Conference – Nordic Nature: Art, Ecology, Landscape

Dates: 16-18th June, 2022
Time: 8.45-18.00CET
Venue: KODE Art Museums & Composer Homes/University Museum of Bergen
Organisers: Dr. Isabelle Gapp, Dr. Tonje Haugland-Sørensen, MaryClaire Pappas
Virtual & In-Person. Free to Attend.

Keynote speaker: Dr. Gry Hedin, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art

This three-day conference at KODE Art Museums and Composer Homes/University of Bergen looks to foreground new and vital conversations currently shaping Nordic art historical research on the natural world. Focusing on the encounter between art history, visual culture, nature, and the environment, we aim to redress the imbalance in Nordic art history that often emphasises teleological national narratives, and instead situate encounters with nature in relation to more broad historical and contemporary perspectives, including, but not limited to, the transnational, environmental, post-colonial, and Indigenous.

Recent scholarship has embraced the trans-Nordic and trans-disciplinary connections in Nordic art history, particularly with relation to landscape and ecology. This renewed focus has drawn upon novel and timely methodologies that offer an interdisciplinary perspective on artwork and objects previously associated with mystical, national, and colonial tropes. We view this conference as an intervention into the prescribed narrative of National Romanticism, inviting speakers to move beyond the national as a priori framework, and to decentre and reconfigure the geographical and cultural focus of the landscape and natural world in Nordic art history. Pressuring the intimate connections between humans and nature, new and emerging scholarship is intensely aware of the overlaps between the visual arts, environmental humanities, animal studies, Sámi bodies of knowledge, and de-colonialism. This emphasis on interdisciplinarity also showcases the wealth of collaborative research currently shaping art historical practice.

Through Nordic Nature we seek to build dialogue among scholars engaged in interdisciplinary art historical research, and to foster a conversation around how to move beyond National Romanticism as the primary way of understanding the visual culture of the Nordic environment.

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