Museum on Fire!
Nedre gate 7
‘Museums on Fire!’, was a symposium in Oslo and subsequently in Kárášjohka (Karasjok) that took place against a scenography specially commissioned to artist Anders Sunna, with a number of actions and interventions by artists Raven Chacon, Carola Grahn, Geir Tore Holm and Duane Linklater. The scenography by Anders Sunna remained on public view at OCA from 20 April - 25 June 2017.
‘Museums on Fire!’ considered the entanglement of art institutions within the colonial and modernist ideologies that created them, and asked artists, curators, academics of Indigenous and non-Indigenous descent to consider the spaces and processes through which Indigenous artistic practices, past and present, should be addressed today. What would a non-colonial museum look, feel and sound like? Is it enough to widen the modernist art historical canon through the politics of inclusion? And is the museum per se an obsolete model for Indigenous practices? Should novel constellations of thought and practice be sought to affirm and mediate the Indigenous discourses of the future?
With the significant ‘Indigenisation’ of the international art world – as Indigenous voices are increasingly sought after for biennials, residencies, exhibitions and art fairs – art institutions are facing the challenge of engaging meaningfully with indigenous thinking. While the problematic issues of modern institutions were denounced early on by the likes of artist Kazimir Malevič (his 1919 text On the Museum celebrated the empowering force of burning museums) today this questioning is most profoundly felt to come from current Indigenous artistic practices.
Confirmed speakers in the symposium are Raven Chacon, Carola Grahn, Geir Tore Holm, Anna Hudson, Eva Dagny Johansen, Jonathan Jones, Duane Linklater, Catalina Lozano, Gerald McMaster, Anne May Olli and Anders Sunna. Artists’ interventions by Raven Chacon, Carola Grahn, with screenings of works by Geir Tore Holm and Duane Linklater. ‘Museums on Fire!’ is curated by Katya García-Antón, with Antonio Cataldo, Ida Marie Ellinggard and Vilde Horvei.
Thursday, 20 April
Opening statement by Anders Sunna
Introduction by Katya García-Antón
Anne May Olli
On the as yet to be realised project for the Sami Museum in Kárášjohka
Eva Dagny Johansen
On the restitution process of Indigenous artefacts in Norway and the Alta case
A discussion between Anne May Olli and Eva Dagny Johansen, moderated by Katya García-Antón
Speakers debate the rethinking of museums of art and cultural history taking place today in Norway, including the remediation of their collections and the ongoing processes of Indigenous artefact restitution. The discussion also addresses the forms of knowledge transmission and exhibitory structures catalysed by these processes.
Minor histories against hegemonic knowledge
On practices of reconciliation and canon expansion. The political chapter of Canada
The archive project as a micro-museum. Community practices of ownerhip and empowerment
A panel with Catalina Lozano, Gerald McMaster and Anna Hudson, moderated by Katya García-Antón and Antonio Cataldo
Panelists will discuss the expansion of the museological canon (collections and exhibitory practices) in the face of a growing global art history. Particular attention will be paid to methodologies relevant to Indigenous artistic practices, including those pertinent to cultural loss, recovery and activation.
A presentation by Jonathan Jones. This will be followed by a conversation between Raven Chacon, Carola Grahn, Geir Tore Holm, Jonathan Jones, Duane Linklater and Anders Sunna, moderated by Carola Grahn
During this discussion, artists will comment upon their practices and experiences within and beyond institutional spaces such as the museum model, as well as in the face of the growing ´indigenisation´ of the international art world.
Afterparty at Ingensteds (Brenneriveien 9) featuring a concert by Elle Márjá Eira and a DJ. The party is being co-hosted with National Museum of Contemporary Art on the occasion of the exhibition opening of 'Tori Wrånes. Hot Pocket'.
Friday, 21 April
Drum Grid concert, composed by Raven Chacon. Performed by students from Prosjektskolen
Meeting point: OCA
Screening of The Right to the Land and Water (2011–12, video, 14 min), postscript by Geir Tore Holm
Reading by Duane Linklater
Refreshments to follow
Web interventions by Carola Grahn throughout the symposium
Geir Tore Holm presented an artistic intervention related to the symposium in Kárášjohka on Wednesday, 31 May 2017 held in collaboration with Sámi Dáiddaguovddáš (Sami Center for Contemporary Art) and the RiddoDuottarMuseat (Sámi Museums in Finnmark).