Press Releases : 2009/10

OCA Semesterplan – week 45 – Workshop and Project

Published 2009/10/29

Simon Linke, Jonathan Meese, 2008 Courtesy of the artist


'The mind of this death is unrelentingly awake:
A Workshop on Art, Criticism and the Institution of Critique (Part 1)'

Organised by Will Bradley
with talks by Lotte Sandberg, Trude Schjelderup Iversen and The Parallel Action
and screenings of works by Martha Rosler and Marcel Broodthaers

Wed, 4 November / 11:00–16:00


A presentation of works by BANK, David Hall, Pablo Helguera, Simon Linke, Terje Nicolaisen and Lina Viste Grønli

Public Opening: Wed, 4 November 17:00
4 November–19 December
Opening hours: Wed, Fri and Sat from
12:00–16:00 / Thu, from 12:00–18:00

Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Nedre gate 7, Oslo /

The aim of this workshop organised by Will Bradley is to further develop current discussions around art criticism and institutional critique in the Norwegian art scene. The efforts of the first generation of Conceptual artists to break down the boundaries between art practice, art theory and art criticism were a deliberate attack on the structure of modern art's political institutions. Now, it is common for artists to also work as critics, and for artists to engage with contemporary theory as an integral part of their practice, yet the institutional structures that mediate this discourse remain in place. With an emphasis on the current situation within Norway, the aim of this event will be to investigate art criticism, its aesthetics, ideologies and institutional role.

Organiser Will Bradley has invited art critics Trude Schjelderup Iversen and Lotte Sandberg, and the artists' group The Parallel Action to present their own practice, and also to reflect on the role of criticism and critique within the wider structures of the art world.

This event will be followed by a series of smaller workshops. OCA is making an open call for writers, artists and theorists who would like to take part in further developing the current discussions around art criticism and institutional critique in the Norwegian art scene. In this series of workshops, participants will develop papers, lectures or performances around the theme. These will be presented to the Oslo public in early 2010. For more information on the series and to sign up, or for the list of preparatory readings for this event, please contact Anne Charlotte Hauen at

About the Speakers

Will Bradley is an art critic and curator based in Oslo. His publications include the books Art and Social Change: A Critical Reader (editor, Tate Publishing and Afterall Books, 2007), Self-Organisation/Counter-economic Strategies (co-editor, Sternberg Press, 2007) and the essays 'The New New Monuments' (Metropolis M, 2008) and 'Dreaming of Dreaming' (for the 'Dream Politics' edition of UKS Forum, 2009). He has curated many exhibitions, including 'Forms of Resistance' (Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2007, with Charles Esche and Phillip van den Bossche) and 'Radical Software', on the underground influences on Open Source culture (Wattis Institute, San Francisco, 2006).

The Parallel Action is the ongoing project of artists Leander Djønne and Anders Dahl Monsen, addressing social and political issues in relation to art and knowledge distribution. Since 2006 The Parallel Action has arranged seminars for art students presenting actionism in its different forms from in and outside the art world. The project investigates institutional critique as a genre and combine performative strategies with anti movement history to create a platform for counter strategy within the closed perimetry of participants. As a side-project to the Wight Biennial 2008, The Parallel Action held a seminar at UCLA Arts and a book was produced in relation to the project. The book will be available at OCA from 4 November 2009.

Lotte Sandberg is an art critic and commentator in Aftenposten. She is a graduate in art history from the University in Bergen and holds an MA in Urbanism from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Sandberg has contributed to several journals on art and architecture, including A10Baumeister and Konstperspektiv. She is the author of Alle snakker om Museet(Pax Forlag, 2008).

Trude Schjelderup Iversen is an art critic, editor and curator based in New York and Oslo. She has been the Director of UKS (Young Artists Society) 2001–2005, where she curated several exhibitions. She has contributed to FrameLe Monde DiplomatiqueKontourMorgenbladetBilledkunst and in addition to various catalogues and books such asLights on (2008) Astrup Fearnley Museet and The New Administrations of Aesthetics (co-editor, Torpedo Press, 2007). Schjelderup Iversen has been a Curator in Residence at Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, 2008/2009, lecturing on Contemporary Art Theory. She is currently pursuing a PhD on art as critique, entitled The Aesthetic Argument, at the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages at the University of Oslo.

The Project

As a part of the project 'Columns, Grottos, Niches: The Grammar of Forms – On Art Criticism, Writing, Publishing and Distribution', this workshop on art, criticism and the institution of critique is accompanied by a presentation of artists' works selected by Will Bradley that highlight the conventions and interrelationships which structure the contemporary art world. These works take elements of the art world value system – the formal institutions of art and criticism, the media and the market – as their subjects, but offer diverse positions and strategies in response. Works by Martha Rosler and Marcel Broodthaers will be screened as part of the public event on 4 November, while works by BANKLina Viste GrønliDavid HallPablo HelgueraSimon Linke and Terje Nicolaisen will be on view until 19 December.

About the Artists

BANK was the unconventional collaborative of Simon BedwellJohn RussellMilly Thompson and Andrew Williamsonorganising shows in its own warehouse space in London in the 1990s. Incorporating other artists' contributions into manic Gesamtkunstwerke that have included zombie mannequins, endurance performances, fake waterfalls and Mahler symphonies BANK is known for having critiqued the British art establishment.

Lina Viste Grønli, (b. 1976) is preoccupied with the formal and performative aspects of sculpture. In several of her works the materialisation of linguistic terms, words and expressions explores collective language references and the strategies involved in the construction of concepts. Formal strategies and issues relating to situation and site-specificity are important aspects of her production.

David Hall (b. 1937) was awarded first prize for sculpture at the Biennale de Paris in 1965 and took part in other key shows including 'Primary Structures', New York, 1966 which marked the beginning of Minimalist art. Soon he was using photography, film and video to make single screen and installation works and exhibiting them internationally. His first television interventions appeared on Scottish TV in 1971 and his first video installation was shown in London in 1972.

Pablo Helguera (b.1971) is a visual artist based in New York. His work generally acquires unusual formats, ranging from experimental symposiums, phonograph recordings, exhibition audio-guides, publications or nomadic museums. Helguera normally departs from historic research or from interests surrounding the very nature of art production, its perception, and the role that art making and culture in general plays in politics and society.

Since 1986, Simon Linke (b.1958) has been making paintings of the Ed Ruscha designed advertisement pages of Artforum. Linke's work 'had the best of both worlds, on the one hand he produced paintings that acted as interrogations into the contextual, critical and hierarchical structures of the art world, and at the same time, he made incredibly beautiful, painterly commodities.' If the art world creates interdependent relationships between art, commodity and critique, Linke's Artforumpaintings collapse these relationships into objects which themselves then become subjects of the same system.

Through his series of works, Terje Nicolaisen (b.1964) relates to an artistic expression or tradition for a limited period of time, and then moves on to a seemingly completely different expression for his next series of works. This activity is characterised both by a will to become engaged and pulled along by the attractions and events of the landscape (here the artworld and different artistic strategies), and by a desire to retain the outsider's ability for distanced observation.

About 'The Grammar of Forms'

'Columns, Grottos, Niches: The Grammar of Forms – On Art Criticism, Writing, Publishing and Distribution' is a series public events, workshops and presentations that are taking place from autumn 2009 to spring 2010 at OCA's premises at Nedre gate 7, with the aim to look at language, writing, criticism and publishing in relation to contemporary art, exploring its diverse modes of operation and possibilities within historical and contemporary practices. In these public events, writers, artists, critics, publishers and theorists investigate different experiences of and approaches to writing and language, specifically in relation to art. These events have a pedagogical remit, and are accompanied by a series of projects including presentation of artworks and libraries of publications, made available to the public for consultation and reading. Other speakers this autumn include Peter Osborne, Ina Blom, Anne Hilde Neset and Stuart Bailey. For more details on the OCA semesterplan autumn/winter 2009, please click here.

For press inquiries and more information on the project, the lecture or the OCA semesterplan, please contact Marthe Tveitan at