Press Releases : 2007/06

Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia?: Lecture by Lars Bang Larsen

Published 2007/06/20

Lygia Clark, from the work Estruturacao do Self (Structuring the Self), 1976-1988

Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia? Part II:

The production of gratification?
A Lecture by Lars Bang Larsen

Date: Tuesday, 26 June, 2007
Time: 18:00

Location: ISP Studio 2
Wergelandsvn. 17
Back entrance

About the lecture:

Through examples in art and film, the lecture will attempt to challenge the dominating narrative about 1967's "Summer of Love" and the way it is typically represented as a transgressive yet innocent eroticisation of social space. As it is well known, the anti-Oedipal ethos of the era resonated in the coding of sex in counter-cultural lifestyle experiments. Whether these experiments simply promoted patriarchy in a new way or in some cases took the form of a kind of proto-feminism, they were also underpinned by the notion of sex as production (of subjectivity, of space, of community, of society). This is how the two revolutionary staples of the 60s and 70s, the hippie "Make Love Not War" and the Marxist principle of taking over the means of production, are related: the idea was that those who make a lot of love would not only be involved in a more pleasurable and decent activity than hurting and killing other human beings, they would simply not be interested in it as they would be engaged in producing another and better social body. When trying to answer the question of the ways in which ideas of sex and society inform each other then and now, one can hence trace a continuity from sex considered as a strong sign of liberation to the free flow of global capital streams. As it was put in a recent banner-ad on, "I got more stock options positions than the Kama Sutra."

About the speaker:

Lars Bang Larsen is a free-lance critic and curator responsible for group shows, including Pyramids of MarsFundamentalisms of the New OrderThe Invisible Insurrection of a Million Minds and Populism. Co-curator of the 1998 Nordic BiennaleMomentum he has written about the art and culture of the 1960s and regularly contributes to Frieze and Artforum. Larsen currently teaches at Konsthögskolan in Stockholm.

Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia?

A Research and Exhibition Project by the Office for Contemporary Art 2007/2008
Curators: Marta Kuzma and Lars Bang Larsen

This expansive research project (with eventual manifestation as an exhibition) is planned for development throughout 2007 through 2009 and addresses the representation of Scandinavia as a sexual utopic territory extolled in the international media in the 1960s and 1970s. The project delves into these representations investigating their mythical status or rightful claims. In doing so, links are made to the drafting of sexual reform initiated by the respective woman's movements at the beginning of the 20th century throughout Scandinavia, to the revisionist movements in psychoanalysis throughout the 1930s, through the political and philosophical thought of Herbert Marcuse, and moreover to the more provocative films produced in the 1960s such as I Am Curious Yellow, I Am Curious Blue. Bang Larsen's lecture follows the introductory lecture, Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia, provided by Marta Kuzma earlier in the year.