OSLO PILOT is pleased to announce a three-day symposium entitled The Giver, the Guest and the Ghost: The Presence of Art in Public Realms, curated by Eva González-Sancho and Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk. This symposium will be a key event in the evolution of the experimental and research-based project OSLO PILOT, to prepare the way towards a future periodic art event in public space.

The symposium will take placed during three days: 16th, 17th and 18th of November at Posthallen, the former post office headquarters in Oslo, and will centre on a discussion of four case studies of singular artworks by Mette Edvardsen (Norway), Dora García (Spain), Thomas Hirschhorn (Switzerland) and Rahraw Omarzad (Afghanistan). Each of the four works will be analysed and debated via three different formulae: conference plenary sessions, workshops and one-to-one conversations. In the plenary sessions, the artists themselves and a range of specialised speakers from different backgrounds and fields of expertise will hold a broad-based debate. Specially formatted workshops will host smaller groups and examine specific aspects of each case in depth. In one-to-one meetings, attendees will have the opportunity to engage in conversations with the artists and speakers directly, and approach the works in a more personal way.

The three figures included in the title—the Giver, the Guest and the Ghost—announce a discussion about the changing conditions, positions and potentials of the work of art in public space. These figures will act as guides in a discussion of the variable roles of the agencies and actors involved in public art practices. The Giver reflects an idea of art as a form of contribution or opportunity offered to the public, questioning the roles of giver and receiver, and the role played by the artist in such a model. The Guest reflects the idea of the artwork as partially independent from the site and context it inhabits; what responsibility—if any—lies with the guest? The Ghost points to the unmanifested presences and shadows that surround the artwork. What follows in the footsteps of the artwork and what is left behind when the artwork disappears, either physically, or because it becomes obsolete, irrelevant, or normalized?

The Giver, the Guest and the Ghost will investigate the selected works of art through a qualitative analysis of different time frames: how a work operates over a short period, in the long term, or as a work in progress. From experience comes knowledge, and so the works will be discussed via these different formulae so that the audience can take part in diverse experiences and exchanges of knowledge. As an interpretative form of research, the symposium intends to examine and consider the details of meaning and experience, rather than to postulate a series of hypotheses a priori. In this way, we hope to generate a range of pertinent and enriching insights through the detailed examination and contextualization of these four cases.

The four case studies will be interpreted and discussed by a range of speakers and other participants drawn from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, each with specific experiences and insights into the four works. Confirmed speakers include:
Abayomi Vincent, Anton Jawdokimov, Barbara Casavecchia, Bojana Cvejić, Bruno de Wachter, Chantal Pontbriand, Dora García, Edvard Hoem, Erik Farmer, Fernanda Branco, Ghafoor Liwal, Håkon Smeby, Jaksha Ghana Nagarasa, Johan Börjesson, Johan Sonnenschein, Jon Refsdal Moe, Kristian Støvind, Kristien Van den Brande, Lex Brown, Marcus Steinweg, Mari Matre Larsen, Maryam Azimi, Mette Edvardsen, Michelangelo Miccolis, Molly Nesbit, Odille H. Blehr, Rahraw Omarzad, Saboor Siasang, Staffan Eek, Susie Shaw, Theodor Barth, Thomas Hirschhorn, Trude Schjelderup Iversen, Tyrone Grant, Vibeke Tandberg