Crafting Utopia and Dystopia: Future of Crafts in Museums
Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum, Trondheim
How can museums be significant institutions for craft exhibitions, for facilitating public encounters with craft, and for producing and mediating knowledge – not only today, but also in the future? And how can we as artists, curators and critics contribute to that process?
Contributors: Åshild Adsen (NO) I Kim Paton (NZ) I Shannon Stratton (USA) I Edith Lundebrekke (NO) I Petter Snare I Anne Szefer Karlsen (NO) I Love Jönsson (SE) I Scrotum Clamp (GB/NO) I Lars Sture (NO)
Moderator: Namita Wiggers (USA)
Contemporary craft and material-based art practices seem to be everywhere these days; in everyday life, in luxury goods, in design and fashion, and in various exhibitions – from artist-run spaces to contemporary art fairs and biennials. Makers are experiencing a new interest in craft skills and the qualities of handmade objects. Craftsmanship and materiality are being reinvestigated both ethically and aesthetically from within the field and beyond.
Despite the growing popularity of contemporary craft, its future in museums seems to be challenged.
One concern is funding. Over the past few years, many craft museums have experienced severe budget cuts and have been forced to reduce their activity dramatically. In some cases they have been forced to close, and their collections have been dispersed or transferred to other institutions.
The restructuring of public museums has resulted in many craft museums being absorbed into larger consolidated institutions. The risk is that this could diminish specialist academic expertise on craft, or that it will no longer be treated as a field of investigation.
Another concern is linguistic in nature; some museums have stopped using ‘craft’ or ‘applied art’ in their names. With the erasure of these words from museums names, are we seeing a shift in focus and/or activity?
In this seminar, we challenge the speakers to speculate on the future, to describe the dream situation for crafts in the future of museums.
9.30 Coffee and registration
10.00 Welcome by Hege Henriksen, director of Norwegian Crafts
10.15 Introduction by Namita Wiggers, Critical Craft Forum
10.35 Åshild Adsen, director of Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum
Museums, facilitators of meetings between the hand and the mind
11.05 Coffe break
11.15 Edith Lundebrekke, artist
Title to be announced
11.30 Petter Snare, director of KODE Art Museum
Title to be announced
13.00 Scrotum Clamp, punk band and jewellery artists
The space between the notes
13.30 Kim Paton, director of Object Space
Occupying the margin
14.00 Coffee break
14.15 Panel discussion – Anne Szeffer Karlsen, Love Jönsson, Shannon Stratton
15.00 Sum up by Lars Sture, Exhibition Programmes, Norwegian Crafts
15.30 See the annual exhibition of Norwegian contemporary Craft 2017
The seminar is being developed in close collaboration with Namita Wiggers, who will be moderating the seminar, the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts and the National Museum for Decorative Arts and Design in Trondheim (Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum).