Mariann Enge is interim acting editor of Kunstkritikk. She takes over the chair after Jonas Ekeberg, who headed the journal for two periods since 2009, interrupted by a fifteen-month research sabbatical between 2013–15. The vacancy was announced in November last year.
“In a transitional period like this, my role is to ensure continuity and composure in our editorial divisions,” says Enge. “Kunstkritikk is by no means a solo project, and I take over a pan-Nordic editorial organisation with plenty of experience and professional commitment,” she continues.
The chair of the Kunstkritikk Foundation, Bente Riise, asserts that the hiring process is not delayed: “The nomination committee will deliver its recommendation to the board, and it is not ready yet. We want to carry out a thorough process and take the time we need. I cannot comment on exactly when a new editor will take over the reins, but in the meantime Kunstkritikk is in safe hands.” According to Riise, the nomination committee has interviewed several qualified applicants. She does not wish to divulge the number of applicants, but says that re-advertising the position again at this time is unnecessary.
Mariann Enge (1971) is a literary scholar and has been associated with Kunstkritikk since 2009, when she served as acting editor for a period of six months. Since the autumn of 2009, Enge has held the position of editorial secretary at Kunstkritikk.
You know the journal well. Can you describe its development through the years?
The journal was launched by the Norwegian Critics’ Association in 2003 with a view to revitalising Norwegian art criticism and art discourse. The first period was informed by a keen will towards experimentation and a dynamic impetus involving people from many different disciplines, a strong focus on developing our writers, and not least a completely different atmosphere in the comments field. During my previous term as acting editor, I would sometimes lie awake at night, musing on some of the comments.
Since then, Kunstkritikk has become a more professional set-up. We have become a foundation and have expanded greatly, with both Nordic and international editions. I have been involved throughout the entire process of growth and know the operations well. That is part of the reason why I feel I can take on the role as acting editor.
For the time being, Stian Gabrielsen will continue in an expanded role as Norwegian editor, and Pernille Albrethsen and Frans Josef Petersson will continue as Danish and Swedish editors, respectively.
It is important for me to recognise Kunstkritikk’s polyvocal nature, and I believe we can build further on this. I will endeavour to promote the greatest possible sense of ownership for the journal among its editors and writers. Other than that, many of my responsibilities will be administrative.
What kind of projects and challenges will Kunstkritikk face in the near future?
The main task is to cultivate and further develop art criticism as such, a task which shows no signs of growing less important in the future. Working to be able to provide good working conditions for critics, to develop strong critical voices and projects, is essential for us. At the same time, we will continue to offer comments, interviews, and news from the art field. Art criticism is not the only thing being cut from newspapers these days; there is a general lack of informed and critical cultural journalism. As a Nordic art journal, Kunstkritikk holds a unique position in this regard.This spring, Kunstkritikk will publish a series of essays on the 2010s in Nordic art. Furthermore, the Kunstkritikk Live concept will continue, hosting three panel discussions this spring: one in Oslo, one in Stockholm, and one in Copenhagen.
We will also continue the international edition. We saw a readership increase of over two hundred per cent at kunstkritikk.com in 2019, which reaffirms our conviction that there is a need for Kunstkrikk to be available in English.