Press Releases : 2008/02

NO. 5 in the OCA series Kunst and Kapital: Polly Staple on "Switzerland: Art, Commerce and the Desiring Subject"

Published 2008/02/19

Jeremy Deller, Untitled (Bag), 2003


Polly Staple on:
Art, Commerce and the Desiring Subject"

Date: Tuesday, 26 February, 2008
Time: 19:00
Location: Fritt Ord
Uranienborgveien, Oslo

About the talk

Polly Staple will give an illustrated introduction to the research project "Switzerland: Art, Commerce and the Desiring Subject" which explores the relationship of art and commerce as read through the desiring subject, from free market economics to cannibalism. The project explores how one experiencees the artwork and establishes a subject position as mediated through the exhibition and beyond, from production to dispersal, from private to public experience while accounting for the cultural value systems and the socio-economic framework of circulation and exchange informing these encounters. "Switzerland" touches on the gold standard, property relations, relational aesthetics, myth making, enigmatic signifiers, erotic barriers and the poignancy of things. The talk will also include discussion of some previous curatorial projects and will cite works by Marcel Broodthaers, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons alongside those by David Robbins, Cathy Wilkes, Aleksandra Mir, Jeremy Deller and Roman Ondak.

About the Speaker

Polly Staple is an ISP resident at OCA for the month of February. She is an independent curator and writer based in London as well as Editor-a-Large of the contemporary arts journal frieze. Staple was formerly Director of Frieze Projects, the curatorial programme realized annually at Frieze Art Fair, London where she produced commissions with artists including Pawel Althamer, Manon de Boer, Jeremy Deller, Liam Gillick, Aleksandra Mir, Paola Pivi, Roman Ondak, Martha Rosler, Lawrence Weiner, Cathy Wilkes and Andrea Zittel alongside "The Artists Cinema" in association with LUX, and a talks programme including presentations from cultural figures such as Marina Abramovic, Thomas Crow, Zaha Hadid, Jacques Rancière and Saskia Sassen.

Staple was previously Curator at Cubitt Gallery, London and co-Editor of Untitled magazine. She is a tutor on the MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design and has been a regular visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths College, and contributor to a range of publications including friezeArt Monthly and Afterall writing criticism and essays on artists, including — Micol Assaël, Johanna Billing, Gillian Carnegie, Hilary Lloyd and Joanne Tatham & Tom O'Sullivan, She is the commissioning editor and producer of the bi-annual publication Living & Loving by Aleksandra Mir. A former member of the Arts Council Collection Acquisitions & Advisory Committee, Staple is currently chair of the board of trustees of Studio Voltaire, London and The Elephant Trust.

More recently, Staple co-curated You Have Not Been Honest, a major British Council produced, touring survey show of contemporary film and video from the UK. Including works by Phil Collins, Ryan Gander, Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer, The Otolith Group and Margaret Salmon, and which opened at MADRE, Naples (2007). Staple is currently developing a "Switzerland: Art, Commerce and the Desiring Subject", as a research project to be realized as a group essay-show and publication in 2008/09.

About Kunst and Kapital:

OCA launched in 2007 a series of talks and discussions entitled Kunst and Kapital in an effort to examine the increasingly porous sectors of private and public. As the debate ensues within Norway as to the viability in supplementing public funding sources with contributions from the private sector in the area of culture, OCA recognizes that discussions around these issues are without precedent of example. How is it possible to proceed with an assumption as to behaviour of the private sector toward contemporary art without fully understanding the motives and psychologies of the private sector, especially in the unique field of contemporary culture? How do international initiatives in the field lend to understanding further the range of possible examples? The Office for Contemporary Art conducts seminars and talks around these topics in an effort to demystify the contemporary art market while illuminating how the critical community is being steadily streamed into these new initiatives. Former speakers include: Beatrix Ruf, Director and Curator of the Kunsthalle Zürich, Marta Gili, Director, Jeu de Paume, Paris, and Chin-tao Wu, Author of Privatising Culture: Corporate Art Intervention since the 1980s, published by Verso in 2002.

Office for Contemporary Art Norway

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway is a private foundation and was founded by The Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs and The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in fall 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 profiled contributor to the discourses of contemporary art.