NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

“We are too close to the event also to be able to evaluate the effects it will have on the political sphere. There is one fact, however, that must be noted. The virus seems to restore the primacy that once belonged to the political. Classical thought used a metaphor to convey this primacy, the image of a ship’s pilot navigating through stormy seas. Thinkers of the past were realists, they knew that there were no safe harbours to enter and end one’s journey” – Rocco Ronchi, "The virtues of the virus”, 8 March 2020

Fotogalleriet launches a new digital commissioning series and discursive programme under the moniker of Let’s Talk about Images 2.1.0, to enter the eye of the storm and analyse the forces of these times of social isolation and precarity, where democratic principles are being questioned, culture faces further devaluation, and global and local financial futures are openly threatened by the Covid-19 event. Images being produced by the crisis are of both grief and resilience, isolationism and solidarity, bringing renewed urgency to the volatility of our shared present moment and future.

The lens-arts have always been about vision, about looking and seeing. How do we see now? What do we see? How does the visual image impact our lives today?

Images have always been a guiding tool and principle of governance, and important in navigating dissonance, confusion and disorder. To analyse, as well as to provide alternative images these days is of a political nature, and the clear task of culture for shaping both the present and the future.

There is no better way to explore and understand these concerns than to look through artists’ eyes in a deliberate manner. At the heart of this matter is a basic understanding of the essential grammar and language of visual images and photographs, their power to draw propositions, reassess and renegotiate values, as well as fuel ideas regarding community and social responsibility, education and democracy, novel interests and collaborations.

In the true spirit of Fotogalleriet, these next weeks will therefore mark an effort to stimulate new production, providing artists with an online platform for visibility, and all of us a space in which to catalyse and participate in new thinking.

As a site of production, it is part of our responsibility to provide the tools, (conceptual) space, time and support for artists to ask difficult and urgent questions through their work, as well as producing the new, at times unwanted, and potentially awkward. All in the hope to regain access to the pillars of democracy, even from our home offices and computer screens; the freedom to think critically, and to catalyse change, cooperation and hope within our constricted environments. Art is an essential part of life and ever increasingly clear, of our economy. That is why it needs a voice that is heard within the public sphere, and all of our support. Instead of waiting in a stand-still, let’s get entangled together in the winds of this storm uncontrollably propelling us into the future.

Let’s Talk about Images 2.1.0.will unravel weekly through events grounded in moving and still images produced recently, or ad-hoc commissioned by Fotogalleriet to critically engage with our current societal predicament and its ever-evolving forms of representation and commoning. The programme will explore new forms of connectivity through artists’ digital presentations, interventions, and public discussions and screenings.

Gallery name: Fotogalleriet

Address: Møllergata 34, Oslo

Opening hours: Tue, Fri-Sat 12:00 - 17:00, Thu 12:00 - 19:00

Open: 16.04.2020 - 07.06.2020