press release

This exhibition shows art that combines an interest in formal experiment with an engagement in explicit political themes. "Fantastic Politics" brings together nearly 100 works - both historical and new - by 14 international artists.

Works by Öyvind Fahlström, Kjartan Slettemark, Leon Golub and VALIE EXPORT from the 1960s stand alongside relevant contemporary material by Dan Colen, Olafur Eliasson, Pierre Lionel Matte, Olaf Metzel, Aleksandra Mir, Marjetica Potrc, Kristine Roepstorff, Tom Sachs, Lara Schnitger and Amelie von Wulffen. In addition there is film programme with works by William Kentridge, Luke Fowler and Ulrik Wivel. Visitors will also be able to review the Lego project at Tullinløkka. The exhibition is curated by senior curator Andrea Kroksnes.

The exhibition juxtaposes work from two generations and two different historical periods: the late 1960s, on the one hand, and our own times, the opening years of a new millennium, on the other. The works from these two periods are notably similar in their use of narrative, fantasy, science fiction, formal experiment and psychedelia. At the same time the artists share an urgent interest in understanding the world and articulating their own political attitudes.

The beginning of the current millennium is characterised by political, economic and social unrest and change. As in the 1960s, when artists reacted against the turbulent political events that marked the onset of the cold war, the present period is one of conspicuous political crisis. The cold war, which saw the building of the Berlin wall, the Vietnam war, the Cuban crisis and the assassination of J.F. Kennedy, has given way to terrorism, the critique of globalization, and crisis in the world's financial systems. Both periods are marked by the aggressive domination of American foreign policy. The political and socio-economic background for both generations of artists can be described as turbulent at the very least. The challenge to understand the world is expressed in the creation of an artistic sphere of the fantastic - models and maps for alternative ways of life.

In connection with this exhibition, The National Museum will show a film programme and arrange seminars on the issue and significance of political engagement in contemporary art.


only in german

Fantastic Politics: Art in Times of Political Crisis
The Museum of Contemporary Art
Kurator: Andrea Kroksnes

mit Öyvind Fahlström, Kjartan Slettemark, Leon Golub, VALIE EXPORT, Dan Colen, Olafur Eliasson, Pierre Lionel Matte, Olaf Metzel, Aleksandra Mir, Marjetica Potrc, Kirstine Roepstorff, Tom Sachs, Lara Schnitger, Amelie von Wulffen, William Kentridge, Luke Fowler, Ulrik Wivel ...