On 6 October 2011, the exhibition Strange and Close opens at the CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux in France. This exhibition features works drawn from recent purchases of the Van Abbemuseum together with a few important guests. Strange and Close begins with the encounter between CAPC Bordeaux/FR and Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven/NL, two provincial art institutions with illustrious local histories. CAPC invited Van Abbemuseum as they would usually invite an artist. The Van Abbemuseum responded with a project that becomes an exhibition about the fraught but essential negotiations at the heart of relations between neighbours – the strange and close tension that defines proximity. The show is a new version of the eponymous exhibition that was part of Play Van Abbe in the Van Abbemuseum from November 2009 until March 2010.
The exhibition includes works of the Van Abbemuseum collection by Marjetica Potrč, Dan Peterman, Yael Bartana, Artur Żmijewski, Chto Delat?, Daniza Dakic, Harun Farocki, Michal Heiman, Aydan Murtezaoglu, Erzen Shokololi, Akram Zaatari, Nedko Solakov and Hüseyin Alptekin. Works by Absalon from the CAPC collection and new works made for the exhibition by Morrocan artist Ivan Boccara and French artist Laurent Mareschal will complement the exhibition.
The exhibition is organized as part of EVENTO, a festival of arts in the city of Bordeaux curated by the Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. A work of his in the Van Abbemuseum collection will be included in the exhibition. The exhibition is on view until 12 February 2012.
Strange and Close
The title of the exhibition comes from a terrible description of a breakdown in society that was delivered by philosopher Homi Bhabha in the Van Abbemuseum in 2007. For him, ‘strange and close’ is a way to understand the essential aspect of being neighbours. For the exhibition, the title also offers a way to think about the relationships between the viewers and the artworks, as objects of their gaze. Strange and Close is an entangled exhibition in which art, archives, histories and futures are mixed and reformed. It asks how relationships across the globe and in the city changed with the processes of globalization that mark our current time. What animosities and competitions emerge? How do artists across the globe react? How do city societies reflect their histories and come to terms with other values and ways of seeing the world?
Could we agree with Bhabha that ‘strange and close’ describes the nature of the critical relationship that binds us together human beings and goes beyond city, nation or continent? Could it define our contemporary entanglements with others of all kinds – people, images, objects, histories and environments? Is it the experience we might look for when we look at art?
This exhibition features works drawn from recent purchases of the Van Abbemuseum together with a few important guests. The main Grand Nef of the CAPC is turned into a new neighbourhood of Bordeaux, a place where different institutions, dwellings and individuals collide. Architectural artworks by Marjetica Potrč, Dan Peterman, Yael Bartana and Artur Żmijewski as well as Absalon from the CAPC collection will define part of the space.