Verksted was launched by Office for Contemporary Art Norway in 2003 as a series of publications and seminars focused on current discourses relating to contemporary cultural production, culture and aesthetics.
Art of Welfare was the first publication in the series in 2006. The book reflects the seminar organized by OCA in tandem with Elmgreen & Dragset's exhibition, The Welfare Show, – initially produced by Bergen Kunsthall, – at the Serpentine Gallery in London in January 2006.
The publication considers the cultural and artistic aspects of, and reflections on, the welfare state. Specifically linked, but not limited to, the paradigmatic case of the Scandinavian social democratic model, the publication focuses on welfare, as Peter Osborne notes in his contribution, as a "floating signifier".
With contributions from various authors, Art of Welfare addresses welfare via a constellation of broader cultural questions. Topics include: politics of content and politics of the artistic form; the Scandinavian model of welfare as a socio-spatial form of experience; the current visibility of the welfare state and its possible future forms; and institutional critique of relational aesthetics.
Marta Kuzma: Introduction
Peter Osborne: Elmgreen and Dragset's the Welfare Show: A Historical Perspective
Jeremy Till: Modernity and Order: Architecture and the Welfare State
Claire Bishop: Live Installations and Constructed Situations: The Use of ´Real People´ in Art
Thomas Hylland Eriksen: We have everything, but that's all we have: Outsourcing the Welfare State
Victor D. Norman: Crumbling from Within? The Microfoundations of Welfare States
Panel Discussion: Marta Kuzma, Peter Osborne, Claire Bishop, Thomas Hylland, Eriksen, Victor D.Norman, Michael Elmegreen, Ingar Dragset