Eva Gonzalez-Sancho and Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk, the curators of the Oslo Biennial. Photo: Niklas R. Lello.

Oslo to Launch New Biennial in 2019

Oslo’s Agency for Cultural Affairs announced today that it will organize its first art biennial, which is slated to open in May 2019. The inaugural edition of the Oslo Biennial will be curated by Eva González-Sancho and Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk, the curatorial team behind a two-year research-based project OSLO PILOT, which laid the groundwork for the exhibition. Ole G. Slyngstadli was appointed the biennial’s executive director.

“The future biennial marks a new phase in the City of Oslo’s ambitious commitment to art and represents another step in Oslo’s long tradition of major art projects in the public realm,” Rina Mariann Hansen, the vice mayor of culture and sport, said. “By unfolding in public spaces, the biennial will activate the city and merge with its daily life in a way that will inspire and challenge both the art and its audiences.”

González-Sancho and Eeg-Tverbakk have worked as cocurators on OSLO PILOT since 2014. Prior to the project, González-Sancho served as director of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León in 2013; FRAC Bourgogne (Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain in Dijon, France) from 2003 to 2011; and the Établissement d’en Face Projects in Brussels from 1998 to 2003. She was also cocurator of the Lofoten International Art Festival, alongside Anne Szefer Karlsen and Bassam El Baroni, in 2013. Eeg-Tverbakk was the director of Kunsthall Oslo from 2009 to 2012; project manager for Artistic Interruptions – Art in Nordland, Nordland County, from 2003 to 2005; cocurator of the 2004 Nordic Art Biennial Momentum, alongside Caroline Corbetta; deputy director of the Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo from 2000 to 2001; and exhibition manager at the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art in Helsinki in 1999.

“The strength, pertinence, and even usefulness of a biennial is highly dependent on the context in which it operates,” González-Sancho and Eeg-Tverbakk said in a joint statement. “We believe it is essential to respond to this particular context with informed sensitivity, to enable us to rethink the periodic event so that it may approach art and knowledge production in new and relevant ways, particularly when addressing the shifting and slippery context of the public sphere.”