News : 2013/04

Upcoming deadline for International Support and International Residencies Programme: 1 May 2013

Published 2013/04/18

Tori Wrånes installing her exhibition 'RUN'n JUMPS' at Haninge Konsthall in 2011. The exhibiton was curated by Johanne Nordby Wernø, Berlin Mitte curator resident, March–April 2013. Courtesy of the artist



Berlin Mitte, Berlin, Germany
18th Street Art Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Deadline: 1 May 2013

OCA is currently accepting applications for the 2013 Second Quarter Application Review for International Support. Forms are due on 1 May 2013. Applications are accepted from Norwegian artists, international artists residing in Norway and non-profit arts organisations. Priority is given to exhibitions taking place in key international art institutions and project spaces. Support is also extended to solo exhibitions and group exhibitions initiated by international curators as well as to Norwegian art professionals organising exhibitions and projects abroad. The funding for International Support is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the allocation is decided upon by an independent jury of Norwegian and international art professionals designated by OCA.

OCA provides International Residencies for Norwegian artists, curators and critics in a number of international venues. The upcoming 1 May 2013 deadline applies to Berlin Mitte, Berlin, Germany and 18th Street Art Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA. The applications are assessed by an International Jury appointed by OCA.

Berlin Mitte
OCA offers four two-month residencies for curators, critics and artists in Berlin from September 2013 until the end of April 2014. The applicants must be Norwegian citizens, or live and work in Norway. The residency period will be allocated in discussion with the selected candidates following the jury's selection. Curators and critics are especially encouraged to apply, and their applications will be given priority. Please notice that the residency is not available for BA or MA students.

18th Street Art Center
In 2013 OCA offers a studio residency for a Norwegian artist at the International Artists in Residency programme at 18th Street Art Center in the Santa Monica neighbourhood of Los Angeles, CA, USA. A live/work studio within the 18th Street Art Center complex is provided for a period of 3 months, from 1 October 2013 to 31 December 2013. Only Norwegian citizens are eligible for this fellowship. Please note that the programme is not open to BA or MA students. The residency is optimal for artists seeking time and space in order to pursue specific studio-based project work. Residents are encouraged to participate in open studio events and other activities within the broader programme of the centre.

For more information, please contact Anne Charlotte Hauen

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway is a foundation created by The Norwegian Ministry of Culture and The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in autumn 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 discourses on contemporary art.

OCA's IVP Angie Keefer presents 'The Serving Library'

Published 2013/04/12

OCA's invites to an open session with IVP resident Angie Keefer about

'The Serving Library'

Thursday, 25 April 2013 / 16:00

in OCA's Studio
Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Nedre gate 7
0551 Oslo, Norway l

OCA hosts an open session with artist, writer, editor and librarian Angie Keefer on Thursday 25 April at 16:00 in OCA's Studio*. Keefer will discuss the project 'The Serving Library', a cooperatively-built archive that assembles itself by publishing. This long-term project is conceived by Keefer and New York designers Dexter Sinister, founded on a consideration of how the role of the library has changed over time – from fixed archive, through circulating collection, to a point of distribution. According to the initiators, 'The Serving Library' 'diagrams a reversible, looping principle: it is an archive that publishes and a publisher that archives according to a motto borrowed from the annals of library science: hospitium ad infinitum, or infinite hospitality'.

'The Serving Library' consists of
1. A public website
2. A small physical library space
3. A publishing programme which runs through the website and library

*Please use OCA's side entrance.

About Angie Keefer
Angie Keefer is an artist, writer, editor, amateur engineer and occasional librarian whose speculative non-fiction traces circuitous routes through highly specialised information. Recently she has exhibited or staged her work at Yale Union (YU), Portland, OR, USA; the São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil; MoMA, New York, NY, USA and Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark among others. In May 2013 she will exhibit at the Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp, Belgium. Along with Dexter Sinister, Keefer is the co-founder of The Serving Library, a non-profit artists' organisation dedicated to publishing and archiving in a continuous loop, and the co-editor of The Bulletins, The Serving Library's bi-annual publication. Keefer is visitng Oslo within OCA’s International Visitor Programme (IVP).

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway is a foundation created by The Norwegian Ministry of Culture and The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in autumn 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.

OCA presents a solo exhibtion by the Senegalese artist Issa Samb

Published 2013/04/03

From Issa Samb's home studio 'La Cour' ('the Yard') in Dakar, Senegal. Photo: OCA / Asle Olsen

Norsk versjon

Issa Samb and the Undecipherable Form

Curated by Koyo Kouoh

4 May–23 June 2013
Opening: Friday 3 May, 19:00 

Press Preview: Friday 3 May, 12:00
Public Hours: Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun: 12:00–16:00, Thu: 12:00-18:00

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway is presenting ‘WORD! WORD? WORD! Issa Samb and the Undecipherable Form’, the first solo exhibition in Europe by the seminal Senegalese artist Issa Samb. The exhibition brings together a selection of emblematic works made by Samb over the past 25 years, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, assemblages and installations, as well as objects, artworks made by others and diverse materials he has amassed in his studio in Dakar’s rue Jules Ferry. They will be accompanied by performative actions presented during the opening days – all these elements coming together to reflect Samb's vast galaxy of interconnected universes, in which everyday signs are transformed into altars to personal obsessions.

In 1974, along with filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambety and a group of artists, writers, musicians, actors and filmmakers, Samb founded the Laboratoire Agit’Art. Its multi-disciplinary actions were directed against the formalism of the École de Dakar, an object-bound movement developed at the National Art School of Dakar and shaped by Léopold Sédar Senghor’s philosophy of négritude. Aiming to depart from this conception into experimentation and agitation, ephemerality rather than permanence, and political and social ideas rather than aesthetic notions, the Laboratoire Agit’Art developed a distinct ‘aesthetic of the social’. Audience participation was paramount to the group’s work, as was the privileging of communicative acts over the physical object. Neither utopian nor self-referential, it grounded its actions in the immediate sociopolitical situation. Today many of the early members have passed away, but the group’s spirit persists, materialised in all of Samb’s work.

From the time of the creation of the Laboratoire Agit’Art, Issa Samb has produced a graspable, yet cryptic and evanescent body of work. It is a body of work that, despite its avant-garde nature, is firmly rooted in African traditions of artistic multiplicity and simultaneity of forms and actions, where the spoken word and performative actions are highly regarded. And in keeping with Samb’s readings of Marxist philosophy and aesthetics, many of his sculptural assemblages take the paradigm of revolutionary movements as their subject matter, suggesting the possibility that the energy of the visual arts can be harnessed in support of the struggles of the weak and disadvantaged.

‘WORD! WORD? WORD!’, curated by Koyo Kouoh, brings to Europe a selection of works focusing on Samb’s multifaceted individual production, in a performative installation that references Samb’s home studio in Dakar, referred to as 'La Cour' or 'The Yard'. The display will create a fluid system of exchange between the objects, the artist and the audience.

The exhibition is organised in collaboration with Raw Material Company in Dakar, where it will travel in late 2013. A monographic publication on the work of Issa Samb will be published in conjunction with the opening in Dakar. This exhibition project follows Samb's participation in OCA's International Studio Programme in 2012, and a series of lectures that since October 2012 OCA has dedicated to the négritude movement and its influence on art, culture and politics in Africa, with speakers Salah Hassan, Manthia Diawara and Souleymane Bachir Diagne.

This exhibition and wider programme is made possible by 03 funds* from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

About the Artist
Issa Samb was born in 1945 in Senegal and lives in Dakar. In 1974 he founded, together with a group of artists, writers, film-makers, performance artists and musicians, the Laboratoire Agit’Art, whose aim was to transform the nature of artistic practice from a formalist, object-bound sensibility to practices based on experimentation and agitation, process rather than product, ephemerality rather than permanence. With a focus on the contingent character of actions, the Laboratoire was informed by a critique of institutional power. Samb also co-founded the Gallery TENQ – Village des Arts in Dakar. He is the author of numerous plays, poems and essays. A retrospective of his work was held at the National Art Gallery, Dakar in 2010. His work has been included in exhibitions such as dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012), the Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain, Dak’Art, Dakar (2008) and ‘Seven Stories of Modern Art in Africa’, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (1995).

About the Curator
Koyo Kouoh is a Cameroonian-born independent exhibition maker and cultural producer educated in Banking Administration and Cultural Management in Switzerland and France. She is the founder and artistic director of Raw Material Company, a centre for art, knowledge and society in Dakar, Senegal. Kouoh has served as agent to Carolyn Christov-Barkagiev’s dOCUMENTA (13). She co-curated ‘Les Rencontres de la Photographie Africaine’ in Bamako in 2001 and 2003. Specialising in photography, video and art in the public space, she has curated numerous exhibitions internationally and written on contemporary African art. Besides a sustained theoretical and exhibition program at Raw Material Company, she maintains a dynamic curatorial activity beyond the African borders. Over the past years she has overseen exhibitions, publications and discursive programmes including contemporary artists, thinkers and writers. Recent exhibitions include ‘Hollandaise: a journey into an iconic fabric’, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Raw Material Company (2013); ‘Boulevard du Centenaire Made in China, photography of the Chinese migration to Dakar’, Shanghai Biennial and Raw Material Company (2012) and ‘Chronicle of a Revolt: photographs of a season of protest’, Raw Material Company and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2012). In collaboration with Anne-Marie Bouttiaux and David Adjaye, she curated the contemporary section of ‘GEO-graphics: a map of African art past and present’, an exhibition that celebrated 50 years of African Independence at Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Belgium (2010). She co-curated ‘Make yourself at home’, an exhibition in collaboration with Charlotte Bagger-Brandt for Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, Denmark (2010). The project reflected on the notion of hospitality in contemporary art in the context of international migration. Kouoh was associate curator of SUD, Salon Urbain de Douala (2010), a triennial of art in the public space initiated by the contemporary art centre Doual’art in Douala, Cameroon.

About Raw Material Company
Raw Material Company is a centre for art, knowledge and society established in Dakar in 2008 as a mobile site for art practice and critical exchange. In April 2011, as a result of a practice-oriented assessment of the need of a recognisable and localisable space, Raw Material Company opened a 400m2 space in Dakar. The centre works to promote appreciation and growth of artistic and intellectual creativity in Africa. The underlying rationale of its program is a firm belief in visual arts as a potent tool capable of shifting perspectives, and to ignite engagement for art practice as a viable path for social and political transformation. The programme is transdisciplinary and is equally informed by urbanity, literature, film, architecture, politics, fashion, cuisine, and diasporas.

*About O3-funds
The exhibition is supported by O3–funds as underwritten by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for enhancing collaboration in the contemporary art field with professionals in countries designated by the MFA. The purpose of the O3–funds as allocated to OCA is to contribute to the development of the work of artists, independent cultural producers and organisations located in designated countries. This includes but is not limited to professional research visits by cultural producers, artists, and curators, short-term residencies for cultural producers and artists, seminars, conferences, art projects, workshops that focus on the further development of professional exchange and networking between and among countries, and project development on an international scale.

For more information, please contact OCA’s Information Manager Tara I. Hassel.