Photo courtesy Erling Kagge
Explorer, writer, and art collector Erling Kagge will be featured as this year’s Visionary speaker. The Stuart Regen Visionaries Series at the New Museum honors forward-thinking individuals in art, architecture, design, film, and related disciplines of contemporary culture. Now in its ninth year, the annual series spotlights innovators who shape intellectual life and the future of culture.
One of the world’s great explorers, Kagge is recognized for a number of extraordinary accomplishments. He was the first person to surmount the “three poles” (North Pole, South Pole, and the summit of Mount Everest); the first person to walk alone to the South Pole; and in 1990, with Børge Ousland, the first person to reach the North Pole unsupported. To complete the first unsupported expedition to the South Pole in 1992–93, Kagge covered 814 miles in fifty days, leading to a feature on the cover of TIME magazine. Kagge’s explorations have continued in new forms over the years: in 2010 he and urban historian Steve Duncan hiked through the sewers, subways, and water tunnels of New York, walking for five days from the Bronx, through Manhattan, to the Atlantic Ocean. After reaching the three poles, Kagge studied philosophy at Cambridge University, and in 1996 he founded the Oslo-based publishing house Kagge Forlag, which quickly became one of Norway’s leading book publishers. Kagge has written a number of books—translated into several languages—on exploration, philosophy, and art collecting, and has contributed to publications including the Guardian. Kagge is a leading collector of international contemporary art and Russian icons.
On Tuesday, November 28, Kagge will deliver his Visionary lecture in the New Museum Theater, in conjunction with the publication of his new book, Silence: In the Age of Noise (Pantheon Books, November 2017), an exploration of and meditation on silence through his own experiences and the observations of poets, artists, and explorers.
Previous Visionary honorees include essayist and critic Fran Lebowitz (in conversation with filmmaker Martin Scorsese) (2016); critic and author Hilton Als (2015); Darren Aronofsky, Academy Award–nominated director, screenwriter, and producer (in conversation with novelist and critic Lynne Tillman) (2014); Matthew Weiner, writer, director, and producer of Mad Men (in conversation with writer A.M. Homes) (2013); artist and architect Maya Lin (2012); Alice Waters, chef, author, activist, and proprietor of Chez Panisse Restaurant & Café (2011); Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia (2010); and legendary choreographer Bill T. Jones (2009), whose talk inaugurated this signature program.