Icelandic Art Center
Icelandic Art Center

TALK Series

TALK Series is a visitors program initiated by the Reykjavík Art Museum, the Icelandic Art Center and the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2011. The program brings the flourishing ideas and diverse practices within the international contemporary art scene to the Icelandic art community and the public at large. A selection of highly regarded international curators and critics have participated, including Heike Munder, Miwon Kwon, Claire Bishop, Nicolaus Schafhausen , Mary Jane Jacob and Dieter Daniels, Douglas Gordon and Margot Norton.


Each guests is asked to offer an insight into the field through a public lecture at the Reykjavík Art Museum, studio visits and a seminar lecture at the Academy´s Department of Fine Art as well as an introduction to the Icelandic art scene through visits to practicing artists studios and the gallery and museum scene. The overall aim of the program is to support a more direct link between local aspects and broader perspectives of contemporary art. By joining the resources of three major local art institutions the wish is to convey current topics of art to both younger and established artists, art students and the general public alike.  And wise versa in regards to our guests.


TALK Series has been generously supported by the Goethe Institute, The American Embassy in Iceland and Promote Iceland.





Gabriele Knapstein

4. April 2019

Dr. Gabriele Knapstein is an art historian and curator. She received her doctoral degree in 1999 with a dissertation on the event scores by the Fluxus artist George Brecht. She has been working as a curator for the Institute of Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), as well as for other institutions, since 1994. Between 1999 and 2001 and from 2003 onward, Knapstein has served as a curator at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin,  and, beginning in 2012, as the Head of Exhibitions. In autumn 2016 she was appointed to be the Head of the museum.

Dr. Knapstein has been responsible for the ongoing series “Works of Music by Visual Artists” since 1999 (Hanne Darboven, Rodney Graham, Christian Marclay, Carsten Nicolai, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Ryoji Ikeda among others, in autumn 2019 Cevdet Erek). Selected recent exhibitions include: “Bruce Nauman. Dream Passage” (2010), “Architektonika. Art, Architecture and the City” (2011-2012), “Susan Philips. Part File Score” (2014), “Black Mountain. An Interdisciplinary Experiment 1933-1957” (2015), “moving is in every direction. Environments – Installations – Narrative Spaces” (2017), “Hello World. Revising a Collection” (2018).


Goethe-Institut is our partner in this co-operation with German visitors.


Further information


Dorothee Richter

31. January 2019


Dr Dorothee Richter is a Professor in Contemporary Curating. Since 2005, she has been head of the Postgraduate Programme in Curating (MAS/CAS), , at the University of the Arts Zurich (ZHdK). She also founded the “PhD in practice in curating”,  a collaboration of the Postgraduate Programme in Curating and the Department of Fine Arts, University of Reading, which is funded by ‘Swissuniversities’.  Therefore she holds also a professorship at the University of Reading, UK. From 1999 to the end of 2003, Richter was artistic director of the Künstlerhaus Bremen, where she curated a discursive programme based on feminist issues, urban situations, power relation issues, and institutional critique. She has worked as a curator ever since. Some of her curatorial projects: New Social Sculptures at Kunstmuseum Thun, (2012) Speculative Curating, Performative Interventions, Migros Museum, Zürich (2016/17) at the moment she is also directing the OnCurating project space. See She is the publisher of , an online and print magazine on curatorial practice and theory. Her own PhD did deal with Fluxus, “Fluxus: Art – Synonymous with Life? Myths about Authorship, Production, Gender and Community”. In 2013, she released a film together with Ronald Kolb: Flux Us Now! Fluxus explored with a camera, which was screened for the first time at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in April 2013, at the Migros Museum in Zurich, and different European art academies and museums, see

Goethe-Institut is our partner in this co-operation with German visitors.


Further information


Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

15. February 2018

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, PhD is an independent art curator and biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary Berlin and editor-in-chief of SAVVY Journal for critical texts on contemporary African art. He is currently guest professor in curatorial studies at the Städelschule in Frankfurt.

He was curator-at-large for Adam Szymczyk’s documenta 14, and is a guest curator of the 2018 Dak’Art Biennale in Senegal. Recent curatorial projects include That, Around Which the Whole World Revolves: On Rhythmanalysis of Memory, Times, Bodies in Space, SAVVY Contemporary, Hebbel am Ufer, Kampnagel, a.o., 2016-18; Every Time A Ear di Soun — a documenta 14 Radio Program, SAVVY Contemporary, 2017; The Conundrum of Imagination, Leopold Museum Vienna/ Wienerfestwochen, 2017; An Age of our Own Making in Holbæk, MCA Roskilde and Kunsthal Charlottenborg Copenhagen, 2016-17; Unlearning the Given: Exercises in Demodernity and Decoloniality, SAVVY Contemporary, 2016.

Selected lectureships and talks at a.o. Tensta Konsthall Stockholm, 2017; Bergen Assembly, 2017; University of the Arts, London, 2017; Gwangju Biennale, 2016; Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg, 2016; Pluriversale, Akademie der Kunste der Welt, Köln, 2016.


Goethe-Institut is our partner in this co-operation with German visitors.



Further information


Barbara Vanderlinden

18. January 2018

Barbara Vanderlinden is an independent curator and professor of exhibition studies. She most recently held the position of Professor of exhibition Studies with particular responsibilities for the founding of the Exhibition Laboratory at the University of the arts in Helsinki. She is the author of, among others, The Manifesta Decade: Debates on Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Biennials in Post-Wall Europe, Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press, 2005 and was Visiting Professor, Exhibition and Museum Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco. Founder and artistic director of the inaugural Brussels Biennial (Brussels, 2008.) Co-curator of the second edition of Manifesta, the European Biennial for Contemporary Art in Luxembourg City (1998), Generation Z at P.S.1. Long Island, N.Y. and the Taipei Biennial 2004, entitled Do You Believe in Reality?. She was the founder and artistic director (1996-2006) of the Brussels based contemporary art project Roomade, Office of Contemporary Art, with which she initiated numerous art projects and institutional collaborations in the 1990s and 2000s such as Laboratorium (Antwerp, 1999), On the desperate and long-neglected need for small events (Brussels, Manahatten Tower, 1996), Indiscipline (Brussels, 2000), Carsten Höller: The Boudewijn Experiment, and Matt Mullican Under Hypnosis (Brussels, 1996-97).


Further information


Gabriel Mestre

12. October 2017

Gabriel Mestre Arrioja is a writer, filmmaker and independent curator. The title of the talk is “Mexican Hairless Dog’s Revolution” in which he addresses how the colonial racism has prevailed in Mexican society since the 16th hundreds under the form of National State Institutions trying to erase, neutralize or folklorize all forms of indigenous knowledge.

Arrioja works with non-linear projects to generate different epistemological production that reunites artistic practices, the knowledge of the First Nations of the Americas, the history of the avant-garde art movements and notions from the critical thinking. His projects are to find different schemes of participation and collaboration with individuals and groups alienated by Capitalism and other production systems, promoting, among other things: aims of decolonialization, the exercise of institutional criticism and civil rights empowerment and the building of alternative and solidarian economies.

Since 2002, he has managed several projects as independent, self-supported or freelance curator, his achievements have been developed mostly in the fields of contemporary art and visual culture but also within the anthropology and the biology sciences. He has collaborated with selected institutions (public, private and personal ones) in Europe and Asia, as well as in the Americas, showing his exhibitions, publications and public programs in a number of countries such as: Sweden, Japan, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Cuba, Colombia and Mexico. Recently, his curatorial research, mediation and management of projects have been benefited by different international programs and institutions such as: Danish Art Foundation, CCA Estonia, CAC Vilnius, IASPIS, Icelandic Art Center. IFA, Goethe Institute, Austrian Cultural Forum and Jumex Foundation, among others.


Further information


Guillaume Bijl

3. April 2017

Guillaume Bijl is here in Iceland for his first visit and will on that occasion give lectures on his art and career at Reykjavík Art Museum – Hafnarhús and at The Iceland Academy of the Arts.  He will also show an installation at Mengi art space at Odinsgata 2.

Bijl (born 1946, in Antwerp) is a Belgian installation artist. He is a self-taught artist with background in theater. From the second half of the 1970s he started to create spatial objects and was researching in finding alternatives for conceptual art. Bijl’s first installation was a driving school, set in a gallery-space in Antwerp in 1979, accompanied by a manifesto calling for the abolition of art centers, and replacing them with ‘socially useful institutions’.

Reflections about his work:
“I can split my work up into different groups:
Transformation installations: A reality within non-reality.
Situation installations: A non-reality within reality.
Compositions: Contemporary, archaeological still life.
Sorries: A form of absurd poetry.
In recent years I have also made a lot of installations about cultural tourism.
In general my work is often about public perception. I create installations within my fictional reality: a sort of situation.
The social aspect of my work is to reveal the archaeology of our time, but now. (Ironic, with humour and in a tragic-comedic manner).” Guillaume Bijl, 2006


Further information



Margot Norton

16. February 2017

Margot Norton is Associate Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. At the New Museum she has curated solo exhibitions by Judith Bernstein, Sarah Charlesworth, Tacita Dean, and Erika Vogt, organized the retrospective exhibition “LLYN FOULKES,” which traveled from the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and worked on group exhibitions; NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, Ghosts in the Machine and Chris Burden: Extreme measures. Norton is currently working on the survey exhibition, Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest on view at the New Museum October 26, 2016—January 15, 2017.

Before she joined the New Museum, Norton worked as Curatorial Assistant on the 2010 Whitney Biennial and in the Drawings Department at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Norton holds a Masters Degree in Curatorial Studies from Columbia University, she has lectured and published on contemporary art.


Further information


Karin Sander

25. October 2016

The artist Karin Sander has acquired international renown for her conceptual and context-oriented work. Working with installation, sculpture, photography, new technologies and other media, Sander draws attention to the complex relationship between artwork, institution and audience. Her interventions with space and architecture are particularly prominent. She has a professorship for Art and Architecture at ETH, Zürich.She has a professorship for Art and Architecture at ETH, Zürich, and visits Iceland regularly, also with her students. Recently she exhibited at the i8 Gallery in Reykjavík, where she displayed her work, Kitchen Pieces, consisting of fruits and vegetables mounted on the walls. She has a professorship for Art and Architecture at ETH, Zürich

Further information  

Douglas Gordon –

Monday 26, September 2016

A guest lecturer at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, artist Douglas Gordon will be the first speaker in this winter‘s TALK Series. It is a great honor to welcome this intriguing artist to talk about his current work.

Douglas Gordon is known internationally since receiving the Turner Prize in 1996 and representing UK at the Venice Biennial a year later. His subjects often vary around matters relating to time and memory. Referencing cultural history and collective memory, he creates work in different mediums, developing in particular elaborate video installations.

Further information

Mary Jane Jacob – Experiencing Social Practice

Tuesday, April 30th, 2015


Mary Jane Jacob, Curator and Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is the second participant in this year’s TALK Series program. Jacob will give a lecture titled “Experiencing Social Practice”.

We have seen a pronounced acceleration in the number of projects that involve working directly with people. Artists speak passionately about this work; curators find it rewarding as they stretch their practices; and audiences are changed. Meanwhile critics seem confused by what it is all about, their writings bounded by socio-political theories or art histories, without consideration for the lived experience of the participant-viewers. In this lecture, Mary Jane Jacob draws upon American philosopher John Dewey whose understanding of human experience led him to conclude that art is a powerful agent of self-realization and social change. From this perspective, Jacob will address what processes we undergo in the art experience; art as a lived practice for artists; and how art—and especially socially engaged art projects—affords others access to living life as a conscious practice.
Further information.


Diedrich Diedrichsen – When Did Contemporaneity Start? The Problems of a Degree Zero and the case of 1960. 

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Diedrich Diederichsen (b. 1957, Hamburg) is an author, music journalist and cultural critic. He is one of Germany′s most prolific intellectual writers, and writes continuously on pop-music, contemporary art, modern composition, cinema, theater, design and politics. Diederichsen worked as a journalist and editor/publisher of influential music journals Sounds and Spex in the 1980‘s. Since the early 90‘s he has been a visiting professor in Stuttgart, Pasadena, Offenbach am Main, Munich, Cologne, Los Angeles and Gainesville to name but a few. From 1998 to 2007 he was Professor for Aesthetic Theory & Cultural Studies at Merz-Akademie, Stuttgart. Since 2006, Diederichsen has been Professor for Theory, Practice, and Communication of Contemporary Art at the Institute for Art History & Cultural Studies at the Academy of Fine Art, Vienna.

Further information.

Dieter Daniels – Audiovisualogy: hybridity of science, art, entertainment and business

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Dieter Daniels has been Professor of Art History and Media Theory at the Academy of Visual Arts (HGB) in Leipzig since 1993 and has contributed to numerous projects, exhibitions, and symposia in the field of media art. In 1984 Daniels co-founded the Videonale Bonn and served as the head of the Mediatheque at the ZKM, Karlsruhe from 1991-1993. He was the concept- and co-editor of «Media Art Net» ( from 2001 – 2005 and the director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Media. Art. Research in Linz from 2005-2009. Daniels has published extensively on 20th century art; on Marcel Duchamp, Fluxus, John Cage and media art, including the two volume compendium Audiovisuology: An Interdisciplinary Survey of Audiovisual Culture (2010). Since 2010 Dieter Daniels is the speaker of the advisory board of the transmediale festival.

Further information.



Heike Munder – It´s Time for Action (There´s No Option) 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Heike Munder studied cultural studies at the University of Lueneburg. She has been director of the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst Zürich since 2001. She co-founded the Halle für Kunst Lüneburg e.V., which she co-directed between 1995 and 2001. Previously curated exhibitions include Ragnar Kjartansson (2012), The Garden of Forking Paths (2011), Tatiana Trouvé (2009), Tadeusz Kantor (2008), Rachel Harrison (2007), Marc Camille Chaimowicz (2006), Yoko Ono (2005), and Mark Leckey (2003). She holds a number of regular teaching positions, including at the University of Lueneburg, Goldsmiths College (London), the University of Bern, the Zurich University of the Arts, and the Jan van Eyck Academy (Maastricht). Since 1995, she has written extensively for art magazines and catalogues. In 2012, she served on the jury for the Turner Prize. The Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst Zürich, under the direction of Heike Munder, commissioned The Visitors, a 9 channel video work by Ragnar Kjartansson. The Visitors is currently on show in Kling & Bang galleri, Reykjavík.

Further information



Nicolaus Schafhausen – Intelligent Entertainment on the Rise

Tuesday 21 January, 2014

Nicolaus Schafhausen is the director of the Kunsthalle Wien. He studied art history in Berlin and Munich and worked as an artist before starting his career as a curator. He served as artistic director of the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, and as director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein. He was a curator at the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art in Helsinki (NIFCA) and the founding director of the European Kunsthalle. From 2006 to 2012 he headed the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam.

Schafhausen was the curator of the German Pavilion for the 52nd and the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2007 and 2009. He was the curator of international festivals and exhibition, among others for the “Media City Seoul 2010” and the Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

Since 2011 Schafhausen is the strategic director of Fogo Island Arts an initiative of the Canadian Shorefast Foundation. In Cooperation with the Kunsthalle Wien he is the curator of the Bucharest Biennale 2014 (BB6). In addition to Schafhausen’s extensive experience in leading institutions and curating exhibitions, he is author and editor of numerous publications on contemporary art. Schafhausen is Visiting Lecturer at HISK, Higher Institute for Fine Arts, Gent.

 Further information.

Alanna Heiss – Alternatives

Date to be announced

Alanna Heiss was the founder and director of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center from 1976-2008, and is the current director of Art International Radio and The Clocktower Gallery. Heiss is one of the originators of the alternative space movement, beginning with Under the Brooklyn Bridge, a 1971 outdoor show she organized with installations by pioneering American and European artists. Heiss has curated and/or organized over 700 exhibitions at P.S.1 and elsewhere, including the inaugural exhibition at P.S.1, Rooms (1976); New York, New Wave (1981); Stalin’s Choice: Soviet Socialist Realism, 1932-1956 (1993); Greater New York (2000 and 2005, selecting curator), and Arctic Hysteria (2008); as well as solo shows by various international artists. In 2001, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute, and in 2008, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.


Didier Semin

Thursday 27 September, 8 p.m.

Didier Semin is a professor at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris since 1998. He has been curator at the Musée de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix in Sables d’Olonne, then at the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris and at the Musée national d’art moderne. He organized numerous monographic and thematic exhibitions, including Kurt Schwitters retrospective and, L’Empreinte (Imprint) at the Centre Georges Pompidou in collaboration with the philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman,. He is the editor of a book series devoted to the writing of artists, published by ENSBA and has focused on the drawing as medium in contemporary art.



Claire Bishop – Delegated Performance

Wednesday 21 March 8 p.m.

Claire Bishop is a British – New York based art historian and critic. She is a professor of History of Art Department at CUNY Graduate Center, New York and has previously taught in the Curating Contemporary Art department of the Royal College of Art, London, where she continues to be Visiting Professor, and at Warwick University(UK). Bishop is editor of the highly regarded volumes Participation (2006) and Installation Art: A Critical History (2005) and is a contributor to many art journals including Artforum, Flash Art, and October; her essay “Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics,” which appeared in October in 2004, remains an influential critique of relational aesthetics. Bishop is currently working on a history and theory of socially-engaged art. In 2008 she co-curated (with Mark Sladen) the exhibition Double Agent (ICA, London; Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre; and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead).


Eleanor Heartney – Art and Labour

Thursday 26 January 8 p.m.

Eleanor Heartney, is a Contributing Editor to Art in America and Artpress and has written extensively on contemporary art issues for such other publications as Artnews, Art and Auction, The New Art Examiner, the Washington Post and The New York Times. She received the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award for distinction in art criticism in 1992. Her books include: Critical Condition: American Culture at the Crossroads (Cambridge University Press, 1997); Postmodernism (Cambridge University Press, 2001); Postmodern Heretics: The Catholic Imagination in Contemporary Art (Midmarch Arts Press, 2004); Defending Complexity: Art, Politics and the New World Order (Hard Press Editions, 2006) and Art and Today (Phaidon Press Inc., 2008), a survey of contemporary art of the last 25 years from Phaidon. She is a co-author of After the Revolution: Women who Transformed Contemporary Art (Prestel Publishing, 2007), which won the Susan Koppelman Award. Heartney is a past President of AICA-USA, the American section of the International Art Critics Association. In 2008 she was honored by the French government as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.