Plug In to Play

Plug In #51, Chto Delat, Activist Club. Foto Peter Cox
Plug In # 27, Lily van der Stokker en gast: Esther Tielemans. Foto Peter Cox

This publication contains an overview of the Plug In and Living Archive presentations with images, short informative texts, discussions with the makers and a look into the future. The book shows the experimental journey that has lead the museum from Plug In and Living Archive to the new 18-month project Play Van Abbe. Play Van Abbe consists of exhibitions, projects, performances, lectures, discussions, and new ways to explore critical reflection by the audience on the relations between art and society.

Both Plug In and Living Archive have offered the museum a chance to present art works in unexpected constellations, not only to point out art historical references, but also social and economical history, political changes and cultural differences.

The use of materials, methods and scenarios by artists have changed over the last decades. What are the consequences for the presentation of art works? What meaning can a collection give to its surroundings?

After the introduction by director Charles Esche, curator of the collection Christiane Berndes writes about Plug In. Re-imagining the collection. Together with art historian Sven Lütticken, Van Abbemuseum curators Christiane Berndes, Charles Esche, Annie Fletcher, Diana Franssen and Steven ten Thije discuss their experiences with Plug In and Living Archive during the past 3 years. They sketch a view on the future of models and ideas for working with contemporary art collections.

The publication contains chronologically ordered information about the 53 seperate Plug In collection presentations of the past 3 years. It also provides an overview of the different Living Archive presentations in which the museums archive and documents about the exhibitions and the collection are disclosed and related to art works in the museum.

In his essay In discussion with Time: the Museum and the 'Modern', Steven ten Thije focuses on the theoretical context, historical relations and ideas surrounding Plug In and Living Archive as a forerunner of the 18-month museum experiment Play Van Abbe.

Plug In to Play
Author: Charles Esche, Diana Franssen, Christiane Berndes, Steven ten Thije en Sven Lütticken
Van Abbemuseum 2009
ISBN 978-90-70149-99-4
Text: Dutch and English
Design: 75B
Publisher: Van Abbemuseum
112 pages, illustrated, paperback
Price: €18,00

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