The Academy
and the Corporate Public




“Who’s behind our cultural revolution?”

Today is Friday, 22 March 2002. I read what follows this provocative headline on the ‘Undercurrents’ page in the London Evening Standard’s weekly magazine:

“First we had the entrepreneurs, a very Eighties concept. Then came the enfantrepreneurs, those annoyingly smug whizz-kids with clever dotcom ideas.
That was the Nineties. So what now? Anyone remotely interested in qualifying as hip, aware or dinner-party-conversation-friendly needs to know the latest business buzzword: the ‘culturepreneurs’.
The word has no dictionary definition as yet, but culturepreneurs are essentially brokers who peddle culture - art, cinema, music, literature, sometimes all together - to the masses. Theirs is the new cool profession. (…).

The article continues raving on about what is obviously a new discovery - “culture sells”. Furthermore, we learn that a business club called ‘The Club’ has been established in London’s ICA1, and that it is now important “to network with the suits, the advisers and investors”. What is being presented to us here in the guise of the latest trend could appear at first a little puzzling … has the merger between culture and capital not been long since identified and critically analysed? But on the other hand, are we not also fascinated by the speed of appropriation of any critique2 of the market into another form of marketing device? Perhaps we could just relax, and see that over-hyping trends actually brings them to an end faster than any critique might do - but that is just what consumerism seems to be about anyway: - appropriating, hyping, selling, wasting, trashing.
And what about us? Can we find any positive interpretations of the increasing interest, both general and monetary, in culture? Can we avoid simply falling into a new kind of cultural pessimism? Should we just stick to the stock-taking of our cultural output, or are there other methods, through which we could create a distance, and establish an overview?

Global Changes

Only in the last decade of the 20th century did a wider public become increasingly aware of the path that advanced capitalism has taken over the last 100 years: a triumphal procession of economic liberalisation around the globe, a process referred to as ‘globalisation’ or ‘privatisation of the public’.

The so-called ‘public sphere’ - which was formerly a domain of the state - now seems to have been increasingly handed over to the interests of the ever-merging international corporations. In a kind of reversal of the forces of imperialism and colonialism, the weakened nation states are nowadays more afraid of the forces of capital withdrawing or pulling out. Submitting themselves to a new order and global competition, they cut wages and dismantle social security, just to attract ‘investment’ from those who were traditionally called ‘exploiters’. And as cultural producers, we risk catching ourselves as the couch potatoes in the spectacles ocurring before us: the corporate mega mergers taking over the national state’s self-proclaimed autonomy, and claiming the democratically organised public sphere as their own playground.

The new expansion of power, the economic, and thus political occupation of the public sphere, goes hand in hand with an appropriation of sign, image, language and logos. In this game, art plays an important role in transmitting the message and moulding attractive sites for speculation and investment. Culture offers lifestyle, symbolic value, image transfer, commodity, and tourist attraction. It would appear that culture has become the pyrotechnics in the big spectacle: ‘The West Taking The Rest’.

The scenario of a changing public sphere that I have mapped out here very generally has various impacts on the significance of art in our (Western) society, the role of the artist, and his or her professional life.

What is this publication all about?

This publication is not a piece of art, nor is it a scientific treatise. It is an investigation into the subject matter rather than an attempt to give rash answers. It might be regarded as a pre-scientific stage of enquiry that provides the ground for (other?) artistic research in this field3.
It attempts to map a new phenomenon. That is to say, a shift in the idea of the public sphere induced by a corporate world economy, and the way in which this shift seems to go hand in glove with a different function for art, and a different conception of the role of the artist in the society created by this ‘new’ world economy.


Thinking about these changes in regards to this publication, I commissioned texts and conducted a series of interviews with artists and other active cultural practitioners. Some of the pieces provide us with an overview of specific problems with a corporate public in the USA, Great Britain and Germany, whereas others could be seen as a case study for discussion of the problematic relations between a corporate public and the field of the arts.
I see it as necessary to show how some artists cope with the problem of a
corporate public and I want to point out different ways in which investigation
and research can accompany art practice, aimed here at an overview of the
‘status questionis’...

A broad outline of developments in the West.

The essays by Hans Haacke and the art historian Hubertus Butin could be seen as an introduction to the topic from the US-American and European perspective. Both writers see the ideals of a civic culture increasingly utilised for the representation of governmental and corporate power. The need to create positive images in order to successfully sell politics, products and services tends towards an increasing appropriation of the traditional values of the good, the true, and the beautiful, combined with the infiltration and take-over of promising cultural contexts.

Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann give us an example. They follow the development of corporate image making from postwar Germany up until today, where “branding Berlin” has become a main target for the restoration of a new united Deutschland.
They view the sponsorship debates as the territory for ideological questions and describe a process of self-assurance on behalf of the culture of neo-liberal conditions, their strategies, their opportunities and their norms. Distinctions are no longer made between culture management, clubs, media companies, sponsors and artistic production or party-political propaganda - even the protest movement.
Companies make themselves similarly indistinguishable, appearing in the artistic act by integrating elements of artistic creativity into their public relations. The authors end with a practical list for negotiations with corporate sponsors, based on their experience as the organisers of ‘Messe2ok’, an artist-run art-fair in 1995. The money that Siemens offered them as a sponsor4 for this project was turned down in favour of creating a collective economy.

‘Art Networks’ by Anthony Davies and Simon Ford is the third in a series of articles that look at the convergence of economic, political and cultural agendas in London and Europe in the late 1990s. They see the surge to merge culture with the economy as a key factor in London’s bid to consolidate its position as the European centre of the global financial services industry. The cultural requirements of the new economy resulted in the emergence of ‘culturepreneurs’ or ‘culture brokers’ - intermediaries who sold services and traded knowledge and culture to a variety of clients outside the gallery system, from advertising companies and property developers to restaurateurs and upmarket retail outlets. With the private sector leading the way, public institutions are undergoing an enforced ideological and structural transformation. As with their corporate counterparts and partners, many cultural institutions now perceive their role as ‘hanging out with culture’, being part of it, interacting with it.

Anders Eiebakke is an artist. He operates a gallery and is the leader of the Young Artists Society in Norway - UKS (Unge Kunstneres Samfunn). He stirred up some turmoil recently by heavily criticising Norwegian art politics in front of an international art public. His contribution to the catalogue for the Biennial in Melbourne was an inflammatory article castigating Norwegian cultural politics. It is reprinted here.

A record of the background of the public sphere in question -

To focus this investigation only on the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ of contemporary Western Art’s US-UK-GER axes would be an inappropriate mistake, despite the fact that we cannot avoid acknowledging the authority of its discourse, and the advanced synonimity to be found there between cultural production and the politics of marketing.

I want also, however, to take the site of the production of this study into account, and attempt to sketch out the critical perspective it provides onto the subject matter.

Clearly, ‘Norwegian-ness’ can not be seen as an inherent quality of character or ethnicity, but it does seem to me that there are very specific conditions to be considered in Norwegian economics, arts and politics especially when compared to the USA, Great Britain or Germany. Although the idea of a nation state is fading, its dying light may still provide a particular territory with a certain set of characteristics that determine the environment. In view of the research that I undertook for the Kunsthøgskolen in Bergen, I see three interesting components which often overlap each other...

Norway is a very young national state, with a tendency to cut itself off from extra-Scandinavian contexts and developments. Norway’s image and identity is in a state of change - the younger generation wants to break out of national stereotypes and the country’s relative seclusion.. International discourses move very fast and influence each other, things are happening and that is exciting! However, identity is not only created from "within" but also assembled from interpreting projections made by the 'outside' world. The label “young Scandinavian art” (Norwegian branch) was often deployed to market a trendy product internationally.

Thanks to the exploitation of its natural resources, Norway seems to be a self-sufficient and provident welfare state, but it is very questionable if it either wants or is able to resist the effects of global economy. Since most of the oil business is state owned, it might appear as if the state is already a company. Due to its reliance on export, and because of its investments into the international stock market on behalf of its national pension fund, Norway seems already heavily entangled within a global economy and competes as a kind of corporation with other global players.

Norwegian governmentality, on the other hand, has a strong socialist and protestant tradition. With this in mind, we are tempted to ask ourselves if we are currently witnessing a strange experiment where neo-liberalism is morphed with a nationalized economy. Or is it the other way around?

In any case, Norway’s national art scene is reasonably well subsidised by the (corporate) state, but the support is filtered and distributed through archaic artist unions and grant systems. There is hardly any market for contemporary fine arts, almost no private collecting and only a few private galleries that like taking risks. Corporations which are now expanding their collections are often partially owned by the state. However, there were also a couple of self-organised projects over the past decade. To get funding for any kind of initiative seems to be easy.

One of the main goals of this investigation was to counter the interrogation of corporate interest with a series of interviews conducted with representatives from organisations that grew out of the idea of a democratically organised public sphere. It was also to establish contacts and relations in the public sphere beyond the Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen, in order to look deeper into the situation that I outlined above, and to discuss the problems accompanying it.

With Anders Eiebakke, whose catalogue contribution to the Melbourne Biennale is mentioned above, I discuss the intentions behind his heavy criticism of Norwegian art politics before an international art public and the reactions to it.
Jonas Ekeberg was founding editor of the magazine ‘Hyperfoto’, collaborator on a TV programme on urbanism and the editor of ‘Billedkunst’, an art magazine owned by the Artists’ Union. He initiated the recently opened Oslo Kunsthall.
Per Bjarne Boym was a Maoist in the late 60s. Now he is the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art (Museum for Samstidskunst) in Oslo, which is located in a building that formerly housed a major bank.
Ina Blom started out as a music critic. Today she is one of Norway’s most prominent art critics. She was also a co-curator of ‘Momentum’ the Nordic biennial in the city of Moss in 2000.
Out of all the interviewees, Peder Lund is most directly involved in the corporate sphere. He is responsible for extending and maintaining the art collections of the Norwegian companies Telenor and Norsk Hydro.

Finally, I look to frame these interviews about the ‘state of the arts’ with contributions from two scientists: Thomas Hylland Eriksen who, as an anthropologist, has worked extensively on the development of the ‘Norwegian Self’ and Dag Solhjell who has published an investigation called ‘The Norwegian Institution of Art - its origin and development 1700 - 2000’.



The Content of Direct Observation

Andrea Fraser ‘coined’ the idea of art production as providing ‘Services’ in the early 90’s. Her text is taken from the ‘Inaugural Speech (for inSITE97)’, Fraser’s contribution to a bi-national exhibition of public artworks commissioned for the San Diego/Tijuana area. The speech was delivered at the opening ceremony of that event which was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. Fraser took the podium after the United States Attorney for Southern California had read a letter from President Clinton, and the Under-secretary for Foreign Relations for Mexico had read a letter from President Zedillo. Fraser applied her researched material strategically and artistically to this event - the speech is given as a performance and yet remains a speech.

Antek Walczak has been working with a group called Bernadette Corporation on a fashion magazine "Made in USA". The idea was to appropriate corporate fashion images via advertising and thus build a framework for one's own text and aesthetic production. Today he imagines himself part of The Unholy Three, a vague conspiratorial club which secretly directs all the efforts of the B-Corp. The text printed here uses a cut-up technique that sets the memories of action within the context of a contemporary lull.

Nils Norman works with models and diagrams in order to propose ecological fictions, and political and economic forms of resistance. He developed the cover for this publication and three diagrams offering an ironic critique of the contemporary museum and gallery - with a special dedication to the Guggenheim museum and its director, Dr. Krens, who appears as if apprehended by the very ghosts he had awakened.

Research Observed

This part of my investigation aims to develop a couple of thoughts about research itself and its history and necessity within a more ‘bohemian’ context. Strangely enough, it was precisely within this more artistic field that I frequently encountered in others a kind of revulsion towards ‘research’ :- on the one hand, I noticed a fear of a too theoretical or scholastic art practice, and on the other hand, the truism “art is research in itself” was all too often put forward as a counter argument. How could the term ‘research’ be freshly defined as a tool within art practice?

As artists we work with and against the limitations of our profession and the field that it claims. So when we research into and around our very own field, we cannot help but rely on our expertise and our skills as visual artists. That is why we might use dilettantism and sometimes a somewhat subjective point of view in order to generate knowledge otherwise untapped. Elsewhere, I have suggested5 seeing the term research as a helpful device for providing one’s own artistic experiments with a structural framework. Also, I have suggested that grounds for a specifically artistic research could begin to be established by supplanting the term research with the term investigation. Research could then be seen as an artistic and aesthetic transformation of the investigated matter that carries with it the hope of creating an innovation in the field of fine arts.

In the Place of the Public Sphere

In 2002, Simon Sheick organised a seminar in Odense, Denmark, to discuss the contemporary art world as a particular public sphere along two lines: firstly, as a sphere that is not unitary, but rather conflictual and a platform for different and oppositionary subjectivities, politics and economies - a 'battleground' as defined by Pierre Bourdieu and Hans Haacke.
A battleground where different ideological positions strive for power and sovereignity. And, secondly, the art world is not an autonomous system, , or isolated sphere, even though it sometimes strives and/or pretends to be, but regulated by economies and policies, and constantly in connection with other fields or spheres. This is evident not least within critical theory and critical, contextual art practices.

The aggregate of past events

My conversation with Jürgen Fohrmann and Erhard Schüttpelz from 1997 can function here as an introduction to the history of the civic public and the idea of informal bohemian research labs. I was especially interested in talking to them about the particular founding of those structures and forms of communication, which could be described as condensation points of political consciousness.

I was looking to describe a curve, from the dissolution of a system revolving round a single point, namely the absolute representative of God on earth, via the civic democratic developments of the 18th , 19th and 20th centuries, through to the present day. We discuss whether we might be entering a transitional phase on the threshold of a new era, the Corporate Rokoko, where a global court revolves around a virtual monetary unit.

The system of methods followed in a particular discipline

In his ‘seven notes on a philosophy of investigation’, Eivind Slettemeas suggests that research in its general, postmodern form becomes synonymous with the depiction of the collapse of stable systems. An ideal project seems to be based more on autonomy and relationality than on meaning and function. However, this needs new concepts for forms of expression and the mediation of a collective subjectivity, instead of imposing limits on these kinds of transformation in order to comprehend them. A research strategy of this kind would entail the materialisation of a virtual community, in contrast to the virtualisation of a material community, such as it is in the capitalist mode of representation. If the investigation becomes an end in itself, or if the investigation projects itself onto its own end, then, Slettemeas proposes, perhaps the ways by which subjects are formed can be more extensively transformed.

A relation of constraint of one kind of knowledge by another

In his text, Gardar Eide Einarsson considers one of the classic headaches for “alternative” (avant-garde) practices - how to avoid these practices being co-opted by more commercial/ mainstream forces just in order to be re-marketed to a new audience/consumer group. This strategy of emulation seems to serve a double purpose for the institution/corporation by continuing the late capitalist quest for newness, whilst at the same time making the original discourses and practices less functional as tools for articulating critique.
More desirable, however, could be to cease perceiving one’s function as an artist as being always bound up in this system, or as always having to relate to the traditional idea of the art world. In this way, one could avoid always having to position the critique of the system squarely within that very same system.

Academy – an opening to public discussion and debate

The retention of knowledge, as well as the shift in emphasis to other areas outside the art world that Einarsson talks about could be seen as a strategic operation to ensure a differentiated quality of research. However, the question of how to disseminate and/or acquire knowledge cannot be fully addressed through this approach. A model that I might prefer would be the idea of the academy and research as a sort of a self-institutionalised bohemian context (as mentioned by Schüttpelz and Fohrmann). Here self-determination in learning, production and distribution could ideally develop structures able to serve as condensation points for critical thought. But could institutional art education cope with that?

Kirk E. Smith takes a closer look at another model, one which became particularly popular in the 1990’s, that of the postgraduate academy. The contemporary postgraduate institute shows an increasing tendency to train its students not so much to produce works of art as to distribute them. Ultimately, however, it looks to distribute the very students themselves, less as producers of art (objects) than as agents within cultural contexts.
With increasing competition in the cultural sector, the postgraduate institutes frequently operate with the promises of success normally associated with smaller and (semi-)private elite schools. It comes as no surprise to discover that most postgraduate institutes have a company-like character. So can we already speak of corporate academies?
Even if these institutions have not (yet) been “in-corporated“ by supranational companies, it is worth examining the extent to which the postgraduate academies have internalised the changed parameters of so-called ‘Turbo’ capitalism in their own organisation and teaching.

A list of some major postgraduate colleges and their prospectuses, collected by Smith, is included as an appendix to this volume.



A Corporate Public?

Let’s take a short moment for reflection: When the size of the state’s income declines, governments start to pull out of their former obligations to support the arts financially. But cultural representation remains an important card to play within a period of intense global competition. It opens the doors to an increasing influence for corporate collecting, corporate museums, foundations and sponsorship in the arts, meaning that the artist, the art institutions, and finally most of cultural life come to depend more and more on corporate money, taste and influence.
Can we flip to the other side of the equation and call this the construction of a corporate public?

Operating with one ideal, or one notion of culture, gets us to the Habermasian idea of the one (national) bourgeois public sphere in which all differences may be negotiated on equal terms. But this is only one way of looking at it.

“Instead, we have to think of the public sphere as fragmented, as consisting of a number of spaces and/or formations that sometimes connect, sometimes close off, and that are in conflictual and contradictory relations to each other. And we have, through the efforts of Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge, come to realize that our interactions as subjects with the public spheres are dependent on experiences. There not only exist public spheres and ideals, but also counter-publics.”6

We can probably share this view, especially when we think of the centralised power of the state being dissolved or turned loose into neo-liberal economy. Accordingly, the shards and splinters of a place formerly known as the public sphere can be seen as becoming increasingly dependent on corporate support. In her bestseller “No Logo”, Naomi Klein has extensively researched the different strategies of corporate infiltration/co-option of communities that identifies them as markets. The communities therefore start to exist through the logic of consumption. (Moreover, any critique of this situation, or strategies for breaking out and creating alternative or counter-publics, could seem to be co-opted immediately by the managers of this corporate public sphere, as a way by which to optimise their own rules.) In this case, our societies can be said to be made up of various corporate publics.
So, whether we think of the public sphere as fragmented or unitary, corporate money is irrefutably required to sustain cultural production within it.

But how will the state continue to cope with the totalisation of economy?
How will the fragments and communities continue to cope with the totalisation of economy?

Social structures under the rule

Certainly, the attack on the World Trade Centre promotes a critical re-examination of the subsequently renewed power of the meta-state, its alliances and legislation. And we can also see the “alliance against terror” as an attempt to get the unleashed and unruly forces of global economy back into line. But if imperialism in its various forms has always meant a basic protection for trade, then it is unlikely that the corporate influence on the public sphere will decrease, even with a “rennaissance” of the state.

But how do fragments and communities cope with the world of economy-as-ruler? How are they structured in such a situation anyway? When an apparently rigid constellation like the nation state is required to submit to forces that destabilise it – in this case, neo-liberal economic forces – then flexibility becomes a new watchword. Apart from describing alterations taking place within the dominant social structure, this can actually open up new possibilities for self-determining social structures, leading to questions of community and identity construction.

In the past, especially under a boom and bust economy, there have been various efforts to establish alternative communities within and against the dominant society. As a consequence of aspects of my research here, I suggest looking at the failures and occasional successes of some of these movements “back to community”. It seems to me that they were often anxious and conservative “rebellions” against the requirements of a modern society, with frequent tendencies towards a collective narcissism, i.e. the exaggeration of one’s own peculiarity as a group... Can we think of a research project that re-examines those attempts, their failures and their potentials for today?
If we imagine ourselves standing on a garbage heap of failed projects, then it is perhaps not so much about culturally reviving some of them as about taking bits and pieces from them in order to test them as tools in the present. Not to build some new, unitary community against a fragmented one, but to use those tools for a better understanding of the unavoidable overlaps in the constructions of present day identities. That is why concepts that on first sight might not appear so relevant to the construction of a joyful, communal body might to be of higher interest: - multiple-identities or non-identity, temporary alliances, projects of limited lifespan.


In the course of the 20th century, capitalism profited both from the desire for assimilation (in a relative homogenised society) and the desire for difference (in the fragmented public spheres). In both cases, identity could be seen as the guiding principle for consumption. However, the single minded, single bodied individual implied here could be opposed with another body/mind made of multiple bodies/minds, non- or poly-identities....Or, as Fohrmann puts it in regard to the break-up of avant garde groups:

“Another reason why this might not have worked is that the project was still oriented towards the philosophy of identity. One could, however, use the notion of difference as a guiding concept and envision a project that does not presuppose the fact that, in the end, identity will be the result, and that everything will lead to the One, but that conceives the opposite and aims at preventing or delaying this result.”

Different Economies

Giving economy a totalising role in one’s view of the world comes, as a construction, with several advantages (Marx must have known this). Its critique may become the only common denominator for all the segments, communities and fractions of the corporate publics (leading to the kind of alliances that we see happening now with the so-called anti-capitalist movements). It is also a challenge for heretics to think up similarly complex belief systems or to develop counter models. What about testing other models which propose the installation of multiple or otherwise different markets in order to see if there is really no life outside of capitalism? Manuel DeLanda’s theories of the market vs the antimarket are relevant here, as well as LETS (local economic trade systems), bartering, Local and Interest-Free Currencies, Social Credit and Microcredit.

Temporary Strategies

Utopias were always seen as perfect entities, so perfect that if they could be established, they would put an end to the waiting for salvation and provide a permanent solution (aka heaven on earth). But what about the temporary and short-lived examples that either ended in brutal suppression like the Paris Commune or the Munich Soviet Republic, or became lifestyle experiments within the so-called Lebensreform movements7? Do we need a majority, do we need a stable party, do we need to promise permanence in order to make a change?

Can art still come in handy here?
It seems to me that it is also possible to work with distinct qualities in stories, histories, politics and aesthetics, and open up a different kind of communication that creates temporary alliances.

A Dramatised Field

I have said above that this publication is the investigative part of a research project that can provide the grounds for further artistic work. I would like to end here by outlining my own proposal for a methodology, based upon the concept of dramatisation.8

To research into the very heart of capitalism’s lair, we must be able to see its relativisms and uncertainties as a game in order to be able to begin our work. I have to turn the situation into an artificial set-up in order to at least be able to see it.

This is why I introduce the device of the stage as an experimental location (or as another name for ‘the exhibition’). The words ‘theatre’, ‘stage’ and ‘dramatisation’ are primarily metaphors that hint towards a certain point of view from (under) which we can see that ‘All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women are merely players’9. Artistic production in this case is not necessarily theatre production (even though theatre could be used as an artistic device). Rather, artistic production is encouraged to see itself positioned on a (social) stage.

"The point is rather that such an exemplification, such a mise-en-scène of theoretical motifs renders visible aspects that would otherwise remain unnoticed. Such a procedure already has a respectable line of philosophical predecessors, from late Wittgenstein to Hegel. Is not the basic strategy of Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’ to undermine a given theoretical position by ‘staging’ it as an existential subjective attitude (that of asceticism, that of the ‘beautiful soul’, etc.) and thus to reveal its otherwise hidden inconsistencies, that is, to exhibit the way its very subjective position of enunciation undermines its ‘enunciated’, its positive contents?"10

The stage enters as an analogy drawn not only in order to see late capitalism as a game but also, and very importantly, in order to found the attempt to stage a new game with different rules. In this new game, we have to see ourselves not only as viewers, or as powerless participants in some kind of pre-ordained reality scenario, but also as part of the game itself. The chance is that perhaps then we can begin to act out our own participation.

To alter the script.

With the (artificial) device of a stage in place, we can see ourselves as artists appearing in a dramatised environment where we can try to alter the script and the props, and then see if this helps us to shape a different audience. With a different audience in place, perhaps we can effect an exit from the aforementioned ‘game’ and thenceforth continue our work as artists outside of its strictures.



1 Institute of Contemporary Arts

2 See the article in this publication by Simon Ford and Anthony Davies. They ‘invented’ the term culturepreneur as a critical and ironical marking of the new surge to merge business with culture.

3 See my “Proposal for Research at Kunstkogskolen i Bergen”, ISBN 82-8013-002-0 KhiB, Bergen 2000

4 The project to be called “an initiative of the Siemens cultural programme”

5 In my “Proposal for Research at Kunstkogskolen i Bergen”, see ISBN 82-8013-002-0 KhiB, Bergen 2000 and

6 Simon Sheick in his statement to announce the seminar ‘In the Place of the Public Sphere’ held at the Art Academy Odense, Denmark, 2002

7 The various ‘life reform’ movements in Europe roughly from 1880 to 1930.

8 In 2000 and 2001, I launched two ‘stages’ as experimental set-ups. One was a ‘White Cube’ space in a forlorn spot for art (Bergen), where I worked with students to create an exhibition space within a former storage garage in the school. This was aimed at introducing the awareness of a dramatised field into the production and the display of the art object, into the community that creates a debate around it, and thus expanding it into the scenery of Bergen.
The second experimental set-up happened in the gallery American Fine Arts in New York. Whereas the set-up in Bergen is rather simply defined through a relatively empty field, in New York the world is not merely a stage, but the stage is also full of worlds.
Furthermore, the gallery American Fine Arts could be seen as a theatre already. It has reflected on its position in this environment before, and has dramatised and strategised its appearances and audiences in various ways. In order to create a disruption in this ‘living theatre’, I reflected upon this situation by making it artificial. I set-up a ‘real’ theatre in the gallery… see what happened! has documentation of both stages.

9 William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act II, Scene vii, lines 140-141.

10 Slavov Zizek, Looking Awry, MIT Press, 1991, ISBN 0-262-74015-x , page 3.