First Supper Symposium (FSS)
FSS is a collaborative art project and grassroots organisation based in Oslo that investigates art activism, feminism and critical social issues. We understand ourselves as part of the “social turn” in contemporary art, with a focus on the complex relationship between art and society, activism and politics, democracy and neoliberalism. Our aim is to move the practice and research of contemporary art into public space and life, thus understanding our project as a performative, experimental and flexible platform where discussions and new knowledge is being produced. Democracy is a process, not a static system, and therefore needs to be continually addressed, questioned, dissected, related and reshaped.
We are, in 2016-17, staging three symposia investigating the term of art activism and the actions and strategies of art activists. Our preferred method is to invite both well-established and emerging theoreticians to participate in discussions with art activists and artists in order to shed light on political, social and economic urgent challenges. The titles are:
“Prologue 1: Art Activism – White Cube vs Public Space” 22nd June 2016
“Prologue 2: Art and Media Activism – Strategies for Political Change” 1st and 2nd November 2016. Entrance free, registration required
“Prologue 3: Art Activism and Feminism in the Middle East”
With Prologue 1, 2 and 3 First Supper Symposium aims to build an investigative platform where the structure should be experimental and process-oriented, and the outcome must remain open so that discussions can have a creative potential and make room for new ideas, strategies and forms of activism.
The Prologues will enable dialogue and discussion on several current issues surrounding art activism. They will examine how mass media and social media are used as a tool in the global dissemination of political activism; how feminist movements internationally can contribute to a new understanding of the term feminism inserted in a multicultural context. They will also look at how the choice of communication rooms can affect the effectiveness of the political message: White Cube vs Public Space.
For each Prologue we are inviting international art activists and theorists to talk about their work, which will be debated together with the participating audience. We will have a flat structure where lecturers, activists and the audience are sitting in a big circle, so that the threshold to participate in the discussion is lowered. Method of circular sitting therefore will focus on the democratic principle of equality and participation.
The space between autonomous art and political and social art is a diffuse area, as both the political effect and the aesthetic quality of art activism can often be questionable. In FSS we attempt to reflect upon the methods and contexts of art activism - the space where art may change politics and economies to aim at an ever expanding field of freedom of speech and economic sustainability.
Art Activism - Feminism - Transcultural Movements
A conversation about current feminist perspectives in Scandinavia and the Middle East.
In collaboration with the Intercultural Museum, First Supper Symposium (FSS) is organizing a symposium in Grønland, Oslo on the 21st October 2017. We will be discussing feminism and art from a Scandinavian perspective versus Middle Eastern points of view. The symposium consists of a main debate involving both established and unestablished international as well as Scandinavian key figures from within the field. There will also be a program running parallel and on a smaller scale for which the more sensitive and specific themes are reserved. With Prologue 3 we endeavour to activate dialogue and discussions around the question of how feminism can be understood aesthetically from various cultural perspectives, and how feminist movements in the Middle East can contribute to a new understanding of the term when put in the Scandinavian transcultural context.
Scheduled participants are Manal Al Dowayan (SA), Athena Farrokhzad (S), Bruce W. Ferguson (USA), Nefise Özkal Lorentzen (NO),Tone Olaf Nielsen (DK), Annex - Solveig Syversen, Mona Bentzen, Marie Skeie, Kjersti Andvig (NO), Morten Sortodden (NO) and Mohamed Soueid (LB).
The moderator will be Marianne Bøe (UiB, NO)
Prologue 3 will focus on the meeting of Scandinavian and Middle-Eastern cultures seen from their respective aesthetic expressions and practices. The following questions will be asked:
How do artists who live in, or whose background is the Middle-East, visualize and thematize their understanding of feminism and how is this perspective met in Scandinavia and Norway?
Can the artistic perspectives shed light on and add to a more nuanced outlook on the integration debate in Norway?
By looking at the transcultural development in our society from an aesthetic perspective - can we open for new knowledge and a more nuanced dialogue in the areas of women’s rights, integration, cultural identity and the relevance of art in social change?