Making Public Utopias

Friday September 1st, 2023
Kl. 17.30 - 19.30

Join us for a roundtable on collectivity, critical practices and reclaiming space. From public space to the art institution, we will discuss how to create alternative futures for societies through political engagement, civil participation, queerness, and dissidence.

As a closing event of the Dissident Publics programme (2022–2023), co-curators Maike Statz, Danja Burchard and Bui Quy Son (Exutoire) invite architect-urbanist-activist Itziar González Virós and Bergen Kunsthall’s live programme curator Nora Swantje Almes to reflect on their work and practice. The presentations will be followed by a conversation moderated by Victoria Bugge Øye, curator in architecture at Nasjonalmuseet.


Itziar González Virós. Photo: Dolors Pena

Itziar González Virós is an architect and social urbanist who works in urban degrowth, optimisation of public housing, rehabilitation of historic urban centres, and buildings in rural areas. Since 2002, she is an expert in mediation processes and conflict resolution in public space, and participation and cooperation between citizens and administration. She is a former councillor of the Ciutat Vella district of Barcelona (2007–2010). Together with UTE km ZERO she won, in 2017, the international competition for the comprehensive transformation of La Rambla in Barcelona. She is the curator (2022–2023) of the “Utopia Rambles” exhibition at the Centre d'Art Santa Mònica. Itziar is an activist and promoter of the Citizens' Parliament and the Citizens' Observatory Against Corruption.

Nora Swantje Almes. Photo: Paul Niedermeyer

Nora-Swantje Almes is a curator, based in Bergen, Norway, where she works as Bergen Kunsthall's Curator Live Programme. Her research explores topics of intersectionality, queerness and gatherings as a performative format for platforming a multiplicity of voices. Previously, she held positions at Glasgow International, PARTICIPANT INC, Art Angel London and Schinkel Pavillon Berlin. Independently, Nora co-curated 'Aggregates' at Raven Row London and Ausstellungsraum Klingental Basel, 'love and other rhythms' at Kunsthalle Exnergasse Vienna and curated the exhibition series 'What’s good for me is good for you? A physical multilogue' at Mimosa House London, amongst others.

NOGOODS. Photo: Ronja Michelsen

NOGOODS (Danja Burchard & Maike Statz)
NOGOODS is a moving project space for slippery ideas, repeating failures, collapsing structures, liquid narratives, and cross-disciplinary moods. It is a space for performative discursive practice, artistic production, non-linear research, and collaboration. Our focus lies on the impact of architecture and performativity on social patterns within a queer theoretical framework. NOGOODS cultivates a diverse critical practice that encompasses curating, facilitating, performative and architectural interventions and discourse, that aims to challenge power dynamics and encourage transformative social practices. NOGOODS is led by cultural worker and artist Danja Burchard, Philosopher Francesca Scapinello and interior architect and artist Maike Statz.

Danja Burchard (they/them) is an art worker whose critical practice includes creative production, performance, curation, facilitation and writing as well as questioning, listening, (un-) learning, and thinking. They critically explore collective processes, radical pedagogies, and dissident practices as a basis for speculative futures and social transformation.

Through her work Maike Statz is engaged in the influence of architecture on individuals and society, focusing on the relationship between bodies, gender, sexuality and space. Working with writing, performance and installation she questions how history is embedded in our various architectures and what power dynamics are at play.

Exutoire. Photo: Solène Moscato

Exutoire (Bui Quy Son & Paul-Antoine Lucas) is a transdisciplinary critical spatial practice based between Oslo and Hanoi. By means of teaching, editorial, curatorial and design work, they investigate social, material and spatial justice. Their practice finds its form in a research-by-design approach that focuses on the making of spaces, objects, social infrastructure and knowledge platforms that bring forth underrepresented discourses and marginalised voices. Through research topics including representation and queer methodologies in architecture, liberatory and emancipatory pedagogies in design education, trans-normativity in public space, and the right to housing, they advocate for a more equitable architecture and the common good. Paul-Antoine and Son have taught at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design and TU Darmstadt, and their writings were recently published by Magasin for Bygningskunst og Kultur and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. They are the 2022–2023 curators in residence at ROM for kunst og arkitektur in Oslo.

Victoria Bugge Øye. Photo: Shade Barka Martins

Victoria Bugge Øye is curator of modern architecture at the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo. She holds a PhD in the History and Theory of Architecture from Princeton University and a M.S. in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture from GSAPP, Columbia University. She has participated in curatorial projects at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Storefront for Art and Architecture, and the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, among others. Most recently she curated the National Museum’s contribution to the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2022, which included an installation by the Swedish queer-feminist collective MYCKET.


17:30–19:30 : Talks and discussion

After 19:30 : Social gathering

The event will be held in English and Spanish. Translation from Spanish to English will be provided.

More information to come.