March 7, 2014

A seminar on “Normality”

Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
Marius Engh, Kjent av mange og ingen (Arne Garborgs plass) / Polyphemus and Outis (Arne Garborg’s Square), 2013.*

The seminar is the last event of the contemporary art exhibition project titled Vi lever på en stjerne (We Are Living on a Star), which opened on January 30 at HOK. The exhibition takes its title from a tapestry woven in 1958 by Hannah Ryggen, which hung in the Norwegian government building, known as the High-Rise, until July 22, 2011. The extensive explosion that took place that day left the tapestry with a gash in the left lower corner. Like a wound that has healed, this tear is now barely visible after meticulous reconstruction, although a slight scar remains––a testament to the brutal tear in the fabric of Norwegian society. In a short span of time the events of July 22 transformed the experience of normality as it was known and, consequently, the predictable. The normal was no longer familiar, and the abnormal was no longer associated only with the foreign.

During and after the trial against Anders Behring Breivik, Norway was encompassed in a larger debate about his sanity and responsibility, about normality and the soundness of the mind. Normality, however, is far more than the opposite of insanity. The normative intervenes in all parts of society and regulates all our actions; it defines what appears as natural and should therefore be considered as a highly relevant issue in political and aesthetic discussions.

Lectures by Renata Salecl, Even Smith Wergeland, Sandi Hilal from DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency), and Tone Hansen, among others.

Moderated by Thomas Keenan.

Organized by Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK) in collaboration with Fritt Ord (The Freedom of Expression Foundation).


* Marius Engh, Kjent av mange og ingen (Arne Garborgs plass) / Polyphemus and Outis (Arne Garborg’s Square), 2013. C-print, 102 x 102 cm. Edition 5 from a series of 6 photographs, framed, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and STANDARD (OSLO).

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.