Press Releases : 2014/06

A Conversation with Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

Published 2014/06/16

Alighiero Boetti: Mappa (1978) © Alighiero Boetti / BONO 2014

Norsk versjon


‘String Theory. The Aesthetic of Crafts and the Crafting of Politics. Some Commentary on the Work of Goshka Macuga, Etel Adnan, Alighiero Boetti and Hannah Ryggen’. 

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, in conversation with Rike Frank

Thursday 19 June 2014, 19:00
Live audio streaming

Office for Contemporary Art Norway

Nedre gate 7, 0551 Oslo l

OCA welcomes writer, art historian and curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev to discuss the work of Goshka Macuga, Etel Adnan, Alighiero Boetti and Hannah Ryggen, in a larger conversation about cardinal artists positions with curator and writer Rike Frank.

By sketching an analysis of the work of Hannah Ryggen (1894–1970), Etel Adnan (b.1925), Alighiero Boetti (1940–1994) and Goshka Macuga (b.1967), Christov-Bakargiev will introduce works related to travel, geography, and mapping, which question the tropes of art and redefine alternative modes of expression to dissolve boundaries between various disciplines and fields. The presentation will survey Hannah Ryggen’s large-scale epic tapestries which pull international political events despite personal imperil factors; Etel Adnan’s accordion-fold books of visual and verbal observation in painting and writing, unfolding landscapes and urban spaces in the light of political and personal dimensions of violence and exile; the discomfort within the growing violence of Italian politics, which propelled Boetti into new directions in the early 1970s with extensive travels to Kabul, Afghanistan; and Goshka Macuga’s dwelling in the archives of institutions and recreation of fictional truths to recontextualise historical events. Through these and other figures we will be transported into a space of materiality that recalls the crafting of objects and its embedded stories. In this reading of multiple geopolitical and interconnected traditions, the string theory gives certitude to the belief that something remains, against the central questions of modern physics of whether all information will disappear into a black hole.

For more information, please contact Tara Ishizuka Hassel.

About the OCA Semesterplan – Spring 2014
Last week on view!!!

'Unwoven World: Beyond the Pliable Plane’ presents the works of the Norwegian artists Brit Fuglevaag, Elisabeth Haarr and Sidsel Paaske, who in the 1970s explored the affection of the domestic sphere and the everyday consumer object. These artists engaged in an intensive quest for a return to traditional crafts, emphasising the profound need to explore alternative creative modes, systems and media.
Presenting key works, some of which have never been seen publically before, the exhibition ‘Unwoven World: Beyond the Pliable Plane’ aims to function as an index of a historic genealogy, contextualising the economic shifts of the 1970s, that saw a decline in the textile industry in the country, where artists reacted to and reflected upon the unforeseen aspects of industrialisation, the need to care for the environment and for workers, as well as to the outsourcing of production and its social effects.

Alongside the exhibition ‘Unwoven World: Beyond the Pliable Plane’, OCA is presenting a selection of Alexander Kluge’s eclectic collection of ‘raw materials’, a series of television programmes assembling photographs, drawings, diagrams and diverse footage construed to ‘strengthen the muscles of [our] power of imagination'. Since the establishment of his own television company DCTP in 1987, Kluge has produced thousands of programmes for German television to tackle with the capacity of fantasy to organise individual experience otherwise concealed by structures of consciousness and the screens capturing our attention. ‘Alexander Kluge. Raw Materials: Present Impressions, Past Wishes and Future Fulfillment’ as presented at OCA, resonates larger concerns of artistic approach within the Norwegian art milieu of the 1970s when debating around what ‘art for people’ should be, either realistic and narrative with a militant content or all art – also abstract and non-narrative – was ‘for the people’, which Elisabeth Haarr extruded at the core of her essay ‘Fantasy in Service of the People’ from 2008.

About the Speakers
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev
is a writer, art historian and curator based in Rome, Italy, and New York, NY, USA. Christov-Bakargiev was recently appointed Director of the 14th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2015). She has been the Artistic Director of dOCUMENTA (13) (2012); Chief Curator at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea (2002–2008), and its Director in 2009; Artistic Director of the 16th Biennale of Sydney (2008) and Senior Curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, a MoMA affiliate, New York, NY, USA (1999–2001). The author of publications including Arte Povera (London: Phaidon Press, 1999), she has written extensively on such a movement and on the work of artists such as William Kentridge, Janet Cardiff, and Pierre Huyghe. She curated numerous exhibitions, including among others, ‘On Taking a Normal Situation and Retranslating it into Overlapping and Multiple Readings of Conditions Past and Present’, Antwerp, Belgium (1993), ‘The Moderns’, Rivoli-Turin, Italy (2003), and ‘Faces in the Crowd’, London, UK, and Turin (2004). She co-curated the first edition of the Turin Triennial (2005).

Rike Frank is a curator and writer living and working in Berlin, Germany and Oslo, Norway. Currently she is Associate Professor of Exhibition Studies at the Academy of Fine Art of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO). In 2012, together with Grant Watson, she initiated the research and exhibition project ‘Textiles: Open Letter’ which looks at textiles in contemporary art and at their history, materiality and language. Her most recent presentations include the major exhibition ‘Abstractions, Textiles, Art’ at the Abteiberg Museum, Mönchengladbach, Germany. She previously worked as a curator at the Secession, Vienna; she was also Head of the Curatorial Office at documenta 12 in Kassel, a member of the Programme Team for the European Kunsthalle in Cologne, Germany, and Curator and Researcher at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, Germany.

Office for Contemporary Art Norway
OCA is a foundation created by the Norwegian Ministries of Culture and of Foreign Affairs in Autumn 2001 with the aim of developing collaboration projects in the cultural field between Norway and the international arts scene. The foundation aims to become one of the main organs in the contemporary arts debate through initiatives such as exhibitions, seminars, publications, as well as by providing support to Norwegian artists for their activities on the international art arena.