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Book launch: Sovereign Words. Indigenous Art, Curation and Criticism

Please join us for the launch of OCA's latest publication Sovereign Words. Indigenous Art, Curation and Criticism.

Wednesday 5 December

Árdna, the Sámi cultural house of UiT, the Arctic University of Norway

A reception with dinner and refreshments will follow. The event, organized in collaboration with Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, is free and open to the public.

Please RSVP to

A first of its kind reader of Indigenous voices, Sovereign Words charts perspectives across art and film, ethics and history, theory and the museological field. With the canonical power systems of the international art world increasingly under fire today, the book makes a strong bid for knowledge building and intellectual alliances that will inform the cultural and artistic processes of Indigenous and non-Indigenous futures.

'I am confident that echoes of Sovereign Words. Indigenous Art, Curation and Criticism will assist in strengthening existing collaborations and lead to new and ground-breaking connections where mutual respect and learning will become the norm when exchanging with First Nations ways of life.'
– Brook Andrew, artist and Artistic Director of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, 2020

For the book’s launch, contributors Kabita Chakma, David Garneau, Kimberley Moulton, Biung Ismahasan, Irene Snarby and Ánde Somby reconvene to present and converse around their essays and the book’s relevance across artistic, curatorial, theoretical, cinematic, museological, ethical and legal fields.

To purchase the book click here.


Welcome and introduction by director of OCA and editor,
Katya García-Antón and director of NNKM, Jérémie McGowan

Presentation by Professor David Garneau

Presentation by Kabita Chakma

Presentation by Kimberley Moulton

Panel discussion with David Garneau,
Kabita Chakma and Kimberley Moulton, joined by
Biung Ismahasan, Ánde Somby and Irene Snarby

Food and refreshments


Kabita Chakma comes from the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh. Chakma is
the largest Indigenous group in Bangladesh. Kabita Chakma belongs to the clan of Raange
goza, Bhudo gutthi on her maternal side and Borbo goza, Phoraa daagi on her paternal side.
She is a freelance researcher, architect, writer and occasional guest lecturer and teacher at
the School of Design, part of the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). She is a Coordinator
of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Indigenous Jumma Association Australia (CHTIJAA), and a
Community Adviser to BODHI (Benevolent Organisation for Development, Health and Insight)
Australia, a charity organisation. Her interests include the history, culture, art and architecture
of disadvantaged communities, particularly Indigenous peoples of the CHT, Bangladesh,
as well as environmental sustainability.

David Garneau is a Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina. He is Métis and his
practice includes painting, curation, and critical writing. With Kathleen Ash Milby, he recently
co-curated Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound, at the National Museum of the American
Indian, New York; Moving Forward, Never Forgetting, with Michelle LaVallee, an exhibition
concerning the legacies of Indian Residential Schools, other forms of aggressive assimilation,
and (re)conciliation, at the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina; and With Secrecy and Despatch
with Tess Allas, an international exhibition about the massacres of Indigenous people and
memorialisation, for the Campbelltown Art Centre, Sydney. Garneau has recently given keynote
talks in Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, the United States, and throughout Turtle Island/Canada.
He is a co-researcher with Creative Conciliations, a five-year SSHRC (Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council of Canada) funded curatorial project, and he is working on a
public art project for the City of Edmonton, Alberta. His paintings can be found in numerous
public and private collections.

Kimberley Moulton is a Yorta Yorta woman with a curatorial and writing practice that has
engaged with many museums and contemporary art spaces. She is Senior Curator of
South Eastern Aboriginal Collections for Museums Victoria at Melbourne Museum,
focusing on the intersection of contemporary First Peoples art and cultural material
in museums. Prior to this, Moulton was Project Officer and Curator at Bunjilaka
Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Melbourne Museum between 2009 and 2015, and an
Assistant Curator for First Peoples exhibition at Melbourne Museum in 2013.
Alongside her institutional curatorial roles, she has independently curated:
where the water moves, where it rests: the art of Djambawa Marawili, Kluge-Ruhe
Aboriginal Art Collection, Charlottesville (2015); State of The Nation, Counihan Gallery,
Brunswick (2016); A Call From The West: The Continuing Legacy of Mr William Cooper,
Footscray Community Arts Centre (2016). She was also a co-curator for Artbank Sydney
Social Day 2016, RECENTRE: sisters, City Of Melbourne Gallery (2017); and co-curator of
Next Matriarch
, ACE Open Adelaide and TARNANTHI Festival (2017). In 2018 Moulton
curated Mother Tongue for the guest curatorial series 'Octopus' at Gertrude Contemporary,
Melbourne. Moulton is an alumna of the National Gallery of Australia’s Wesfarmers
Indigenous Arts Leadership Program 2010, British Council ACCELERATE programme (2013),
National Gallery of Australia International Curatorial Fellow at Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal
Collection (2015), and a Victorian Curatorial Representative for the First Nations Exchange
Program United States of America 2016 at the Venice Biennale (2017) and First Nations
Exchange Canada (2017). She was a co-curator of Mandela: My Life at Melbourne Museum
(2018), the story of Nelson Mandela.

Biung Ismahasan is a curator and researcher, currently working on his PhD in Curating
at the University of Essex’s Centre for Curatorial Studies. His research involves issues of
contemporary Indigenous curatorial practice and aesthetics, focusing on the curation of
Taiwanese Indigenous contemporary art. His current research emphasises the issues of
participation, performativity and the historiography of Indigenous curation and exhibition
design. He received a MA in Cultural Policy, Relations & Diplomacy at Goldsmiths, University
of London in November 2014. Belonging to the Bunun Nation of Taiwanese Indigenous groups,
he was awarded the PULIMA Art Award (the first national art award dedicated to Indigenous
contemporary art), and exhibited at Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts in Southern
Taiwan in 2014. His most notable curatorial projects include Anti-Alcoholism:
an Indigenous performative encounter 2014–19
, an international performance art
exchange of Indigenous artists from Taiwan. He recently curated Dispossessions:
Performative Encounter(s) of Taiwanese Indigenous Contemporary Art
at Goldsmiths
in May 2018.

Irene Snarby is a Doctoral Research Fellow in Art History at SARP: The Sámi Art Research
Project at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, where she is carrying out research into the
works of the artist Iver Jåks. Snarby has worked as a curator within the Art Department of
The Sámi Museum – RiddoDuottarMuseat in Kárášjohka (Sápmi/Norway) and has been a
member of the Sámi Parliament’s Acquisitions Committee for Contemporary Art. She has
written essays, given lectures and been an editor for several publications of Sámi art for
over twenty years. She has also been an advisor on important art projects such as the
International Indigenous Art exhibition Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art at the
National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa, and There is no, at the Northern Norwegian
Art Museum.

Ánde Somby is a writer, yoiker (yoik is the Sámi way of singing or chanting, which
differs from Euro-American vocal music) and Associate Professor of Law at UiT
(Arctic University of Norway) where he specialises in Indigenous rights law. Somby
was born in 1958 in Buolbmat in the Deatnu/Tana municipality on the Norwegian
side of Sápmi. He is the former Chair of the Centre for Sámi Studies at UiT and
former leader of Sámiid Nuoraid Searvi (Sámi Youth Association in Kárášjohka,
1976–78). Somby has performed extensively as a yoiker since 1976, and has
occasionally also lectured on the subject. His writings include: ‘How to recruit
Samis to higher education and to research, items on an agenda of actions’
(Sin neste som seg selv: Ole D. Mjøs 60 år 8. mars 1999, ed. by Arthur Arntzen,
Jens-Ivar Nergård, and Øyvind Norderval, 1999) and ‘The Legal situation of The
Nordic Indigenous Peoples’ (paper presented at the 35th Nordic Jurist Assembly, 1999)
and ‘Yoik and the Theory of Knowledge’ (Kunnskap og utvikling, ed. Magnus Haavelud, 1995).


CANON NO CANON. Rethinking Nordic Art.

Courtesy: OCA/Anders Dahl Monsen, 2018

'CANON NO CANON' is a conference series conceived to address and question the formation and status of art canons internationally from historical and contemporary perspectives as well as investigate the procedures and possibilities for de-canonical methodologies. The first iteration of 'CANON NO CANON' is dedicated to the Nordic context. 'CANON NO CANON' has been originally conceived by OCA – Office for Contemporary Art Norway and NIA – Nordic Institute of Art, and will develop in the future in multiple iterations led by the institutions jointly or individually.

Does art from the Nordic region have a place in what has been considered as a global canon? Which mechanisms are deciding the place of certain regions, or groups, in an overall art history? What tensions, if any, are particular to the Nordic canon (/canons)? What are the complexities behind the conception of the Nordic, and how are they shifting? How have art institutions (large and small) within and beyond the region, imagined and related to the various histories and constituencies of Nordic arts as they build their collections, exhibitions, and programmes? What developments in curating, museologies, and academia have weighed on how Nordic canons have evolved or devolved; and how does this fit into a global art history? What are the specific case studies or examples in which de-canonization can be identified in the Nordic context?

Dorthe Aagesen, Chief Curator and Senior Researcher at the National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen; Eline Mugaas, Oslo-based artist and independent curator; Carl-Johan Olsson, Curator at the National Museum, Stockholm; Marit Paasche, Oslo-based independent scholar and curator; Christopher Riopelle, Curator at the National Gallery, London; Øystein Sjåstad, Associate Professor at the University of Oslo; Katya García-Antón, Director of Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) and Knut Ljøgodt, Director of Nordic Institute of Art (NIA)

Friday, 23 November

Venue: Vigeland Museum
Nobels gate 32, 0268 Oslo

Free and open to the public, but space is limited. Lunch included.

'CANON NO CANON' is a conference series conceived to address and question the formation and status of art canons internationally from historical and contemporary perspectives as well as investigate the procedures and possibilities for de-canonical methodologies. 'CANON NO CANON' has been originally conceived by OCA and NIA, and will develop in the future in multiple iterations led by the institutions jointly or individually. 'CANON NO CANON. Rethinking Nordic Art' is the first iteration of the series and will focus on the Nordic context and its place globally.


Opening Session

Doors open. Coffee. Registration

Director Katya García-Antón, OCA, and Director Knut Ljøgodt (Dr. Philos), NIA:
Welcome and opening remarks

Director Katya García-Antón, OCA:
Decentre! Demodern! Decolonial! Where Can the Canon Go?

Director Knut Ljøgodt (Dr. Philos), NIA:
Rethinking Nordic Art History

Rethinking Nordic Art. The Historical Situation

Introductions to speakers by Office Manager Joakim Borda-Pedreira, NIA

Curator Dorthe Aagesen, SMK – National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen:
The Case of Sonja Ferlov Mancoba

Curator Christopher Riopelle, National Gallery, London and Associate Fellow, NIA:
Altered Perceptions of Nordic Art in London

13:15–14:00: Lunch and museum visit

Canon No Canon. Contemporary Perspectives

Introductions to speakers by Programme Manager Drew Snyder (PhD), OCA

Marit Paasche (Dr. Philos), independent scholar and Associate Fellow, NIA:
Silencing the Canon. Two Case Studies: Hannah Ryggen and Norwegian Video Art

Associate Professor Øystein Sjåstad, University of Oslo:
Does the World Need Another Modernist?

Panel Conversation. Conference speakers will be joined by Curator Carl-Johan Olsson, National Museum, Stockholm, and artist and independent curator Eline Mugaas.
Moderators: Katya García-Antón and Knut Ljøgodt

16:15 Q&A

16:30 Conference ends

Introduction to and tour of the Vigeland Museum by Director Jarle Strømodden


Dorthe Aagesen is Chief Curator and Senior Researcher within the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the SMK Statens Museum for Kunst, the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen, where she has worked since 1999. She oversees the museum's modern collection and has been engaged in ambitious reinstallations, while also organizing temporary exhibitions. Before 1999 she served as a curator for four years at Arken Museum of Modern Art. At SMK, Aagesen has organized or co-organized the following exhibitions, among others: 'Asger Jorn – Restless Rebel' (2014); 'Henri Matisse – In Search of True Painting' (2012, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Centre Pompidou); 'Wilhelm Freddie – Stick the Fork in Your Eye!' (2009); 'André Derain. Outsider in French Art' (2007); and 'Avant-Garde in Danish and European Art 1909-1919' (2002). She co-edited and contributed to A Cultural History of the Avant-Garde in the Nordic Countries 1900-1925 (Brill) in 2016. Aagesen is currently preparing a major retrospective exhibition on the Danish-French artist, Sonja Ferlov Mancoba, to be shown at Statens Museum for Kunst and the Centre Pompidou in 2019.

Eline Mugaas is an Oslo-based artist working primarily in photography, collage, and publishing. Since 2008, Mugaas has been publishing the fanzine ALBUM together with artist Elise Storsveen. Comprised of full-page photographic illustrations, advertisements, and other ubiquitous images culled from Scandinavian etiquette manuals, cookbooks, travel magazines, craft books, fashion magazines, and sex guides, ALBUM offers a sophisticated meta-narrative on the human body, sexuality, and the social lives of images. ALBUM co-curated the exhibition ‘Hold Stenhårdt fast på greia di - Art and Women's Rights in Norway 1968-1989’ (Kunsthall Oslo, 2013; Kunsthall Stavanger, 2014) which has since been regarded as an important instigator of the discussion around female artists' inclusion in the Norwegian canon. In particular, Mugaas' extensive research on Norwegian artist Siri Anker Aurdal has generated national and international interest to an artist whose body of work had largely disappeared from art history. She published an artist book presenting sketches and documentation of Aurdal's oeuvre in conjunction with a show at Kunstnernes Hus in 2016. Thanks to this Aurdal was selected for the Nordic pavilion of the Venice Biennial in 2017. Aurdal and Mugaas were presented in a show at Skissernas Museum in Sweden in 2018. Mugaas is currently working on the second issue of a series of five visual essays titled Dyslexic Times.

Carl-Johan Olsson is Curator of Nineteenth-century Painting at the National Museum in Stockholm, and an Associate Fellow of the Nordic Institute of Art. Among his key areas are landscape painting of the 19th century, Scandinavian Romanticism and French and Scandinavian Naturalism. He has co-curated exhibitions such as ‘Anders Zorn: Sweden's Master Painter’ (2017) and ‘Carl Larsson, l'imagier de la Suède’ (2014), both at the Petit Palais, Paris, and The Artist at the National Museum, Stockholm (2017). Olsson has also worked extensively with the collections of the National Museum in Stockholm.

Marit Paasche (Dr. Philos) is an art historian and former head of research at the Norwegian Video Art Archive. She works as an art critic, curator, and writer based in Oslo. Her latest book, Hannah Ryggen: En fri, won the Norwegian Critics' Association's award for best non-fiction book of 2016 and is about to be published in English by Thames and Hudson. Paasche is the co-curator of an upcoming exhibition on Hannah Ryggen at Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt in 2019. Among her other curatorial endeavours are 'We are Living on Star' at Henie Onstad Art Centre (2014) and 'The Human Pattern' at Kunsthall Oslo (2011). Paasche has authored and edited several books, including Lives and Videotapes: The Inconsistent History of Norwegian Video Art (Feil forlag, 2014) and A Thousand Eyes: Media Technology, Law, and Aesthetics (Sternberg Press, 2011). Paasche is an Associate Fellow at Nordic Institute of Art.

Christopher Riopelle is the Curator of Post-1800 Paintings at the National Gallery, London. He previously held curatorial positions at the Getty Museum, LA, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Riopelle has curated or co-curated National Gallery exhibitions on Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, landscape sketches, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Richard Hamilton, Paul Durand-Ruel, Eugène Delacroix, Ed Ruscha and Thomas Cole. Riopelle has a particular interest in Nordic art and has curated or co-curated 'Christen Købke: Danish Master of Light' (2010); 'Forests, Rocks, Torrents: Norwegian and Swiss Landscapes from the Lunde Collection' (2011); and 'Peder Balke 1804–1887' (2014). In addition, he has overseen the acquisition at the National Gallery of paintings by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, L.A. Ring, J.C. Dahl, and Peder Balke. Riopelle is an Associate Fellow of the Nordic Institute of Art.

Øystein Sjåstad is Associate Professor in Art History at the University of Oslo. He has published a number of articles and catalogue essays on nineteenth-century art, comics as well as on the contemporary artists Irma Salo Jæger and Bjarne Melgaard. He has written three books on Christian Krohg: Fra Paris til Kristiania (2012); A Theory of the Tache in Nineteenth-Century Painting (2014), and most recently Christian Krohg's Naturalism, published by University of Washington Press in 2017 as part of their New Directions in Scandinavian Studies series. Sjåstad has also been the editor of the academic art history journal Kunst og Kultur (2014–18). These days he is developing an exhibition project on Frits Thaulow together with KODE Art Museums and Composer Homes in Bergen.

Katya García-Antón has been Director and Chief Curator of OCA since February 2014. She is a Biology graduate, and went on to obtain an MA in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Art History from The Courtauld Institute of Art, London. She has worked at The Courtauld Institute of Art, Museo Nacional Reina Sofía Madrid, ICA London, IKON Birmingham and as Director of Centre d’Art Contemporain (CAC) Genève. She has curated three national pavilions for the Sao Paulo Biennial (2004) and la Biennale di Venezia (2011, 2015), and co-curated the first edition of the Qalandiya International Biennial (2011). Amongst other projects, at OCA she has developed a long term programme to empower critical writing, ‘Critical Writing Ensembles’, as well as launched ‘Thinking at the Edge of the World. Perspectives from the North’. The latter involves research and programming reflecting and connecting with the Arctic region from an ecological and socio-political standpoint, as well as highlighting Sámi, Indigenous and decolonial practices.

Knut Ljøgodt (Dr. Philos.) co-founded the Nordic Institute of Art in Oslo in 2017 and serves as its Director. He is an art historian specialised in nineteenth-century Scandinavian and European art, in addition to modern and contemporary Norwegian Art. He has written several publications within these fields and been responsible for museum exhibitions such as ‘Black Romance – Gothic Horror and Decadence’ (2009), ‘A. K. Dolven – Ahead’ (2009), ‘David Hockney – The Northern Landscapes’ (2012), and ‘Peder Balke – Vision and Revolution’ (2014), in collaboration with The National Gallery of London. In 2019 Ljøgodt will co-curate the first major exhibition of Edward Burne-Jones in Scandinavia, which will travel to Waldemarsudde in Stockholm and KODE art museum, Bergen. Ljøgodt holds a Cand. Philol. degree from the University of Oslo and a Dr. Philos. From the University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway. He also studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and at the Norwegian Institute in Rome. Previously, Ljøgodt worked as a curator at the National Gallery of Norway, Oslo (1998–2002) and as museum director of Nordnorsk kunstmuseum in Tromsø (2008–2016).

Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA)


Book launch: 'Intersections' – Aslaug M. Juliussen in conversation with Charis Gullickson

Credit: Aslaug M. Juliussen, Multiple Stiches sight in sewing IV (2016) detail. Courtesy Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum.

Please join us for a lunch presentation of 'Intersections', a new book and exhibition of the work of Aslaug M. Juliussen, with the artist in conversation with editor Charis Gullickson, curator at Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum in Tromsø.

'Intersections’ is the most comprehensive presentation of Aslaug M. Juliussen's oeuvre so far. Juliussen is a Norwegian Sámi artist, she incorporates reindeer antlers, bone and hair, in her works with fiber and textiles. Her work is acquired by RiddoDuottarMuseat (RDM), Sparebank1 Nord-Norge, Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum and the National Museum.

This event is part of OCA's new mezzanine program.

Friday 16 November

Free and open to the public, but space is limited.

Please RSVP to

Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Nedre gate 7 D
0551 Oslo

Aslaug Magdalena Juliussen graduated from Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 1982. She spent two years as an apprentice of Norwegian textile arts legend Synnøve Anker Aurdal, before moving to Karasjok in Northern Norway to work in her family’s reindeer business. For 22 years she divided her time between being an artist and working with reindeer, before moving to Tromsø in 2007 to become a full-time artist. She did her first solo exhibition at Tromsø Center for Contemporary Art in 1989 and was awarded The Norwegian Association for the Arts and Crafts' Honorary Award in 2011. Juliussen's art can be found in buildings such as The Sámi Parliment, The Arctic University and Tromsø City Hall. She is represented in collections including The Norwegian National Museum, The National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, The Norwegian Arts Council, Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum and the county councils of Troms, Nord-Trøndelag and Finnmark.

Charis Gullickson was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. Gullickson holds an MA in art history from UiT—The Arctic University of Norway and a BA in art history from Montana State University in Bozeman. She is curator at Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum and specializes in contemporary art from the circumpolar north. She has curated several exhibitions with accompanying publications, such as I Craft, I Travel Light (2017), Inger Johanne Grytting: Extensions(2015), Sámi Stories: Art and Identity of an Arctic People(2014), Tech-Stiles (2012), Parallels (2011), and Iver Jåks: Reconstructed (2010).


Meet Christina Lehnert

Please join us for a lunch talk with OCA IVP Christina Lehnert,
Curator at Portikus, Frankfurt/Main.

This event is part of OCA´s new mezzanine program.

Friday, 19 October

Free and open to the public, but space is limited.

Please RSVP to

Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Nedre gate 7 D
0551 Oslo

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) is very pleased to announce Christina Lehnert as our current International Visitor Programme (IVP) resident in Oslo.

Christina Lehnert is curator at Portikus, Frankfurt/Main. Prior to Portikus, she served as the interim director at Kunstverein Braunschweig in 2017. From 2015–2016 she was given a curatorial grant at Gebert Stiftung für Kultur in Switzerland, where she realized various group and solo exhibitions. Collaborations in the solo and group exhibitions included artists such as Thea Djordjadze, Georgia Sagri, Hanne Lippard, Gabriel Kuri, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Hannah Black, Mathis Altman, Aude Pariset, Jan Vorisek and Alicia Frankreich, et al.

In the past, she was a curatorial assistant at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein and Kunsthalle Bielefeld. She received an MA in art history from Humboldt University in Berlin with a focus on the media image in contemporary art.


Meet Stephanie Seidel

An evening with OCA IVP Stephanie Seidel,
Associate Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami).

This event is part of OCA´s new mezzanine program.

Monday, 15 October

Free and open to the public, but space is limited.

Please RSVP to

Office for Contemporary Art Norway

Nedre gate 7 D
0551 Oslo

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) is very pleased to announce Stephanie Seidel as our current International Visitor Programme (IVP) resident in Oslo.

Stephanie Seidel is Associate Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami). Seidel has curated a number of exhibitions for ICA Miami, among others solo presentations of Thomas Bayrle, Tomm El-Saieh, Diamond Stingily, Sondra Perry, Louise Bourgeois and Edward and Nancy Kienholz. Forth coming exhibitions at ICA Miami include a survey for artist Judy Chicago.

Before joining ICA Miami, Seidel was a curator at the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Germany, as well as for the commissioning project “25/25/25” for the Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf, where she worked with contemporary artists, such as Neïl Beloufa, Sam Lewitt, Ken Okiishi, Pamela Rosenkranz, and Tercerunquinto. She also founded the project space Between Arrival & Departure in Düsseldorf, where she organized commissions by Sam Anderson, Olga Balema, Studio for Propositional Cinema and Cooper Jacoby, among others.