In the third part of Play Van Abbe, the act of collecting falls under the spotlight. What does it mean to collect and keep works of art? What kind of world is perceived when viewing a collection? Who decides and why?
Part 3 of Play Van Abbe is about collecting as an archive of visual cultural memories. The museum maps out what a collection policy tells us about the time in which it is established. We also wonder what it means to collect ”political moments”; moments that give meaning to developments in our contemporary culture.
The exhibition gives you the chance to look again at a selection of works of the Van Abbemuseum and compare them with collections and archives created by artists. For them, collecting is a strategy for creating an image of the social situation in which they live.
Personal view on historical moments
The exhibition features artists who have tried to wrest the possibility to be political from the mechanisms of collecting. In many artworks, historical moments will be seen through a personal eye and well known (media) images are combined with personal diaries, documents, and photos. An example is the work by Sean Snyder that focuses on image production and the representation of war by the media. He attempts to reveal some fundamental questions of representation.
Given the lack of suitable institutes in some parts of the world that present a collective history, artists themselves are sometimes forced to create their own, partial, art narratives, archives and collections. They search for their own historical trajectories, piece together interrupted narratives and create their identities with these collections. The work of Zofia Kulik for example, of the KwieKulik duo, comprises the alternative story of (art in) Poland between the years 1971 and 1987. The Romanian artist Lia Perjovschi has been developing a subjective art historical index which grew into the Contemporary Art Archive/Centre for Analysis (CAA/CfA). View the index here.
Next to works by individual artists, some collections by institutions are scrutinized. Visitors can see the Van Abbemuseum collection in a new light, as the representative policies behind this collection are analysed. A part of the collection of the Contemporary Art Museum Palestine (CAMP) will be shown for the first time together with documentation on the motivations and possibilities for the future of a Palestinian museum. Another collection that falls under the spotlight is the Eindhoven BKR collection from the ICN (Instituut Collectie Nederland).
Programme opening 25/09/2010
16.00 – 16.45 Opening speech in the Auditorium by Kader Abdolah, the Iranian-Dutch writer and columnist, and Charles Esche, director Van Abbemuseum
16.00 – 18.00 Tours by special guest guides
17.00 – 19.00 KIOSK for Useful Knowledge: Narratives about Places, Cities, Territories. The Museum: Live-dialogue Nr.1 between Paul O’Neill and the Van Abbemuseum curator Annie Fletcher. The dialogue can be followed in room B0-06. Archived by Hannah Hurtzig/ Mobile Academy. Paul O’Neill is curator, artist and Research Fellow at Situations in Bristol.