The Nordic & Baltic Queer Art Network is funded by Gritt Uldall-Jessen & Jørgen Callesen from the live art venue Warehouse9 in Copenhagen in April 2012.
We wish to create strong network between artists and activists from many different genres and disciplines who work with queer, transgender and feminist art and facilitate the development, presentation and evaluation of new work. The first two network meetings supported by Nordic Culture Point took place in August 2012 and February 2013 and involved individual artists, art venues and organizations.
This web portal is the result of the initiative and will be a communication platform to develop the network in the future. If you are a queer artist, cultural porducer, run a venue with queer programming or are involved in a queer project or organisation you can become a member by filling out a form here.
>> SIGN UP FOR THE NETWORK ON-LINE
Warehouse9 in Copenhagen is one of the few more established performance venues in Scandinavia and the Baltic Countries which has a specific focus on queer and feminist art. This focus is reflected in our curatorial statements, the monthly program and also in international festivals such as the New Burlesque Festival (www.newburlesque.dk), The International Performance Art Festival (http://warehouse9.dk/blog/?p=764) and Feminists In Space (http://warehouse9.dk/fis/)
Our curatorial profile is unique because it includes works from both fine art, stage art experimental music and also importantly the feminist and queer activist movement. This creates a unique link between more institutionalized art and academic institutions and the independent groups, who navigate freely between them on an international level.
THE NEED FOR A NORDIC & BALTIC QUEER ART NETWORK
Through our international projects we have noticed that on a Scandinavian and Baltic level the feminist, transgender and queer art projects are fewer and not as well presented as in e.g. Germany and England. We have also noticed that they are better represented in the academic institutions than in the arts. This is connected to the fact that new tendencies about gender, body and identity is developed by fewer and more isolated groups/individuals with different languages, cultural backgrounds and also political and social conditions, which makes it difficult to built lager audiences and a context for the projects.
With the Nordic Network and hope to create the foundation for an Exchange Program which establishes relations between artists and activists from many different genres and disciplines who work with queer, transgender and feminist art and to facilitate the development and presentation of new work.
In the research phase Warehouse9 will find relevant artists and partners from activist DIY “Do It Yourself” organisations, art institutions/venues and more established organizations who wish to contribute to and perhaps facilitate programs in the future.
An important resource in this work is our network between nordic artists and also the Nordic Queer Journal “Trikster.net” founded by Mathias Danbolt, which has been researching and publishing on Queer and Gender issues in Scandinavia since 2008.
GOALS WITH THE NETWORK
Our main goal is first of all to give artists a platform from which they can inform each other about current issues and work and to discuss how to develop a context for new work in this field. This will be followed up with capacity development where the network partners will host workshops and seminars. The first seminar/Workshop will be initiated by Warehouse9 in the Autumn 2012 after the initial network meetings.
A more long term goal is to create a platform for production and presentation of new work across the Baltic Countries and Scandinavia involving art venues and art institutions also from the EU. We want to make it possible for individuals, institutions and organizations who work with queer, feminist and gender political art to meet and establish a Scandinavian & Baltic context.
Nordic, Baltic, European and/or international relevance of the network
When discussing cultural heritage and also a Scandinavian/Baltic identity it is especially within the context of gender & body political issues we still see big differences between the countries and the regions. Furthermore it is often an urban phenomenon which is stronger represented in big cities like New York, London and Berlin, so it is of importance to give the smaller and more marginalized Scandinavian & Baltic projects a common identity and mutual platform to develop from.
To our knowledge a coordinated network in Scandinavia and the Baltic Countries between artists who work with gender related issues has never existed. It has mainly been taken care of by the political LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) organizations, who are concerned with legal issues & human rights. It is a new idea that cultural producers and working artists in the field make a joint effort to understand their role in producing, communicating and embodying these important issues in their work and also to develop solidarity between the countries.