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Office For Contemporary Art Norway

June 2019 Newsletter

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OCA Spring Recap 2019


OCA is rounding off the first half of the year, after having hosted exciting international guests, through a dynamic programme of lectures, events and research for future exhibitions.

Before we kick off for the summer completely, we are delighted to welcome internationally acclaimed academic Michael Taussig to Oslo, as a collaboration with UiO, 6 June at Melahuset. Michael Taussig, Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, New York, will discuss Maria Thereza Alves’ recent book, Recipes for Survival (University of Texas Press, 2019), for which he wrote the introduction. The book is a newly published collection of texts and photos that Maria Thereza Alves produced in 1983, when she went back to the towns where her parents grew up in Brazil. Following the lecture, writer and theatre producer Deise Faria Nunes (BR/NO), community mobiliser and activist Larissa Avelar (BR/NO), and artist Ina Hagen (NO), will use Alves’ book as a starting point for discussions about current political and ecological challenges in Brazil, the dynamics of Norwegian and Brazilian relations, as well as the roles artists are taking within these discussions today. The Norwegian Solidarity Committee for Latin America (LAG), will also introduce and distribute copies of their magazine LatinAmerika, a new special issue with a focus on Brazil.

Our exhibition Let the River Flow. The Sovereign Will and the Making of a New Worldliness reached new publics as it traveled to Tensta konsthall in Stockholm opening 4 February with a new talk series. It then opened at Sámi Dáiddaguovddáš (SDG) in Kárášjohka, Sápmi on 16 May. The exhibition will run until 7 July, with a seminar held from 14–16 June touching on the Áltá Action, the conflicts and artistic production around this. The SDG iteration of the exhibition is curated by Raisa Porsanger and managed by SDG Director Kristoffer Dolmen. The exhibition was originally conceived by Katya García-Antón, with Antonio Cataldo, in collaboration with a Sámi Advisory Group constituted by Dr. Gunvor Guttorm and Prof. Harald Gaski. The exhibition was first presented at OCA's exhibition space in Oslo 12 April–3 June 2018.

As part of OCA's mandate to support artists based in Norway and Sápmi, OCA commissioned the Guovdageaidnu-based Sámi artist collective Dáiddadállu, to curate a four-day programme in both Máze and Guovdageaidnu 14–17 March. They proposed a programme titled SápmiToo including Sámi and international Indigenous artists and speakers, in order to empower women, artists and Sámi curatorial methodologies. The event was organised in collaboration with OCA and Sámediggi. With this programme OCA continues its long-term engagement with the village of Máze – iconic in recent Sámi political history – advocating for the establishment of an international Indigenous artist residency there bringing back to life the Mázejoavvku head quarters. OCA's commitment to this project began in 2016 and was instrumental in the unprecedented Sámi and Norwegian representation during documenta 14.

OCA's nominated artist Oswaldo Maciá presented a new sound installation in Longyearbyen this March as a part of his residency with Artica Svalbard. Renowned for an eco-political artistic practice, Maciá spent the end of last year conducting field work in the Arctic darkness and recording Svalbard's migratory winds as part of a broader long-term project. OCA is a Key Partner to Artica Svalbard Longyearbyen, nominating international and Norway-based artists to engage with the North and position art at the center of the important ecological and socio-political debates happening in this region.

In addition, once a year, Artica Svalbard will host one of the most significant art events in the Arctic, highlighting urgent issues related to the polar regions and their global influence. The event is titled Artica Listens and its focus in 2019–20 addresses the Svalbard Treaty 100 year anniversary in 2020.

Our International Visitor Programme this spring, and its parallel Mezzanine Talks, included Zachary Kaplan, Executive Director of Rhizome, New York; Wanda Nanibush, Curator of Indigenous Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario; Brook Andrew, artist and Artistic Director of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney; Oswaldo Macía, OCA nominated Artica Svalbard residency artist; Laura McLean-Ferris, writer and curator at Swiss Institute, New York, and Devika Singh, Curator, International Art at Tate Modern, London. Our last visitor and speaker before the summer holiday is Los Angeles-based artist Carolina Caycedo, who will do a mezzanine talk 26 June.

Coming up, as co-commissioner of the Nordic Pavilion in Venice, OCA takes curatorial lead of the pavilion in 2021. A press conference announcing the participating artists will take place later this year.

OCA administrates on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the international support scheme for non-commercial collaborations abroad with a total budget of NOK 1.770.000 in 2019. OCA also administrates on behalf of the Ministry of Culture a support scheme for galleries and independent exhibition spaces, within contemporary art and contemporary crafts, to participate in internationally reputed fairs. This ISGIES scheme has a total budget of NOK 4.600.000 in 2019. This spring the ISGIES scheme was restructured so the applications for ISGIES will be processed currently through the year, no deadlines. The amount will be set in a framework following a percentage basis. The categories supported are: participation fee, transport of art, insurance of art, and relevant information material. The applicant shall prioritize the categories in the application. We require documentation of participation fee, and a quote for transport. For a list of eligible art fairs 2019, please click here. The last of the three annual application rounds is upcoming this fall with a jury meeting in November. Look out for our announcements!

OCA's offices will be closed from July 1, and re-opened July 29.

Stay tuned for more 2019 announcements on new projects as well as on further international visitors including some from the major biennials and art institutions in the world. Two new book projects will be launched this fall, as well as a symposium titled Imaginary Leaps into a Decanonized Future, Artica Listens and more.

Thank you to all our friends and collaborators, we wish you a good summer break.

See you in August!

Photo: Maria Thereza Alves, Recipes for Survival artist book,1983/2018, University of Texas Press © Maria Thereza Alves

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