Third NoVA Suggests by Gerd Elise Mørland 29 November 2015

Heidi Bale Amundsen and Gerd Elise Mørland  just received the book Curating and Politics Beyond the Curator from the printer.

1. #ArtOffline
#ArtOffline, a documentary directed by Manuel Correa showed at the Sculpture Biennial at Vigelands Museum in Oslo in an exhibition called The art belongs to those who see it, curated by Anne Szefer Karlsen.

Directed by Manuel Correa
Produced by Emil Olsen and Anna Kasko
Cinematographer Maxime Cyr-Morton
Trailer Composer Simon Mesa Giraldo
Research Michael Burnside, Jon Peters, Joseph Strohan

I find this film very interesting because it reflects on a situation online where people percept the image of an artwork and the artwork as the same thing. How to deal with that?

2. Launch of the book Curating and Politics Beyond the Curator: Initial Reflections. 3.12.2015, 18.30, Kunstens Hus, Oslo

Launch of the book Curating and Politics Beyond the Curator: Initial Reflections. With contributions from Andrea Phillips, TJ Demos, Reesa Greenberg, Cecilia Sjöholm and Ekaterina Degot. Edited by Gerd Elise Mørland and Heidi Bale Amundsen.

I’ve worked on this book with my colleague for many years now, and finally it is here! It concerns exhibition politics and provide some new perspectives on the matter. Ever since the nineteen-nineties, curatorial discourse has revolved around the figure of the professional curator. Consequently, curatorial politics is usually considered the direct result of a curator’s deliberate acts and intentions. Now, however, new institutional models and modes of exhibition practice together with key shifts in funding and collecting strategies have revealed aspects of curatorial politics over which the exhibition-maker has little or no control. The present volume presents a series of essays by noted art theorists and cultural scientists that go beyond the perspective of the individual curator to reveal these previously unexplored levels of curatorial politics.

3. Formidlingsseminaret 2015: Hvordan når vi ut til de unge voksne? (Art Education: How to improve the museum outreach to young adults?)

New media has changed how you people interact with art works. This conference has gathered artists, researchers, bloggers and others to discuss how the museum should work to improve their outreach.

Gerd Elise Mørland works as an assistant professor at Oslo University College of Applied Science, as an editor and as a freelance curator. Recent projects include the exhibition Marte Johnslien: Forms of Protest (2014) at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter and the publication Curating and Politics Beyond the Curator: Initial Reflections (Hatje Cantz, 2015).

NoVA Suggests is a regularly published edition of interesting events, publications and sites by someone from NoVA. View other suggestions at

Developing an educational approach in Nýlo 23 November 2015

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At the end of August we began our two week internship in Nýlistasafnið (The Living Art Museum). Additionally, Anna Brink from the Art Education program at Konstfack University College of Art, Craft and Design, also joined us. We were interested to do an internship at Nýló was because we wanted to explore the Icelandic contemporary art scene by experiencing working life in the museum. It was also a good opportunity to apply our theoretical studies in practical life.

Nýlistasafnið, in short: Nýlo, is a contemporary art museum situated in Völvufell, Reykjavík. The most interesting feature of Nýlo, besides its role as non-profit artist-run contemporary art museum, is that the museum is also trying to collect and archive documents, data and objects from the contemporary art scene in Iceland. Nýlo describes its future goal as being: to become the center of the community. Before Nylo Völvufell used to be a, so called, forgotten space and now Nylo hopes to be able to create a space for social gatherings.

As the museum is situated in a location where there is a need for improvement in social gathering space. The members of the board are changing every second year and at the moment Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir is the director of the board.

During the time we spent in Nýlo, there was a performance “Best Places to Hide in Nýló” by Lithuanian artist Augustas Serpinas and curator Juste Jonutyte.  The main concept of the performance was to find places to hide in Nýlo. They also had an ongoing exhibition called Adorn which presented the work of only female artists, who work with the traditional sense of the word adorn, i.e to lend beauty and increase distinction by adding, to a person or thing, with ornaments.

Before we arrived in Iceland, we already communicated with the director of Nýlo, Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir, and she mentioned the possibility of creating a pedagogical approach and learning about museum archiving. We started our first day by opening a dialogue with the staff in order to introduce our backgrounds. This was followed by a short introduction about the museum’s history and its archive collection. In the conversation they mentioned the difficulties they face in receiving younger visitors. As a result of this discussion, we came up with the idea that  by developing a pedagogical approach which encourages younger visitors to the museum, would be beneficial for both us and the museum.

We started our research by searching for key art pieces in the museum to create our museum pedagogical approach. The criteria for choosing key art pieces was, firstly to showcase Nýlo’s wide range of art from the archive, secondly they should be interesting for children, and finally describe Icelandic Contemporary Art. The measure for choosing interesting pieces to present to the children, was consideration of the material of the art piece, colours, shapes and the stories behind the pieces. However, the best way to understand a key piece is by talking to the artist themselves. So, we contacted some artists, whose pieces we found interesting for children, and arranged a meeting with them.

We managed to schedule some meetings with a few artists and the museum educator manager in Listasafn Museum. In the meetings we primarily wanted to discuss what is Icelandic Contemporary art and how do we present it to younger viewers?

The following week we spent visiting Listasafn Museum of Contemporary art in Reykjavik and we met Klara Þórhallsdóttir who is the education programme manager in Listasafn. She spoke to us about how she planned the program for small children in the museum. The meeting was meaningful for us because it provided insight from a person who really works in the field. In the dialogue, we also learnt about the method they apply when accommodating younger visitors in the museum e.g basic guidance including informing the children about the artwork beforehand and how to behave in the museum. She also brought up the method of enquiry which is suitable for different age groups. For younger visitors, according to her, it is more important to use senses (vision, touch, hearing) to explore the artwork. While for the more mature groups, she is pressing more the ability to interpret the artwork.

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The other days we spent meeting with Gunndís Ýr Finnbogadóttir who is an Icelandic artist who also used to work in Nýlo.  By interviewing her, we got to know how she become an artist and that her current preferred medium is text. Also we talked about Icelandic Contemporary art and her experiences working as the director of Nýlo.

Another meeting was with Unnar Örn, which happened in the museum itself. His piece “Glass Arcade” was part of our selection of key piece. His concept of decay and preserving memories in postcard form, was really interesting because it connects with the concept of the living art museum itself in the “preservation” of artwork. During our interview, he shared about his life, his artistic views and more about the history of his artwork. Some of his personal “story” was really meaningful and interesting to re-tell to the young museum visitors, such as: stories about a previous art teacher who told him, “To become an artist you don’t have to be good at drawing, art is an expressive tool”. This encouragement from his teacher became the starting point of his artistic career. We found his story and the connection to the objects in the museum, an interesting pedagogical approach.

We spent the last few days formulating our interviews into a pedagogical approach for young visitors to the museum. Our pedagogical approach contained possible questions to ask about the art pieces and some enquiry methods to introduce how to behave in the museum. For example, we made a connection to the museum’s concept of precious things; where they keep their precious things and how they treat them compared to the rest of the collection in the museum. Also with the key art pieces we used a similar approach; using viewers’ experiences to make connections to the pieces.

The core aim of our two weeks internship was to plan the design. Anna Brink, who did a longer internship, tested the design with two groups of school children.

JmS72mgKzLAVkV2h4Hj23f4gIbU_6T2EXZSAOLQA7e7oETEWVefKeRJvdAL5y-AYR2u0ebDR07hSYnOyRShxoOvsSm9pLYWx1cMHYHPc_1WL9441A1Gpwv78ihZky0co5tINHZu0From left to right: Anna Brink, Karina Angelika Kosasih and Margit Jugar

Karina Angelika Kosasih and Margit Jugar are second year NoVA master’s students from Aalto University (School of Art, Design and Architecture), Finland. They completed their exchange semester in spring 2015 in Oslo. Studying in the Art and Society Program at Høgskolen Oslo og Akershus. Karina has a Bachelor of Fine Art from Lasalle College of The Art, Singapore and Margit has a Bachelor of Arts in Humanity from the University of Tallinn, Estonia.  At the end of summer 2015 they completed a two week internship in Nýlistasafnið (The Living Art Museum) in Reykjavik. The internship was funded by the Edda network.

Text and images by Karina Angelika Kosasih and Margit Jugar

2nd NoVA Suggests by Ruska Berghäll 23 November 2015

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“A picture of you working,” they said, “somehow related to your studies” they said

1.Death and the Mother from Dickens to Freud: Victorian Fiction and the Anxiety of Origins, Author: Caroly Dever, Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

For any fan of cultural psychoanalysis, the victorian novel and maybe feminism. This book is replete with delicious historical detail and suggests maybe romantic notions of motherless-ness first, psychoanalysis later, not the other way around. It’s easy to tie into your studies, but also works as a relaxing read away from them.

2. Patti Pente: Smelly Ontology in A/r/tography: the Agency of Decay  

Best read from the semester’s NoVA material so far, from a journal that was filled with goodness for many of us. A/r/tography as a method combines three of my favourite things; art, research and talking about myself – and Pente’s idea of decay as the natural state and ultimate unifying factor, bringing together Agamben’s unworkable communities, aligned so perfectly with my moldy and crumbling conceptions of subjectivities in time that I think I ended up hugging these print-outs.

3. Nuolaise ennen kuin tipahdat – Psykoanalyysin käsitteet Lacanin tapaan
There’s a seminar (sorry, it’s in Finninsh) on Lacan 4.-5.12.2015, at Porthania hall 674, Helsinki University – be there or be fundamentally perverted.

4. Choir
As someone who quite easily cocoons herself at her desk with the books and the drawings, I can’t stress the importance of a social activity enough. If you can produce a sound, join a choir – it deals away with anxieties and harmonising is proved to make people’s hearts actually beat in the same rhythm. Shed those pesky lingering neoliberalist imperatives of always going solo!

Ruska Berghäll is the other Finnish addition to the NoVA program, Ruska made her way to Aalto after a BA in media in Digital Arts, Turku Art Academy, and a year of pedagogical studies at Lahti Design Institute. She moved to Helsinki to work as a freelancer, mainly drawing angry birds and illustrating educational material, latter of which she looks forward to doing in the future – on her own terms. She is fairly certain that all information can be made accessible with the optimised combination of image and text and is obsessed with Lacan and infographics.

NoVA Suggests
is a regularly published edition of interesting events, publications and sites by someone from NoVA. View other suggestions at

The 1st NoVA Suggests by Ulla Lind 16 November 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 16.46.41
From the book release of the anthology EDGE: 20 Essays on Contemporary Art Education 8th of October in Aalto Universtiy. Ulla Lind on the left with a Finnish colleague and co-author Jaana Erkkilä, they both have two articles in the anthology, one as a pair and  individual.

1. Sweater Mountain: Finally @ Konstfack 12.12.2015
Sweater Mountain is a traveling exhibition by Jacob Gaumer and Cecilia Pfaff. The Mountains have been shown in the U.S. and around Sweden and now, finally at Konstfack.The exhibit is for one night and one night only. All are welcome!

2. Deleuze and Guattari group on Facebook
A facebook group that informs, discusses and provides links for beginners and senior researchers in the field of Deleuze Studies.  The Group was started by Ian Buchanan, involved in many arrangement and “countless” publications. among them Deleuze and Feminist Theory, Deleuze and Queer Theory but also the Dictionary of Critical Theory, (e-book, 2010).

3. PhEMaterialism group on Facebook
PhEmaterialism informs, discusses and provides links for beginners and senior researchers in the field of Feminist Posthumanism and New Materialism, Research Methodologies in Education. I think not just for education but also for visual and cultural studies as well as activist approaches.

4. SAAVA – Swedish Animation and Visual Arts on Facebook
SAAVA aims to streng the swedish animation, motion graphics, VFX etc. All new posts  some way related to that field are very welcome! Also, check out the daily updated animationblog:

5. Konstfacks Julmarknad 28.-29.11.2015
Visit the annual Christmas Market at Konstfack – it is crazy and fun!!

Ulla Lind is a Senior Lecturer at the Deparment of Visual Arts Education in Konstfack,  Stockholm, Sweden. She has trained as a visual art teacher and earned a PhD in Educational Studies at Stockholm University, with research on visual based aesthetic learning processes as forms of culture and knowledge.

NoVA Suggests is a regularly published edition of interesting events, publications and sites by someone from NoVA. View other suggestions at

Soon it’s the time to apply to NoVA! 8 November 2015

Nova students looking for personal maps

Application period for studies starting FALL 2018 will be announced as soon as dates are available.

See the application procedure to Aalto from here