PUBLIC EVENT AND BOOK LAUNCH: "On socialism and feminism, transfeminisms, non-white feminisms, freedom of expression / artistic freedom, and the hijacking of these concepts by neoliberalism"

Fotogalleriet and Netwerk Aalst are happy to invite you to an evening discussion about socialism, feminisms, and freedoms of expression on Friday, 24 September 2021, at Khartoum Contemporary Art Center, with artists Dora García, Mette Edvardsen, and Stacey de Voe, among others. A book launch of 'If I Could Wish for Something', edited by Dora García, will follow.

It is no secret that the rise of an “alternative right” ideology has come to consolidate mainstream conservative values under the predicament of a supposed tradition. In an ever more liberal society, gendered violence has escalated, and neoliberalist capital has hijacked freedom of artistic expression concepts. In Norway, as in many other European countries, heated discussions on the role art and artists have to play in society are inextricably linked with the ability of those normative societies to share spaces with the different, the dissident, the misfit, and the Other.

“Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte,” famously performed by Marlene Dietrich, inspired Dora García’s exhibition and publication If I Could Wish for Something. García connects this concept with women’s struggles for emancipation. Disappointed in the unfulfilled promise made to them by revolutionary movements, women are grabbing those denied rights and connecting with other oppressions.

The new publication If I Could Wish for Something features texts by cultural studies’ professor Sayak Valencia; journalist and writer Andrea Valdés; independent curator Hilde Methi; writer, art critic, and editor Agnieszka Gratza; “phantom” writer and artist Paloma Contreras Lomas; artist and editor Carla Lamoyi; visual artist Saddie Choua; and artist and educator Dora García. It includes an introduction by Fotogalleriet’s and Netwerk Aalst’s artistic directors Antonio Cataldo and Pieternel Vermoortel, and the book editor Dora García. The book is designed by Alex Gifreu and distributed by Idea Books (https://www.ideabooks.nl).

About the Speakers
Dora García is an artist, teacher, and researcher. She has participated in numerous international art exhibitions, including Münster Sculpture Projects (2007), Venice Biennial (2011, 2013, 2015), Sydney Biennial (2008), São Paulo Biennial (2010, 2015), dOCUMENTA 13 (2012), Gwangju Biennial (2016) and AICHI Triennale, Japan, 2019. García lives in Oslo and is one of the members behind the artistic persona Rose Hammer.

Mette Edvardsen is a dancer and an artist. Her work situates itself within the performing arts and explores other media and formats such as video, books, and writing, emphasizing their relationship to situations. With a base in Brussels since 1996, she has worked for several choreographers, including Christine de Smedt, Mårten Spångberg, Thomas Hauert, and deep blue. She is the 2016 recipient of the Ibsen Award and is currently a research fellow at Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Edvardsen regularly hosts workshops, lectures, and presentations, including at the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht; Academy of Contemporary Art and Creative Writing in Tromsø; Luca School of Arts, Ghent; eXplore dance festival, Bucharest; Reykjavik Dance Festival 2015 and the Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels.

Stacey de Voe's artistic practice is consumed by an interest in shared moments between cultural, lingual and temporal boundaries and how they relate to identity formation, notions of access, memory and the construction of history. Her work often weaves together archive material, personal accounts and fiction in order to evoke a contemporary awareness and understanding surrounding seemingly fixed moments of our historical past. Her collaborative process is often expressed through mediums such as radio, printed matter, sound and public gatherings. She has presented work individually and collectively at osloBIENNALEN, Galleri Konstepidemin (Sweden), RadiORakel (Oslo), STRUKURA.Time, bak basis voor actuele kunst (Utrecht), Khartoum Contemporary Art Center (Oslo) and her writing has been published with MIT press, in Urbania 6 and SAMORA Forum. She is currently an MFA candidate at Malmö Art Academy.

Sara Eliassen is an artist and filmmaker, based in Oslo. She is currently a Phd candidate in artistic research at Oslo National Academy of the Arts - the Art Academy. Eliassen holds an MFA in film from San Francisco Art Institute and was a studio fellow at The Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in 2010/ 2011. Her films Still Birds and A Blank Slate have played extensively at international film festivals, amongst them Venice Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam and Sundance. In 2018, Eliassen executed The Feedback Loop, a year-long project commissioned by The Munch Museum - Munchmuseet on the Move, an exploration on how moving images, screens and screen technologies take part in the production of our memories and actions, looking at parallels between ideological material from 1920 and 30s cinema and political history and the moving image material surrounding us today. The project consisted of a public screen intervention, the programming of a screening series and a solo exhibition with guests at Munchmuseet on the Move - Kunsthall Oslo.

Zirenia aka. Cirenia Escobedo Esquivel is a multidisciplinary filmmaker, writer and visual artist (she/her). Her practice combines contemporary art, cinema and research. She weaves together ethnology and fiction, focusing in transcultural interactions, transitions, migration, collectivism and self care. Interested in the autonomy of the domestic, Zirenia breaks down in her work the making and unmaking of perception. Currently living and pursuing a Master in Fine Arts degree at The Academy of Fine Arts KHiO in Oslo, Norway. Zirenia lived, studied her Bachelor in Fine Arts and practiced in Los Angeles, CA, USA. She was born in Mexico City, Mexico, but Nation States are problematic and dangerous.

Khartoum Contemporary Art Center (KCAC) is a non-profit conceptual arts initiative founded by Fadlabi and Karin Erixon, focusing on contemporary art and new media. The main goal of KCAC is to motivate and develop discursive projects that stem from Africa and the Middle East—bridging the gap between them and the rest of the globe. Khartoum, a crucial meeting point between Africa and the middle east since its foundation, should have been the location for the center. For now, its location is in Oslo. A cultural center in exile, waiting for democracy and working to make it happen.

Image: Dora García, Die Klau Mich Show, 2012, http://dieklaumichshow.doragarcia.org/