April 22–May 29, 2016
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 12–5pm,
Dejan Antonijević, Nermin Duraković, Michelle Eistrup, Behzad Farazollahi, Anawana Haloba, Sasha Huber, Henrik Lund Jørgensen, Jane Jin Kaisen, Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Bita Razavi, Bella Rune, Adolfo Vera, Nita Vera, Carla Zaccagnini
An exhibition organized in collaboration between Oslo Kunstforening, Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki and Kalmar Konstmuseum, Sweden.
Curators: Marianne Hultman, Kristine Kern, Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger.
It is difficult today to speak of a cohesive Nordic art scene, or national scenes for that matter, even in the relatively small countries that comprise the Nordic region. But still we do, every now and then.
For Nordic Delights, the curators have discussed the concept of the Nordic region, as well as each country’s different art scenes from the 1990s onwards. What we have observed is that the art scenes, once they are represented nationally and in group exhibitions, still tend toward homogeneity.
We all have our own opinions of what Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or Finnish contemporary art is. The best example of a cohesive representation of Nordic art is probably the Nordic Pavilion in the Giardini in Venice, designed in 1962 by the Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn. The pavilion is Swedish-Finnish-Norwegian state property; each country owns one third. Every other year you can see Nordic architecture, or contemporary art as part of the Venice Biennale. But even here, we observe, Denmark and Iceland have their own pavilions next to the Nordic. How the Faroe Islands and Greenland are dealt with is unspoken. The system of pavilions in the Giardini represents colonialism and post-colonialism in the global context.
Group exhibitions, wherein artists are lumped together on the basis of domestic origin, are problematic. They often leave a bad aftertaste. While at the same time they constitute a sort of sample of what occupies a certain art scene during a certain period or time.
Nordic Delights can be seen as yet another attempt to break the norm. The artists included in the exhibition all live and work in the Nordic countries yet most of them have their roots elsewhere. This time it is the so-called minorities who are in the majority rather than the reverse, which is most common.
The title Nordic Delights alludes to Turkish delight, al-hulqum or lokum, which means “comfort of the throat” in Turkish. According to one source a British traveler became so delighted by the sweet that he started to import it to England under the name “Turkish delight.”
Nordic Delights is created on behalf of Norske Kunstforeninger and in conjunction with the Nordic Conference “Kunstens verdi i tallenes tid.” Oslo Kunstforening in turn invited Denmark, Finland and Sweden to collaborate on the exhibit.
A collaboration with Fotografisk Center, The Finnish Museum of Photography, and Kalmar Kunstmuseum, with a starting point in camera-based art, due mainly to two of the collaborating institutions having a curatorial emphasis on photography.
Nordic Delights is part of Oslo Kunstforening’s 180th anniversary. The exhibition has been made possible with the generous support of the Nordisk kulturfond, the Fritt ord Foundation and Norske Kunstforeninger.