotal element for 'Beware of the Holy Whore: Edvard Munch and the Dilemma of Emancipation', in its reflection on an emancipatory drive that might conclude in tragedy. While some of the sketches, illustrations, drawings and lithographs of the versions portray the human mountain as a platform for what looks like a move towards true liberation, others show a sarcophagus at the mountain’s pinnacle – an allegory that reflects Munch’s deep ambivalence towards the new times, their promises and their possibilities, and that expresses the dilemma of emancipation.

For further information on this project, please contact Antonio Cataldo, OCA’s Senior Programme Coordinator.

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2012/10/29

OCA Semesterplan – Autumn 2012: Lecture by Manthia Diawara

Still from Borom Sarret, 1963 (dir. Ousmane Sembène)

Norsk versjon

OFFICE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART NORWAY ANNOUNCES

‘African Film: New Forms of Aesthetics and Politics’

A lecture by Manthia Diawara, Director of the Institute of Afro-American Studies Programme at New York University (NYU)

within OCA’s programme:
‘On Négritude: A Series of Lectures on the Politics of Art Production in Africa’

Wednesday, 14 November / 19:00
Live audio streaming

OCA hosts the Director of the Institute of Afro-American Studies Programme at New York University (NYU) Manthia Diawara within OCA’s International Studio Programme. During his stay in Oslo, Diawara presents a lecture at OCA on Wednesday 14 November 2012 at 19:00, about the influence of Léopold Sédar Senghor’s négritude on the development of African film, the New Art Wave of African cinema, Ousmane Sembène’s cinema, and the new video phenomenon of Nollywood in Nigeria. This lecture is part of ‘On Négritude: A Series of Lectures on the Politics of Art Production in Africa’, a programme that takes place at OCA through 2013. The programme focuses on the influence of the négritude movement and its political and cultural legacy in the continent. The series of events and the solo exhibition by the Senegalese artist Issa Samb, which will open in winter 2013 at OCA's public space, are made possible with O3-funds*.

Diawara’s lecture takes as its departure his book African Film: New Forms of Aesthetics and Politics (Prestel, 2010), in which he explores the cinematic languages and modes of production of African cinema from the 1960s until today, beginning with the work of pioneers such as Ousmane Sembène, Diop Mambéty and Lionel Ngakane. In his lecture at OCA, Diawara will trace Africa’s film culture to the political independence movements and the urge to construct a new national identity for the African continent – a process that developed against the background of négritude, its humanist, modern message of shared African heritage and consciousness on one side, and the drive to a national cultural revolution on the other.

The lecture is organised in collaboration with Kunsthall Oslo and in tandem with Afrikan History Week in Oslo. OCA’s lecture on 14 November will be followed by a screening programme of Sembène’s films from 15–17 November at the Deichmanske library, Oslo. Manthia Diawara will introduce the programme on Thursday 15 November to be followed by the screening of Black Girl (La Noire de..., 1966).

About the programme ‘On Négritude: A Series of Lectures on the Politics of Art Production in Africa’ 
‘On Négritude: A Series of Lectures on the Politics of Art Production in Africa’ is a programme that during the current autumn and upcoming winter seasons is going to explore the history of cultural production in the continent.  

The first lecture in the programme was presented by Salah Hassan, Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Culture at Cornell University on Monday 29 October 2012, under the title ‘The Conceptual Turn and the Postcolonial Moment in Africa: Laboratoire Agit-Art in Context’. The lecture contextualised the work of the Dakar-based Laboratoire Agit-Art within, on the one hand, the rise of the postcolonial critique in post-independence Africa, and on the other the emergency of Conceptualism in art globally.

The third lecture will take place on 22 February 2013 and will be presented by Souleymane Bachir Diagne, a Senegalese philosopher and author of African Art as Philosophy: Senghor, Bergson, and the Idea of Negritude (2011), who will address what he formulates as the fundamental intuition behind Senghor’s influential works: that African art is a philosophy. Diagne will look at what Senghor called the ‘1889 Revolution’, and the influence of authors such Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Rimbaud and Henri Bergson in shaping an understanding of the ‘vitalism’ at the core of African religions and beliefs that found expression in the arts.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Mantia Diawara
is a writer, filmmaker, cultural theorist and a professor of comparative literature at the New York University (NYU), New York, USA. He is Director of NYU’s Institute of Afro-American Affairs and Director of the Africana Studies Programme, which focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to the study of black culture, literature, and politics. A native of Mali, Diawara received his education in France to later travel to the United States for his university studies. He has taught at the University of California in Santa Barbara, CA, USA and at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. He is the author of We Won't Budge: An African Exile in the World (2003), In Search of Africa (1998), Black-American Cinema: Aesthetics and Spectatorship (1993) and African Cinema: Politics and Culture (1992). He has published widely on the topic of film and literature of the Black diaspora. Diawara also collaborated with Ngûgî wa Thiong’o in making the documentary Sembène Ousmane: The Making of African Cinema, and directed the German-produced documentary Rouch in Reverse.

*ABOUT O3–FUNDS   
This programme is supported by O3–funds as underwritten by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for enhancing collaboration in the contemporary art field with professional artists in countries designated by the MFA. The purpose of the O3–funds as allocated to OCA is to contribute to the development of the work of artists, independent cultural producers and organisations located in designated countries. This includes but is not limited to 'professional research visits by cultural producers, artists, and curators', 'short-term residencies for cultural producers and artists', 'seminars, conferences, art projects, workshops that focus on the further development of professional exchange and networking between and among countries', and 'project development on an international scale'.

Related

2012/10/23

OCA Semesterplan – Autumn 2012: Lecture by Salah Hassan

Issa Samb, Négritude, Humanitude, Mondialitude, 2012. Courtesy of the artist

Norsk versjon

OFFICE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART NORWAY ANNOUNCES 

'The Conceptual Turn and the Postcolonial Moment in Africa: Laboratoire Agit-Art in Context'
by Salah Hassan, director of the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University

the first presentation of 
‘On Négritude: A Series of Lectures on the Politics of Art Production in Africa’

Monday, 29 October 2012 / 19:00
Live audio streaming

Office for Contemporary Art Norway 
Nedre gate 7 
0551 Oslo, Norway 
www.oca.no l info@oca.no

OCA welcomes Salah Hassan, Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Culture at Cornell University to lecture on Monday 29 October 2012 on 'The Conceptual Turn and the Postcolonial Moment in Africa: Laboratoire Agit-Art in Context'. This presentation by Hassan will attempt to contextualize the work of the Dakar-based Laboratoire Agit-Art within the rise of the postcolonial critique in post independence Africa and the rise of conceptualism in art globally. The lecture argues that the work of the Laboratoire artists coincided with the ‘conceptual’ turn in the art world, not only in the western world but in Africa and other parts of the Third World too. Indeed many of the strategies pursued by the Laboratoire artists (ephemeral, site specific installations and emphasis on the ready made, combined with live performances and public actions and interventions) reflected an awareness of the latest development in the art world. Yet, their work can only be appreciated fully when analysed and studied in relation to post independence Senegal and its official cultural policies as inspired by the Senghorian Negritude, the rise of postcolonial critique and the failure of the nation-state in postcolonial Africa.

This presentation opens the programme ‘On Négritude: A Series of Lectures on the Politics of Art Production in Africa’ and is part of a series of programme activities OCA has developed in relation to art, society and politics in contemporary Africa, exploring dialogues initiated during the symposium 'Condition Report', organised by Raw Material Company in Dakar in January 2012.   

About the programme ‘On Négritude: A Series of Lectures on the Politics of Art Production in Africa’ 
‘On Négritude: A Series of Lectures on the Politics of Art Production in Africa’ is a programme that during the coming autumn and winter seasons will explore the history of cultural production in the continent, focusing on the influence of the négritude movement and its political and cultural legacy. The series of events and the solo exhibition by the Senegalese artist Issa Samb, which will open in winter 2013 in OCA's public space are made possible with O3-funds*.

The second lecture in the series, on Wednesday 14 November 2012, will be given by filmmaker and scholar Manthia Diawara, and will focus on the influence of Senghor’s négritude on African film, the New Art Wave of African cinema, Ousmane Sembène’s cinema and the new video phenomenon of Nollywood in Nigeria. This event, organised in collaboration with Kunsthall Oslo and Afrikan History Week in Oslo, will be followed, on Thursday 15 November by a screening of several of Sembène’s films, introduced by Diawara, at the Deichmanske bibliotek in Oslo.

The third lecture will take place on 22 February 2013 and will be presented by Souleymane Bachir Diagne, academic and author of African Art as Philosophy: Senghor, Bergson, and the Idea of Negritutde (2011), who will address what he formulates as the fundamental intuition behind Senghor’s influential works: that African art is a philosophy. Diagne will look at what Senghor called the ‘1889 Revolution’, and the influence of authors such Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Rimbaud and Henri Bergson in shaping an understanding of the ‘vitalism’ at the core of African religions and beliefs that found expression in the arts.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER  
Salah M. Hassan
 is the Goldwin Smith Professor and Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities (ICM), and Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Culture in the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, and Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. He is editor and founder of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, and consulting editor for Atlantica and Journal of Curatorial Studies. He has authored, edited and co-edited several books including Diaspora, Memory, Place (2008); Unpacking Europe (2001); Gendered Visions: The Art of Contemporary Africana Women Artists (1997) and Art and Islamic Literacy among the Hausa of Northern Nigeria (1992). Most recently he published Ibrahim El Salahi: A Visionary Modernist (2012) as a companion to the travelling retrospective of the Sudanese artist Ibrahim El Salahi. He has curated several international exhibitions, at the 49. International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy,(2001), the Dak’Art biennial, Dakar, Senegal (2004), the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2001) or the Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2012), and served as a member of the Honorary Advisory Committee of dOCUMENTA (13) (2012).

*ABOUT O3–FUNDS 
This programme is supported by O3–funds as underwritten by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for enhancing collaboration in the contemporary art field with professional artists in countries designated by the MFA. The purpose of the O3–funds as allocated to OCA is to contribute to the development of the work of artists, independent cultural producers and organisations located in designated countries. This includes but is not limited to 'professional research visits by cultural producers, artists, and curators', 'short-term residencies for cultural producers and artists', 'seminars, conferences, art projects, workshops that focus on the further development of professional exchange and networking between and among countries', and 'project development on an international scale'.

Related

2012/10/18

OCA Semesterplan: `On Négritude: A Series of Lectures on the Politics of Art Production in Africa'

Issa Samb, Négritude, Humanitude, Mondialitude, 2012. Courtesy of the artist

Norsk versjon

OFFICE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART NORWAY ANNOUNCES

'On Négritude: A Series of Lectures on the Politics of Art Production in Africa'

Salah Hassan on Monday, 29 October 2012 / 19:00
Manthia Diawara on Wednesday, 14 November / 19:00
Souleymane Bachir Diagne on Friday, 22 February 2013 / 19:00

Live Audio Streaming

Office for Contemporary Art Norway 
Nedre Gate 7 
0551 Oslo, Norway 
www.oca.no l info@oca.no

OCA would like to announce ‘On Négritude: A Series of Lectures on the Politics of Art Production in Africa’, a programme that during the coming autumn and winter seasons will explore the history of artistic and cultural production in the continent, focusing on the influence of the négritude movement and its political and cultural legacy. The series of events and the solo exhibition by the Senegalese artist Issa Samb, which will open in winter 2013 in OCA’s public space are made possible with O3-funds*.

The programme aims to provide a framework for the exhibition, and at the same time analyse key socio-political developments taking place from the 1930s until today, with a special focus on the work of Issa Samb and the Dakar-based Laboratorie Agit-Art, of which he has been a key member since its foundation in the early 1970s. The three speakers, Salah Hassan, Manthia Diawara and Souleymane Bachir Diagne, will address négritude’s figures and formations, as well as the reactions it gave occasion to, from the perspective of art, cinema and philosophy. The lectures will address how the artistic, literary and ideological movement promoted by Léopold Sédar Senghor, Aimé Césaire and Léon Damas, with its self-affirmation of a unified culture of black peoples, gave birth to processes of cultural and political identity formation at the wake of the independence from colonial domination; and how, not short after, the movement was met with the criticism of political and cultural sectors, always within the spirit of postcolonial critique.

The first lecture in the programme will be presented by Salah Hassan, Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Culture at Cornell University on Monday 29 October 2012 at 19:00, under the title ‘The Conceptual Turn and the Postcolonial Moment in Africa: Laboratoire Agit-Art in Context’. The lecture will attempt to contextualise the work of the Dakar-based Laboratoire Agit-Art within, on the one hand, the rise of the postcolonial critique in post-independence Africa, and on the other the emergency of Conceptualism in art globally.

The second lecture, on Wednesday 14 November 2012 at 19:00, will be given by filmmaker and scholar Manthia Diawara, and will focus on the influence of Senghor’s négritude on African film, the New Art Wave of African cinema, Ousmane Sembène’s cinema and the new video phenomenon of Nollywood in Nigeria. This event, organised in collaboration with Kunsthall Oslo and Afrikan History Week in Oslo, will be followed, by a screening programme of Sembène’s films from 15 to 17 November at the Deichmanske library, Oslo. Manthia Diawara will introduce the screening programme on Thursday 15 November, Black Girl (La Noire de...) (1966).

The third lecture will take place on 22 February 2013 at 19:00 and will be presented by Souleymane Bachir Diagne, a Senegalese philosopher and author of African Art as Philosophy: Senghor, Bergson, and the Idea of Negritude (2011), who will address what he considers as the fundamental intuition behind Senghor’s influential works: that African art is a philosophy. Diagne will look at what Senghor called the ‘1889 Revolution’, and the influence of authors such Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Rimbaud and Henri Bergson in shaping an understanding of the ‘vitalism’ at the core of African religions and beliefs that found expression in the arts.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Salah M. Hassan
 is the Goldwin Smith Professor and Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities (ICM), and Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Culture in the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, and Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. He is editor and founder of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, and consulting editor for Atlantica and Journal of Curatorial Studies. He has authored, edited and co-edited several books including Diaspora, Memory, Place (2008); Unpacking Europe (2001); Gendered Visions: The Art of Contemporary Africana Women Artists (1997) and Art and Islamic Literacy among the Hausa of Northern Nigeria (1992). Most recently he published Ibrahim El Salahi: A Visionary Modernist (2012) as a companion to the travelling retrospective of the Sudanese artist Ibrahim El Salahi. He has curated several international exhibitions, at the 49. International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy, (2001), the Dak’Art biennial, Dakar, Senegal (2004), the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2001) or the Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2012), and served as a member of the Honorary Advisory Committee of dOCUMENTA (13) (2012).

Mantia Diawara is a writer, filmmaker, cultural theorist and a professor of comparative literature at the New York University (NYU), New York, NY, USA. He is Director of NYU’s Institute of Afro-American Affairs and Director of the Africana Studies Programme, which focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to the study of black culture, literature, and politics. A native of Mali, Diawara received his education in France to later travel to the United States for his university studies. He has taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara, CA, USA and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. He is the author of We Won't Budge: An African Exile in the World (2003), In Search of Africa (1998), Black-American Cinema: Aesthetics and Spectatorship (1993) and African Cinema: Politics and Culture (1992). He has published widely on the topic of film and literature of the Black Diaspora. Diawara also collaborated with Ngûgî wa Thiong’o in making the documentary Sembene Ousmane: The Making of the African Cinema, and directed the German-produced documentary Rouch in Reverse

Souleymane Bachir Diagne is a professor in the department of French and Romance Philosophy at Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. Bachir Diagne received his academic training in France and he holds a PhD from the Sorbonne University in Paris. His field of research includes history of logic, history of philosophy, Islamic philosophy, African philosophy and literature. He is the author of African Art as Philosophy. Senghor, Bergson, and the Idea of Negritude (2011, an English translation of his Léopold Sédar Senghor: l’art africain comme philosophie, 2007), Islam and the Open Society: Fidelity and Movement in the Philosophy of Muhammad Iqbal (2011, an English translation of his Islam et société ouverte, la fidélité et le mouvement dans la pensée de Muhammad Iqbal, 2001) and Comment philosopher en Islam (2008). His latest book, Bergson postcolonial: L’élan vital dans la pensée de Léopold Sédar Senghor et de Mohamed Iqbal (2011) was awarded the Dagnan-Bouveret prize by the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in 2011.


*ABOUT O3–FUNDS
This programme is supported by O3–funds as underwritten by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for enhancing collaboration in the contemporary art field with professional artists in countries designated by the MFA. The purpose of the O3–funds as allocated to OCA is to contribute to the development of the work of artists, independent cultural producers and organisations located in designated countries. This includes but is not limited to 'professional research visits by cultural producers, artists, and curators', 'short-term residencies for cultural producers and artists', 'seminars, conferences, art projects, workshops that focus on the further development of professional exchange and networking between and among countries', and 'project development on an international scale'.

Related