Becoming More 24 May: “Practice against the Persistence of the Mercantile”  - Wednesday 24 May


Becoming More 24 May: “Practice against the Persistence of the Mercantile”  Wednesday 24 May

16:00 - 17:30
lecture Rachel O'Reilly

Location: Auditorium Van Abbemuseum
Speaker: Rachel O'Reilly

The North-South formatting of Enlightenment law and reason, and the colonial history of propertization, continue to impact what comes to count as artistic practice, curatorial exploit, and ethics of knowledge-gathering in the global field. This talk connects design products of the mercantile era - land/sea legal divisions, and the Torrens title-by-registration system of British colonial land law invented for Australia, now the preferred property titling regime of the IMF - to think through the persistence of ethnocidal and ecocidal logics in everyday cultural practice, and international art’s regimes of ‘autonomy’. What was Mercantilism? Did it ever end? How do art and curatorial practices – instituted or not – meet up with while working against neocolonial and dispossessive norms of production and comportment? Elaborating the position of a persistent curatorial post-coloniality and drawing from The Gas Imaginary’s artistic research, Rachel will think through the limits and possibilities of aesthetic exchange outside of eliminative ideals of a fully propertitised earth and free liquid seas. Poetry may be read.

Becoming More Playlist

Practice against the Persistence of the Mercantile - talk by Rachel O'Reilly

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.

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.

“Follow the Sound if You’re Myopic” (DAI Curating Positions Class #3)

Location: DIY Archive, Van Abbemuseum
Sergi Selvas, Joy Mariama Smith, Nika Timashkova, Baha Görkem Yalım

The institutional weight often swallows any counter-hegemonic discourse while it coopts its meaning and adapts its story to the current (political) agenda. How can we in this context ab-use in sense of Spivak the dominating visual and discursive structures? How can our role as cultural workers be re-evaluated? This project aims to create an open non-institutionalized space beyond binaries, where voices and stories that have been pushed to the periphery by the process of museumization are heard. The voices should not be integrated into a corporatized economic system, but they should remain dynamic and ephemeral. Voices heard, music released, no cries of amusement are regulated. Spaces for sharing and new forms of communication, where the division between language and music becomes blurred.

You can watch the live broadcast here.


Location: B2 New Building, Van Abbemuseum
Time: DURATIONAL EVENT: 14:00 WED 24.05 – 17:00 THU 25.05

In which a group of artists andcurators attempt to fill a room with standing eggs. The work need not speak of patience or skill. What if it were about the fragility of the situation that the standing eggs produced? A situation that is by turns theoretical, aesthetic, pedagogical?


Becoming More 24 May: “Practice against the Persistence of the Mercantile”  is part of :

Made possible in part by