TALK Series is a visitors program initiated by the Reykjavík Art Museum, the Icelandic Art Center and the Iceland Academy of the Arts. The program brings the flourishing ideas andX 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 Academies 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 stronger 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.

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


Maria Hlavajova

23. February 2023 Maria Hlavajova

Maria Hlavajova

Maria was a TALK Series guest in 2023. The Netherlands-based exhibitions curator and art-researcher and founding general and artistic director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht.

Maria Hlavajova is an organizer, researcher, educator, curator, and founding general and artistic director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht (since 2000). Between 2008 and 2016, she was research and artistic director of the collaborative research, exhibition, and education project FORMER WEST, which culminated in the publication Former West: Art and the Contemporary After 1989 (which she co-edited with Simon Sheikh, 2016). Hlavajova has instigated and (co-)organized numerous projects at BAK and beyond, including the series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–ongoing), Future Vocabularies (2014–2017), New World Academy (with Jonas Staal, 2013–2016), among many other international research, education, exhibition, and publication projects. Her curatorial work includes Call the Witness, Roma Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, 2011; Citizens and Subjects, Dutch Pavilion, 52nd Venice Biennale, Venice, 2007; and Borderline Syndrome: Energies of Defense, Manifesta 3, Ljubljana, 2000. Publications she has (co-)edited include: Fragments of Repair (with Kader Attia and Wietske Maas, forthcoming 2023); Toward the Not-Yet: Art as Public Practice (with Jeanne van Heeswijk and Rachael Rakes, 2021); Deserting from the Culture Wars (with Sven Lütticken, 2020); Propositions for Non-Fascist Living: Tentative and Urgent (with Wietske Maas, 2019); Posthuman Glossary (with Rosi Braidotti, 2018); and Marion von Osten: Once We Were Artists (with Tom Holert, 2017), among others. She is a lecturer at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, Utrecht and Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava. In addition, Hlavajova is co-founder (with Kathrin Rhomberg) of the tranzit network. Hlavajova is a member of the supervisory board of the Academy of Visual Arts, Prague and of the advisory boards of Bergen Assembly, Bergen and IMAGINART, Imagining Institutions Otherwise: Art, Politics, and State Transformation, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam. In the recent past, Hlavajova served on the supervisory boards of European Cultural Foundation, Amsterdam and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. She lives and works in Amsterdam and Utrecht.

Anda Rottenberg

15. September 2022 Anda Rottenberg

Anda Rottenberg was a TALK Series guest in 2022. The Warsaw-based exhibitions curator, art historian and critic has over a long and varied career developed a comprehensive insight into Polish and international contemporary art. 

Anda Rottenberg is educated at the University of Warsaw, MA 1970. Employed in the Polish Academy of Sciences 1973-1986. Founder of the EGIT Art Foundation, 1986; Warsaw Soros Center of Contemporary Art, 1992; Institute of Art Promotion Foundation, 1997. Director of the ‘Zachęta’ National Art Gallery in Warsaw 1993-2001; Visiting consultant of the Museum of Modern Art, New York 2001-2002; President of the Program Advisory board and the Program Director of the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art 2005-2007. As of 1980 curator and co-curator of many international exhibitions. Curator (1993-1995) and commissioner of the Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 1993 – 2001 and the Sao Paolo Biennale 1997 – 2007 (among others). Author of the numerous texts on art. Academic teacher of curatorial studies. Co-founder and a board member of Manifesta 1; Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin 2015/2016; Member of the selection committee of Documenta 12. Currently appointed the Culture Editor of “Vogue Polska” magazine (as of 2017). Author of the personal weekly radio broadcast Andymateria as of 2012. Acting also as a freelance art writer and curator.

Shu Lea Cheang

28. April 2022 Shu Lea Cheang

Shu Lea Cheang participated in TALK Series. She is an artist and filmmaker working with various art mediums and film formats, including installation, performance, net art, public art, video installation, feature-length film and mobile web serial. As a net art pioneer, her project BRANDON (1998-1999) was the first web art commissioned and collected by the Guggenheim Museum in New York. She drafts sci-fi narratives in her film scenario and artwork imagination, crafting her own “science” fiction genre of new queer cinema, terming them eco-cybernoia (FRESH KILL, 1994), sci-fi cyberpunk (I.K.U., 2000), sci-fi cypherpunk (Fluidø, 2017). From homesteading cyberspace in the 90s to her current retreat to post net-crash BioNet zone, Cheang takes on viral love, bio hack in her current cycle of works. Shu Lea Cheang represented the Taiwanese Pavilion with a solo exhibition titled 3x3x6 at Venice Biennale in 2019. The visit is supported by the American Embassy in Iceland.

Gregory Sholette

31. March 2021 Gregory Sholette

Dr. Gregory Sholette, artist, writer, activist and teacher contributed to TALK Series. His lecture was based on his publication The Art of Activism and the Activism of Art (New Directions in Contemporary Art).

Since the global financial crash of 2008, and following the sharp rightward swing of the US and UK 2016 elections, artists have become increasingly engaged in a wide range of cultural activism targeting capitalism, authoritarianism, colonial legacies, gentrification, but also in opposition to their own exploitation. Absorbing and reflecting political forms of dissent into their art practice, contemporary art activists inaugurate a broader cultural paradigm shift signaling our collective entry into the unpresent, an uncanny juncture in which distinctions between aesthetics and protest, autonomy and engagement, have been inverted if not erased.  Sholette approaches his subject from the dual perspective of scholar and insider, describing and theorizing a new wave of activist art emerging not only within community-based protest groups, as it has for decades, but also amongst professionally trained art practitioners, many of whom, by choice or by circumstance, refuse to respect the conventional borders separating painting from protest, or art from utility.

Gregory Sholette is a New York-based artist, writer, activist and teacher. Sholette received his PhD from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2017, and is a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program in Critical Theory (1996); UC San Diego Visual Art Program (MFA: 1995); The Cooper Union (BFA: 1979); and Bucks County Community College (AA: 1974). Publications include: Delirium and Resistance: Activist Art and the Crisis of Capitalism (2017); Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture (2011); Art As Social Action (with Chloë Bass: 2018), and The Art of Activism and the Activism of Art (2022). Dr. Sholette is an associate of the Art, Design and the Public Domain program of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and along with his colleague Chloë Bass, Sholette co-directs Social Practice CUNY (SPCUNY), a new Mellon Foundation funded art and social justice initiative linking several MFA programs across CUNY and located in the Center for Humanities, at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Krist Gruijthuijsen & Anna Gritz

3. March 2021 Krist Gruijthuijsen & Anna Gritz

KW Institue for Contemporary Art 

KW’s director Krist Gruijthuijsen was joined by KW’s curator Anna Gritz for TALK series. The talk was about the history and mission of the institution, their joint work and the vision for the institution going forward in light of vastly changing artistic needs, and institutional challenges in the current climate.

Curator and art critic Krist Gruijthuijsen has been the director of KW Institute for Contemporary Art since July 1, 2016. He has curated exhibitions by Hanne Lippard, Ian Wilson, Adam Pendleton, Ronald Jones, Hiwa K, Willem de Rooij, Beatriz González, David Wojnarowicz, Hreinn Friðfinnsson, Hassan Sharif, and Leonilson among others, and has edited numerous publications.

Krist Gruijthuijsen is internationally well-connected and has many years of experience as curator and director of leading international institutions for contemporary art. Gruijthuijsen was artistic director of the Grazer Kunstverein from 2012 until 2016 and held the position of course director of the MA Fine Arts Department at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam from 2011 until 2016. He is one of the co-founding directors of the Kunstverein in Amsterdam and has organized many exhibitions and projects over the past decade, including Manifesta 7 (Trentino-South Tyrol, IT), Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center (Istanbul), Artists Space (New York), Museum of Contemporary Art (Belgrade, RS), Swiss Institute (New York), Galeria Vermelho (São Paulo, BR), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven, NL), Arnolfini (Bristol, GB), Project Arts Centre (Dublin), Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (Salt Lake City, US), and Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane, AU).

Anna Gritz is a curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. From June 2022 she will serve as the director of the Haus am Waldsee in Berlin. At KW she has realized solo exhibitions by amongst others Judith Hopf, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Steve Bishop, Amelie von Wulffen, and Michael Stevenson, as well as group exhibitions such as The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue and Zeros and Ones (co-curated with Kathrin Bentele and Ghislaine Leung). Previously she held curatorial positions at the South London Gallery (SLG), the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and the Hayward Gallery, all in London. Gritz writes for catalogues and regularly contributes to art publications. She served as a curatorial attaché for the 20th Biennale of Sydney in 2016, and since 2019, she has been a member of the acquisitions committee at the FRAC Lorraine in Metz.

TALK Series is a visitors program initiated by the Reykjavik Art Museum, the Icelandic Art Center and the Iceland University of the Arts. Since 2012, a selection of highly regarded international artists, curators and critics have participated. Guests include Heike Munder, Miwon Kwon, Claire Bishop, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Mary Jane Jacob and Dieter Daniels, Douglas Gordon and more.

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. Each guest is asked to offer an insight into the field through a public lecture at the Reykjavik Art Museum, studio visits and a seminar lecture at the 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 stronger 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. Supported by the American Embassy in Iceland.

Gregory Volk

21. October 2021

Gregory Volk


Once, then Something: Wonderful Encounters with Marvelous Art

New York-based art writer, critic and curator Gregory Volk hosted a lecture in TALK Series. The talk derived from a personal view and experiences with contemporary art. Rather than coming from the viewpoint of the critic, Volk’s talk arrived from the standpoint of the general audience or the passionate art viewer. 

Gregory Volk is a New York-based art writer, freelance curator, and former Associate Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. He writes regularly for Hyperallergic and Art in America, and his articles and reviews have also appeared in many other publications. Among his numerous contributions to exhibition catalogues and books are essays on Vito Acconci, in Vito Acconci: Diary of a Body, 1969-1973 (Charta, 2007); and Icelandic artist Ragna Róbertsdóttir, in Ragna Róbertsdóttir Works 1984-2017 (Distanz Verlag, 2018). His book-length essay on German artist Katharina Grosse appears in the monograph Katharina Grosse (Lund Humphries, 2020), which focuses on the artist’s renowned painting installations. A graduate of Colgate University (B.A) and Columbia University (M.A.), Volk has curated numerous exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad.

Gregory Volk has long been known as an internationally minded art writer and curator. He first visited Iceland in 1999 and has returned numerous times since then. He has written many texts on Icelandic artists and included Icelandic artists in international exhibitions, including Ragna Róbertsdóttir and Ragnar Kjartansson. He is the current Curator in Residence at the Icelandic Art Center. Volk will discuss his own life-changing experiences with selected contemporary artworks. The talk will not focus only on how artworks are made, how they appear, what they mean, or how they fit into an historical canon – but rather what effect they have and what their intellectual and emotional impact really is. Volk will take examples of artists and artworks from Iceland, the U.S. and elsewhere. Several of these artworks may be delightful and surprising: a sculpture that let one walk on water, a painting made in less than a second, lovely sculptures made by trash falling from the ceiling, and a 64-minute song.

Cassandra Edlefsen Lasch

11. March 2021 Cassandra Edlefsen Lasch

An artist publication as artwork as radiating library

Curator Cassandra Edlefsen Lasch contributed to the TALK Series in 2021. The talk focused on the artist Susanne Kriemann’s publication Ge(ssenwiese) and K(anigsberg): Library for Radioactive Afterlife which was edited by the speaker.


Cassandra Edlefsen Lasch is a curator, editor, and writer based in Berlin, focused on the role of the editorial—processes of rereading—within artistic practice at large and at length. She has managed global publications independently and with Hatje Cantz, served as Founding Editor at PRAXES Center for Contemporary Art in Berlin and within Bergen Assembly 2016, and liaised on behalf of international artists with the gallery neugerriemschneider, among others.

A major thread of investigation focuses on collaborative thought and how this is manifest in the process of making artist publications. Her publication homecomings 1, 2, 3, etc. (Berlin: Archive Books, 2018) culminated a three-year co-curated exhibition and symposium series of the same name inspired by Icelandic artist Hreinn Friðfinnsson’s House Project (1974–) and author Georges Perec’s Species of Spaces (1974), featuring some 50 contributing artists and thinkers. Some of Cassandra’s recent writing and editorial contributions feature in: Susanne Kriemann, Ge(ssenwiese) and K(anigsberg): Library for Radioactive Afterlife (Leipzig: Spector Books, 2020); Hreinn Friðfinnsson: Works 1964-2019 (London: Koenig Books, 2019); Michael Beutler, Things in Slices (Berlin: BOM DIA, 2019); Florian Neufeldt, Folds and Faults (Berlin: Distanz, 2019); benandsebastian, Department of Voids (Berlin: Kerber Verlag, 2018); and with editor Rhea Dall, Wilhelm Sasnal: ENGINE (Oslo: Kistefos-Museet, 2018), among others.The TALK Series is a collaborative project between the Icelandic Art Center, Iceland Academy of the Arts and the Reykjavík Art Museum. Since the year 2012 artists, thinkers and curators have been invited to Iceland to teach, talk and get to know the local art scene.

Gabriele Knapstein

4. apríl 2019 Gabriele Knapstein

Confirming and Questioning the Canon. On Exhibiting the Collection of the Nationalgalerie at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin

Gabriele Knapstein has been with the Hamburger Bahnhof since 1999, first joining as a research assistant, then coming up through the ranks, from exhibition manager to museum manager to finally museum director in 2019. Knapstein has also been a member of the University Council of the Berlin-Weißensee School of Art since its establishment in 2004.

Dorothee Richter

31. January 2019 Dorothee Richter



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.

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

15. February 2018 Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

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.

Barbara Vanderlinden

18. January 2018 Barbara Vanderlinden




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).

Gabriel Mestre

12. October 2017 Gabriel Mestre




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.

Guillaume Bijl

3. April 2017 Guillaume Bijl

Guillaume Bijl came to Iceland for his first visit and on that occasion he gave a lecture on his art and career at Reykjavík Art Museum – Hafnarhús and at The Iceland Academy of the Arts.  He will also exhibited an installation at Mengi art space at Odinsgata

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’.

Margot Norton

16. February 2017 Margot Norton




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.

Karin Sander

25.October 2016 Karin Sander



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

Douglas Gordon

26, September 2016 Douglas Gordon

A guest lecturer at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, artist Douglas Gordon contributed to the  TALK Series. 

Douglas Gordon received the Turner Prize in 1996 and represented the UK at the Venice Biennial 1997. 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.

Mary Jane Jacob

30. April, 2015 Mary Jane Jacob

Experiencing Social Practice
Mary Jane Jacob, Curator and Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, participated in the TALK Series program. Jacob gave 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 the lecture, Mary Jane Jacob drew 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 addressed 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.
Mary Jane Jacob is a curator who, through hundreds of exhibitions, site-specific and community-based projects, and public programs, has worked with artists to expand the practice and public discourse of art as a shared process. Study into the nature of the art experience has led to the anthologies: Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art, Learning Mind: Experience into Art, Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society, and The Studio Reader: On the Space of Artists. As Professor and Executive Director of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she is recently spearheaded a major research project leading to the Chicago Social Practice History Series.
Diedrich Diedrichsen

26 March, 2014 Diedrich Diedrichsen

Diedrich Diederichsen, Professor at the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna, participated in our TALK Series. Diederichsen‘s talk entitled “When Did Contemporaneity Start? The Problems of a Degree Zero and the case of 1960” took place in the Reykjavik Art Museum.
“Is contemporaneity merely a relational category or is there/was there an epoch that could be called „Contemporary Art“, which started at one point and will be over soon. Or is it already over, as some people argue?”

In the talk, Diederichsen discussed the question of contemporaneity in relation to the general philosophical problem of measuring and deciding about historical starting points. More specifically, he looked at the year 1960 as one possible candidate for a starting point of contemporary art.
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.
Diederichsen has contributed to numerous magazines, dailies and journals in the German speaking world as well as Artscribe, Artforum, and Frieze. Recent books include: Über Pop-Musik (Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2014); The Whole Earth: California and the Disappearance of the Outside (Berlin/New York: Sternberg Press, 2013) and The Sopranos (Zürich: diaphanes-booklet 2012).
Diedrich Diederichsen lives in Berlin and Vienna.
Under the title TALK Series, Reykjavík Art Museum, Icelandic Art Center and the Iceland Academy of the Arts initiated a collaborative visitor program in 2012, offering a platform for continual professional-, international encounters to take place in Iceland. Comprising visits by leading figures in the visual arts, this program initiative brings to the Icelandic art community, as well as to the public at large, the burgeoning ideas and diverse practices that define the terms and shape the dialogue within the contemporary international art scene.
Dieter Daniels

8. april 2014, Dieter Daniels

Audiovisualogy: hybridity of science, art, entertainment and business

Dieter Daniels, Professor at the Academy of Visual Arts (HGB) in Leipzig, participated in the TALK Series with a lecture which took place at Reykjavik Art Museum.

Daniels’s lecture entitled Audiovisualogy: hybridity of science, art, entertainment and business and responded to exhibition Cadences of Line and Color, then on view at Hafnarhús.

The starting point for the lecture was the fact that our world of experience today is characterized by the omnipresence of audiovisual products and structures. Through digitization, the cultural production of images and sounds becoming part of a hybridization merging media technologies, art genres and market strategies. 

In the talk, Daniels’s responded to this fact by presenting a historical frame of reference, making comparisons to contemporary techno-cultural developments. The lecture will demonstrate interrelations between the history of science and technology, perception studies and art- film- and music theory in audiovisual practices, since the 18th century.

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 has been the speaker of the advisory board of the transmediale festival.

Heike Munder

11. March , 2014 Heike Munder

It´s Time for Action (There´s No Option)

Heike Munder participated in the TALK Series with a lecture which took place at Reykjavik Art Museum.

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.

Nicolaus Schafhausen

21 January, 2014 Nicolaus Schafhausen

Intelligent Entertainment on the Rise

Nicolaus Schafhausen participated in the TALK Series with a lecture which took place at Reykjavik Art Museum.

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.

Didier Semin

27 September 2013 Didier Semin

Didier Semin participated in the TALK Series with a lecture which took place at Reykjavik Art Museum.

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

21 March 2012 Claire Bishop

Claire Bishop participated in the TALK Series with a lecture which took place at Reykjavik Art Museum.

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).

David A. Ross

15. November 2012 David A. Ross

David A. Ross participated in the TALK Series with a lecture which took place at Reykjavik Art Museum.

David A. Ross is the current Chairman of the MFA: Art Practice program at Shcool of Visual Art SVA, New York and a former director at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and Boston Institute of Contemporary Art.

Miwon Kwon

12. March 2013 Miwon Kwon 

Ends of the Earth (and back)

Miwon Kwon participated in the TALK Series with a lecture which took place at Reykjavik Art Museum and was held in a special collaboration with the Iceland Design Center.

Kwon’s research and writings have engaged several disciplines including contemporary art, architecture, public art and urban studies. Trained in architecture, Miwon Kwon holds a M.A. in photography, and has extensive curatorial experience from her tenure at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the early 1990s. She received her Ph.D. in architectural history and theory from Princeton University in 1998, and joined joined the faculty at UCLA in 1997 to teach contemporary art history (post-1945).  She was a founding co-editor and publisher of Documents, a journal of art, culture, and criticism (1992-2004), and serves on the advisory board of October magazine. She is the author of One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity (MIT Press, 2002), as well as lengthy essays on the work of many contemporary artists. She co-organized a major historical exhibition in 2012 entitled “Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974,” with Philipp Kaiser, which was on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and traveled to Haus der Kunst in Münich, Germany, that same year.

Eleanor Heartney

26 January 2012 Eleanor Heartney


Art and Labour

Eleanor Heartney participated in TALK Series the Icelandic Art Center and the Icelandic Academy of the Arts. Heartney´s lecture, was on the topic of art and labour, and referred to the work of Santiago Sierra which was on show at Reykjavik Art Museum at the time.

Using Santiago Sierra’s provocative meditations on the exploitation of labor as a springboard, this lecture looks at the ways that artists explore and are themselves implicated in current debates about the precarious place of the worker in an age of global markets, labor eliminating mechanization and the rise of the digital economy. No longer simply observers of these sweeping changes, artists find themselves swept up in them. In the process they find that it is not enough simply to express solidarity with the beleaguered worker. Instead, they must reexamine how they, and their work, are part of the larger system that is reshaping the meaning of labor and society in the 21st century. Among the artists  that were discussed were Oliver Ressler, Sharon Lockhart, Cao Fei, Stephanie Rothenberg and Mika Rottenberg.

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.