‘Husrom’ is a series of lectures in a living room in Bergen, Norway. The name refers to the Norwegian expression ‘Der det er hjerterom, er det husrom’ which literally translates to ‘If there is room in the heart, there is room in the house’. However, the more correct translation is ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’. The speaking guests will typically be artists, curators and writers that define the contemporary art field. Despite the private character of the room, the lectures are open to anyone who wishes to attend.

«Husrom» er en serie forelesninger i en stue i en leilighet i et borettslag på Wergeland i Bergen. Gjestene som presenterer sine tanker er kunstnere, kuratorer og skribenter som driver samtidskunstfeltet fremover. Til tross for rommets private karakter er forelesningene åpne for alle som ønsker å komme.

HUSROM 1 13 November 2014, 8 PM - Nicolaysens vei 5a, Wergeland, Bergen

Art, Curation, and the Persistence of Universality - Bassam el Baroni

In this very informal talk Bassam will look at how art has been conditioned by variants of capitalism over the span of the last one hundred years, these variants initiate new concepts of what a universality is, that art either conforms to or dodges. When art conforms to the predominate universality, it is acknowledged as the art of its time. However, there is a growing and general dissatisfaction with contemporary practice, expressed by even the most household names in the field.

Bassam will ask several questions this evening: Could this dissatisfaction be related to a kind of jetlag, trying to catch up with a new universality formulating on the spoils of something we used to call globalisation (do we remember when this was a buzzword?)? What could this new universality be and should we develop ways to conform to it? Is contemporary art going through a crisis of universality?

Bassam El Baroni is a curator and writer based in Alexandria, Egypt. In 2010, he was co-curator of Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain. He was the director of the non-profit art space Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF), from 2006 – 2012 and is currently undertaking a PhD in Curatorial/Knowledge at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a theory tutor at the MFA programme at the Dutch Art Institute, Arnhem, the Netherlands. El Baroni recently curated Eva International - Ireland's Biennial, Limerick, 2014, and co-curated (with Anne Szefer Karlsen and Eva González-Sancho) the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF), Norway, 2013. In 2012, he curated When it Stops Dripping from the Ceiling (an Exhibition that thinks about Edification) at the Kadist Art Foundation, Paris.

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 Photo: Anthea Buys/Instagram   Photo: Anthea Buys/Instagram