Press Releases : 2008/12


2008/12/21

OCA Semesterplan – WEEK 2

Peter Osborne
Lectures on the Philosophy of Contemporary Art

Wednesday, 7 January / 19:00
'Starting Up All Over Again:
Time and Existence in Some Conceptual Art 
of the 1960s'

Friday, 9 January / 19:00
'An Interminable Avalanche of Categories:
Medium, Concept and Abstraction in the Work of Robert Smithson, 1966-1972'

Nedre gate 7, Oslo

Wednesday, 7 January / 19:00
'Starting Up All Over Again:
Time and Existence in Some Conceptual Art of the 1960s'

The problem with asking the question of 'what is living and what is dead?' in any particular body of work, the German philosopher Theodor W. Adorno once remarked, is that 'the converse question' is not raised: what the present means in the face of the past. Peter Osborne's lecture will ask what the neo-conceptual art of the 1990s means in the face of some of the conceptual art of the 1960s. What endures in the conceptual art of the 1960s? And what forms of temporality make this endurance possible? Osborne will examine the structure of temporalization associated with some conceptual art of the 1960s through an extension of Kant's account of the way in which aesthetic reflection 'quickens' the mind.

Friday, 9 January / 19:00
'An Interminable Avalanche of Categories:
Medium, Concept and Abstraction in the Work of Robert Smithson, 1966-1972'

Robert Smithson (1938-1973) became widely known with his earthwork Spiral Jetty (1970), and his oeuvre is frequently characterized in terms of its contribution to an expansion of the medium of 'sculpture'. Yet Smithson himself considered sculpture to be 'finished'. His work involved an almost bewildering proliferation of innovative practices and forms that repeatedly defied prevailing conceptions of the bounds of art – from the simple displacement of materials at his 'sites' and 'non-sites', to magazine works, slide-lectures, film and extended architectural projects; all of which were accompanied by extensive writings and interviews. As such, Smithson's work is emblematic of both the experimentalism and increasingly conceptual character of art in the 1960s, to which many artists are turning, once again, today. Peter Osborne's second lecture, which will start and conclude with a showing of parts of Smithson's own film of Spiral Jetty, will propose a new interpretation of the critical significance of Smithson's work between 1966 and 1972.

The at the start and finish of the lecture, Robert Smithson's film Spiral Jetty (1970) will be shown in 2 parts.

About the Film

Directed by Robert Smithson the film Spiral Jetty, (1970, 32 minutes, color, sound) presents Smithson's renowned earth work – The Spiral Jetty, as it projects into the shallows off the shore of Utah's Great Salt Lake. A voice-over by the artist reveals the evolution of the Spiral Jetty. Sequences filmed in a natural history museum are integrated into the film featuring prehistoric relics that illustrate themes central to Smithson's work.

About the Speaker

Peter Osborne is a Professor of Modern European Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University, London and editor of the journal, Radical Philosophy. His books include The Politics of Time: Modernity and Avant-Garde (1995), Philosophy in Cultural Theory (2000), Conceptual Art (2002) and How to Read Marx(2005). He is the editor of the 3 volume Walter Benjamin: Critical Evaluations in Cultural Theory (2005).


OFFICE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART NORWAY

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway is a private foundation and was founded by The Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs and The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in fall 2001. The main aim of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway is to develop collaborations in contemporary art between Norway and the international art scene. The Office for Contemporary Art Norway aims to become a key contributor to the discourses of contemporary art.