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:
- The role of sculptors and public monuments in nation building
In what way have sculptors and public monuments contributed in building nations and forming national identities?
- National identity and contemporary sculpture
What role does national identity play for artists today – and how is the question of nationalism/internationalism problematized in today’s art scene?
We would like a critical discussion of how a nation and its people are represented in sculpture. How is gender, race, and class represented? How fruitful is it to operate with national categories or art historical schools? Who is excluded and included? We are also interested in a critical discussion on public monument; Who are these sculptures representing, and what role do they play - then and now?
- Sculpture, sculptors, and transnationalism
We are interested in papers exploring different aspects of transnationalism in sculpture. What impact did transnationalism have for female sculptors? Does the transnational angle open up for new ways to understand the history of sculpture? How does material travel, and in what way can it be used in a nationalist context?
University of Oslo