Curator and art historian based in Tromsø and Bergen, Norway.
PhD fellow in Artistic Research in Curating, at UiT/KMD
mail [@] espenjohansen [.] art
Espen Johansen (b. 1985 in Bergen, Norway) is an art historian, curator and writer based in Tromsø and Bergen. He is currently doing a PhD in Artistic Research as a curator at Tromsø Academy of Art, and holds an MA in Art History from the University of Bergen (2011), a degree in Creative Curating from the Bergen Academy of Art and Design (2014), and a post-master in ‘Negotiating Artistic Value: Art and Architecture in the Public Sphere’ from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm (2020).
Previously Johansen has worked as curator for Northern Norway Art Museum, interim director for Kabuso Art Center, curator for the graduation show for Bergen Academy of Art and Design, assistant curator for Bergen Kunsthall, and project manager for Bergen Assembly. Curatorial projects include Monument. Vestlandsutstillingen's centennial edition, Sandra Vaka – Jugs, Daniel Gustav Cramer – five days, Terence Koh – sticks, stones and bones, Tora Endestad Bjørkheim, Bjørn-Henrik Lybeck, and the group show Nabolag which he curated together with Tag Team Studio, where different artists made site-specific works in the area Danmarksplass in Bergen.
His curatorial practice stems from investigations into the potency of art as an alternative communicative device in our mediatized society, particularly focusing on art in the public space and the power structures of the public sphere; who gets to say what and how? His exhibition projects are usually developed over long time in close dialog with the artist and results in new productions. Johansen has previously curated both solo and group exhibitions, as well as interventions and temporary artworks in public space. He has been art theory lecturer at Bergen School of Art for several years and contributed with texts to multiple publications and art magazines.
My work is made possible through generous funding from KORO, Forart, the City of Bergen, and the Arts Council Norway.