Bar Candela: Contemporary Art on the Move, in Place and Discourse

By Venke Aure, Kristin Bergaust and Oddrun Sæter.

Published by The Arts Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The paper focuses on an art-project: “Bar Candela” by Kristin Bergaust and Alexis Parra as it appears in three video works documenting different aspects of this ongoing art-project. Bar Candela has been arranged in various existing bars as a platform of artistic and cultural communication related to the Cuban immigrant situation in Europe and elsewhere. A Cuban bar is an important social venue, a meeting place that seems to escape the otherwise strict monitoring of daily life experienced by many Cubans. Both satellite television and Internet connections are illegal, the jokes and stories of the bar is part of the informal exchange of information and rumor. In this spirit the Bar Candela project documents, recreates and investigates Cuban street music and popular culture through video, sound and live performances in the context of a bar. Each event has a new theme and title. In analyzing this ‘bar in move’ the paper will have a threefold structure: It will in the first hand give a presentation of the art by excerpts of the videos, and the artists’ statement. This presentation will be followed by and academic analysis from two different angles, none of them from within a traditional field of art theory, but emphasize both epistemological and sociological aspects of public art and urbanity. Our intention is to show how art can communicate identities and places in different national and urban contexts, and also how art can be analyzed as transgressing works, in different perspectives.

Keywords: Contemporary Art, Epistemology, Sociology, Identity, Migratory Aesthetics

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.283-296. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.263MB).

Venke Aure

Associate Professor, Faculty of Art, Design and Drama, Oslo University College, Oslo, Norway

Venke Aure is an associate professor in art education at Oslo University College, Department of Art and Design. She has done several studies on dissemination of contemporary art, especially among children and youth. She is teaching theory of science and research methods at master courses, and is engaged in developing the field of visual culture at Oslo University College.

Kristin Bergaust

Professor, Art and Design, Oslo University College, Oslo, Norway

Kristin Bergaust graduated from the University of Oslo, Norway in 1983 and The National Academy of Fine Art in Oslo 1991. She was the director of Atelier Nord medialab for artists 1997-2001 and an active artist, curator and organizer in the field of new media, technology and art in Norway and elsewhere in Europe. From 2001 she was a Professor at Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art, NTNU Norwegian University of Technology and Science. In 2008 she became a professor at the Masterprogam, The Faculty of Art, Design and Drama of Oslo University College. Her artistic practice includes relational art in an intercultural context. Ongoing projects relate to Cuban immigrant culture in transition.

Prof. Oddrun Sæter

Professor and Research Director, The Research Programme Communication, Education and Culture, Oslo University College, Oslo, Norway

Oddrun Saeter is a professor at Oslo University College. She has a Ph.D in sociology from the University of Oslo. She has worked as a researcher at the University of Oslo (1981-1984, 2000-2005) and in the Norwegian Building Research Institute (1991-1999), and has also been responsible for several evaluation studies for different ministries. Her present research field is sociology of art, place theory and urban studies. At present she is a research director for an interdisciplinary research program at Oslo University College within Culture, Communication and Urban Studies.

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