Monolittplatået i Vigelandsparken. (Foto: Espen Grønli)

The Vigeland Seminar 2023

Boundaries or no Boundaries – Sculpture in the Intersection between Nationalism and Internationalism

Date: 12 and 13 June 2023
Place: Sentralen, Oslo, Norway
Tickets: TicketCo

The Vigeland Museum, in partnership with Eckbos Legat, Kulturbyrået Mesén and the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Arts and Ideas at the University of Oslo, is organizing a two-day seminar on sculpture in the intersection between nationalism and internationalism in the period from around 1900 until today.  The seminar will shed light on various aspects of this subject matter, both in a historical and contemporary setting.

The seminar will explore themes such as the role of sculptors and public monuments in nation building, international and transnational tendencies in the field of sculpture and who are represented in our public monuments.

Each presentation will be 20 minutes long, and each session will be followed by a discussion.

All participants are welcome to a reception at the Vigeland Museum, Nobels gate 32, Monday 12 June at 6pm.


Day 1: Monday 12 June

09:00: Registration and coffee
09:30: Welcome and short introduction by Museum Director Jarle Strømodden, Vigeland Museum

Transnationalism and National Identity I

Panel Chair: Caroline Ugelstad (Henie Onstad Kunstsenter)

Sebastian Muehl, Art Academy of Latvia: National identity and the cardboard puppet: the case of Taring Padi

Nicola Foster, University of Suffolk/Solent University, Southampton: National Pavillion at the Venice Biennial: The German Pavillion in 2013

Andrew J. Hennlich, Gwen Frostic School of Art, Western Michigan University/Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre, University of Johannesburg: Disposability, Mobility, and Unbelonging: Kosovar Identity in Flaka Haliti’s Sculpture

Tobias Lund, Lund University: A vision/audition of Swedish modernity: Carl Milles’s sculptures at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm

11:45–12:45: Lunch Break

Interwar Europe

Panel Chair: Drew Snyder (KORO, Art in Public Space)

Ulrike Müller, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium/University of Antwerp: The public monument as a boundary object. A transnational perspective on the emergence and afterlife of Constantin Meunier’s Monument to Labour

Maria Elena Versari, Carnegie Mellon University: Futurist sculptural canons in Fascist Italy

Linda Hinners, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm: International Acclaim and National Reproach. Sigrid Fridman’s Centaur, Ivar Johnson’s David, and Adolf Johnson’s Leda and the Swan. Three sculpted monuments in interwar Sweden.

14:15: Coffee Break

Transnationalism and National Identity II
Panel Chair: Gustav Jørgen Pedersen (Munchmuseet)

Emily C. Burns, University of Oklahoma / Erika Schneider, Framingham State University: Transnationalism and Sculptural Exchange between the US and France, c. 1900

Jean-Roch Dumont Saint Priest, Museum Curator: ‘Students of all languages’: international emulation in Antoine Bourdelle’s studio

Sara Touboul-Oppenheimer, University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne: Sculpting Germanic Thought Across the Atlantic: The German Philosopher Statue in American Public Spaces

Day 2: Tuesday 13 June

The Heroic Monument

Panel Chair: Vibeke Waallann Hansen (The National Museum, Oslo)

Klaudija Sabo, University of Klagenfurt: The transnational dimension of heroic monuments – on the basis of artistic interventions in Eastern Europe

Ophélie Ferlier-Bouat, Musée Bourdelle: From Alvear to France: two monuments by Bourdelle emblematic of the nation

Chiara Pazzaglia, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa/Université Paris Nanterre: Towards Transnationalism. Public Monuments in Italy after World War II

Lily Vikki, City of Oslo Art Collection /Jon-Ove Steihaug, Munchmuseet: Tracy Emin’s The Mother: contemporary global icon, monument to a national hero and ecological utopia

11:00. Coffee Break

Implications of National Style and Material

Panel Chair: Ragnhild M. Bø (University of Oslo)

Marthje Sagewitz, University of Leipzig: Medievalism at the Intersection between Nationalism/Regionalism and the Emergence of Modernity. References to Medieval Art in the Oeuvre of Auguste Rodin and Antoine Bourdelle.

Tobias Kämpf, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nuremberg/Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg: Material Ideologies: National and Transnational Dimensions of German Expressionist Sculpture in Wood

12:15–13:15: Lunch Break

Unrealized Projects

Panel Chair: Jarle Strømodden (Vigeland Museum)

Laura Ammann, Humboldt University, Berlin: The Monument to the Brazilian Man: an Impossible Sculpture or an Improbable Nation?

Carla Ribeiro and Carla Sofia Ferreira Queirós, Polytechnic of Porto: From winners to forgotten: the projects of the Monument to Prince Henrique The Navigator, in Sagres, Portugal

14:15 Break

Problematic Monuments

Panel Chair: Lill K. Stensrud (The City of Oslo Art Collection)

Ana María Bresciani, KORO (Art in Public Space, Oslo): The Beecroft Case: Has the Transnational Failed Us?

Stephanie von Spreter, University of Tromsø: Ghost of the Past? The (In)visible Hans Egede Monument at Trinity Church, Oslo

Concluding remarks

Conference fee

Two-day seminar: NOK 500,-/300,- (students)

One day seminar (Monday 12 June or Tuesday 13 June): NOK 300,-/150,- (students)

The fee covers coffee/tea, lunch and reception in the Vigeland Museum Monday afternoon.

Please register by buying your ticket here.
Please note that there is a limited number of tickets and the seminar may be full.

The planning committee: Øystein Sjåstad, Guri Skuggen and Kristine Wessel

For questions:

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