Is there any hope left for the traditional art-museum? Lately, there has been a lot of academic and artistic critique on museums by artists and academics, saying they are problematic institutes claiming false objectivity. In the last couple of years, the power of museums seems to have increased thanks to blockbuster exhibitions and a growing stream of visiting tourists. During this Current Practice, we will examine the contemporary relationship between the museum and the makers. How do artists playfully use the rules and systems of the museum in their work? The speakers will be challenged to share their visions and wishes for the future: what would the museum of the future look like if it was up to them?
With amongst others:
Recent studies have shown that, when asked, ‘the greater public’ views the museum as the most reliable source of information, compared to other media. The number of visitors that visit famous museums like Van Gogh was never this high and budgets are on the rise. In the midst of these developments, a new generation of artists emerged, using the museum as a medium. They focus on the presentation of art and create their own systems by swapping the museum’s rigid traditions for their own associations. By doing this, they’ve been able to playfully apply the codes and rules of the institution within their own work.
Steven ten Thije
Last year, art historian, conservator and author Steven ten Thije wrote the publication ‘The Emancipated Museum’ commissioned by the Mondriaan Fund. In this essay, he explains how ‘the tensions between high and low, newcomers and natives, poor and rich are slowly nesting in the foundations of the museum’. How can art museums be part of a new emancipation movement in the future and become a meeting place? During Current Practice he will share his vision in a short lecture. Besides his work as author Ten Thije is also connected to the Van Abbemuseum as conservator and coordinator of the European museum confederation L’Internationale. He is also currently doing a PhD at the University of Hildesheim about the transformation of the role of the curator in the 20th century.
The founders of the contemporary art platform Unfair, Peter van der Es and Adam Nillissen, will share an introduction to the theme of “Ordering about Art”, in which they will use a wide variety of sources and examples ranging from Youtube videos to the most innovative artists.
The work of Tim Hollander reflects on the (re)presentation of contemporary art and exhibitions. His installations and books play with the unwritten rules of the art world, in a humorous and conceptual way. What does, and what doesn’t, belongs to the art space? By doing so he reveals the infrastructure of an exhibition-space. In 2014 Hollander graduated from the University of Arts Utrecht (HKU) where he was a recipient of the Jan Zumbrink Award for his graduation work. Last year he participated in a residency at the Jan van Eyck, combining the roles of the artist, curator and spatial designer in his group exhibition When Attitudes Become Multiform.
Vincent van Velsen
Vincent van Velsen (1987) is a writer, critic and curator with a background in art and architectural history. He writes regularly for individual artists, institutions and magazines. For Castrum Peregrini he curated the exhibition exclude/include. Alternate Histories which questioned history as a lineair comprehensive narrative and the power structures that are behind its shaping. Furthermore he, among others, has curated exhibitions for Framer Framed and Museum Flehite. In collaboration with Alix de Massiac, he won the second edition of the curatorial prize of the Dutch Association of Corporate Collections (VBCN, 2014). Next to his extensive freelance practice, Van Velsen is currently a member of the programming committee of Kunsthuis SYB and the boards of De Appel and Frontier Imaginaries. He is also an editor of Dutch contemporary art magazine Metropolis M. In 2015/16 he was a resident at the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht. In 2014 he wrote a much talked about article published by Metropolis M focusing on the position and workings of non-western art in The Netherlands. During Ordering about Art Vincent will go into conversation with Alexis Blake to talk about their experiences, views and practices concerning the museum.
Alexis Blake has a multidisciplinary practice that coalesces visual art and performance through various methods of translation such as: choreography, sculpture, video, and text. In doing so she explores the notion of movement and the subjectification of the body, and creates spaces to expose and elude systems of representation. Her work Conditions of an Ideal is a prime example; this choreographic work explores national collective identity vs personal expression through democratic movements, principles of balance and perceptions of the ideal human form. Often in her practice, parts of the process are collaborative. She has worked with dancers, musicians, philosophers, social workers, activists, writers and designers. She has presented in the British Museum, Rijksmuseum, ExtraCity, TENT., Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Viafarini, and the Milan XXI Triennale. In 2007, she received an MA in Fine Art from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, NL. She was an artist in residence at Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht 2014-2015 and in 2016 was in residency at the Delfina Foundation, London, UK. During Ordering about Art she will go into conversation with Vincent van Velsen to talk about their experiences, views and practices concerning the museum.