Acts of Non-Aggression - Plug In #46

Plug In #46. Foto Peter Cox
Plug In #46. Foto Peter Cox
Plug In #46. Foto Peter Cox

Acts of Non-Aggression Plug In #46

20/09/2008 - 15/11/2009
Opening: 04/10/2008 15:00

During the preparations for the Be(com)ing Dutch exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum in 2007, Canadian art historian and art theorist Shepherd Steiner held a workshop. Steiner is famed for his ‘close reading’, a method of reading an artwork by taking the object itself as starting point and guiding principle, and carrying out a meticulous visual analysis. Impressed by the results of this study method, the Van Abbemuseum invited him to make a presentation. Never having curated an exhibition before, Steiner was very interested in this experiment. ‘Plug In #46 Acts of Non-Aggression’ is the result.

Steiner wrote the text for his presentation in order to shed light on the theoretical and philosophical presuppositions that underpin his variable approach to individual artworks. This approach is expressed in the text as well as in the presentation itself, in the visual similarities and dissimilarities between the works on display. As the information text has to be literally unfolded so, too, do the various relationships and levels of knowledge figuratively unfold in the composition of the text, into a central text, an appendix and footnotes. The books on the shelf literalize the presence of a theory on the act. The richness and the density of ideas and references are mirrored in the concentration of works in the gallery, with the bay window being given the function of appendix to the text. The longer you look, the more you see...

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