osloBIENNALEN First Edition 2019–2024
A new format for a biennial in public space
Opening weekend: May 25–26
Curated by Eva González-Sancho Bodero and Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk
Art in public space is different than art in a museum. It is free and accessible. It is often unexpected: a performance, a sculpture, a mural, a sound. Its surroundings are constantly changing and evolving. People can love it or react against it, perhaps passing by without even noticing it—or maybe it becomes an iconic symbol of the community.
It’s because of this difference that public space demands a different way of working with art and artists. What if we move away from traditional event-based biennials to a more diverse and questioning way of working?
With osloBIENNALEN First Edition 2019–2024, we are setting out to explore this and more.
On May 25, we will introduce our evolving programme of art in public space and spheres that unfolds over five years. Over the course of 2019, 26 projects by Oslo- and internationally-based participants will be introduced, while our expanding programme for the years ahead will be announced at regular intervals as the biennial moves forward in time.
On the opening weekend, residents and visitors to Oslo will be able to experience different projects by: Mikaela Assolent (FR), Benjamin Bardinet (FR), Julien Bismuth (FR), Anna Daniell (NO), Carole Douillard (FR), Ed D’Souza (UK), Mette Edvardsen (NO), Jan Freuchen, Sigurd Tenningen and Jonas Høgli Major (NO), Gaylen Gerber (US), Marianne Heier (NO), Hlynur Hallsson (IS), Michelangelo Miccolis (IT/MX); Mônica Nador and Bruno Oliveira (BR), Rose Hammer (Dora García (ES), Per-Oskar Leu (NO), Viktoria Durnak (NO), Nora Joung (NO)), Michael Ross (US), Belén Santillán (EC), Øystein Wyller Odden (NO), and Lisa Tan (US/SE).
On May 26, an introductory seminar will be held to present a series of forthcoming symposia, talks and public programmes.
A second set of projects will be launched from October 18, featuring confirmed works by Adrián Balseca (EC), Marcelo Cidade (BR), Jonas Dahlberg (SE), Edith Dekyndt (BE), Tomáš Džadoň (CZ), Javier Izquierdo (EC), Graziela Kunsch (BR), and Knut Åsdam (NO).
Further details on the programme will be unveiled in April. All biennial activities are open to the public and free of charge.
Ole G. Slyngstadli, Executive Director, osloBIENNALEN, says:
“The City of Oslo has a long-standing tradition of supporting art in public space and it is one of our priorities to find new ways of connecting the arts and the general public. The curatorial vision of this first edition sets the premise for a five-year programme evolving through a series of collaborations with artists and partner organisations, inviting you to rethink and explore Oslo’s public spaces through the production and display of works of art.”
osloBIENNALEN is curated by Eva González-Sancho Bodero and Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk, the curatorial team behind OSLO PILOT, a two-year experimental and research-based project that laid the groundwork for the biennial.
As described by Eva González-Sancho Bodero and Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk:
“More than a physical public space, a city is a dynamic sphere that is constantly moving, where tensions emerge between built objects and what happens in and around them. It’s a place where people meet, communicate, negotiate and create; where communities and cultures evolve. Working with this dynamic space, osloBIENNALEN will encompass both new and pre-existing works of art with varying tempos, rhythms and life-spans that go beyond established expectations of what is ephemeral, durational and permanent. Giving time, space and freedom for artists to work, we offer a framework to rethink the parameters of art production, display, collecting and mediation, thereby aiming at influencing cultural policies.”
In addition to the projects unfolding within and across the Oslo area, osloBIENNALEN will extend its activities to include other geographies and spheres in response to the works of art, their development and the collateral reflections that arise from them. Partnerships in Norway and further afield involve Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milano (IT); Deichman Oslo Public Library (NO); Kunstnernes Hus (NO); Le Magasin des horizons, Grenoble (FR); Matter of Art Biennial, Prague (CZ); NMBU-Norwegian University of Life Sciences: Faculty of Landscape and Society (NO); Nordic Black Theatre (NO); OsloMet, Faculty of Technology, Art and Design (TKD), Department of Art, Design and Drama (NO); Oslo Open (NO); Pikene på Broen, Kirkenes (NO), Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm (SE); Stiftelsen Edvard Munchs Atelier (NO); Ultima (NO); and Winchester School of Art, Winchester (UK). More partners will be announced as the programme evolves.
Initiated and financed by the City of Oslo, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Norway, osloBIENNALEN opens on May 25, 2019 and runs until 2024. The biennial is the result of OSLO PILOT, a two-year experimental and research-based project that laid the groundwork for the biennial.