When living in a system of which the basis we doubt, the maintenance of our virtues becomes critical. Amongst all, there is one virtue that helps us combat fear and our dependence on security, the virtue that makes our heart bigger.
Last year with Open Forum, we wished to dedicate our time to that one virtue, in art and life. We invited the artists, thinkers and practitioners whose concerns include Mot (courage, against). We are very grateful to have had so many interesting people become part of our lecture series, but we also have learned that to represent courage creates a difficult situation. The brave cannot be lived up to, nor can be presented or identified. Rather, courage is something that only emerges from action – and not representation.
Design-wise, we wished to challenge the genre of lecture. We believed in the potential of this genre, especially from the performative angle, and therefore invited a number of speakers who were willing to experiment in spite of the architecture of the auditorium whose amphitheater structure draws certain forms of behavior. While throughout the year some took the form of performative lectures, site-specific installation, and interviews, and some others, the more conventional manner, we remained conscious of the level of performativity, from the speakers and the audience alike. By doing so, we hope to have triggered a similar awareness of performance within the Academy and the Oslo art scene.
We thank each and every one of you who participated in last year’s Open Forum. Encounters and meetings are vital in order for us to dare and continue walking the way we wish to go.
I am pressed by my own desire. Press me further, or please let go. Either way, I am to continue until I vanish, and to watch you from afar, with love and pity.
–from our introduction distributed in August 2012
Julia Lee Hong & Liv Kristin Holmberg
Open Forum, 2012-2013