December 7, 2006 - Iaspis - Tendencies in time: A seminar series
December 7, 2006

Tendencies in time: A seminar series

Tendencies in time: A seminar series
A series of seminars on production, presentation, mediation and preservation of contemporary art.

Tendencies in time will trace and discuss current tendencies in the production, presentation, mediation and preservation of contemporary art, as regards both Swedish and international developments. What they share is that they all have a palpable effect on artistic practice, as well as on how art is made publicly accessible. Several of these tendencies are completely new, while others are recast in new forms, and some have been known for a long time. Todays conventional knowledge systems have become inefficient in at the same time managing and probing contemporary arts new alliances with politics, business, bureaucracy and mass media. In the hands of these forces the contemporary art map is continuously redrawn and thus needs to undergo constant debate and scrutiny. In order to discuss this some of the most inspiring people of the international art scene have been invited to Stockholm. Each seminar will be contextually located in an institution particularly pertinent to the issues raised. During the fall of 2006 the hosting institutions will be Moderna Museet, Konsthall C, and Bonniers Konsthall. The series continues in spring 2007.Initiated by Iaspis.

Does contemporary art need a new architecture?
14 December 2006 14 16
Bonniers Konsthall
Participants: Barbara Steiner, Director of the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst in Leipzig, which is housed in a new building designed by the Austrian AS-IF Architekten; Sara Arrhenius, Director of Bonniers Konsthall, which opened in September 2006 in a building designed by Johan Celsing
Arkitektkontor; and Michael Beutler, artist working with various architectural constructions, Berlin. In collaboration with Bonniers Konsthall.

Even if much contemporary art takes place outside of the walls of the traditional art institutions, the physical premises of museums and galleries remain important. There are a great many new buildings to accommodate art. More or less large-scale and spectacular buildings for art have been commissioned by both public and private commissioners. What do these new buildings look like? Has art changed in such a way that the new architecture has had to become radically different? What are the needs of new art and how does architecture determine the art institutions possibilities? What differentiates the public and the private organisation as commissioners? The number of places is limited, so first come, first serve. Applications should be sent to

What is contextual curating?
30 November 2006 18 20
Konsthall C
Participants: Aneta Szylak, Director of Wyspa Institute, which is situated in the harbour area of Gdansk where Solidarity was started and whose programme thematises its socio-political context, and Per Hasselberg, Stockholm, artist and founder of Konsthall C, Hökarängen, whose programme is oriented towards the welfare state as a model. The talk is moderated by Maria Lind, director of Iaspis. In collaboration with Konsthall C.

At the same time as the large public art institutions tend to resemble the malestream mass media, with exhibition programmes that are expected to satisfy a wide audience, easily digested and interpreted, there is a renewed interest in how institutions create their programmes, themes and methods. These programmes are often based on the local history in which the institution is located, treating the context with special attention. Is this new situation a change in institutional and curatorial practice in which the local context is the message? Yet, how large is the risk of being pigeon-holed when one curates in a context-sensitive way in the same place for a long period of time, contrary to temporary projects? Or does this way of working perhaps offer an opening for a new kind of engagement for and with the audience? Is it perhaps more appropriate to speak of the production of a
public sphere, rather than an audience? How can it be justified to politicians, sponsors or financial backers? Does contextual curating require that the institutions staff work, think and act more like artists? In that case what are the problems and benefits?

How do biennials shape contemporary art?
21 November 2006 18 20
Moderna Museet
Participants: Philippe Vergne, Head of Exhibitions, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and curator for this years Whitney Biennial; Ann-Sofi Noring, Moderna Museet, which this year for the first time organised Modernautställningen; and Matei Bejenaru, artist and initiator of Periferic Biennial in Iasi. Moderated by Robert Stasinski, project manager at Iaspis. In collaboration with Moderna Museet.

After the implosion of Manifesta 6, to be held in Cyprus, the question on everyones mind was: Is it impossible to change the format of biennials? The contemporary art scene habitually places much emphasis on the biennial / triennial / quadrennial phenomenon in general and the national versions in particular. The number of these mega shows is rapidly increasing while they at the same time are losing their once poignant and fascinating characteristic. Given this, the question of what purpose they serve today should and must be asked. What are their geopolitical and economic preconditions and effects? What do the biennials, triennials and quadrennials mean for their host institutions and their programmes? Does the production of contemporary art tend to change in order to fit the form of the biennial or to actively resist it? Are these arrangements in the risk of levelling and what can be done to avoid it? The seminar will try to delineate the means of criticality toward the biennial phenomenon from the perspective of the artist, curator and mediator of contemporary art.

For more information please contact:

Iaspis, International Artists’ Studio Program in Sweden
Box 1610, SE-111 86 Stockholm
Phone 46 8 402 35 76
Cell 46 768 71 66 67

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