Oslo Open8

Strengthening artistic bonds: Public Talk with Victor Mutelekesha, Karen R. Svensson & Mwape J. Mumbi

25 Apr '24 – 17.00 – 18.30
Office for Contemporary Art Norway
Nedre gate 7
Oslo, 0551

In collaboration with Oslo Open, Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) is pleased to invite you to a public talk with Victor Mutelekesha, Karen Reini-Svensson and Mwape J. Mumbi.

The talk will richly unpack and present the bonds between Norway and Zambia, from the establishment of the Kenneth Kaunda Foundation in the 1960’s, to more recent projects such as the collaborative ‘Art Academy without Walls’ created between The Visual Arts Council of Zambia and The National Academy of Fine Art in Oslo in 1996; and in the past years the establishment of institutions such as Livingstone Office for Contemporary Art and Lusaka Contemporary Art Centre (LuCaC), who OCA has recently launched a residency in partnership with.

The discussion will delve into diaspora artists who are keen to invest and develop artistic practices and spaces across geographies, strengthening the bonds between them in the process. Victor Mutelekesha will describe the creation of Lusaka Contemporary Art Center, Karen Reini-Svensson will speak about LuCAC’s inaugural exhibition ‘Prospice, Kwacha!’ and Mwape J. Mumbi will contextualise the current state of the arts in Zambia while presenting his curatorial approach and practice.

After the talk, we will move on to Kunstnernes Hus to help celebrate the opening of Oslo Open from 19:00.


Karen Reini-Svensson

Svensson (b.1990, Kitwe, Zambia) is a Zambian-Norwegian art historian currently working as Curator of Education at the National Museum, Oslo. She previously held the position of Head of Publications at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK) and previously as Assistant Curator and Project Manager within the Curatorial Department at HOK. Reini-Svensson also serves as Head Curator of the Lusaka Contemporary Art Centre, curating the inaugural exhibition Prospice, Kwacha! (2023). Her involvement in the arts extends to her role as a deputy member of the Kunstkritikk board.Reini-Svensson was the coordinator of the inaugural edition of the Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme, for which she co-curated and co-edited, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue of the same name Otobong Nkanga – Uncertain Where the Next Wind Blows (2021). Reini-Svensson has worked on over a dozen publications, including co-editing Guadalupe Maravilla – Sound Botánica (2022) and serving as Managing Editor on, among others, The Great Monster Dada Show (2019), Niki de Saint Phalle (2022) and Hvert øyeblikk teller – Følelser av AIDS (2022). Jury work includes Munch Museum’s Solo Oslo II (2022) and Solo Oslo III (2023).

Victor Image

Victor Mutelekesha

Victor Mutelekesha (b. 1976, Chililabombwe, Zambia) is a multi-media artist and founder of the Lusaka Contemporary Art Centre who lives and works in both Oslo and Lusaka. Mutelekesha holds a diploma in art teaching from Evelyn Hone College and a BA and MFA from Statens Kunstakademi Oslo. He is also a former Participant in the Art Academy without Walls program.Mutelekesha is a 2017 Smithsonian Artist research fellow and 2004 Ford Fellow. He also served as a studio and private assistant to Artist Jan Groth. His art has been exhibited at the Henry Tayali Gallery, Stavanger Museum, Dakar Biennale Gallery RAM, Akershus Kunstsenter, Kunstnerforbundet, and Gallery Palazio Tito in Venice. Mutelekesha's work is in the collections of the National Museum Oslo, Stavanger Museum, and Jan Groth Art Collection.

Mwape Mumbi

Mwape J. Mumbi

Mwape J. Mumbi (b. 1972, Lusaka, Zambia) is a curator, creative writer, filmmaker, art critic and independent researcher of African natural and cultural heritage. A proponent for an assertive African visual culture with a background in banking and stockbroking and a keen interest in the development question and its discourses, Mumbi intends his work to be socially engaged projects aimed at illustrating the critical role of arts and culture in human and community development pursuits, as situated both historically and contemporaneously. Often working in collaboration with cultural custodians and creatives in animation/video/film, architecture and design, visual and performance art, sound, light and new games for group or individual exhibition or production, his independent collaborative practice is predicated on the interrogation of artistic processes.Mumbi is an alumni of the ZIFF Film Production Masterclass Harare (2005), Cultural Leadership Training by African Arts Institute (AFAI) Cape Town (2014), (Un-) Learning Place Project at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) Berlin (2019), LoCA Tuning-In: Other Ways of Seeing, Minilab Edition 2 Livingstone (2020) and Curatorial Program for Research (CPR) 2022: BACK TO THE NORTH Fellowship, Mumbi currently also volunteers as a team member of LoCA (Livingstone Office of Contemporary Art), with shared responsibility for administration, programs design and curation.