Seminar om Gustav Metzger søndag 22. november kl 12-16 på Kunstnernes Hus

Kunsthall Oslo og Kunstnernes hus har gleden av å ønske velkommen til seminaret Between Creation and Destruction: On the work of Gustav Metzger.

Kunstnernes Hus, søndag 22.november fra kl 12-16.  Gratis adgang. Seminaret holdes på engelsk.

On the occasion of the exhibitions “Extremes Touch” at Kunsthall Oslo and “Liquid Crystal Environment” at Kunstnernes Hus, we are pleased to invite you to a seminar, “Between Creation and Destruction: On the work of Gustav Metzger”.

Metzger’s closest collaborators will be joined by curators and scholars from around Europe to offer new insights into his practice. The seminar will be an opportunity to learn more about Metzger’s work and writing, but also to discuss and raise questions about the many powerful ideas that his practice puts forward.

Gustav Metzger remains active as an artist at the age of 89, and his radical vision, foresight and commitment have led to his overdue acknowledgement as one of the most important artists of the post-war avant-garde. From his first manifesto on Auto-Destructive Art in 1959 to last year’s exhibition and conference Facing Extinction, Metzger has been a pioneer in conceptual and performance art and an uncompromising activist for anti-capitalist and environmental causes.

Despite the many presentations of his work at major biennials in recent years, Metzger’s work is not well known to the Norwegian audience. This seminar aims to introduce Metzger’s oeuvre, and then to focus most closely on his auto-destructive and auto-creative work, his political activism and writing.

12.00 Coffee and introductions/welcome by the organizers.
The exhibition is open.

12.20–12.50 Pontus Kyander, “Act or Perish—the Formative Activism of Gustav Metzger”.
Kyander will present key works from the exhibition Act or Perish—Gustav Metzger, a Retrospective that he co-curated with Dobrila Denegri at the Centre of Contemporary Art in Toruń, Poland. This exhibition forms the basis of the presentations in Oslo, and Kyander will discuss the aspects of activism in a selection of Metzger’s production.

13.00–13.30 Mathieu Copeland, “Auto-Creative Art: Liquid Crystal Environment”.
Copeland will discuss Metzger’s writings on and creation of auto-creative work with Liquid Crystal Environment as starting point.

13.40–14.20 Break, refreshments.
Serina Erfjord, “Sparkle”, 2008.
Erfjord’s work Sparkle will be on view at Kunstnernes Hus during the seminar.

14.20-14.50 Leanne Dmyterko, “The Contemporary Metzger: Facing Extinction”.
Dmyterko works with Gustav Metzger in close collaboration. She will give an overview of Metzger’s recent exhibitions, conferences and worldwide call for action (instigated last week) from the viewpoint of his ongoing concern with the threat of global extinction.

15.00–15.30 Sören Schmeling, “Art History With a Gun”.
What does it mean to exhibit an artist who decisively fought against the institutions and the system of art? How to integrate an artist in the history of art who evolved an art history with a gun to strike down an art history that maintains—and is maintained by—the systems of economic and political power? Is Gustav Metzger accepting or still undermining these systems, and what are some of his strategies to change them?

15.40–16.00 Open discussion moderated by Will Bradley


Pontus Kyander is a curator and art critic and currently a Lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki. He was previously Director of Trondheim Kunstmuseum (2011–14); Director of SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum (2010–11); Public Art Manager at Auckland City Council (2008–9), Guest Professor at Ewha University, Seoul (2008), and Editor-in-Chief for SVT Format (2004–5) and SVT Bildjournalen (2002–3); Art Critic for Sydsvenska Dagbladet, Malmö (1994–2007). Kyander made a documentary on Gustav Metzger for Swedish TV in 2005 and curated the exhibition Gustav Metzger, Work at Lunds Konsthall in 2007. He co-curated (with Hanna Wroblewska) the exhibition Gustav Metzger, Works of 1995–2007 at Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw, Poland in 2007. He is co-curator (with Dobrila Denegri) of Act or Perish—Gustav Metzger A Retrospective at the Centre of Contemporary Art in Toruń, Poland.

Mathieu Copeland (born 1977) is an independent curator and writer. He is the editor of the anthology Gustav Metzger Writings 1953–2014. He recently published the anthology and manifesto publication Choreographing Exhibitions (Les Presses du Réel, 2013), and realized The Exhibition of a Film, an exhibition as a feature film for cinemas. He has curated several exhibitions including VOIDS, a Retrospective at the Centre Pompidou, Paris and the Kunsthalle Bern, A Choreographed Exhibition at the Kunsthalle St. Gallen & La Ferme du Buisson, Soundtrack for an Exhibition, Alan Vega and Gustav Metzger—Auto Creative Art at the Musee d’Art Contemporain, Lyon and A Mental Mandala at MUAC, Mexico City. He initiated and curated the series A Spoken Word Exhibitions, Reprise and the Exhibitions to Hear Read, presented in 2013 at MoMA, New York. He is a lecturer at the HEAD Geneva’s University of Art and Design; in 2012–2013 he was the invited curator at the Jeu de Paume, Paris, and together with Philippe Decrauzat he is guest-curator at Le Plateau, FRAC Ile-de-France Paris, 2014–2015.

Leanne Dmyterko is a Canadian art historian, curator and studio manager based in London, UK. She completed her MA in History in Art at University College London, where she focused on the intersection of contemporary art and globalisation through an examination of practices from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Her diverse research interests span contemporary documentary modes and archival practices, collective-oriented and socially engaged art, and the use of post-colonial theory as a lens to investigate the aesthetic/political practices emerging from global migration and zones of conflict. For the past six years, she has been collaborating closely with artist Gustav Metzger on events and exhibitions worldwide. She has recently worked with Metzger on projects for the Centre Pompidou (Metz), Serpentine Gallery (London), New Museum (New York), Tate Britain (London), Museo Jumex, (Mexico City), documenta 13 (Kassel), MOCA (Los Angeles), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Israel), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Gwangju Biennale (South Korea), Sao Paulo Biennale (Brazil) and the Royal Academy of Arts (London), among others. She is currently compiling an extensive archive of the artist’s historical works and co-curating an exhibition of his work.

Serina Erfjord was born in Stavanger in 1982, and lives and works in Oslo. She received her MA from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 2014 and has had solo exhibitions at Entrée in Bergen and UKS project room in Oslo. She has participated in group exhibitions such as The Drawing Biennal in Oslo 2014, Art in Motion, Trafo Kunsthall, and Like Pinning Jelly to the Wall at Trondheim Art Museum Gråmølna.

Sören Schmeling (born 1979 Naumburg, Germany) is an art critic and independent curator. He works as research associate and head of photo archives at Kunsthalle Basel (Switzerland) and was lecturer at the University of Freiburg, where he is currently writing his PhD thesis on Gustav Metzger. He studied art history, modern German literature and economics at the Universities of Freiburg and Basel. From 2011 to 2013 he ran an independent research and exhibition project on Gustav Metzger based on his library in Freiburg and other archives. With Samuel Dangel, he organized the exhibitions: passiv-explosive, revisited (2012) at Kulturwerk T66 and Gustav Metzger: Years without Art (2013) at the Morat Institut für Kunst und Kunstwissenschaft accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue.

Will Bradley is currently Artistic Director at Kunsthall Oslo. He was previously Guest Professor at the Staedelschule, Frankfurt (2007–8); Curator at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2005-7); Researcher in art and social change at Manchester Metropolitan University (2002–5); Co-founder and director of The Modern Institute, Glasgow (1997–2002); and a member of the Committee of Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (1994–96).

The seminar is kindly supported by Fritt ord.

For further information please contact
Elisabeth Byre
+47 97 51 86 08

Image: Portrait of Gustav Metzger in a projection with circuit board, during his lecture demonstration for The Chemical Revolution in Art, 1965, Cambridge University, published in Gustav Metzger – Auto Creative Art (Mathieu Copeland ed. – Les Presses du Réel).