PRAKSIS Open Call

PRAKSIS Open Call

From the city of Oslo, it takes just over thirty minutes by train to reach the small village of Blaker, where the archive of the artist Guttorm Guttormsgaard (b. 1938) occupies the former dairy. A visit to the archive is a paradoxical and absolutely modern experience: the commonplace becomes uncommon, the exceptional like the everyday. Here, individual outsiders and collective life-forms – ‘art of known and unknown origins’ – are documented: masters such as El Lissitzky, Hannah Ryggen and Hokusai are ‘archived’ alongside works of art produced by Soviet prisoners of war during the Second World War, steel-wire artefacts made by ‘tatere’ (Scandinavian travellers of Romani origins) in order to earn a living, hand-drawn Korans and Coptic bibles, Indian bronze figures, African masks and Greenlandic newspapers. The archive invites intense concen­tration and potentially endless digressions, and it is a space where forms of art and life broker new alliances. If at first glance it seems difficult to see any unifying principle underpinning the archive, the motto of the project indicates the existential and political driving force behind it all: it is a question of “documenting necessary impulses to keep one’s spirits up.”

For PRAKSIS's tenth residency, The Collective Subject of History, a group of locally and internationally based residents will have the rare opportunity to explore the potential of the archive. Applications are now being accepted from individuals with relevant interest and experience across disciplines, including but not exclusively: artists, writers, curators, art historians, sociologists, anthropologists, designers, and activists. Successful applicants have the chance to work in-depth with the archive either individually or collectively. Artist/archivist Guttorm Guttormsgaard and art historian/curator Ellef Prestsæter will be available to share their rich knowledge of the archive throughout the residency.

They want to explore the potential of the archive as a starting point for narrative. More specifically they want to take the archive as a site for the remaking of collective histories. If the search for historical truth leads to “dizzying ambiguity, [and] if time is nothing but indeterminacy and flux,” as Susan Buck-Morss claims, then why don’t we simply make up the past according to our own convenience? And, if one were to do so, who or what would be the collective subject of history? If given the opportunity to be such a history-teller, how does one make relevant the collective memories, personal narratives, inner worlds, stories, and protagonists located within the margins of history? Furthermore, would this reconstruction of the past ever challenge current historiography – its methods of inclusion and omission? Lastly, what could such an attempt add to future processes of history making?


PRAKSIS residencies are structured around the interests and needs of their participants. Bringing together a community that shares common interests through the theme is the first step in creating a beneficial working environment. The particular form that the residency then takes is developed collectively through discussion once the group comes together. Each member of the group is encouraged to discuss why they applied and what they hope to get out of their time with PRAKSIS. Whether members work autonomously or in collaboration is up to the participants. Residents are expected to be able work independently and be comfortable in a group setting.

The residency will be geared towards the production of an exhibition to be held at the archive in September 2018. In addition to this PRAKSIS and Guttormsgaard’s Archive will organise a series of related activities and events. Residents are welcomed to suggest/lead an action that will both offer insight into and benefit, their own background, interests or methodologies. Participants are also encouraged to contribute towards a shared reading list in advance of the residency, as well as to suggest films for potential screening during the residency itself. The residency will be divided in two sessions:

  • Session 1 (25 June -8 July) offers time working with the archive and pursuing individually and collectively identified lines of inquiry.
  • Session 2 (7 – 21 September) will focus on the dissemination of outcomes from the first session (in whatever forms are suitable - for example through exhibition, symposium, publications, online platforms etc.). 

Please note that accommodation will be provided for non-locally based participants during these two session but not in the period between.

This residency is multidisciplinary: applications are welcomed from anyone with relevant experience and interests. PRAKSIS aims to provide an environment for development and professional growth: applications are welcome across generation and experience level. Places are available for 1 non-local resident and up to 6 locally-based residents to work alongside Elvira Dyangani Ose. This residency offers comfortable accommodation for non-Oslo based residents in Blaker. Local residents will continue to live at their usual address. The residency community will regularly come together at the archive and at PRAKSIS's space in Oslo, and at organised events and meals. Weekly meals will bring the residency community together for discussion, debate and friendship. While the residency is free and offers accommodation and meals, PRAKSIS regrets that they cannot offer transport costs. However their team is happy to advise on and support applications for external grants wherever possible.

On week days PRAKSIS will provide lunch at the working space. Dinners for all residents with invited guests will be held weekly. Oslo has a vibrant and adventurous arts landscape. PRAKSIS will provide residents with information and links to the city’s cultural scene, informing them about exhibitions, talks, performances and other events. PRAKSIS seeks wherever possible to connect participants with relevant organisations and individuals in Oslo. PRAKSIS residencies aims to introduce the residency community to Oslo creatives in various spheres including among others: curators, writers, and artists.

Activities and events will be mainly held at PRAKSIS’s space in central Oslo. At the start of the residency, participants are invited to make a presentation, informally introducing themselves and their practice to the rest of the group. Other activities include residency related visits, a tour of Oslo's galleries, networking events, discussions and group critiques – some open to the public. A screening/seminar event will address issues surrounding the residency theme. English is the common language at PRAKSIS and residencies must be sufficiently fluent to participate in group discussion and activity. 

PRAKSIS offers a stipend of 3000 NOK (€315 on 22/03/18) to participants based abroad.

The deadline for applying is 22nd April. Please submit:

  • A completed application form. They kindly request that you send a PDF version of the application.
  • Recent CV/resume.
  • Portfolio (only one PDF file). Up to 5 images. The images should include captions or short descriptions.  For videos/films, please provide links to your own website, Vimeo page, YouTube page, etc. Do not attach actual video files.
  • Application fee towards administrative costs of 70 NOK (€7.20 as of 10/01/18). Alternatively you may pay by PayPal. Please contact info@praksisoslo.org for details.

Please submit only electronic copies of the above in ONE email under 5 MB to:  residency10@praksisoslo.org In the subject line of your email, please write your name and country of residence per the following order:  Last Name, First Name, Country.