Critical Issues in Public Art presents: Eirin Støen

Eirin Støen (b. 1974) deliberately alternates between her roles as an artist, initiator, curator, partner and producer. The social and practical situations that arise through these different roles is an important part of the final work of art and its history. Social perspectives, real influence and participation are central to her practice. At the same time she wants to question what art today can be, and reflect upon how art can contribute to increase knowledge production and act as marker of identity for a situation, a place or a city. Støen will talk about her practice on the basis of recent works and projects she has been involved in.

Støen activates space by combining sculptural elements with social, relational and political strategies. She defines her latest projects as organic social sculptures. Støen was involved in the artist run gallery Rekord together with Thora Dolven Balke and Ingvild Langgård from 2006 to 2010. In 2011 she completed The Garden in Trondheim prison, in collaboration with inmates, staff and curator / consultant Kristine Jærn Pilgaard. In 2013 she completed Rampa at North Aurdal school with art consultant Eivind Slettemeås. Currently she is initiator, curator and producer of the project Sirene in Larvik in collaboration with artist Nina Heum and Mari Ravla Johansen. Støen has recently exhibited at Haugar Kunstmuseum; Noplace, Oslo; Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo and Astrup Fearnley Museum. She was educated at The Oslo National Academy of the Arts, department for Art and Craft.

The lecture will be held in Norwegian.

In season three of Critical Issues in Public Art we are interested in exploring the concept of “involvement”. Not only as materialized roles in decision processes when it comes to art in the public realm, but in a political, economic, artistic and even philosophical sense. The concept of involvement is deeply connected with critical artiistic practices concerned with participation and social engagement, issues that have been both explored and criticized by both scholars and artists.

This seasons’ lecturers are invited to reflect upon questions concerning real versus pseudo-involvement, artistic autonomy versus participatory influence and alternative ways of administrating public art; such as organic collaboration-models and decision making processes that are committed to critical invention and cooperation rather than compromise.

Critical Issues in Public Art examines conditions that apply to art in the public realm. In season one the institutional- and production conditions for art in public space were addressed by among others Rosalyn Deutsche, Thomas Hirschhorn, Knut Åsdam, Marianne Heier and Claire Doherty. In season two we investigated the announced return of the matter and the tactile object, seen from the perspective of pioneers and active artists and curators within the art as social practice-tradition such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Nato Thompson, Apolonija Šušteršič, Suzanne Lacy, Mary Jane Jacob and Maria Lind.

Debates concerning art in the public realm often evolve into political debates about fundamental principles. We consider it both relevant and essential to encourage discussion about, and reflection on, issues that affect us as well as other individuals and institutions in our field. The lectures are open, but the main audience is professional practitioners in the field of contemporary art: artists, curators, producers, architects, planners, researchers and students, among others.

The series is curated by Trude Schjelderup Iversen and Nora C. Nerdrum.

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