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Tone Olaf Nielsen / What Do We Need Art For?

Tone Olaf Nielsen is an independent curator based in Copenhagen. Since the late 1990s, she has used curating to address the root causes of social, economic, and environmental injustices. Her practice is based on a firm belief in the ability of artistic and curatorial work to contribute to social and political transformation.

In her contribution to Bildmuseet’s anniversary forum, Tone Olaf Nielsen will discuss artistic and curatorial responses to the refugee crisis with examples from her own projects.

Bildmuseet has had the privilege to collaborate with Tone Olaf Nielsen on several occasions, mainly with the 2010 exhibition Tupilakosaurus / Pia Arke's Issue with Art, Ethnicity, and Colonialism 1981–2006. It was curated by Kuratorisk Aktion, a Danish curatorial collective founded by Tone Olaf Nielsen together with Frederikke Hansen. Nielsen also co-founded the refugee justice community centre Trampoline House in Copenhagen, and its non-profit exhibition space for art discussing questions of displacement, migration, and asylum. The Trampoline House's community has been invited to contribute to documenta 15 in Kassel 2022 to share its unique mission and methodology.

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).