Becoming More 19 May: On Experience and Choices - Friday 19 May


Becoming More 19 May: On Experience and Choices Friday 19 May

10:30 - 17:30
Convened by Iris Kensmil

Locations: Auditorium Van Abbemuseum and Designhuis (Stadhuisplein 3)
Convened by: Iris Kensmil
Speakers: Jessica de Abreu, Karin Amatmoekrim, Sinan Cankaya, Ernestine Comvalius, Mitchell Esajas, Paul Goodwin, Wayne Modest, Andre Reeder, Simone Zeefuik.

On Experiences and Choices is a series of talks and discussions convened by the artist Iris Kensmil, that addresses the experiences and cultural contexts of black emancipation struggles in the Netherlands. Significant national and international voices from multiple disciplines speak to the undoing of long-held institutional, racial, geo- and bio-political formations, hierarchies and modes of working, in a day that draws from multiple bodies of knowledge to generate and fulfill the potential of a de-colonial world.


11:00 Introduction
11:10 Ernestine Comvalius & Andre Reeder
11:35 Mitchell Esajas & Jessica de Abreu (in Dutch)
12:00 Audience discussion
12:20 Close

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

13:30 Karin Amatmoekrim (in Dutch)
14:00 Respondent Sinan Cankaya
14:15 Audience discussion
14:30 Paul Goodwin (in English)
15:00 Respondent: Wayne Modest
15:15 - 15:30 Audience discussion

15:30 - 15:45 Break

15:45 Simone Zeefuik (lecture 30 min + 30 min tour of areas of the collection in the museum)

17:00 Close

18:00 Dinner at Designhuis (Stadhuisplein 3)

20:00 Screening I Am Not Your Negro (2016) directed by Raoul Peck (1.33 min) at the Designhuis (Stadhuisplein 3)

I Am Not Your Negro is a 2016 American documentary film directed by Raoul Peck, based on James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript, Remember This House. Narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, the film explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin's reminiscences of civil rights leaders Medgar EversMalcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr, as well as his personal observations of American history. It received an Academy award nomination for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards.

Becoming More playlist

Lectures Ernestine Comvalius & Andre Reeder - Mitchell Esajas & Jessica de Abreu


Tickets for this programme are €10,- including lunch and dinner. Order your ticket here.

Live blog Becoming More on Open!

DAI’s Open! COOP Academy Publishing Class will provide live coverage of the symposia taking place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 19, 20, 21 at the Van Abbemuseum's auditorium. You can follow them on their live blog.

Other events and projects


DAI Curating Positions Class

Becoming more…porous, resonant, supportive, coherent, tactile, entangled, animal…

For Becoming More…, the Curating Positions seminar group have worked on a series of interventions into the Van Abbemuseum responding to the senses in order to question the historical prioritisation of the scopic within histories of art and museology. The projects seek to open up other ways of sensing the museum and to alter the existing patterns, routines and relations between those engaged in it.

Absence Takes Shape  (DAI Curating Positions Class #1) 

Location: The Foyer, Van Abbemuseum
Clementine Edwards, Maike Hemmers, Sanne Kabalt

Absence Takes Shape presents the Van Abbemuseum visitor with a ribbon - a material memento of a feminist conversation between three Dutch Art Institute students. Their exchange is about the absence and presence of craft in the museum as well as the tender and violent aspects of touch.

“The Elephant in the Room” (DAI Curating Positions Class # 2) 

Location: Room B2, Van Abbemuseum
Alejandro Ceron, Leon Filter, Mirjam Linschooten 

Since their emergence, museums have been excellent examples of a prestigious kind of microcosm: a site where beliefs about the order of the world and the individual’s place within it, are represented publicly. In museums, visitors enact a kind of ritual, interacting consciously or subconsciously with the museum’s structure, for example by following the institution’s narrative, or displaying a form of contemplation in front of artworks.

We propose to temporarily interrupt the sacred/ritual space of the Van Abbemuseum and the Caucus, by bringing in an animal as an agent of resistance and a critic of vision-based logic and ideological normalization of our (human) understanding of representation. As Jason Hribal suggests, turning the perspective around, thinking from below and not bringing it back to a theoretical discourse, but a methodology, is what we want to investigate as a “curating position” in relation to the caucus theme

“Becoming more” – in this case becoming more animal and less human (or to transcend what is human in that matter) in our perception of the museum.

Becoming More… Porous / A Porous Archive (DAI Curating Positions Class)                                     

Location: DIY Archive Van Abbemuseum
Baha Görkem Yalım

The inclusiveness of the museum as an institution is at the heart of many discussions surrounding the caucus (and indeed the aim of its progressive intent). The archive of a museum is a crucial node in its existing structure in relation to what that museum contains, acknowledges, refuses, claims invisible; how the museum connects, and what it connects-in-between. Imagining museum as a structure that remembers reaffirms the importance of archives as clarifiers of complexities where any position of remembrance is a political act. Archive as the memory of an institution decides what is yet to be memorised. So our question here is; What is it that a museum remembers? awaking the second question; If a museum can remember what it can/should dream of? A Porous Archive will be a place for suggesting this dream, and proposing a future.

Becoming More 19 May: On Experience and Choices is part of :

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