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Antonio Cataldo will begin working as the dean of the Academy of Fine Art on 1 August 2024.Photo: © Fin Serck-Hanssen
Antonio Cataldo will begin working as the dean of the Academy of Fine Art on 1 August 2024.Photo: © Fin Serck-Hanssen

Antonio Cataldo to Serve as Dean of the Academy of Fine Art

Antonio Cataldo has been appointed the new dean of the Academy of Fine Art at KHiO, after having previously worked as the director of Fotogalleriet in Oslo. The position is for a fixed term of four years.

“With the appointment of Antonio Cataldo, KHiO gets an internationally oriented and ambitious dean who can continue the work of developing the Academy of Fine Art’s unique position, with its multinational students and staff,” says Marianne Skjulhaug, the rector of KHiO. “He is particularly well connected and oriented within the field of art, both in Norway and abroad.”

Antonio Cataldo completed his PhD in curatorial studies in 2022 at the University of Reading and the Zurich University of the Arts, even while serving as the director of Fotogalleriet, the oldest art gallery in the Nordic region dedicated to photography, which he joined in 2018. During his six years at Fotogalleriet, he helped strengthen the gallery as a prominent voice in Oslo and create a more open meeting space that reflects the diverse makeup of modern-day Norway. In recognition of this work, Cataldo was asked to become the new chair of the Association of Norwegian Kunsthalles, an umbrella organisation whose aim is to promote Norwegian art galleries and cultivate international networks.

Why did you want to become the new dean of the Academy of Fine Art?

“Contemporary art and the role it plays in society have undergone a sea change in recent years. I am convinced that in order to reflect these changes and prepare contemporary art for the future, we need a fresh start within education. The Academy of Fine Art has an internationally recognised staff of teachers, and I think the academy is the perfect place to reevaluate both art education’s strategic framework for producing and exhibiting art, as well as what kind of art we want to see in the future, both locally and internationally.”

What kind of contribution can you make?

“I’ve been involved in the field of contemporary art for nearly twenty years now, and I’ve studied art since I was fourteen. Recently, I have worked on structures and strategically reassessed the field of art in practice and theory, and I’ve coordinated my ideas and activities with international practitioners and institutions that have reshaped the field. I have also sought to expand collaborations in order to show how art has a role to play in society and to welcome new artistic practices into the exhibition space. I will now look at such issues from the other side, the educational one, and continue to reevaluate which voices enter the field and why.

I look forward to sharing my acquired knowledge with good colleagues at the Academy of Fine Art. Art is a key component of socially important issues and is present in everyone’s life, whether consciously or unconsciously. My ambitions include recognising and incorporating contemporary art and its social responsibility into educational structures, and making these intersections both visible and accessible.”

What will you primarily focus on as the dean?

“The dean’s role is to be a strategist within the field. It is about ensuring that the Academy of Fine Art delivers the highest standard to the field, both nationally and internationally. The role will be about supporting the practical and theoretical infrastructure so that students, the department and professors all feel taken care of within an enriching support structure, so that we can promote a continuous and common rethinking of the field and create the type of new and alternative knowledge that only contemporary art – which has always challenged social barriers – can provide.”

Cataldo, who is originally from Italy, began his career in Norway in 2010 as the head of publication and archives at the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), where he later worked as the senior programme manager and as a curator, including as the co-curator of the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Prior to that he worked as a researcher and teacher at the Iuav University of Venice. As an academic, he has taught courses at the Zurich University of the Arts and held lectures at several academies and international events, including in conjunction with the public programme at d ocumenta in Kassel. He has also edited several books published by Koenig Books, Sternberg Press, Fotogalleriet, OCA and Kehrer.

“We look forward to Antonio taking his place as part of KHiO’s energetic and capable management,” says Rector Marianne Skjulhaug.

Antonio Cataldo will begin working as the dean of the Academy of Fine Art on 1 August 2024.