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Prologue 1: Art Activism – White Cube vs Public SpaceOslo, 22nd of June

We will explore the following questions:

How are political messages communicated within a space devoted to presenting art? What is the difference between presenting art with a political perspective in an art space, versus presenting it in a public space? When political art is presented in an exhibition space, is it transformed into a commodity, is it commercialized and thus rendered passive? What happens to the political message when it encounters the playing rules of the art market?

Video from the symposium here.



Symposium at The Museum of Cultural History, Frederiks Gate 2, 15.00 - 16.30
Moderator: Boel Christensen-Scheel

Juan Puntes, curator and director of WhiteBox, NY
Ted Kerr, writer and activist, NY
Professor Mikkel Bolt, University of Copenhagen
Artist Zanele Muholi, South Africa
Dance performance kl. 16.30 - 16.45 by Llewellen Mnungi, South Africa

Discussion at KORO, 8th floor, Kristian Augusts gate 23
Food and drinks will be provided from 16.45.

17.15 - 19.30

Moderator: Boel Christensen-Scheel
Professor Mikkel Bolt, University of Copenhagen
Artist Zanele Muholi, South Africa
Performance artist Kate Pendry, Norway / UK
Theater director Pia Maria Roll, Oslo
Artist, writer and activist Marius von der Fehr, Norway / Spain
Ted Kerr, writer and activist, NY
Juan Puntes, curator and director of WhiteBox, NY
The audience
We continue with an informal conversation in Akademirommet, Kunstnernes Hus.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 7:30 PM (CEST)

Registration is required, free of charge.

Kulturhistorisk Museum / Fredriks gate 2
KORO / Kristian Augusts gate 23
Akademirommet Kunstnernes Hus / Wergelandsveien 17

Zanele Muholi
is a well known photographer and visual activist from South Africa and the founder of Inkanyiso. She has won a number of awards, latest the prestigious Infinity Award for best Documentary and Photojournalism at International Centre of Photography. She has been exhibited amongst many, at the 55. Biennale of Venezia (2013), Documenta 13 (2012) and Brooklyn Museum in New York (2015). In 2013 she showed at Kunstplass [10] the exhibition I See Rainbows and in February 2015 at Akershus Kunstsenter. With her camera, Zanele Muholi tells about black lesbian, homosexual, bi, trans- and intersex personas histories - about love and intimacy in South Africa. She visualizes that crime of hate is a big problem and affects the lives of LHBTI-persons. Zanele Muholi has the last year worked on a series of self portraits with the title Somnyama Ngonyama ('Hail, the Dark Lioness’). She touches universal themes connected to love, racism, xenophobia, visuality and differentness.

Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen
is an art historian and cultural critic. He is Associate Professor at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen. He is co-editor of the journals K&K: Kultur & Klasse and Mr Antipyrine. He has published a number of books, including Crisis to Insurrection: Notes on the Ongoing Breakdown (Minor Compositions, 2015) and Playmates and Playboys on a Higher Level (Sternberg Press, 2015), as well as articles in journals such as e-flux journal, Rethinking Marxism, Texte zur Kunst and Third Text.

Juan Puntes
is the founder, curator and artistic director of WhiteBox, a New York- centric, international non-profit alternative art space, founded with the support of a small group of artists, intellectual thinkers, and curators in 1998 in the Chelsea art district of Manhattan. WhiteBox has ever since been dedicated to presenting a continuous stream of original in-house and guest-curated cross-disciplinary contemporary projects focusing on a wide variety of art practices encompassing fine art, new media, installation art, electronic music, sound and performance laboratories, including opera, and politically activist exhibitions.
WhiteBox relocated to the grittier Lower East Side of Manhattan, works continuously in conjunction with neighboring non-profits, schools, public institutions and grassroots organizations to promote art projects rooted in and relevant to the real world.
WhiteBox is currently in the process of dramatically transforming its gallery space with a radical design by architect Steven Holl and artist Lawrence Weiner aiming to remain architectonically as well, at the forefront of the Manhattan art scene; and continuing to partner with cutting-edge local, regional, national and international arts organizations.

Theodore (Ted) Kerr
is a Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based writer, curator, facilitator and organizer.
His work focuses on HIV/AIDS, representation, art, and history. He was the Programs Manager at Visual AIDS, an organization that uses programs, exhibitions and publishing to remind the world that AIDS is not over. Last year he edited, "Time Is Not A Line" a collection of new writing and image about HIV now which he then used as a platform to organize public lectures and art making. He has organized AIDS related events with the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library and many other organizations. His writing has appeared in Women's Studies Quarterly, Lambda Literary, The New Republic and HyperAllergic, and his conversations with Alexandra Juhasz, Bryn Kelly and Claire Barliant have been published through IndieWire and Cineaste. With Aldrin Valdez, he is a co-founder of Foundational Sharing, a sharing platform that brings together art, community and dialogue. Last year Kerr initiated the ongoing community discussion, What Would An HIV Doula Do? that takes place bi-weekly in New York. Kerr earned his BA from The New School, his MA from Union Theological Seminary.

Pia Maria Roll
is a Norwegian theater artist living in Oslo. She is active as an actor, director, dramaturg and screenwriter. Amongst her most known productions are Over evne III (2010, Over ability), Ship O'hoi (2012), Ses i min nästa pjäs (2015, See you in my next piece) and Nå løper vi (2016, Now we’re running). Roll has been active in the think tank TeaterTanken since 2011.

Marius von der Fehr
works within a wide field of engaged artistic practices and political activism. Runs New Frontiers - a series of encounters at the new frontiers between artistic and intellectual practice and political activism. Co-organizer of Atelier Populaire/Palestinerleir in Kunsthall Oslo in 2012 - an open workshop on refugee policy in cooperation with refugees. In theatre, he is cooperating with theatre directors like Pia Maria Roll and Marius Kolbenstvedt. His latest work for theatre, Land of Olives, concerns the Palestine question. He is a co-founder of TeaterTanken, a think tank on theatre, and writes about art and politics for newspapers and magazines e.g. Le monde diplomatique, Klassekampen and Ny Tid.

Kate Pendry
is a well known stage artist and playwright. Her works contain personal and political themes and are often coloured with a dark humour.
At FSS 2016 Prologue 1, she will be giving a spoken word performance a history of her work and its political context.

Llewellyn Mnungi
had one of the lead role as the black swan in Dada Masilo’s Swan Lake at the Joyce Theater in New York February 2016. Aspects of Tchaikovsky’s original music for Swan Lake are fit Masilo’s more modern vision, in which she fearlessly addresses issues of sex, women’s rights and homophobia in a country that is ravaged by AIDS. Llewellyn Mnguni has extensively toured for three years, in Europe, Canada and the US with Dada Masilos Swan Lake and Carmen productions, he has choreographed and danced for companies such as New World Dance Theatre,Tshwane Dance Theatre and Bovim Ballet Company. After graduating with a Dance Teacher's Diploma from the University of Cape Town, he has taught Contemporary dance in various schools and studios in Cape Town as well as Johannesburg. Mnguni has choreographed his original works for the Baxter Dance Festival, GIPCA Live Arts Festival, Dance Umbrella, Infecting the City Festival and the National Arts Festival.

Boel Christensen-Scheel
is an associate professor at Oslo University College and has a Ph.D. in recent art and performance theory. Christensen-Scheel has written several texts and reviews on contemporary art and art theory. She has translated Nicolas Bourriaud’s Relational Aesthetics to Norwegian (Pax Publishing, Artes series, 2007) and recently she published an essay about Kjartan Slettemark’s Nixon Series (Torpedo Press, 2010).
Prologue 1: Art Activism - White Cube vs Public Space forms part one of a series of three symposia on art activism in Oslo. The subsequent symposia are titled Prologue 2: Media Activism - Mass vs Micro and Prologue 3: Art Activism - Feminism in the Middle East.
The First Supper Symposium in cooperation with Kunstplass [10] and Oslo School of Photography.
Supported by KORO Public Art Norway, Arts Council Norway, and Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond.

The First Supper Symposium is a collaborative art project focusing on art activism, feminism and political issues. Current members Gidsken Braadlie, Lisa Pacini and Camilla Dahl are collaborating with Hanan Benammar, Ksenia Aksenova and Ragnhild Tronstad on the Prologue Symposia.

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