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Katarina Pierre / What Do We Need Art For?

Katarina Pierre is the director of Bildmuseet, Umeå University, and the host of the anniversary forum What Do We Need Art For?. She is interested in the unexpected and the new that emerges at the intersection of different disciplines and positions, as in the encounter between art and science, the global and the local, academia and society. Existential, political, and philosophical aspects of art are central to her work as curator and artistic director for Bildmuseet.

In her contribution to the anniversary forum, Katarina Pierre explains why she is posing the question about the significance of art right now. In her own response she talks about why she thinks art is necessary, how it can change the world and why art is what makes us human. 

As artistic director since 2010 and curator since 1995, Pierre has been instrumental to Bildmuseet's profile with its focus on international contemporary art where post-colonial issues, the centre and periphery of the art world, and questions concerning power and gender have a prominent position.  She serves on the Supervisory Board of The Public Art Agency Sweden, and she is a former representative on The Board of the Visual Arts Fund at the Swedish Art Grants Committee and the Norwegian equivalent, OCA: Office for Contemporary Art.

What Do We Need Art For? / Programme 29–31 October 2021

Fri 29 Oct, 13:00 / Katarina Pierre, Umeå

Welcome by the director of Bildmuseet and host of the anniversary forum What Do We Need Art For?.

Fri 29 Oct, 14:00 / Katarina Pirak Sikku, Jokkmokk

Artist Katarina Pirak Sikku gives a personal account of art’s significance for herself and people around her.

Fri 29 Oct, 15:00 / Gavin Butt, Newcastle

Professor Gavin Butt considers the history of "art-pop" music and the world-making capacities of art today.

Fri 29 Oct, 16:00 / Stina Oscarson, Stockholm

Dramatist and writer Stina Oscarson talks about the importance of art in reminding us that we are human.

Fri 29 Oct, 17:00 / John Akomfrah, London

Artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah answers the posed question in conversation with director Katarina Pierre.

Sat 30 Oct, 13:00 / Cedric Nunn, Mangethe

South African photographer Cedric Nunn talks about the context in which he is a politically active artist.

Sat 30 Oct, 14:00 / Maria Lind, Moscow

Curator Maria Lind on contemporary art as a form of understanding and tool for relating to existence.

Sat 30 Oct, 15:00 / Sofia Jannok, Umeå, & Dennis Lyxzén, Vännäs

Musicians Sofia Jannok and Dennis Lyxzén on what art and culture have meant in their lives.

Sat 30 Oct, 16:00 / Tone Olaf Nielsen, Copenhagen

Curator Tone Olaf Nielsen discusses artistic and curatorial responses to the refugee crisis.

Sat 30 Oct, 17:00 / Jumana Emil Abboud, Jerusalem

Artist Jumana Emil Abboud performs a reading about walking in the Palestinian landscape.

Sun 31 Oct, 13:00 / Mats Caldeborg, Järnäsklubb

Artist Mats Caldeborg reflects on the significance of art and the human ability for abstract thinking.

Sun 31 Oct, 14:00 / Lars Strannegård, Stockholm

Professor and president Lars Strannegård on why art and culture become even more important in a digital world.

Sun 31 Oct, 15:00 / Grada Kilomba, Berlin

Artist Grada Kilomba gives her answer to the question posed in a conversation with director Katarina Pierre.

Sun 31 Oct, 16:00 / Antonia Alampi, Berlin

Curator and director Antonia Alampi addresses the multifaceted roles that art and cultural practices play.

Sun 31 Oct, 17:00 / Naeem Mohaiemen, New York

As his contribution to the online forum, Naeem Mohaimen shows us the new film work Against Regret (23 min).