News : Publications::Verksted Series : Latest

Release of Verksted #14: `The State of Things'

Published 2012/11/27


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 Venezia
‘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.

`Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia?’ receives Design Prize

Published 2012/03/30

Photo: OCA / Asle Olsen

OCA's Verksted Publication
Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia?
designed by NODE Berlin Oslo
Receives Grafill's Design Prize

OCA is pleased to announce the awarding of the publication Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia? within the competition ‘Årets vakreste Bøker’ (‘The Most Beautiful Books of The Year’), organised annually by Grafill ­– the organisation for Norwegian graphic designers and illustrators. Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia?, designed by NODE Berlin Oslo, received the first prize in the category ‘Facts and Reference / Adult Literature’. According to the jury, the design of Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia? has to be praised for ‘a documentation of an epoch, a theme and a movement with a humorous and unpretentious undertone’. They further add: ‘The choice of a soft cover is untraditional for a reference book that shall be used often and stay in the bookshelf for many years. This makes the book as an even more exiting object. The designer is familiar with the material and has acquired a good balance between pure documentation and essays and photographic references’. In a comment NODE says that ‘there is a lot of work behind the project – both from us, but mostly from OCA’s side. Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia? is a very interesting project with a rich material source. We hope that the book will get the attention it deserves’. 

The awarded books will be on view on the 2nd floor of the National Library in Oslo until 12 April. The exhibition will then travel to Grafill’s offices in Rosenkrantz gate 21, Oslo, and will be on display until 27 April 2012.

Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia? is an anthology edited by OCA’s Marta Kuzma and Pablo Lafuente that reflects upon the juncture of the political and the erotic in the 1960s and 70s, in special relation to the image of Scandinavia as a sexually and politically utopic territory during those decades. With a close reading of the cultural and socio-political history of Scandinavia, through the writings of Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Marcuse, Norman O. Brown, Daniel Guérin, Jacqueline Rose and others, and through an examination of the obscenity bonanza that emerged around Swedish film-maker Vilgot Sjöman‘s I Am Curious (Yellow), the publication offers a plethora of historical material and an investigation of the political motivations behind naming a cultural form obscene and pornographic.

The anthology is published by the Office for Contemporary Art Norway and Koenig Books, London, with generous support from Fritt Ord. It can be purchased through OCA’s website and in bookstores internationally.

OCA’s Public Space
From 29 March until 23 June OCA presents PORTRAIT PORTRAIT OF OF A A GENERATION GENERATION by artist and author Matias Faldbakken, curated by Marta Kuzma. In sourcing iconic sculptures produced in the 20th century, the artist essentially de-skills modernist aspirations toward the aerodynamic, the minimal, and the abstract by acrobating revered works of ‘art’ into vessels for intoxication.

Opening Hours: Wed, Fri and Sat: 12:00–16:00, Thu: 12:00-18:00 (closed Friday 6 April)