Back in 2011 I was fortunate enough to be working with good colleagues on Globalizing Art: Negotiating Place, Identity and Nation in Contemporary Nordic Art. I co-wrote the introduction and contributes on a chapter on “Claus Beck-Nielsen Memorial”.
The cultural agenda during the last decade has in Nordic countries embraced a branding of local identities for a global public. The fact that this has taken place concurrently with attempts to establish domestic safeguards toward globalization has not gone unnoticed by contemporary artists. Many Nordic artists have requested a renegotiation of the frameworks constructing national identity and formative images of nationality in the national identity in the light of new transnational relations. The term ‘Nordic’ that has been constructed historically for pragmatic reasons has likewise been under fire as a common symbolic framework whose geopolitical ‘place’ and community has to be reconsidered.
All articles in this book discuss ways in which contemporary Nordic art seeks to redistribute national and cultural identity. Common to the artists examined is a drive to combine cultural images from multiple sources and several media. Thus, the book also explores how works that express new identity formations confront the conventional aesthetic production of meaning and, all in all, it contributes to the examination of how art reinvents itself when dealing with unresolved issues of political, national and cultural belonging.