Platform: Surplus

Platform is Bergen Kunsthall’s series of lectures, presentations and debates. This autumn’s series will take place at the Bergen Public Library during the period when Bergen Kunsthall’s own building is being refurbished.

Marianne Heier’s Festival Exhibition “Surplus”, which was concluded in July, had the character of a contribution to a debate, or a call for discussions of themes such as value, criticism and economics. The remains of the trawler Vima were placed outside Bergen Kunsthall. Seeing the installation was unavoi¬dable for all Bergen residents and tourists in the proximity of the idyllic city park in the summer months.

The conspicuous position in public space was an important element in the artist’s wish to appear in a wider public context with an incitement to further discussion at several levels. As a new stage in the dialogic development of the project we present a seminar that looks back on the exhibition and some of the reactions that arose in its wake. The seminar is an attempt to break down the traditional dynamics of the exhibition format, where the exhibition as postulate is answered by public discussion, criticism from the expert milieux and coverage in the media, but where it is rare to return to the exhibition and look at it again in the light of these reactions. To what extent can such a project contribute to public debate beyond the traditional art-critical discourse? What is the potential of art to engage in criticism with the artwork as language, and to make an impact in the larger public forum?

The title of Heier’s exhibition made use of the concept of ‘surplus.’ The complexity of the concept is exploited in the exhibition to shed light on different value systems set up in opposition to one another, and thereby also on the dialectic between scarcity and surplus.

A central element in the exhibition was the story of Vima, a trawler built in 1977, first registered in Bergen, and later sold to Russian owners. When Vima was sent to the breaker’s yard in Trondheim in 2011, she had been seized for illegal fishing and had incurred such large fines that it was no longer profitable to ope¬rate her. The story of Vima shows how an economic logic makes the trawler unseaworthy, while the ship itself should have been refitted for further use. The account doesn’t quite balance.

_Marianne Heier lives and works in Oslo. Her recent solo exhibitions and projects in public space include Jamais – Toujours, Stenersen Museum, Oslo (2010); Saga Night, Maihaugen, Lillehammer (2008); Pioneer, ROM, Oslo (2007); and Waldgänger, KORO, Hammerfest (2008). She has participated in group exhibitions at a number of institutions such as Kunsthall Oslo (2011); Hiap, Helsinki (2010); Overgaden, Copenhagen (2009); the Henie Onstad Art Centre (2009), Preus Museum, Horten (2009), Garanti Gallery /Platform Garanti, Istanbul (2008).

Ingrid Hjertaker is majoring in political science at the University of Oslo, specializing in political economics with a master’s dissertation on financial regulation. At present she is working for Attac with the project “Norway as creditor – beyond the financial crisis”. Hjertaker regularly writes her own blog on financialization and as a freelance in the newspaper Dag og Tid.

Kim West is a critic, based in Stockholm. He is a member of the editorial board of SITE Magazine and the Nordic editor of Kunstkritikk in Stockholm. His Swedish translation of Jacques Rancière’s Le Maître ignorant was recently published on Glänta produktion. West also contributed in the publication Surplus, with a new text on Marianne Heier’s oeuvre.

Ranjit Hoskote is a contemporary Indian poet, art critic, cultural theorist and independent curator. He is the author of 20 books, among them several dissertations on art and artists, also including Vanishing Acts: New & Selected Poems 1985-2005 (Penguin, 2006), Die Ankuft der Vogel (Carl Hanser Verlag, 2006), and I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Děd (Penguin Classics, 2011). His essays have been included in several books and anthologies. Since 1993, Hoskote has curated more than 20 exhibitions of Indian and international contemporary art, both in India and overseas. Over 2000-2002, he co-curated the trans-Asian curatorial project, ‘Under Construction’ (Japan Foundation). He was co-curator of the 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008) in South Korea, collaborating on this project with Okwui Enwezor and Hyunjin Kim. Hoskote was the curator of India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (54th edition, 2011). Hoskote also contributed in the publication Surplus, with a new text on Marianne Heier’s oeuvre.

Trude Schjelderup Iversen is a curator and art theorist based in Oslo. She is a doctoral candidate in aesthetics at the University of Oslo, with the dissertation The Aesthetic Argument. In 2001-05 she was the director of UKS, where she curated a series of exhibitions. Schjelderup regularly contributes as an art critic to a number of periodicals such as Frame, Le Monde Diplomatique and Morgenbladet. In addition she has contributed texts to catalogues, magazines and books such as Capital it Fails us Now (2007). She was a co-editor of the anthology The New Administrations of Aesthetics (2007). In 2008-09 she was Curator in Residence at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, where she taught contemporary art theory. She has been a senior adviser to KORO, and a member of the editorial staff of Kunstkritikk since 2009._

The programme is still under preparation and more participants may be added. Plattform is supported by Fritt Ord.

A seminar in the wake of Marianne Heier’s Festival Exhibition. With Marianne Heier, Ingrid Hjertaker, Ranjit Hoskote, Trude Schjelderup Iversen, Kim West.

Venue: Bergen Public Library – the Auditorium