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After completion of the Pilot project Oslo to launch new art biennial in 2019

Oslo Biennial 2019

Left to right: Ole G. Slyngstadli, Eva González-Sancho, Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk. Photo: Niklas R. Lello

The Agency for Cultural Affairs, City of Oslo announces the launch of the City’s first art biennial in public space—a field characterized by complexity, contingency and shifting realities.

The inaugural edition of the Oslo Biennial is set to open in May 2019 and will be curated by Eva González-Sancho and Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk, the curatorial team behind a two-year research-based project entitled OSLO PILOT that has laid the groundwork for the biennial. The name, conceptual framework and format of the biennial will be presented throughout 2018.

The Agency has also named Ole G. Slyngstadli as the Biennial’s executive director, who will be responsible for the strategic development, management and positioning of the Biennial and for relating administrative strategies to the vision, content and program created by the two Biennial curators.

Rina Mariann Hansen, Vice Mayor of Culture and Sport, City of Oslo: “The future biennial marks a new phase in the City of Oslo’s ambitious commitment to art and represents another step in Oslo’s long tradition of major art projects in the public realm. By unfolding in public spaces, the biennial will activate the city and merge with its daily life in a way that will inspire and challenge both art practice and its audiences.”

Curators Eva González-Sancho and Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk: “The strength, pertinence, and even usefulness of a biennial is highly dependent on the context in which it operates. We believe it is essential to respond to this particular context with informed sensitivity, to enable us to rethink the periodic event so that it may approach art and knowledge production in new and relevant ways, particularly when addressing the shifting and slippery context of the public sphere.”

About the curators
Eva González-Sancho and Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk both trained as curators and artists. They share a special interest in creating new formats and conditions for the production and display of art with a particular emphasis on art practices in public space. Both have directed several art institutions and have been responsible for a substantial curriculum of exhibitions, production and discursive projects and lectures. Since 2014, Gonzalez-Sancho and Eeg-Tverbakk have worked for the Agency for Cultural Affairs City of Oslo as co-curators developing and concluding OSLO PILOT, an experimental two-and-a-half-year research project to conceive the format for the first edition of the Oslo biennial.

Eva Gonzalez-Sancho has been director and curator of several art institutions and initiatives: MUSAC, Leon (ES) [2013]; FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon (FR) [2003-2011]; and Etablissement d’en face projects (Brussels, 1998-2003). She has curated mainly one-person exhibitions or solo projects, usually involving the production of new work, with artists such as Armando Andrade Tudela, Sven Augustijnen, Guillaume Leblon, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Lara Almarcegui, Ann Böttcher, Jonas Dahlberg, Katrin Sigurdardottir, Knut Åsdam, Peter Downsbrough, Gayen Gerber, Rita McBride, Koenraad Dedobeeleer, Stefan Brüggemann, and Dora García. She was also co-curator of Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF) 2013 (alongside Anne Szefer Karlsen and Bassam El Baroni), and curator of Dora García: Where characters go when the story is over? (CGAC, Centro Gallego de Arte Contemporáneo, Spain, 2009).

Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk initiated and was the director of Kunsthall Oslo from 2009 to 2012; project manager for Artistic Interruptions – Art in Nordland, Nordland County from 2003 to 2005; co-curator of the 2004 Nordic Art Biennial Momentum, Moss (alongside Caroline Corbetta); deputy director of the Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo from 2000 to 2001; co-curator of the 1999 Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF) (with Tor Inge Kveum); exhibition manager at the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art in Helsinki in 1999, and director of the Otto Plonk Gallery in Bergen from 1995 to 1998. He has worked closely with artists such as Nathan Coley, Elmgreen & Dragset, Olafur Eliasson, Matias Faldbakken, Marianne Heier, Aleksandra Mir, Marjetica Potrč, Eva Rothschild, Lawrence Weiner and Knut Åsdam.

About the Executive Director
Ole G. Slyngstadli holds a master’s degree in business management from the Norwegian School of Management/OHH. Throughout his career, Slyngstadli has worked on the construction and setting up of diverse cultural projects centered in the field of contemporary art. Amongst other projects, Slyngstadli was special adviser to The City of Oslo (2013-2017); festival director of the Nordic Festival of Contemporary Art – Momentum – (2006); head of communication for the Office for Contemporary Art Norway – OCA (2004–6); and head of communication at the Henie Onstad Art Center (2001–3).