This blog recently posted an article on Henrik Placht, to which he has taken offense. The details of the disagreement run as follows:
This blog has written that Henrik Placht has a gallery in Nablus, and that this gallery has received financial support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr.Placht replies that 1) he has no gallery in Nablus, and 2) has received no funding from the MFA.
Regarding the first point, Placht’s gallery in Nablus, we find the following:
Palestinakomiteen writes: Placht er mellom anna kjend for å ha etablert eit eige palestinsk kunsstakademi i Ramallah, which translates into: “Placht is among other known for having established his own Palestinian art academy in Ramallah“.
Regarding the second point, MFA support, we find the following Aftenposten article covering the issue: Ny kunstgiv i Ramallah by Thorleif Andreassen, in which we can read:
…norske UD har bevilget ni millioner kroner fordelt på tre år til opprettelsen av International Academy of Art Ramallah IAAR. – For palestinske kunstnere er etableringen av det første kunstakademiet i Palestina en 30 år gammel drøm som går i oppfyllelse, sier initiativtager og prosjektleder Henrik Placht ved Fakultetet for visuell kunst ved Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo, IAARs samarbeidspartner.
Which translates into: “Norway’s MFA has provided nine million kroner over three years for the establishment of International Academy of Art Ramallah IAAR. – For Palestinian artists the establishment of the first art academy in Palestine is the fulfillment of a 30 year old dream, says initiator and project leader Henrik Placht at the Faculty of visual art at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts“.
Furthermore, Henrik Placht states the following on his own website:
Kindly supported by
- 2008 Office for contemporary art Norway, OCA (The Jerusalem Show 0.1)
- 2006 The Norwegian government 3 year studio/working grant for young artists
- 2005 Office for Contemporary Art Norway, OCA (curator, Ramallah)
- 2004 Office for Contemporary Art Norway, OCA (curator, New York)
- 2003 Ministry of Foreign Affaires, for Ramallah project
- 2003 Norwegian Council for Cultural Affaires
- 2002 NIFCA, Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art
It appears that Henrik Placht, if not an employee of the state, certainly is somewhat of a puppet for it.
Henrik Placht is therefore partly correct in his criticism. He does not have a gallery in Nablus, as we erroneously wrote, but was the initiator behind a art academy in Ramallah. Concerning financial support from the MFA, Aftenposten writes that the MFA contributed with NOK 9 million. If that too is erroneous, Placht will have to contact Aftenposten.
We will alter our article on Placht in accordance with the above. We have also requested that Henrik Placht refrain from comparing Israel to nazi-Germany without any evidence. If Henrik Placht should feel unfairly treated, we suggest that he contact Dag Herbjørnsrud in Ny Tid or Lars Akerhaug in Aftenposten. Neither of them have any reason to love this blog, and both will sympathize with Placht’s feelings about this blog being “bullshit”.