The stairs to the Monolith in the Vigeland Park. (Photo: 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

Program to be announced.

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 extending an invitation for a two-day seminar on sculpture in the intersection between nationalism and internationalism in the period from around 1900 until today.

At the turn of the 20th century a radical transition occurred in the artistic sphere. New national states had emerged, and artists played an important role in building these nations. They produced national monuments for public places and represented their country at the world fairs. At the same time, art in this period developed in an international direction. Artists moved across borders to an ever-increasing degree, alternative markets for the acquisition and sale of art popped up and new opportunities for exhibiting appeared. Artists and the art field became increasingly transnational. Still, national identities and national groups have continued to play a significant role in our understanding and dealing with art – and so has the organisation of art and artists into art historical schools. Not until recently has this way of dealing with art been called into question, for example at the Venice biennial, where the concept of national pavilions has been criticized. The same tendency was seen in documenta fifteen, which was globally oriented. Documenta fifteen also focused on collaborative projects, dismantling the boundaries between both artistic disciplines and also between the artist and the spectator.

The seminar will shed light on various aspects of this subject matter, both in a historical and contemporary setting:


Eckbos Legat

Kulturbyrået Mesén

University of Oslo