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Shadowing Institutions
The Museum: Live-Dialogue Nr. 1 - 4

4 Dialogues at Van Abbemuseum,
for the exhibition:
The Politics of Collecting - The Collecting of Politics

September – January 2011, Eindhoven

In the Van Abbemuseum we started a new KIOSK series:
"Shadowing Institutions"
following the simple notion that there exists an implicit social knowledge in every institution and organisation, which is as well known and unknown to those who are working inside this institution and that this knowledge has to be communicated in order to be effective, as well inside and outside of its context.
Our first object of interest is: The Museum and we are starting with a series of 2 hour talks with staff members of the Van Abbemuseum and dialogue partners from outside the institution.

The Museum: Live-Dialogue Nr. 4
27 January 2011, 18.00 - 20.00 hrs, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, room B0-06

Nico Arts works since 1989 as municipal archaeologist of Eindhoven. He studied cultural anthropology at Leiden and pre- and proto-history at the University of Amsterdam. His most important discovery is the existence of well-preserved ancient human DNA in the soil of the Netherlands, namely in Eindhoven. He is a member of the executive committee of the Convent of Municipal Archaeologists since 2006 and is also a researcher at the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research. He believes that archeology is a show with scientific results, and likes to work with people from completely different disciplines such as designers, engineers and earth scientists.

Louis Baltussen is head of the department for Conservation and Management at the Van Abbemuseum since 1997. This department is responsible for all actions with the collection. He studied painting in Rotterdam and graphic art at the St. Joost Academy in Breda. Next to his practice as an artist, he also worked seven years for the Graphic Studio Daylight in Eindhoven where he supported the Great Graphicprojects and other artists. In 2009 he contributed to the publication "JCJ Vanderheyden: The Analogy of the Eye" (ROMA edition) with photography and research.


The Museum: Live-dialogue Nr.3
13 January 2011, 18.00 – 20.00 hrs, room B0-06, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven

Christiane Berndes
Studied art at Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht and art history at Utrecht University. Worked as assisting curator at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam and the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. Since 1997 curator of collection at the Van Abbemuseum. Member of the steering committee of the SBMK (Foundation for the conservation of contemporary art) since 2000. As curator of collection she organised several exhibitions of the collection of the museum: ‘One on One’ (2004), ‘Nederland niet Nederland’ (2004-5), ‘What Happened to Art’ (2006) and ‘Plug In; re-imagining the collection’ (2006-2009). Currently she is curator and project leader of ‘Play Van Abbe’, a two years programme around the collection of the museum, including exhibitions, commissions, projects, lectures, publications and a symposium.

IJsbrand Hummelen
has been research conservator at the Central Laboratory for Research of Objects of Art and Science (CL) later the Netherlands Institute for Cultural heritage (ICN) since 1992. He trained as a conservator/restorer at the Central Laboratory, the Swiss Institute for Art Research, Zürich and the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro, Rome. He did research and published on the studio practice of Van Gogh, Piet Mondrian, Barnett Newman and other artists, on preservation of ethnography collections, conservation theory, conservation management, 19th century painting and new strategies for the conservation of contemporary art. He has been responsible for the content of several national and international research programmes in the field of the preservation of contemporary art.


The Museum: Live-dialogue Nr.2
November 25th 2010, 6 - 8 p.m, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven

left: Brian Holmes, right: Charles Esche, Photo: Peter Cox

left: Brian Holmes, middle: Charles Esche, right: Hannah Hurtzig, Photo: Peter Cox

Charles Esche is a curator and writer. He is the Director of Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and co-editor of Afterall Journal and Books based at Central St.Martins College of Art and Design, London. He is also an advisor at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. In 2009, he will curate the 3rd Riwaq Biennale, Palestine together with Reem Fadda.

Brian Holmes is a crucial contemporary writer and thinker whose insight into current social and political developments and how they relate to artistic processes opens up a new field of ‘geocritique’. Examples that he cites extend across Latin America, Europe and Asia, where he looks at networks, artworks, films, institutions and protest movements for signs of how future progressive strategies might be shaped. His texts are part of a long term collaborative research project “Continental Drift”.

The Museum: Live-dialogue Nr.1

September 25th 2010, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven

Annie Fletcher curator at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and
Paul O Neill, a curator, artist, and writer, based in Bristol.

Photo: Peter Cox

Annie Fletcher is curator at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, recent exhibitions include solo presentations of Jo Baer, Jutta Koether, Deimantas Narkevicius and the two-year project, ‘Be[com]ing Dutch’ during 2007–2009. She was the co-founder of the rolling platform ‘If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution’ (www.ificantdance.org) which initiates programmes of performances and art projects realized in collaboration with various partner institutions in the Netherlands and internationally. As a writer she has contributed to various magazines including ‘Afterall’ and ‘Metropolis M’, and the publication ‘Curating, Art and the Pedagogical Turn’. She is on the editorial board of ‘A Prior’ magazine.

Paul O Neill is a curator, artist, and writer, based in Bristol. He is Great Western Research Alliance (GWR) Research Fellow in Commissioning Contemporary Art with Situations at the University of the West of England, Bristol. O’'Neill has curated or co-curated over 50 exhibition projects including: Coalesce: happenstance, SMART, Amsterdam, (2009); D.B, Four Gallery, Dublin, (2008); Tape Runs Out, Text and Work Gallery, Bournemouth (2007); Intermittent, Gallery for One, Dublin (2007); Making Do, The Lab, Dublin (2007). His writing has been published in many books, catalogues, journals and magazines and he is a regular contributor to Art Monthly, the reviews editor for Art and the Public Sphere and on the editorial board of The Exhibitionist. He is editor of the curatorial anthology Curating Subjects, ed. Paul O’Neill (2007), and co-editor of Curating and the Educational Turn with Mick Wilson (2010). He is currently working on an authored book with MIT Press The Culture of Curating, Curating Culture(s), 2011.

The Politics of Collecting - The Collecting of Politics

What is a collection? What is an archive? What are the relationships between documents or objects with memory, identity, history and society? What can and what cannot be archived? Can an archive become a collection? Why do we enjoy looking at a collection?

Part 3 of Play Van Abbe is about collecting as an archive of visual cultural memories. The museum maps out what a collection policy tells us about the time in which it is established. We also wonder what it means to collect ”political moments”; moments that give meaning to developments in our contemporary culture.
The exhibition gives you the chance to look again at the highlights of the Van Abbemuseum and compare them with collections and archives created by artists. For them, collecting is a strategy for creating an image of the social situation in which they live.


Participating artists / institutions:
Denmark, Michal Heiman, Hannah Hurtzig, Zofia Kulik, Lia Perjovschi, Sean Snyder, Lidwien van de Ven, Akram Zaatari, BKR (collection), Contemporary Art Museum Palestine (CAMP - collection) as well as artists and institutions contributing to the exhibition Time Machines - Reloaded.

The Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven is one of the first public museums for contemporary art to be established in Europe. The museum has an experimental approach towards art’s role in society. Openness, hospitality and knowledge exchange are important. The programme Play Van Abbe focuses on the identity of an art museum in the 21st century, and the museum uses itself as a model. We challenge ourselves and our visitors to think about art and its place in the world, covering a range of subjects, including the role of the collection as a cultural “memory” and the museum as a public site. A place for creative cross-fertilisation and a source of surprise, inspiration and imagination for its visitors and participants.