OFFICE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART NORWAY ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF
Verksted #14: The State of Things
a publication with contributions by Jacques Rancière, Leo Bersani, Vandana Shiva, Jan Egeland, Fawaz Gerges, Eyal Weizman, Judith Butler, Franco Berardi, Saskia Sassen and TJ Clark
Published by OCA and Koenig Books
OCA announces the release of the publication The State of Things, a collection of essays by philosophers, activists and art theorists addressing the standpoint of the day and its artistic conjuncture. The essays, written by Jacques Rancière, Leo Bersani, Vandana Shiva, Jan Egeland, Fawaz Gerges, Eyal Weizman, Judith Butler, Franco Berardi, Saskia Sassen and TJ Clark, offer historical perspectives on issues such as human rights, urban development and peacemaking, and study recent responses to these conditions, through the creation of new modes of subjectivity and the adoption of direct action that can even take the form of revolts and revolutions.
The essays are based on lectures delivered by the authors as part of Norway’s official representation in the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale in 2011, within the programme ‘The State of Things’. These lectures, organised throughout the duration of the Biennale at key public institutions in Venice such as Università Iuav di Venezia, Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti and Fondazione Querini Stampalia, attempted to think through the world’s current situation and, simultaneously, explore alternative models for national representation within the Biennale, focusing on discourse production, critical thought and pedagogy.
The State of Things is edited by Marta Kuzma, Peter Osborne and Pablo Lafuente, curators of ‘The State of Things’ programme. The ten essays are accompanied by an afterword by Angela Vettese, director of the Visual Art Department of the Faculty of Design and Arts at Università Iuav di Venezia.
The State of Things is publication no 14 in the ongoing Office fro Contemporary Art Norway's Verksted series. It is published by the Office for Contemporary Art Norway and Koenig Books, in association with the Università Iuav di Venezia’s ‘Venice Biennale Study Group – Fare Mostre’ Research Programme, and with the support of Fritt Ord. It is available in bookstores internationally, directly from OCA or the Koenig Books website.
About Norway's official representation
at the 54th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di
‘The State of Things’ was one of two programmes making up Norway’s official representation at the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale. It consisted in a series of public lectures held throughout the Biennale period, reflecting upon themes such as diversity, the environment, peace-making, human rights, capital, migration, asylum, Europe, aesthetics and revolution. Each presentation tackled the 'state of things' today, drawing from the speakers' fields of activity and research, and from what they consider the intellectual and political priorities of today.
The second programme, ‘Beyond Death: Viral Discontents and Contemporary Notions about AIDS’, was an MA course delivered by Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, invited for the occasion as Guest Professor for the Graduate Programme of Visual Arts at the Faculty of Design and Arts, Università Iuav di Venezia. The programme looked at the history and present of the AIDS crisis and its reflection within contemporary art and discourse, and included Leo Bersani as a Guest Lecturer.
For more information on the book, please contact Antonio Cataldo, OCA’s Senior Programme Coordinator.