November 1, 2010 - Aarhus Art Building, Centre for Contemporary Art - Open call for proposals
November 1, 2010

Open call for proposals



Centre for Contemporary Art, Denmark

Guidelines can be found at

Application deadline 5 January 2011.

Visual artists and curators are invited to propose projects for 2012

The Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud is viewed by many people as the originator of a particular canonical understanding of the subject which has gained definitive general adherence. So crucial that most people today see themselves as an autonomous but ‘split’ individual composed of a responsible, controlling entity ruling over unruly impulses.

However, a number factors argue for a movement away from a traditional ‘Ego-Id-stic’ understanding of the self. On Internet sites for social exchanges, for example, one is part of a dialogic network rather than an autonomous individual communicating monologically. And for decades the dualistic self-understanding and the resultant marginalization of ‘otherness’ have been problematized in circles such as grass-roots movements and academic fora.

The question is which understanding of the self we find today if the absolute subject with its split into the rational and the instinctive is no longer a valid premise.

In 2012 Århus Kunstbygning wishes to make room for proposals for artistic thinking and praxis that attempt to work towards an inclusive, tolerant and holistic understanding of the self; that is, definitions of the subject that do not have the aim of warning us against parts of the self deemed unacceptable by society and its norms.

One historical example of such a praxis could be the American artist Carolee Schneemann’s so-called Autobiographical Trilogy. This consisted of three experimental films, in the first of which Schneemann has sex with her partner while the cat Kitch watches.

Although some critics considered this film, Fuses, to be narcissistic exhibitionism, much more was at stake for Schneemann. In the film she attempted to manifest a female representation of the sexual act as opposed for example to that of pornography or classic art.

Schneemann’s autobiographical trilogy bears witness to a highly personal and intimate art, but at the same time works with both the form of representation and the gaze: woman as subject, object and voyeur. One could say that the conglomerate of body and desire, mental lability and physical fixed points, flickering narrative structure and ultimate self-revelation resulted in a more complex reading of the self in the films.

Århus Kunstbygning’s intention to turn the focus on the self-revelation in art today that honours no culturally predetermined modesty thresholds, aims like this example at self-revelations that work outside a homogenizing discourse and towards an affirmative complexity.

It is our hope that we can make room, for example, for boundary-defying thematizations of the self, avant-gardist Bildungsreisen, therapeutic self-contemplations and body-close intimacy in 2012.

Against this background we are hereby issuing an Open Call for Proposals for 2012. We are looking for proposals for group exhibitions and solo exhibitions, recent or older films and performances.

Guidelines can be found at These guidelines must be followed in the application if it is to merit consideration.

Application deadline January 5th 2011.

Open call for proposals
Aarhus Art Building, Centre for Contemporary Art
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