Office for Contemporary Art Norway

Stephen Shore, U.S. 97, South of Klamath Falls, Oregon, July 21, 1973, 2002. Courtesy of Stephen Shore and 303 Gallery, New York.
March 14, 2014

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) announces the release of BIG SIGN–LITTLE BUILDING, a publication that reflects upon the expanded temporal and spatial field for cultural production as reflected in the practices of radical artists and architects who throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s challenged the traditional aesthetic experience of nature, proposing a new mode of perception through the expressiveness in things.

BIG SIGN–LITTLE BUILDING gathers research material included in the exhibition of the same title curated by Marta Kuzma at OCA. The publication departs from and extends beyond the seminal project developed by the architects Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour, who, in their book Learning from Las Vegas (1972), reflected upon the notion of landscape as a fluctuating phenomenon—as a shift from a dominance of signs in space at a pedestrian scale to the perspective of the horizon perceived while in motion. The exhibition and publication consider the steady encroachment of commercial vernacular that made itself ever present throughout the 1960s and arrived at a commercial persuasion of the roadside eclecticism, to provoke a revision in the notion of landscape as an expression of the artifactual. BIG SIGN–LITTLE BUILDING also addresses how artists such as Charlotte Posenenske, Ed Ruscha, Robert Smithson and Jeff Wall challenged traditional notions of space in order to explore new interpretations of landscape within the fields of aesthetics, art and architecture, without succumbing to any one category. Other artists, such as Claes Oldenburg and Allan D’Arcangelo, cited as inspiration by the three architects, contested the sign system altogether, in order to challenge capital’s increasing claim on nature, landscape and public space as commodities.

With an introductory essay by Marta Kuzma, the book includes historical writings and contributions by Robert Smithson, Venturi and Rauch Architects and Planners, Peter Eisenman and Steven Izenour. The book combines reproductions of the original glass lantern slides used by Steven Izenour for his academic lectures together with works by artists who transformed drafts, surveys, maps and manuals into cultural artifacts. Binding this together with archival materials and publications, the book reflects upon how artists and architects attempted to dislocate traditional interpretations of these concepts in an effort to generate a critical dialogue around the effects of standardisations and space-time relationships effected by corporate development, thus creating a new genre for cultural production.

The publication was released on 24 February and is distributed internationally by Koenig Books, London. Individuals can purchase the publication directly from the OCA website.

For more information about this announcement, please contact [email protected].

National and international bookstores in Europe interested in copies of BIG SIGN–LITTLE BUILDING for retail can contact [email protected].

About the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA)
OCA recently announced the appointment of Katya García-Antón as the new Director who will lead the institution for the next four years. OCA is a foundation created by The Norwegian Ministry of Culture and The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in autumn 2001. The main aim of OCA is to develop collaborations in contemporary art between Norway and the international art scene. OCA aims to become a key contributor to the discourses of contemporary art.

About the OCA Semesterplan
This spring OCA presents Unwoven World: Beyond the Pliable Plane, an exhibition with works by Sidsel Paaske, Elisabeth Haarr and Brit Fuglevaag and the project Alexander Kluge. Raw Materials: Present Impressions, Past Wishes and Future Fulfillment, both opening on 9 April, at 7pm, followed by a concert organised in collaboration with Ultima. The projects—part of the OCA Semesterplan for spring 2014, and on view from 9 April to 22 June—aim at contextualising the economical shifts of the 1970s, which led to a reconsideration of the concept of the public and the domestic sphere, in years characterised by the insurgence of electronic media.



Office for Contemporary Art Norway
March 14, 2014

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