Since 2015, Sawangwongse Yawnghwe has been producing art under the banner of Yawnghwe Office in Exile, a fictive museum he founded while searching for alternatives to the histories propagated by state institutions. Focused on unravelling suppressed traumas and recovering personal and collective identities from the neglected margins, the painter has an antagonistic relationship to hegemonic state narratives, one that is rooted in his familial past.
Looking at how women are framed in these photographs, and with Griselda Pollock’s Encounters in the Virtual Feminist Museum (2007) in mind, I have to wonder why Tan decided to retrieve the Agfa images, how they relate to her artistic practice, and what this tells us about the position of women in museums today.
Talk: ‘Postcolonial Memory Activation’November 2019
Agus Djaya and Otto Djaya in Amsterdam 1947-1950
Artist Profile: ‘Yin-Ju Chen – Arcane Analyses’September 2016
Yin-Ju Chen researches the forces behind what we desire and looks for answers in astrology, science, pseudoscience, mythology and philosophy. Read more..
The heat was almost paralyzing on the day I first met Pallavi Paul in the gardens of the Crafts Museum in New Delhi, about two years ago. Seemingly unaffected, she was full of energy and immediately delved into film theory, history and space travel—all passions that inform her video-art practice. Read more..
Enkele maanden geleden fietste Jan Willem Westendorp door Arnhem tot hij plotseling een oproep zag die hem aansprak: ‘From competition to compassion’. Read more..
Recently the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art reopened after a period of renovation and expansion lasting about three years, adding almost three times as much exhibition space to its former building and making it one of the biggest museums for modern art in the USA.
Review: ‘After Party in Shanghai’January 2016
‘Do you go out a lot?’ This is one of the banal but frequently asked questions that people in their late-20s or 30s pose when we casually meet each other for the first time. Read more..
Interview with Amol K Patil: ‘About Sweep Walking’December 2015
The work Amol Kisan Patil contributed to the Kamarado exhibition finds its basis in his long-term research project about Indian middle class life. Like most of the middle class people in India, Patil grew up in a chawl; the 4-5 story houses that were built in Mumbai to host workers in the 1900s.
The living conditions in the chawls are extremely tough and the stories about them reveal that a middle class income in India does not protect people from living under precarious conditions, with large numbers of people in small rooms vested with parasites, no running water, and open gutters between the houses. The people who live here are for instance employed as office clerks. Each day the clerk’s offices are cleaned by sweepers and for this part of his research project, Patil decided to become a sweeper. On first sight, Sweep Walking – which, as a work of art is grounded in the tradition of Indian performance art – looks playful and much more cheerful than one would expect.
Exhibition: ‘Kamarado’November 2015
Location: Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam
Kamarado, a curatorial collaboration between Amsterdam and Bombay, brings together a diverse group of artists from various regions of the world. The conceptual core around which all these individual voices and artistic practices revolve is the idea of the comrade, a term that originally meant “one who shares the same room.”
Exhibition: ‘Tromarama’June 2015
Review: ‘Prospect.3 – Notes for Now’December 2014
‘Anything could happen here because – Because nothing’s happening here right now?’ reads the text on one of Lisa Sigal’s archival digital prints from the series Home Court Crawl (2014). The phrase, transposed over an image of a vacant house, captures the New Orleans spirit pretty well.
Travelogue: ‘Road Trip to Crow’s Shadow’November 2014
It was rainy and cold the morning I went on my four-hour drive from Boise, the capital of Idaho, to the printmaking institute Crow’s Shadow on the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon. Clouds hung over the tops of the Blue Mountains and raindrops covered my windscreen with a sheet of Pacific Northwest rain. The radio was playing Mac Demarco’s Salad Days and the wipers weren’t doing their job well. Read more..
Travelogue: ‘April 2014 in India’June 2014
At the beginning of April, 2014, I went on a three-week research trip to India. On the first part of the journey, I travelled with Jelle Bouwhuis to New Delhi, Baroda and Bombay. On the second part, I went to Bengaluru, Kolkata and again to Delhi.
Project 1975 started as a two-year program of Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. The project was set on exploring the relationship between contemporary art and postcoloniality, which gains more and more relevance to artists and thinkers in a context of a globalizing art world. Read more..
Exhibition: ‘Made in Commons’November 2013
Made in Commons is a collaborative project of KUNCI Cultural Studies Center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Ten artists and artist groups based in the Netherlands and Indonesia take part in this multimedia exhibition. Read more..
With his Primitive exhibition Apichatpong Weerasethakul ties into a long-standing tradition of artistic involvement with the notion of the primitive. His work is among those artists’ practices that motivate a reactivation of the discourse about the primitive in relation to contemporary art and geopolitical contexts. Read more..
Curatorial Project: ‘Global Collaborations’January 2013
Together with Jelle Bouwhuis, I co-initiated and realized the Global Collaborations (2013-2015) project for the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
Review: ‘The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds After 1989’September 2012
‘The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds After 1989’, curated by Hans Belting, Andrea Buddensieg and Peter Weibel for the ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art in Karlsruhe, gave an overview of what the curators considered to be global art. In order to disclaim the proposition that art is an exclusively Western affair, the exhibition showed that artists from all over the world now contest […]Read more...
The group exhibition ‘The Memories Are Present’ with Artun Alaska Arasli, Pauline M’barek and Christoph Westermeier in Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam interrogates the objectives that determine institutional divisions and invites its visitors to do so as well. Read more..
Exhibition: ‘Tala Madani – The Jinn’January 2012
‘The Jinn’ presents a powerful and elaborately constructed new body of painted, drawn and animated work by Tala Madani. Arab folklore and Islamic teachings depict the jinn as mythological creatures with magical powers who occupy a world next to our own, in which they intervene without restraint. By tracing the potential intrigues of these demons, Madani scrutinizes human obsessive behaviour and then skilfully sketches her observations – distinctly peppered with a dose of fantasy – upon canvases and sheets of paper. Read more..
Exhibition: ‘Vincent Vulsma – A Sign of Autumn’October 2011
By employing strategies of spatio-temporal montage, Vincent Vulsma brings together objects and patterns taken from their contexts in ethnographic collections and the canons of modernist design and photography, deliberately moving back and forth along the lines between what is classified as commodity, art or ethnographic object. Read more..
Curatorial Project: ‘1975’December 2010
Between 2010-2012, Jelle Bouwhuis and I co-curated Project 1975 for SMBA.
Project 1975 is a two-year programme exploring the relationship between contemporary art and colonialism. How do artists view the historic or contemporary acts of colonial powers? What role does visual culture play in today’s colonial practices? In the art world, what has come to replace the tacitly embraced multicultural normalization of the nineteen-nineties? In a programme spanning exhibitions, seminars and publications, SMBA focuses on these and other issues, and adds its voice to the globalisation debate.
Exhibition: ‘In-between Things’June 2010
The title of the group exhibition “In-between Things” refers to some of the characteristics shared by the works on display, mostly sculptures, which combine various materials and practices. Moreover, these works share an interest in intercultural relations and their political imprints. Broadly speaking, ‘In-between Things’ addresses the theme of globalization and its relation to contemporary art. Read more..
For one month, between November 7 and December 7, the 8th African Photography Biennial took place in Bamako, Mali’s dusty capital. In its early editions, the Biennial mostly presented Africa’s neglected history of photography. Over the course of time, however, it also developed into a platform for artists’ views on contemporary Africa. The Bamako Encounters, […]Read more...
Article: ‘George Osodi – The Ethical Revolution’January 2010
As this year’s Bamako Biennial demonstrates, photographic practice has become established in African culture and some African artists working with photography have developed a particular idiom which enables them to advance their causes. One of them is George Osodi, an artist who has taken the relation between Europe and Africa as a point of departure. Read more..