Tone Olaf Nielsen
Tone Olaf Nielsen (b. 1967) is a Copenhagen-based independent curator, whose practice is based on a firm belief in the ability of artistic and curatorial work to contribute to social and political transformation. With projects such as Democracy When?! Activist Strategizing in Los Angeles (LACE, Los Angeles, 2002) and Minority Report: Challenging Intolerance in Contemporary Denmark (different locations in Aarhus, Denmark, 2004), Nielsen has made significant contributions to the politically engaged 'project exhibition' of the late 1990s–early 2000s, advancing a conception of the curated exhibition as a transnational-transdisciplinary platform from where to address the root causes of social, economic, and environmental inequities and to present other ways of organizing the world.
In 2005, she formed the transnational feminist curatorial collective, Kuratorisk Aktion, with feminist curator Frederikke Hansen. Working internationally out of Copenhagen, Kuratorisk Aktion produces exhibitions, publications, and discussions that probe into the complex relations between historical colonialism and capitalist globalization from a postcolonial-transnational feminist perspective. In projects such as Rethinking Nordic Colonialism: A Postcolonial Exhibition Project in Five Acts (different locations in the Nordic region, 2006), The Road to Mental Decolonization (Tromsø Gallery of Contemporary Art, Norway, 2008-10), Metropolitan Repressions (SUM: Magazine for Contemporary Art, # 4, 2009), TUPILAKOSAURUS: Pia Arke's Issue with Art, Ethnicity, and Colonialism, 1981-2006 (different art and cultural history museum venues in Copenhagen, Nuuk, and Umeå, 2010), and Troubling Ireland: A Cross-Borders Think Tank for Artists and Curators Engaged in Social Change (different locations in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, 2010-11), the collective has involved artists, theorists, and activists from across the globe in on-site investigations into neocolonial structures of exploitation and postcolonial legacies of resistance, conviviality, and sustainability. Since 2010, Nielsen has also worked as Program Coordinator in the Trampoline House, a user-driven refugee justice community center for refugees and other residents of Denmark working together for a just and humane refugee and asylum policy, that she co-established with artists Morten Goll and Joachim Hamou in collaboration with more than 100 asylum seekers and migration justice activists in reaction to Denmark's strict immigration law and asylum system.
Nielsen holds a Cand.Phil. in Art History from the University of Copenhagen (1994) and an MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies from UCLA (2002). From 2005-06, she was curator at NIFCA, Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art in Helsinki (together with Frederikke Hansen as Kuratorisk Aktion), and from 2007-11, she was Lecturer in Applied Theory at Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Arts, Norway.
Tone Olaf Nielsen at the DAI:
Roaming Academy / goes New York