Article | Kultur~Natur: Konferens för kulturstudier i Sverige; Conference in Sweden 15–17 June 2009 | Noetic Norden: assembling and dissembling the art of ‘the north’

Title:
Noetic Norden: assembling and dissembling the art of ‘the north’
Author:
Stuart Burch: Nottingham Trent University, UK
Download:
Full text (pdf)
Year:
2009
Conference:
Kultur~Natur: Konferens för kulturstudier i Sverige; Conference in Sweden 15–17 June 2009
Issue:
040
Article no.:
029
Pages:
333-338
No. of pages:
6
Publication type:
Abstract and Fulltext
Published:
2009-10-26
Series:
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):
1650-3686
ISSN (online):
1650-3740
Publisher:
Linköping University Electronic Press; Linköpings universitet


The following paper begins to explore the concept of ‘the north’ (or ‘Norden’) as an organising principle in the fine arts. This supposedly geographically delineable and stylistically identifiable category has been established through a lengthy and ongoing sequence of temporary; travelling exhibitions. The informal series began in 1982 with Brooklyn Museum’s ‘Northern light: realism and symbolism in Scandinavian painting; 1880–1910’. Variations on this regional theme have continued ever since; with the most recent manifestation being ‘A mirror of nature: Nordic landscape painting; 1840–1910’. That these titles feature two similar; but not identical terms to characterise ‘the north’ – Scandinavian; Nordic – is reveal-ing. So too is the fact that; whilst the earlier of the two included portraits and domestic interiors; the latter focused entirely on landscapes. And it is this genre more than any other that is said to be synonymous with the art of ‘the north’. But whilst this might arguably be true of works produced at the end of the nineteenthcentury; is there such a thing as ‘Nordic art’ today? And; if so; what is its style; subject and medium?

Such questions were raised; but not answered; by the contemporary art exhibition; ‘Five Nordic women artists’ held in Liverpool in the autumn of 2008. Whilst a discernable ‘Nordic dimension’ was aesthetically absent; ‘the north’ as an organising principle was not. For this is a category wholly constructed by institutions and organisations that operate under the guise of ‘the north’. Using a range of examples I will seek to argue that ‘the north’ is; in cultural terms at least; a noetic phenomenon: an abstract or intellectual concept made powerfully real by being objectified in museums; depicted in galleries and named in catalogues; many of which carry the logos of such funders as the Nordic Council; the Norden Association or; last but not least; ‘Nordic Spaces’ – the consortium that fittingly provided the grant for this paper.

Kultur~Natur: Konferens för kulturstudier i Sverige; Conference in Sweden 15–17 June 2009

Author:
Stuart Burch
Title:
Noetic Norden: assembling and dissembling the art of ‘the north’
References:

Ahtola-Moorhouse; Leena; Edam; Carl Tomas & Schreiber; Birgitta (eds.) (1986) Dreams of a summer night: Scandinavian painting at the turn of the century; London; Hayward Gal-lery.


Billig; Michael (1995) Banal nationalism; London; Sage.


Billings; Scott (2008) ‘Brand and deliver’; Museums journal; 03.12; viewed 10.06.09; http://www.scottbillings.co.uk/?p=38.


CAA (2008) ‘The project’; Carnegie art award; viewed 27.10.08; http://www.carnegieartaward.com/project.asp?Year=2008.


Colley; Linda (2009) ‘Rank and file’; Guardian; 16.05; viewed 10.06.09; http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2009/may/16/picturing-social-order-ngot-sunder-land-class-divisions.


Götz; Norbert (2003) ‘Norden: structures that do not make a region’; European review of history; vol. 10; No. 2; summer; pp. 323–341.


Gunnarsson; Torsten et al (2006) A mirror of nature: Nordic landscape painting 1840–1910; Copenhagen; Statens Museum for Kunst.


Hamelin; Louis-Edmond (1979) Canadian Nordicity: it’s your north; too; Montreal; Harvest House.


Hill; Charles C. (1975) Canadian painting in the thirties; Ottawa; National Gallery of Canada.


Hultén; Pontus (1982) ‘Little history and explanation’; in Sleeping beauty – art now; New York; Guggenheim Museum.


Instone; Lesley (2009) ‘Northern belongings: frontiers; fences; and identities in Australia’s urban north’; Environment and planning A; vol. 41; pp. 827–841.


Kristensen; Julia (2007) ‘Do we have contemporary Nordic art?’; Kiasma magazine; vol. 10; no. 36; pp. 9–10.


Lindberg; Annie (2008) ‘Svenska kvinnliga landskapsmålare och düsseldorfmåleriet vid 1800-talets mitt’; Högskolan i Halmstad; viewed 10.06.09; https://dspace.hh.se/dspace/handle/2082/2877.


OED (2009) ’Noetic’ (adj. & noun); Oxford English Dictionary; draft revision; September 2009; viewed 01.10.2009; http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/00325738.


Nordic Culture Point (c. 2007) ‘The Art and Culture Programme’; viewed 27.10.2008; http://www.kknord.org/?pageID=36&lang=eng.
337


Nordic Spaces (2007–11) National History – Nordic Culture: Negotiating identity in muse-ums; http://www.nordicspaces.eu & http://webappl.web.sh.se/nordicspaces.


Stenius; Henrik (1997) ‘The good life is a life of conformity: the impact of Lutheran tradition on Nordic political culture’; in Sørensen; Øystein & Stråth; Bo (eds.) The cultural con-struction of Norden; Oslo; 1997; pp. 161–171.


Stenius; Henrik (2003) ‘State; citizenship and civil society’; in Götz; Norbert & Hackmann; Jörg (eds.) Civil society in the Baltic sea region; Aldershot; 2003; pp. 17–25.


Uglow; Jenny (2009) ‘Thomas Bewick; artist of the north’; talk given on 16.05 to accompany the exhibition ‘Thomas Bewick Tale-pieces’ (Ikon Gallery; Birmingham; 08.04 – 25.05.2009).


UN (1965) Agreement concerning a joint Nordic pavilion at the Venice Biennale; 23 July; United Nations Treaty Series; Vol. 955; 1–13692; pp. 422–423; viewed 27.10.2008; http://untreaty.un.org/unts/1_60000/26/23/00051102.pdf.


Varnedoe; Kirk (1982) Northern light: realism and symbolism in Scandinavian painting; 1880–1910; New York; Brooklyn Museum.

Kultur~Natur: Konferens för kulturstudier i Sverige; Conference in Sweden 15–17 June 2009

Author:
Stuart Burch
Title:
Noetic Norden: assembling and dissembling the art of ‘the north’
Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
Citations:
No citations available at the moment