Skin Talk Tongue Touch – Conversations with the Faculty

The Academy of Fine Art in Oslo is pleased to present its upcoming Academy Lectures programme entitled “Skin Talk Tongue Touch”. The lecture series brings together professors, research fellows and former graduates of the Academy of Fine Art at Oslo National Academy of the Arts, among others Ane Graff, Steinar Haga Kristensen, Jan Verwoert, and Kristian Øverland Dahl.

Ane Graff, Throw, 2015

Ane Graff, Throw, 2015, dyed textiles on canvas (framed), 204 x 104 x 4 cm. Photo by RH Studio.

This lecture series puts a spin on the feminist phrase “the personal is political” and presents approaches which place personal, biographical or otherwise idiosyncratic perspectives in relation to larger societal issues. Against the notion that personal experiences are the ground for unique and distinct subjectivities, the speakers in this series propose that we are always being affected and affecting others at the same time.

Taking their cue from the black radical tradition, Stefano Harney and Fred Moten speak of “hapticality” as “the capacity to feel through others, for others to feel through you, for you to feel them feeling you”. In The Undercommons – Fugitive Planning and Black Study, the authors address groups of people who are denied almost everything, but who, through forced or chosen proximity, develop a common sensibility, a “hapticality”. This concept allows us to rethink notions of collectivity by emphasizing the subversive and potentially emancipatory effects of touch, contact and care.

In Ane Graff‘s work, the subject is exposed to an opaque but loquacious form of being. The material of the artist is intelligent, transmitting energies and intra-acting with us in multiple ways. Graff will be in dialogue with Jan Verwoert, who has written extensively about intuition, sentience and touch as existential modalities of relating to creatures, objects and spirits alike.

Kristian Øverland Dahl and Steinar Haga Kristensen each have a practice as independent artists and work together in collaboration, often together with Sverre Gullesen as the artist group D.O.R. In their latest collaborative work, Dahl and Kristensen are interested in the history of the fugitive people of Zomia who had to ingest the ox-skin upon which their scripts were inscribed. This loss of heritage through ingestion constitutes one of the more brutal effects of colonialist politics which, however, also allowed for certain groups to blur their ethnic identities and remain stateless.

April 18, 2016
Written by Academy Lectures

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