Tired Curators Talk
Uit de keuken van de curator

Tired Curators Talk


The following is an intimate exchange between two tired curators responsible for the coup which took place this last week (17th-25th October) in the Oudbouw of the Van Abbemuseum. The ‘Take On Me/Take Me On’ project comprised of various elements: four rooms featuring ongoing design projects by Orgacom, Conditional Design, Acclair and Metahaven; the TAKE A SEAT space which hosted various engaging and public discussions throughout the week between an audience and the design project facilitators; and a documentation station which replayed footage from the various events and presented printed matter such as the ‘Daily Whatever’ – an almost propagandistic style newspaper discussing broader issues raised during the week published each day of the exhibition (but not limited only to the exhibition’s duration!)

[24-10-09 13:24:58] hadas zemer: hei Freek!

[24-10-09 13:25:07] Freek Lomme: Hei Hadas!

[24-10-09 13:25:24] hadas zemer: from 1 to 10 how tired are you?

[24-10-09 13:25:42] Freek Lomme: 7.6

[24-10-09 13:26:05] Freek Lomme: feel a bit like I’ve been in bed too long, but it’s the contrary.

[24-10-09 13:26:09] Freek Lomme: how about you?

[24-10-09 13:26:53] hadas zemer: hmm…. its kind of a nice, exhausted, numb feeling… especially after yesterday’s partying…

[24-10-09 13:27:26] Freek Lomme: so: how do you feel about the live-exhibition’s live aspect?

[24-10-09 13:28:33] hadas zemer: first thing’s first – it is alive! The big question of “if we build it will they come” got a positive reply from the people of Eindhoven. This is really reassuring.

[24-10-09 13:30:47] Freek Lomme: indeed: the project opens up the shared share between producers, users/consumers and the architectural scope: feels like an organic body that we’re only a small part of… illustrative, for me, is the fact that assistants are quoted in the Eindhoven’s Dagblad: very good!

[24-10-09 13:32:28] hadas zemer: the assistance issue is an important conclusion of it all – the quality of the human contact aspect is highly dependent on the commitment and communication skills of those performing the “face to face interface”.

[24-10-09 13:35:58] Freek Lomme: suddenly, the interface consists totally the faces of those involved, operating beyond any constraints, engaging from multiple perspectives related to it all. For me, the emancipator capacities of this are totally great, although it’s difficult to know what they are about and what they bring about.

[24-10-09 13:39:17] hadas zemer: it was in the TAKE A SEAT talks that we got the chance for a more open interaction, airing out, asking questions together… it was interesting for me at the Acclair presentation for example to witness the balance between the more ‘technical’ questions which came mostly from the students present and the later on in-depth ethical questions were brought in by peers and members of the TAKE of the ad-hoc creative community…

[24-10-09 13:44:34] Freek Lomme: totally: to step beyond the normal constraints of the scene (as each collective in this community and each visitor involved is somehow misplaced due to the fact that this sphere is open to each, engaged with by numerous), regular motives and means are practically challenged, morally tempted. Did you hear any specific stories from visitors that are nice to bring forth?

[24-10-09 13:48:33] hadas zemer: An interesting story is one from Conditional Design who are acting during the week as the Vitruvian Painting Machine, following a strict code and being partially operated by the visitors. One visitor spent two hours in the hall. He took some time to configure the code and then, by placing different buckets of paint for Edo and Luna he tried to manipulate the “machine” for creating the painting he envisioned. After two hours he decided he was done and asked someone to take a picture of him in front of “his part” of the wall painting…

[24-10-09 13:49:02] hadas zemer: what did you get from the visitors going around?

[24-10-09 13:49:22] Freek Lomme: First of all:

[24-10-09 13:49:59] Freek Lomme: smiling faces, looking at me quite demanding and interested, while I was looking back at them, wondering what both of us might be up to….

[24-10-09 13:50:04] Freek Lomme: Second of all:

[24-10-09 13:51:03] Freek Lomme: engaged stories on how they wandered, on a personal level, through the processes on display; via the hall-texts orally distributed by whoever was around.

[24-10-09 13:51:08] Freek Lomme: third of all:

[24-10-09 13:51:36] Freek Lomme: stories on how they received these processes and, moreover, the visual outcome.

[24-10-09 13:51:45] Freek Lomme: As a total sum:

[24-10-09 13:51:52] Freek Lomme: engagement.

[24-10-09 13:52:08] Freek Lomme: although the form and content vary a lot

[24-10-09 13:53:37] Freek Lomme: visitor’s took the given with warmth, not with coldness!

[24-10-09 13:53:58] hadas zemer: I think the accumulated Agreements presentation tells it all – since we bothered to ask if people were willing to commit themselves for curiosity and triggered them to develop their own questions. For a contemporary art museum that’s a lot. Actually for any cultural venue.

[24-10-09 13:54:56] Freek Lomme: totally: starting with trust is a big step for many; since it’s personal and optionally deep and fragile.

[24-10-09 13:55:40] Freek Lomme: still, people felt the worth of it: they signed with the love to share their curiosity and keenness.

[24-10-09 13:58:29] Freek Lomme: as well, the paper brought it all further; beyond the personal into the social I guess. Of course, the spine of it all was the issues brought forth by the four collectives.

[24-10-09 13:58:31] hadas zemer: I can’t help thinking about the array of exhibitions and events in Dutch Design Week (though saw so little this week, sigh), and reflecting upon the state of mind of the visitor, the supply and demand, or in other words: the relationship of an observer vs. a still object on a pedestal in relation to processes and engagement… relates a lot to the question of what should a design exhibition be, if we think that design is supposed to be used, touched, part of everyday life and in our case – radical and provocative…

[24-10-09 14:00:04] Freek Lomme: For me, everything deals with identity, but identity is something sincere, so it is about morality and sociability: often these consequences are not taken into account I guess.

[24-10-09 14:00:06] hadas zemer: definitely. In our curatorial layout the paper plays the role of what is “editorial design” but I think it did much more. It was a tool for self expression and a fierce contemplative platform (!), the energy in the papers room was highly social and charged!

[24-10-09 14:00:34] hadas zemer: its already 14.00… another TAKE A SEAT is about to open

[24-10-09 14:00:38] hadas zemer: the last one…

[24-10-09 14:00:43] Freek Lomme: indeed!

[24-10-09 14:00:51] Freek Lomme: keep up the good work!

[24-10-09 14:01:02] hadas zemer: thank you everyone!!