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Europe, Europe: Exhibition at Astrup Fearnley Museet includes works by more than 40 artists
Installation view.

OSLO.- Astrup Fearnley Museet is presenting the exhibition Europe, Europe. Encompassing more than 40 artists and eight alternative spaces from eight European cities, it is the first part of an extensive and evolving exhibition series.

Over of the last 10 years, the Astrup Fearnley Museet has initiated a number of exhibitions that map different art scenes in different countries, including Uncertain States of America , China Power Station , Indian Highway and Imagine Brazil . Now, the Museum turns its focus to young European artists with Europe, Europe.

The European art scene is perhaps even more rich and multiple than those previously featured, since Europe is a continent composed of many different nations, languages and cultures. Because of the complexity of these different artistic scenes, and due to the scale of the project, the curatorial team has decided to work with an ‘organic curatorial model’, creating an exhibition that can change and develop over time. The exhibition is scheduled to travel to several key contemporary art venues in Europe over the coming years.

The curators, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Thomas Boutoux and Gunnar B. Kvaran, have been working on the show over the last three years. In addition to selecting artists, they have chosen one correspondent (a local expert) and one alternative exhibition space from each of the eight cities featured – Oslo, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, London, Zurich, Prague and Lisbon/Porto. The correspondents have subsequently invited two additional artists to be included in the exhibition. Altogether, the show encompasses more than 40 artists, all under the age of 35, and eight alternative spaces. Throughout the autumn, the alternative spaces will create a number of exhibitions and projects within the exhibition, with separate openings, especially conceived for Europe, Europe.

In collaboration with other museums or exhibition spaces, Europe, Europe will cumulatively cover the entire continent by the end of the project, which will span several years. Each time the exhibition moves to a new institution, the constellation of European cities will grow, as each institution replaces four of the eight cities with four new ones.

The exhibition’s theme The general theme of the exhibition is the artist’s mobility and migration in Europe, the fluidity of artistic ideas and the encounter between different artistic and cultural scenes. This development in recent years stems from the fact that the interrelationship between European countries has changed radically with the development of the EU (European Union) and the disappearance of frontiers between countries. Even though the EU has mainly developed to facilitate financial and commercial transactions in Europe, without showing any visible interest in including artistic and cultural questions in this important project, artists have taken advantage of the reduced frontiers and established themselves wherever they see new possibilities.

Adding to this is the Bologna Agreement, initiated by the EU during the 1990s, which directed traditional European art schools away from a basis in technical skills, towards a more academic research-based education. This reformation has radically changed knowledge production within art schools, resulting in the emergence of more intellectuals, who then become artists and even critics, curators, gallery workers or other kinds of professionals within the art world.

Europe is a territory that is more polycentric than ever before, where artists come and go from one city to another, without being attached to their home countries or restricted by the canons and rules that once defined and structured the various European nations. The exhibition will highlight this mobility and migration, and address the fluidity and encounter between different artistic and cultural scenes in Europe.

In conjunction with the exhibition in Oslo the Museum will publish several publications. For the opening a mini catalogue is launched with an introduction by the curatorial team. It will serve as a manual of how to comprehend the exhibition and its concept. Each of the eight correspondents contributes with a discerning introduction to the art scene in which he or she currently works in. In conjunction with the exhibition the Astrup Fearnley Museet will later publish an extensive catalogue presenting, debating and documenting EUROPE, EUROPE.

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