Dedicated to the memory of Seth Siegelaub (1941-2013)
A Ayreen Anastas B Karima Boudou, Ruth Buchanan C Jota Castro, Kari Cwynar D Dina Danish, Lydia Davis, Judith Deschamps, Marlene Dumas, Olivia Dunbar E Charles Esche, Chris Evans G Rene Gabri, Moosje M. Goosen H Will Holder J Angela Jerardi, Jugedamos (David Bernstein, Géraldine Geffriaud, Jurgis Paškevic ˇius) K Srajana Kaikini, Alison Knowles, Tamara Kuselman L Matthieu Laurette, Gabriel Lester, Sven Lütticken M Gerardo Mosquera P Florencia Portocarrero Q Mehdi Qotbi R Daragh Reeves S Alexandra Stock V Barbara Visser Z Arnisa Zeqo, Timmy van Zoelen
From the editors
Bourgeois Leftovers began as an intuitive obstruction — a method that would reflect the agonism and multiplicity of six international curators coming together to curate an exhibition in Amsterdam. The seed for the eventual exhibition consisted of a set of paintings as our objet trouvé that would allow different subjective points of engagement and ways of establishing value. Thirty-two early nineteenth-century Dutch and Belgian paintings from the Van Abbemuseum’s collection, produced during the interbellum period, were hosted at de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam and twenty-five contemporary artists and collaborators were invited to engage with them. With as many as fifty-five participants in the show, including the painters of the thirty-two paintings in the show and the contributors to the public programme, along with six curators, the exhibition set the stage for diverse voices across historical periods to intersect, contest, and collaborate with each other. The exhibition Bourgeois Leftovers, curated by the participants of de Appel’s Curatorial Programme 2012-13 - Karima Boudou, Kari Cwynar, Angela Jerardi, Srajana Kaikini, Florencia Portocarrero, and Alexandra Stock, took place from 20th April – 16th June, 2013 at de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam.
In October 2012, on a visit to the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, we — the six curators of the exhibition — encountered the selection process for the museum’s upcoming collection reinstallation. In one of the public galleries, A4 papers representing the entire permanent collection lined the walls; other printouts were stacked on tables and in piles on the floor. A number of these papers had been cast aside, with a scribbled note: ‘Bourgeois Leftovers.’ These paintings had not been selected for the new display, as the planned narrative would favour works with more art-historical weight and a more explicit connection to the history of modernism. While some of the leftover paintings were qualitatively impressive, they could be considered average and belonging to the academic tradition in comparison to the works now actively chosen to represent the museum’s collection. We had left the museum on that day in October knowing only from our cursory glance that the paintings included figurative still lifes, landscapes, and portraits. The label they had been given, ‘Bourgeois
Leftovers,’ however, raised questions of political and aesthetic judgment, and the ways in which value is applied to art objects. The pairing of the words ‘bourgeois’ and ‘leftovers’ was decisive (and divisive) but also incongruous enough to be opened up. A ‘Bourgeois Leftover’ to whom? Despite being leftovers from one discussion, they were likely desired by others. The pile of A4s eventually became our McGuffin, the catalyst for the exhibition that took place at de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam from April 20th to June 16th Exhibition It was a challenge to explore the possibilities of these historical works without prescribing their meaning; to open a dialogue with an inanimate object. Following the premise of the paintings as new conversation partners and the notion of co-producing meaning, we extended the discussion to a varied group of contemporary artists with sensibilities and practices we thought would be galvanized by the prospect of working with us around this collection, and vice-versa. In the broadest sense, the contemporary artists largely worked conceptually, keeping focus on socio-political readings of this group of paintings, as well as lyrical and research-based engagements with individual paintings; in the process, foregrounding ways in which meaning shifts with words and with the juxtaposition of visual languages. Including contributions by contemporary artists in Bourgeois Leftovers could be interpreted as setting up a dialectical relationship in which progressive ideology converses with a conservative collection; or, it can move beyond these distinctions to create something else entirely. We hosted a series of public programmes during the exhibition, using these events as discursive platforms beyond the exhibition structure itself. Be it engaging with cinematic leftovers from the EYE Film Institute Netherlands’s archive, organising a bus tour from Eindhoven to Amsterdam for the Friends of the Van Abbemuseum, inviting guests to read to the paintings, or hosting performances by artists Judith Deschamps, Jugedamos, and Gabriel Lester, the public programme activated the exhibition temporally, in pursuit of our goal to create an ongoing discussion, still continued here.
READER One of the few shared and persistent interests of the curators of the Curatorial Programme has been in creating space for multiple and parallel windows of conversation to take place and continue from an exhibition. This anthology in the form of a reader, emerges from our interest in sharing these conversations in the form of the written word and gives privilege to the language produced around works of art in the context of their presentation. The phrase Bourgeois Leftovers is at the core of this shifting locus of meaning. While conceiving the exhibition we realised that we were not able to, and did not want to, cast a definite meaning to this curious phrase. Instead, the exhibition and the anthology present the many scripted, unsaid, spoken, translated, materialised, and performed understandings of Bourgeois Leftovers that have emerged throughout the year together with our many collaborators and participants, creating a constellation of meanings around the paintings. The contemporary artists in the exhibition proposed or created new work through a process of encountering and engaging with the paintings from the collection. While some dealt with the collection as a conceptual whole, some singularly dealt with one or more paintings. These works are represented here anecdotally through conversations or transcripts that took place before, during or after the exhibition. Be it email exchanges, scripts from aperformances, diagrams, descriptions, cash receipts or personal conversations, the works of art exist in this book in the form of the processes they initiated. The anthology maps itself around keywords such as institutional policies, collections, value, leftovers and their historical relevance, class-based aesthetics, ideological and linguistic infiltrations, and the status of art history in relation to the contemporary in a context expanding beyond the European paradigm into the international contexts such as Morocco, India, and Latin America. The reader can use the index of terms at the end of each article as a cue to construct her own reading experience, much in the way the exhibition offered a range of subjective interpretations. By way of this collection of conversational exchanges with contributing artists, collaborators, and curators of the exhibition and its public programme, we present here again Bourgeois Leftovers.
August 2013, De Appel Curatorial Programme 2012/13
To see the list of works borrowed from the Van Abbemuseum, along with the list of commissioned works by contemporary artists, visit the appendix.
An interview with Mehdi Qotbi (MQ) by Karima Boudou (KB) Wednesday, May 8, 2013, Rabat/Amsterdam
Mehdi Qotbi is the president of the National Foundation of Museums, an organization created in 2012, initiated by Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, and based in Rabat (Morocco). This interview sheds light on a social context in which the national narrative does not leave behind concrete traces, thus compelling museums to borrow works from foreign collections. The interview explains and documents the current situation. KB
For more responses in the form of the postcard, see page 61
I wanted to start this conversation with you by bringing up its specific context — the exhibition Bourgeois Leftovers, currently on display at de Appel arts centre in Amsterdam. The idea of this interview is simple: broadening the debate around the museum and its collection beyond the established status quo and the starting point implied by our collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. The collections of European and North American museums are full of works that art history has repeatedly absorbed and rejected. This is true both now and in the past. This trap of universalism, which occurs when one
evokes the abundance of museum collections led me to initiate this conversation with you about Morocco, a country that I know well and with which I have specific personal connections. The goal of this interview is to document the current situation of museums in a North African country. But to begin with, could you please introduce yourself and tell us about your background? What path led you to direct the National Foundation of Museums of Morocco? What are the Foundation’s missions? MQ No path led me to direct the National Foundation of Museums. I trained as a painter, starting my studies at the small School of Fine Arts in Rabat. I later studied at the School of Fine Arts in Toulouse and in Paris. After that, I lived in France for thirty years. As a painter, I’ve been very interested in rewriting Arabic calligraphy, which I reinterpret in my work without a particular linguistic orientation. I relocated to Morocco permanently five years ago; a year ago, the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, appointed me to head the National Foundation of Museums. KB
Your foundation is taking over control of Moroccan museums from their former supervisory department, the Ministry of Culture. What is the nature of this transfer of responsibilities and what is the current state of our museums in Morocco?
Does the National Foundation of Museums wish to organize partnerships with other foreign museums in the future?
Swiss museum that would like to lend us Greek antiquities, and in exchange to borrow works from Morocco’s Roman period. KB I would like to ask you more specifically about the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rabat. Located at the center of the city, at the corner of the Moulay El Hassan and Allal Ben Adbellah avenues, the museum has been under construction for the past ten years. Two Moroccan architects (Rachid al Andaloussi and Karim Chakor) have consecutively supervised its construction. Will the museum be opening soon? What is the story behind its current location? MQ
KB To me, the architectural style selected for the museum imitates Islamic architecture. Is that a specific statement? MQ It shouldn’t be seen that way; it’s an architecture that evokes both the past and the present. This architecture seeks to locate the museum within its local and immediate environment by seeking to give it an open air. It combines French and Moroccan architecture, reinterpreting traditional elements of Islamic architecture today.
Well, I see that you know the law better than I do! The current situation of Moroccan museums reflects the investment of the Ministry of Culture in those structures. Generally speaking, our museums are in a state of disrepair.
Definitely. We have started working in this direction and have already set up a partnership with the Musée du Louvre and the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. We are currently working on an exhibition of medieval Moroccan artifacts, which will be on display at the Louvre in 2014. We have also started collaborating with MuCEM (the Museum for Europe and the Mediterranean) in Marseilles, France. We even received a proposal from a
The inauguration of the museum is scheduled for the end of 2013. It is located in the heart of Rabat, in a very interesting neighbourhood, architecturally speaking. In the 1920s and 1930s, Marshal Lyautey had several French architects design buildings in that part of the city. It is true that two architects have worked on the museum, but I arrived in Morocco once the project was already well underway and I took it up where it stood.
Will the museum meet the standard of international museums? MQ
Several architects who’ve designed French museums have visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rabat and given us some feedback, which we listened to closely. The museum will meet international norms, which will allow us to contact international museums for loans, such as the Centre Pompidou, the Louvre or the Tate.
How does the museum position itself in terms of Morocco’s current political situation? What selection criteria will be used to form the collection of Rabat’s Museum of Contemporary Art? MQ
Culture is particularly important to King Mohammed VI, it is one of his priorities. The museum has an important educational role to play in Moroccan society, as a site that bears witness to a past we’ve inherited. Moroccans must become accustomed to visiting the museum regularly; in fact, entry to the Museum of Contemporary Art will be free on Fridays and Saturdays. We also consider that the museum will be an economic and touristic magnet for our country. Mohamed Rachdi (director of the collection and of cultural sponsorship at the Société Générale du Maroc) will be responsible for determining the museum’s collection, which will present a panorama of the history of Moroccan painting.
But there again you risk falling into a classical representation of the visual arts that privileges painting. I would now like to broaden the conversation to include a historical point of view. Morocco is a country that freed itself from French colonisation a few decades ago. Do you think that the institutional and administrative heritage of colonialism still affects Franco-Moroccan cultural diplomacy today? MQ I don’t understand why you bring up colonialism and post colonialism; there is no more colonial past. My generation and yours live in a balanced division. We are in a win-win culture. I am in favor of cross-cultural exchange.
product of Moroccan immigration. It’s a fantastic example and I consider it a success. Having lived between France and Morocco, I now consider myself bi-national. KB
How do you conceive the museum’s role in interpreting and rewriting Morocco’s historical narrative? To what extent will the collection and the exhibition program answer one another? MQ
The museum occupies an important role in Moroccan society. We possess a rich history and there are numerous connections to establish internationally.
Earlier you mentioned collaborations with foreign institutions such as the Louvre or MuCEM. On a national level, will you consider working with institutions such as La Source du Lion or L’appartement 22, for instance? MQ
Yes, of course, we will work with everyone and create a network that will include various Moroccan partners.
KB But working with everyone is not necessarily the best solution. In any case, thank you for your time. I will of course be present for the museum’s inauguration.
(Translated from French by Madeleine Compagnon)
That position is very problematic because it involves the risk of long-term cultural amnesia. How can we ignore this part of our recent past and pretend not to acknowledge this heritage? You speak of generations, and for instance mine, which is a product of Moroccan immigration in France, calls into question this freeze-dried reading of Moroccan history. MQ I can give you an example of an event that recently took place in Belgium, a cultural event called ‘DABA Maroc,’ which aimed to promote Moroccan culture in Belgium, a country in which a large part of the population is the For more on remnants of colonialism, museums and policies, see page 41 For more on writing histories, see page 16
12 Excerpt from A Condition (2013) Ruth Buchanan
That is to say, this point of willing is systematically interfered with, the movement, the turning, produces a gush of wind, a rush of heat, a charge to a surface, a charge to the surface, a graceful turn, the shape of an S. Choose an image, choose an image to think about a word. Choose an image to think about 11 any form of address at all. This image could be this one, these ones, and a frame. Hair and pigment submerged and absorbed by a plane. Hair and pigment submerged and absorbed by a plane. A page up-turned, a word set a drift, a line of a poem as it appears on wrinkled dog ear, a title, the date, an instruction. Perhaps one could say this is the image of communication par excellence: I feel more than I read, I hear more than I see. A hand as it moves across the frame, the outline, a brush brush brush brushing, a hush hush hushing. That this is all both precise and provisional need not be underscored. That this is both precise and provisional, like any group or set or mode. That this is both precise and provisional, need not be underscored. This is both precise, and provisional, a diversion.
Conditions. A turning away. A turning away, already turned away. Ian White wrote those words in order to propose what a material address to language could look like, in order to address the appearance of communication. This image proposes, on first glance, a body, or more specifically a head. Perhaps the image of a bust, neck rising form the shoulders into the curve of the jaw and then a smooth graceful turn, the shape of an S. But it could equally be an image of language unseen, unreadable, blurred, out of time, out of place, out of tone. The head tilts to the side and turns as the arm sweeps though and across brushing a page. A brush brush brushing, a hush, hush, hushing. The shape of an S, a page up-turned, a word set a drift. A page up-turned a word set a drift: a diversion, a surpassing. This act of turning which is also communicating could equally be described as a point of willing, that is both direct — it is an arrow — but that is also uneasy — it occurs without certainty. For more on reading paintings, see page 32 More monologues on page 77 For notes on transcription, see pages 69, 83, 122
Cc 14 Polvo y Ceniza, drawings Jota Castro
For more alternative interactions with collections, see page 52 For more on â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;burning the paintings,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; see page 103
16 The Handsomest Kid in the Class Kari Cwynar “It would be in complete acknowledgement of the Joffers, her artsisters, when we count Coba Ritsema as ‘the most excellent of the Joffers.’ The truth of such a qualification is naturally up for discussion. If excellence is measured by originality, then Lizzy Ansingh would be the clear winner. And when we consider that the sparkling draftsmanship of Nelly Bodenheim has shown no signs of age, and continues to absorb new generations, then the greatness of a painter, who was dealt the ‘richest gift,’ is a somewhat empty concept. ‘Richest gift’ might be correct, since Coba Ritsema displayed a brilliant technique. Yet, verse two asks whether these gifts were optimally utilised, and whether we can speak of an artist who went to the borders of her capabilities. Coba Ritsema was a daughter of Breitner. And remains so, since throughout her long life, and by way of her almost masculine brushstrokes, her breadth of touch and rich palette, she never developed a personal style. What is noteworthy, with regard to all the Joffers, is the difficulty their contemporaries had in describing their surroundings. These problems become visible when we place the various
descriptions next to each other; and most typically in the case of Coba Ritsema: the descriptions of herself or her circumstances contain no similarities whatsoever. Is, in her case, the truth to be found somewhere in between? Or will we never know which observer was correct? Take, for example, E. de Jongh: “When I was allowed into the two rooms — a sober living room at the back and the atelier at the front — I was immediately moved. These friendly, timeless spaces seemed gracious, wise and grey-haired in contrast with the nervous pursuits keeping youthful life outside, which I had just left behind. This interior can’t be imagined without Coba Ritsema’s presence, she is an integral part of it. Better: she determines it. She fits perfectly into this comforting climate, with the Biedermeier sideboards, with the decorations, the Persian carpets on the floor with their muted colours, the old-fashioned chairs and the small desk with its knick-knacks; and vice-versa: these attributes seem to befit her so well. Everything here forms a unity with everything else, in a perfect and almost unknown serenity.” In opposition, Maria Viola’s report contains nothing of the sober space, decorated with carpets and knick-knacks: “Centrally, in the city’s old heart, in a majestic Amsterdam merchant’s house — subsequently maimed and crumbled into ateliers and offices — works the painter Coba Ritsema, high up and at peace. When you have passed through the marble hallway, and climbed the three flights of plain oak stairs, you catch your breath in the bright chamber, which serves as courtyard to the atelier itself. It truly is a courtyard, for the first thing you see is a mass of flowers: flowers in tubs, in pots, in vases and jugs, which, in every shade of fire, frame a small lawn rising to the high, open window overwhelmed with blooming stems. The casually fantastic garden-room offers the painter material for her still lives, often composed of little more than a few wonderful patches, with some flowers in the space of full life. Her actual studio is situated at the front of the house, and has three high windows, with curtains and drapes to regulate the lightfall. The buzzing from the flower market along the canals, the call of the pilots and flower-sellers does not encroach on her silence, in which every fifteen minutes, the workings of the old Munttoren ring a song of Dutch and Zeeland devotion. The silver tower music, the wide sky filled with sailing clouds, against which the centuriesold houses display the floral motif of their adorned façades —
all this belongs to Coba Ritsema: most Dutch in her cheerful appearance, pale and blonde amongst her work and flowers.” Concluding with Kees Verwey: “The first thing I remarked on, in my visit to Miss Coba Ritsema (in the year 1932, I believe) was something virgin-white. After having gone up at least four flights in the house at Amsterdam’s Singel 512, my efforts were rewarded with the view of a short corridor, at the end of which, to the left of the foot of a door, was a glass of milk. It stood there in such a quiet and modest way, though equally resolute and earnest, that a complete calm came over me. When I called at the door, a small woman opened: Coba Ritsema. What I then noticed were her voice and her eyes; both had about them something rich, something colourful, something sweet and something of the mild luxury of milk-white. O, Breitner with his white tram and work horses, how well he saw those whites. It is something like a fluid light, quivering between the other colours.” It is, in fact difficult to paint a picture of Coba Ritsema. She was solitary, and rarely exposed herself to her surroundings. The Haagse Post spoke of her as “one of the few Dutch Bohémiennes.” This is true, if we consider the bohemian as a complete individual who cares little for their surroundings. And it is true, in a certain way, of Coba Ritsema, despite her inability to be separated from her environment: she always arrived late, cared nothing for money — spending it before she’d even received it; she was known to react unpredictably and capriciously to her best friends, who were in awe of her, and took it into account that Coba Ritsema’s talent was what set her apart from the others. “Coba Ritsema is one of the few,” wrote Hans Engelman, “who has never been swayed. As unconsidered and premeditated as our breathing, so her brush moves across the canvas, as she paints a seemingly simple still life, becoming playful, shuffling and setting the tones side by side, in an excellent harmony; everything is set beside everything else, then organised and ordered with an exact sense of proportion and a true female tact, even in what seems to be coincidental.” (translated by Will Holder)
The Witch and a Shipwreck Full of Paintings Dina Danish
List of Characters
Hans Ansingh, the narrator Bart Peizel/Oom Bart, a Dutch painter, uncle of Hans Thérèse/Sorella Peizel Ansingh, wife of Bart and also a painter Lizzy Ansingh, sister of Thérèse/Sorella, a painter and member of de Joffers Uncle Hans, Bart Peizel’s inheritor Jan Josef Schwarzer, a painter from the USA
Beginning of tape
This is a self-portrait of oom [uncle] Bart, I — it’s self-portrait started in 1920. and it was — when I found it, it was very, very dirty. I cleaned it — with potato is the best way to clean a painting. He was not famous for his painting.
For Olivia Dunbar’s reading response to Coba Ritsema’s Still life with Statue, see page 32 To read on about the conditions of production, see pages 61, 41 For notes on translation, see page 113
He was in EVERY movement of painters, he was the chairman! He tried to be (pause) well-known European painter and they all past him over and he tried to do if he was a French painter! (pause) Spanish painter, and he always tried to be another (pause) — But he was very frustrated.
paintings. It went down to the sea — to the ground of the sea. It was his last days. He was so down of it! He wouldn’t paint any more in his life. Perhaps oom Bart has seen that as a — as an example.
He was — he tried to be important. (pause) That was (pause) ja (pause) his tragedy.
He was away for a long time on the boat! and (pause) Sorella and Lizzy said: (pause) “Where’s Bart; shall we call the police?!”
La Route Du Retour
The whole of the Netherlands, they were looking for Bart.
Sorella was always — she has — she was swimming — a swimming bath that does not exist anymore. That’s — you know it — the Heiligeweg in Amsterdam, the Kalverstraat — and she made a big painting of the Heiligewegbad.
In a few moments he was at home and the police had told him (laughs) that they were looking for him. He was so (pause) very (pause) angry! and shouting!
She always signed with ‘Sorella’ but not yet here, here she signed with Thérèse (pause) Peizel (pause) Ansingh. Oom Bart couldn’t stand that she was painting (pause). He didn’t like it (pause), he — did — would not give her paint. In the — by the start of the — twentieth century it was very (pause) exceptional that women are — were painting and had their own exhibition. Women — it was not good. But Lizzy Ansingh said: “She’s painting better than me!” And — in later years when there were many men — many people around them — she always said with her very hard voice: “You are married with me!” She was (long pause) totally (pause) chaotic.
And aunt Lizzy only said: “My dear Bart (pause), you were more nice (pause) when you were dead!” He went in his ship sailing through the whole Europe so he had not to see his wife. Sometimes, she was allowed to go with him butnot — mostly not for — The boat was called Thérèse! And most of the time he had his girlfriends on the boat. No Thérèse, he may not see it (pause). Thérèse was very sad about it. You see that in her paintings. When she died, we found in the cellar hundreds of empty boxes! Bonbon boxes! She was very lonely and she sent every week a box of bonbons to herself to — to show Bart (pause) this is one of my lovers! He was a great enemy of the modern artists. And (pause) when he died and we found (pause) some paintings (quietly) he hadmade — modern art (quietly) like (pause) Mondriaan.
But it was a very, very bad marriage. They have quarreled about 50 years — 55 years. When they didn’t quarrel everybody was very (pause) astonished.
He didn’t like Mondriaan at all and Mondriaan was a friend of the family in his house
Jan Josef Schwarzer was a painter in the United States of America. And he loaded a whole ship to (pause) Europe with paintings to have an exposition in Europe. But there was a shipwreck. With all the
And he was always screaming about Mondriaan! “He can’t paint! and when he don’t earn money he’s going to make lines! Then he can earn! (angry voice) And when he
comes he’s always too late! And he always eats too — too — too — much biefstuk — beef!” He hated Mondriaan (laughs)! but he imitate him but we didn’t know — we noticed when he was died.
And when uncle Han saw these paintings he took a knife (swishing sound). It was not good for the — the name of oom Bart. He — he thought it was bad for the — for the remembrance of oom Bart. There were also a few paintings from the war (pause). In the war you had to sign in by the Germans (pause). We called it (pause) Kulturkammer. When you — after the war, when they knew that you was member of the Kulturkammer, it was — you had to be punished. It was the enemy! (pause) you served the enemy by that. And on a few paintings was great (pause) Stempel [stamp] of the Kulturkammer. It was also uncle Han (swishing sound).
End of tape
Special thanks to Hans Ansingh
To read more on Piet Mondriaan as a contemporary, see the interview with Charles Esche on page 41, or the interview with Sven Lütticken on page 103 To read more personal encounters, see pages 32, 122, 127
Photographs by Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk, 2013, as seen in Bourgeois Leftovers, de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam.
Read yet another story? See page 56
26 Image Copyright © artist
A Talk to the Leftovers JUDITH DESCHAMPS We apologise for the lack of information on the work A Talk to the Leftovers by artist Judith Deschamps. It seems that all photographs and documents relating to its archives have been deleted. We know that A Talk to the Leftovers caused a great deal of controversy within the institution of de Appel, the work being considered too critical by the curators. The installation took the form of a pre-recorded conference, where the voice of the speaker was addressing the public and trying to understand why the paintings of Van Abbemuseum were considered ‘bourgeois leftovers’ by actors of contemporary art at the time.
A Walk to the Leftovers A Walk to the Leftovers was a guided tour arranged by the French artist Judith Deschamps during the exhibition Bourgeois Leftovers. Here below, two parts of the script retrieved in de Appel’s archives. It seems that Janet Andriessen, Ans Rekers, Brigitte van Bakel, Suzanne Voorhans, Tytis Sonnenfeld, Marjolein van der Loo were part of the project: the guided tour was probably played by an actress, and the audience infiltrated by some extra actors.
(Part 1) The cultural mediator wears a [missing text], high heels, she’s [missing text]. She holds an old briefcase, a sort of [missing text], with a [missing text], containing dates, documents, photographs. People are waiting. A woman brings down her bag, another takes off her coat with difficulty. Everything seems to be normal.
Hello everyone. Welcome to the Bourgeois Leftovers exhibition, and [missing text]. So why this simple guided tour is entitled A Walk to the Leftovers? Well, exactly because you are taking part in a [missing text]: Bourgeois Leftovers is a recreated exhibition. Bourgeois Leftovers took place in the art centre called de Appel and [missing text] from the 20th of April to the 16th of June, 2013. De Appel was still [missing text]. The exhibition has been re-adapted here (she looks up, then around her) to make us aware of what [missing text]. Do not be surprised if there are [missing text], because this exhibition was recreated from the only few archives and photographs that could have been recovered. For those of you who actually saw the Bourgeois Leftovers exhibition back at the time it took place, let me warn you, you may not [missing text]. We apologise in advance… [ missing text ]
This gives you an overview of what they showed: landscapes, still lifes, and portraits.
She stops talking for a while.
They all date back to the 30s.
She stops talking and looks at them.
Do you know what it meant?
She keeps looking at them waiting [missing text]
She becomes a bit aggressive.
Europe was going through a very [missing text], crisis, international [missing text] with the rise of fascism and xenophobia. The crash of [missing text], Mussolini and Hitler were [missing text] and [missing text], the Spanish Civil War [missing text].
She looks at them.
So what about the art at that time?
She suddenly walks along the wall full of paintings, and by getting angry loses a shoe.
She takes pictures of paintings and gives them slowly one by one to them.
Man and woman in front of a pile of excrements by Joan Miro, 1934, concerning the Spanish War; The marked man, 1935, Paul Klee, exiled and considered as a degenerate artist in his country; Berlin’s street, George Grosz, 1931, before he left Germany; Guernica, Pablo Picasso, 1937, where he denounced the bombing of the town Guernica during the Spanish Civil War; The Rape, René Magritte, 1934, portrait of a woman; Shooting in the countryside, Renato Guttuso, 1939, Italian resistance fighter and anti-fascist painter; Man and Horse, of Kasimir Malevich, 1933, after being attacked by the Stalinist regime. As you can see, these archives contrast with these paintings which seem to be completely [missing text]. They are calm and reflect a good life. Well, I encourage you to look at it differently... Maybe these paintings are not as calm and peaceful as [missing text]. Behind the landscapes, the faces, the tables and the food, they [missing text]. Murders are committed but trees are still growing and birds are still singing. The world doesn’t stop to exist either. Etty Hillesum, a [missing text] who was living [missing text] deported to Auschwitz in 1943, wrote in [missing text] of her life that [missing text]. She wrote that if we continue to look at flowers, attentively, Men could perhaps [missing text]. [missing text] artists continued to explore the beauty of the world. Maybe it was a way for them to resist the ugliness of the human being. It may be an act of resistance, a hope of renewal.
She turns towards the works of contemporary artists.
I’m begging you the question! What does it mean to be an artist at that time? What about the art? At that time? Is anybody could [missing text] [missing text]
She takes a deep breathe, smoothes her hair back.
I found important documents about art during the 30s. For more on the aura of copies and the life of images, see Miasmic Revisionism on page 145 For another performance script see page 69 More institutional critique on page 87
30 Excerpt from Jessica Morgan in Marlene Dumas: One Hundred Models and Endless Rejects Marlene Dumas
With special thanks to Jessica Morgan
For more on the care of leftovers, see 17 Leftout Leftovers on page 134 Or see page 63 on detritus
32 Still Life with Statue (What is That Thing That Is) Olivia Dunbar
Coba Ritsema, Still Life with Statue, undated, oil on canvas. Collection of the Van Abbemuseum.
Jacob August Riis (May 3, 1849 – May 26, 1914) was a Danish American journalist and documentary photographer. Riis believed that it was his duty to document the dire situation of New York City’s most impoverished citizens, lending his voice and talents to their social and economic struggle. Riis endorsed the implementation of model tenements in New York City with the help of humanitarian Lawrence Veiller. As one of the earliest and most notorious proponents of street photography, Riis is considered a pioneer in the development and adoption of early flash photographic practice. While living in New York, he experienced poverty himself and became a police reporter, writing about the quality of life in the city’s worst neighborhoods. He longed to alleviate the harsh living conditions experienced by the city’s poor by documenting and thereby exposing their reality to the middle and upper classes. Through representation, he hoped that he could change their lives.
When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Still Life with Statue (What is That Thing That Is) A mystic black body traces paint’s excessive covering Uses sculpture’s most dazzling form To turn a room into a thing As her own objective reality Distorted by perception She is resisting biographically Transparently Escapes. As she really dances poetry’s remembered soul As she escapes the resting place of this blinking Beautiful sorrow She is captured in dexterity No hand like man’s Wearing girls’ accumulations. She covers dead Beneath whatever self Portrays an act of making In-betweens Rather than our public Subjects cause to celebrate To create a situated longing Delicate And underneath. When all that glossy shit is covered up And underneath an artist drenched is marked in time Is making gestures obsolete Is framing restless energy And anger’s most awful consequence Is beautifully sincerity Used as canvas to pretend that painting is a form Or a body that once was laid, Or anyone that matters Flecks of tissues’ soft suspended song
Movement forms are out of time The artist’s own discovery Is the mesmerizing periphery Of making objects hated. He crouches down beneath the light He crouches down to feel her hips He contemplates divine things Or historical trending Lightness Bent and over battered shapes That pit that’s filled with paint. Like penetrating histories We experience the thought of lying down We wrap ourselves in blackness And disappear and into folds And unforgotten is our work And unforgotten in our knowledge Of gaps beyond relief. A drunken sleep, mistaken floor The seamless transition Decorates The body’s weight The nervous charge Of taking part Suspends us. The sordid flesh The passing through The careless don’ts That cause to stand Eloped we strangle Steady hands we linger still The cold of sleep’s deflated night.
A hand that fills a hole A hole that’s filled with paint A little sneaker’s dirty tread A hole that holds a world A messy black A crossing out Despite the willful pressing of our slackened chords.
While you’re catching the ballpark Tap from someone else’s touch. You can never make an invitation Focus So its presence Pops up Asking if you want to join.
A naked world, the body’s form Creates a prompt Arrested Arch Oh weighted gait We patter decorated flowers And there I thought of little pits Of apricot.
I know where you live Tap a button Before you can say Ballpark portrait Tuned for front and back display.
How did you get in here When I opened the door I didn’t see anyone And I paid ten dollars For this single channel face mask That they said would cooperate I had a vision Lying down And in it I slipped I touched a finger Through a small retina display. This is an HD cam with retina display If you look from far away There is no apparent difference. Hang with friends in one city Make that important meeting In another city With different friends.
But Since Concentration is a Form of Dying Let Us Speak of the Latter First. My little blink Girl Ravenous Tree stump Pedestal Evaporates venomous plastic (like intensity). Like fearing that automated machines would render human labour obsolete, Workers threw their Civic responsibility Comprised of six lanes, Comprised of totally losing the ability To speak From the vicinity Of those Bodies That motion Is defined as That place And uttered And without vibration Phatic is using speech to create shared feelings, feeling together is consent.
Where I Was When I Was (What is That Thing That Is) Objections against the theory of a moving earth The tower argument was one of the main objections against the theory of a moving earth. Aristotle assumed that the earth is stationary — a stone that is dropped from a tower lands directly beneath the place where it was dropped. Aristotle thought that if the earth moved while the stone was falling, the stone would have been left behind. Objects would fall diagonally instead of vertically. Since this does not happen, it was evident that the earth did not move. When vision blurs When circulation shifts When there is never an isolated linguistic subject When you and I When weighted down When throwing up When soggy sluts When smoke rings circle pop tops Circle stupid stuff Circles speculate Circle heated up and open deep Circle figured hands Circle lavishly Circles decorate Circle specific fucking problems on top of broken bones
On top of canopies On top of jungle prints On top of camouflage On top of rock hard abs a dirty dress On top of body work On top of covered dark On top of window sills there are landscapes There are fountains There are blushing breasts There are young ones are stupid mouths There are underage There are little shorts There are hideaways there are specific fucking problems.
Ee 41 Interview with Charles Esche (CE) April 28, 2013, Amsterdam by Karima Boudou (KB) Angela Jerardi (AJ) Srajana Kaikini (SK) Florencia Portocarrero (FP) ALEXANDRA STOCK (AS) AJ A few days ago, the daughter of the little girl in Matthieu Wiegman’s painting, Portrait of Trees, came for a guided tour of the exhibition. Interestingly she spoke about how she wished she could have the painting. I want to place this desire to have this painting for herself within the debates of repatriation of objects, prominent these days in the United States. For instance, Native American objects would be repatriated to their most appropriate home. In the case of Portrait of Trees, it is a part of her family history, something that’s very meaningful to her whereas for the Van Abbemuseum, it may not particularly be an ‘important’ work, considering it has been on display only a few times before this. Obviously the museum has a policy of not de-acquisitioning things, but would it make sense to consider it under certain circumstances?
To read more on still life, page 56 For more on Coba Ritsema and resisting biographically, see page 16 Further references and responses to the Amsterdamse Joffers can be found on pages 12, 16, 19, 127, 140, 145.
CE I would be certainly open to the idea of de-acquisitioning, but this would be one of the least likely circumstances I’d be open to. There was a clear contract through which this work was acquired by the public domain. If we had sold the paintings as you suggest, then they would not be accessible. In fact many of such works would not have been available to make this precise exhibition that you are doing. So I’d be reluctant to sell the ‘bad things’ of the collection according to contemporary taste or contemporary judgment and not allow them to be rediscovered and re-positioned in the future. If you sell it back to the family, you would transfer it from the public domain back to the private domain. Then it would be within the family, it would have a certain story, but it would no longer have the kind of access we can still offer. The idea that a work is in the collection but not on public display and is therefore somehow hidden is simply not true. You’ve proved that with this project. There are constant possibilities of bringing these things into the light. Indeed, they are not even hidden. They are in the catalogues. Anybody can see them on request and we can organise that. All these possibilities wouldn’t exist in the private domain in terms of accessibility. I also think there is something very dodgy about each generation of directors of the museum re-writing its history according to its contemporary judgment. These works were thought of as being valuable and obviously bought and paid for. I wouldn’t want to judge history and say “You are going wrong.” There would be a difference between repatriation or returning what was acquired legally at a certain time versus those acquired illegally. I can imagine that these [paintings] can go back in another form of public access. That seems easier for me to justify than something that goes totally back into the private. The intentions of an artist are rarely specific that they want something to remain in the private domain or they want it go public. You could say that all portraits of living people belong with their families. I don’t think that’s true. That is certainly not like in the Native American society with traditions of keeping things within the commons. What we have is sort of like the ‘commons’ of Eindhoven or a particular kind of Dutch community and we hold those works in common. The mythical idea that the collection of the museum is owned by the citizens of Eindhoven is true in a certain sense. It’s been paid for with the money from Eindhoven tax payers and they have a certain right to an access to these paintings. But selling or giving a work back to the family would be the least appealing circumstance for me
because of this transfer from public to private. I think there is enough transfer from public to private under neo-liberalism and I don’t want to be a part of it. AJ And what do you think is the most appealing context for de-acquisition or transfer of objects from one location to another? CE I think there are certain rules for the museum put forward by bodies like CIMAM and ICOM, the International Council of Museums, which I am quite sympathetic to. If there are any sales of work then that money should be spent back on the collection, so long as there be ways in which the collection can be renewed. I can imagine there would be moments when that would be justified. It would mean selling some of what would be the best works in the collection which would clearly always have a certain higher value. There is also an argument that the archives of modernity have been held way too exclusively by Western Europe and North America. And given modernity’s impact on the rest of the world quite massively, I don’t see this argument being justified particularly. The British Museum or the Smithsonian or the Louvre basically built their reputation on objects from cultures that were far away from their home ground. The Parthenon marbles is a good example, but there are many others like, say the Pergamon altar in Berlin. The whole capacity of that long phase of modernity from the sixteenth century is built on influences of cultures effecting and allowing Europe to invent itself as a global culture within a century. Modernity in its narrowest sense, from the nineteenth to mid-late twentieth century, influenced the world enormously through colonialism. So why shouldn’t the heritage of that past also be shared with the world? We played a bit with that idea with Picasso in Palestine, but as an argument there are always Mondriaans and Chagalls. You could argue to put them into the public sector elsewhere and not within. Western Europe isn’t good enough, and maybe that process, of taking them elsewhere would renew them and would allow the places that receive them to renew themselves in certain ways. So that’s sort of a longer argument for the accession, but it is related to what you do with this modern archive that we have, this ‘modernism as our antiquity’ that T.J. Clark talks of. If it is our antiquity then it needs to be shared in a different way. If we are
the original. There is a not necessarily perverse relationship between this idea of adding stories and using the work as a device or a tool to unpack contemporary conditions, which I think this is doing. The original work then accrues value, accrues a certain sacralisation. Perhaps in the old position of the hegemonic European treasure chest it probably shines brighter; it’s a shinier bauble after it has gone through that process than it was before. But it is shining in a slightly different light. You look at it a bit more uneasily. The conservatives would look at that Picasso in Palestine a bit uneasily, because it has somehow been sullied by the politics of the Middle East, in their terms. It would be a nice thing to happen to that painting, that it was dirtied by the politics of the Middle East, but at the same time actually acquired a lustre through the process.
thinking of plans to deal with cultural inheritance, then this certainly has a part of that. And Western Europe and North America dominate that part too much. FP The way you conceive an artwork is not as an end point or an object in itself, but a device that in some way generates new dialogues. For the conservatives, considering the art object secondary to the dialogue that it can create could be seen as an act of de-sacralisation and provoke some resistance, don’t you think? We are also doing this, in a sense in Bourgeois Leftovers. The conversations around these artworks can continue beyond them as objects. But we did face some kind of resistance by a few in the beginning, mainly because of this sense of de-sacralisation. We were, in a sense, taking away the aura of the object and centering our attention on the dialogues that can be generated around them. How do you manage this? CE
Yes, you are right. But there is also a false sacralisation that happens, built up around particular sets of social and cultural hegemony which are maintained through that sacralisation. It is about power. The classic model of the museum is a treasure chest of powerful authority. You open up a treasure chest and you look at all these shiny coins and jewels that only go to prove the power and authority of the culture of that government and a military with the means to produce that. So the British Museum, the Louvre, the Smithsonian are all treasure chests of cultures proving their dominance over cultures that don’t have the same shiny baubles. I want to question that. As part of the hegemonic system, Europe places itself at the top of the pyramid of cultures. There is a lot to say about Europe now, but clearly that pyramid is crumbling. It may not be that Europe is going down, but other places are emerging as challengers. The pyramid is flattening. In this process, de-sacralisation has to happen. So I agree with you. At the same time I feel there is a re-sacralisation process that can go on with aura. If you take the Picasso in Palestine project, I think its aura actually increased through that process. It has a whole new story added to it. The story did not affect the materiality of the painting but it affected how people read it. It becomes a Palestinian Picasso in a strange way. I think making copies, like we did with the Free Sol Lewitt Superflex project, again actually adds to the aura of
FP In some way it also loses its autonomy. CE
But I think autonomy is also something you always have to generate. Autonomy isn’t a state. Autonomy is a verb. It is something that you have to grasp, you have to take. Something that no one can give to you. You can’t give it to a painting. A painting has to act in an autonomous way in order to claim its self autonomy. There is a tendency for art education to privilege the idea of the artist to an extent that they can’t really operate in society outside of their status as an artist. That is not the case universally, but there is a tendency. It is the same with the object. The object has to claim its autonomy in twenty-first century society. It can’t just demand it by saying ‘I am autonomous.’ Picasso in Palestine re-politicised that work. It was painted in 1943 in Germany under occupation. Everybody really forgot to think about that. That becomes then a core issue when you take it into an occupation in 2011. Again the politics of Picasso becomes a discussion. His lifelong membership of the communist party, his working for Peace Congresses and his views, these become part of the discussion much more easily in Palestine but often have difficulty finding their place in a Western autonomous discussion. Art history refuses to engage in it as it wants to talk about its autonomy, but it only knocks off the edges of the work in the process. I think edges will constantly be knocked off because this thing is out in the world and it is getting messed around with. I want to make it a more active process of claiming autonomy in the process of its edges being knocked off by many people including us.
KB Might it not be more interesting to bring a Picasso from Israel for example to Palestine? CE
Considering the situation in Palestine in the Occupied West Bank, if the Israel museum tried to do what we did, it would be almost impossible. Structures that bring Israeli and Palestinian artists and cultural producers together often draw equivalence between the two situations. They say that there’s Israel and there’s Palestine. They don’t like each other. We should bring them together. They do not recognise the processes of occupation that go on. It is not an equal situation. So an Israeli Picasso going to Palestine would be riddled with the hierarchies and hegemonic power which Israel claims over that part of the historic territory of Palestine under dispute. So it seems much more appropriate for a museum in the Netherlands to do that, than an Israeli museum. The other thing is that it points out the irony of it. This was the first time a Picasso was ever in the region but less than 20 kilometres away from Ramallah. The vast majority of people living in Ramallah have no access whatever to that because they don’t have an Israeli ID to pass through the checkpoint. So the Picasso may as well be 2000 miles away! Ramallah is in that sense much further away than Eindhoven, if they wanted to see the Picasso. Yes, this was really a straightforward gesture of making a painting available in a place where these kinds of paintings haven’t been available before. But all those issues are uncovered through the process.
SK It must be difficult to cast off what some may try to read in a gesture like this, that it is coming from a centre situated in Europe and is being pushed into a region not in the ‘centre.’ I want to link this to an interesting debate that happened some time ago during the launch of the latest issue of Shadowfiles ‘On Curatorial Education’ at the Stedelijk Museum. In the panel discussion about curatorial contexts Ann Demeester, the director of de Appel arts centre, stressed on the fact that people situated in Europe forget that they are firstly ‘Europe’ centric, and that they must begin to be faithful to their context, i.e acknowledge a certain necessary Eurocentrism before following the urge to want to reach out. We are six curators who are here from all over the world, trying to work with this ‘local’ collection, and yet we
have very different points of access into the concept. Some of us have a more personal relation to it as individual works, while others are interested in it as a conceptual gesture. How does one walk this thin line of being in a context and wanting to be ‘context-responsive’ and yet wanting to tell a bigger story? CE I don’t really have a problem with that. Your body is always in a place and of course you come from a certain place. So you bring that baggage with you, but it also shifts when you move. The painting gets on a plane just like you get on a plane from India and you are here and are affected by the process of coming here. I see the need to address the place where you happen to be at any point. But certainly for me, it doesn’t have to be Europe. I don’t really get this centre-periphery argument that much. I think there are interesting issues which you raise with Picasso in Palestine by the idea that there is a hard central narrative which is Eurocentric. There is a central ‘civilisational’ artistic narrative which occurs in Europe and Picasso is attached to this. So the gesture could be read as an imposition of this narrative. But I think it is equally possible by this singular gesture to actually break off that narrative and it becomes something else. I don’t see why one argument is stronger than the other. SK I don’t read too much in the centre-periphery argument myself, but there is always the risk of being read that way. CE It’s a risk you have to take. Now we are doing a project in China where Li Mu is copying all the works from a collection and putting them in his village. You will find out about this soon, but it is happening at the moment. These processes that we are doing are risky. They are not asking questions, they are not providing answers, they are not secure. You have to risk the accusation that you are not politically correct. You have to risk that if you’re going to discover anything. It is not possible to secure yourself beforehand. Also for you curatorially, it is really important to not imagine that you can fully control the effects of what you are doing. When you feel something is wrong, and it is often a gut feeling, then you should stop doing it. But if you find it still a compellingly interesting question even if you don’t know the answer, go ahead.
We have often talked about these paintings being our ‘Macguffins.’ It was a risk that we took in fact , that they were our Macguffins and we would eventually develop a relation with the collection in the months that followed.
CE I was initially concerned that you wouldn’t look at the paintings, concerned that you might not undergo the process of seeing and looking at what they were, their particularities and their individualities. But you’ve done that very clearly. I think you do give agency to them. Dina Danish’s work, A Witch and a Shipwreck Full of Paintings, is an amazing piece. It’s really nice how the research has been done and a story has come out with the way it is delivered on the overhead projector. Also Judith Deschamp’s A Talk to the Leftovers and Barbara Visser’s 17 Leftout Leftovers as well, are all very nicely judged, in terms of both respecting and playing with the notion that you came up with as curators or as artistic practices in themselves. SK
We received an interesting comment from a visitor suggesting that the contemporary artists should first know how to paint before making works about them. What do you think is the status of the painting today?
There is something special about painting. It is a conjuring of an image, though abstract, it is conjuring an image from nothing. Whether it is video photography or digital imaging, these forms are indexically related to what exists in the real. Painting still has the capacity to not rely on that, particularly because photography has replaced the need for painting to be indexical to record. Even then, when it does record, the canvas is not an empty canvas because the canvas is already an art work to a certain degree so you’re painting on an artwork. You’re painting on an artistic field already. The relationship is not to the appearances, but to our retinal response of the world outside of the art field. I still think painting has a value because of that; because you really start with this art work which is a blank canvas, an image in itself. Then you put another image on top of it if you choose to do that. That image more or less emerges out of no relationship to the world; you can choose completely what its relationship with the world is and can negotiate that. Video and photography, on the other hand, constantly have to confront the appearances because they’re inside the digits. So I still think painting
as having a capacity, maybe a quite narrow capacity, not necessarily with the breadth of say video which can address different kinds of topics; but it still has this particular thing that nothing else has. FP
Do you think these ‘Bourgeois Leftovers’ paintings with their particular figurative aesthetic, were not necessarily playing with the freedom that you just described?
CE It would be harsh to condemn them all like that but clearly they were providing a service to a particular class. I don’t want to condemn them. From a Marxist education, it can sound very critical; I don’t really want to be critical about them. I just used the bourgeoisie as a factual statement, as a particular class, between the aristocracy and the workers. This is a description that exists very clearly in the Eindhoven of the 1920s and 1930s. These paintings were just being made so an artist can make a living because those were the people who had enough excess income to be able to afford them. So it was a very natural process in which they painted for the people who were likely to buy their works, for them to survive. And all these paintings somehow share that process and that status clearly. Do some of them exceed that status? Do some of them go beyond? That’s really a subjective decision. Some of them I like more than others and may seem to have an ambition which exceeds the mere satisfaction of the client or the bourgeois potential buyer. But are they really taking full advantage of the freedom that I talked about? Not really. They are caught in the necessary negotiations for survival. That is what is nice about the text in Dina Danish’s work in the exhibition. The interview with the nephew of the wife of the painter Bart Peizel, where he talks about the struggles of his uncle to get recognition and to try painting in different styles, having some secret Mondriaans even though he hated him so much. Here is somebody who clearly has an ambition to achieve but also is caught in the systems of styles that could get him that recognition. His going through the menu of styles trying to hit on something that might function but not really finding it, is a personal tragedy. But the fact that these bourgeois paintings have a limitation makes them different from a Mondriaan. Mondriaan would be harder to put within the context of Bourgeois Leftovers, even if, they were supported by Van Doesberg and a certain element of the bourgeoisie and they were collected in a similar manner. But somehow they exceed. The excess of what they produce is much greater than the
excess of what these paintings produce. It’s a judgment call. A couple of them are much more accessible than the majority. AJ
On similar lines, I’ve been fascinated by how Boris Groys talks about now being a similar time of classicism or academicism. We now have a new set of rules and structures that decide how makers can make objects, more conceptual than formal. Are the current ways in which we think about making, producing and exhibiting any different than then? They are all structures that we now perform within and function very much in the system of capital. Do you see that kind of relationship?
Absolutely. I’m enormously sympathetic to that argument. I’m enormously sympathetic to the idea that we live in a new phase of academicism and academic image-making. I think I’m very confident that with the huge amount of production, art works made now will be probably even more condemned than the Bourgeois Leftovers. These are the products of a very particular moment of a misplaced triumphalism in the 90s of this huge and accelerating super rich class which still dominates our everyday life. They have a huge control over us and we just need to look at the banking crises to know how. What’s beautiful about this system is that our desires have been turned so successfully, that we no longer realise the extent to which we are being manipulated. The one thing that was good about the Soviet Union was that you knew who your enemies were. Now it is much less clear. I hope that we would come through this period with this being seen as a mass brainwashing, propaganda of the advertising. Corporate advertising, the powers of consumerism and the investment in the propaganda is huge. Many artworks are actually going along with that. It is hard to find things that exceed this propaganda. This is what one can ask for in the same way one can ask from the bourgeois patrons of Mondriaan and Van Doesberg in the Dutch situation. They were allowing this excess to exist beyond their own familiar taste. Then we have to find what the surplus is. But of course it is incredibly greedy with the corporate economy. All the fatalistic Leftist discourses of 1990s were accurate in a way. Obviously the financial crisis leading to the global rebalancing in a positive sense, is an important correction. It’s more like Prague 1968 than it is like Berlin 1989 or Paris in 1789. It feels more like a revolution that stopped.
There is a moment of reassertion of authority, a moment of despair and a moment of attempt to reform and then the reassertion of the alternative regime, which in this case is neo-liberalism. AS
What are the boundaries that you consider worth acknowledging and working within? What are the things that make sense and are not artificial limitations? You just seem to position yourself in such a way that you don’t acknowledge certain boundaries and ergo they don’t exist anymore. That is beautiful in a way. But are there limitations that you still think makes sense to acknowledge?
CE Not in the abstract. No. I mean obviously in the real, in practice there are limitations of budget, limitations of time, limitations of my life span. We have enough limitations. The challenge is to try and push the limitations a bit further. I’m quite a fundamentalist in a certain way which I’m not particularly proud of. But I have to accept it. I’m quite black and white. I cannot see the shades of grey. The paradox is that’s how I have to work. There is the plus and the minus, but I’m not really interested in the things in between them. Let’s find the plus and the minus, that’s what makes things turn, that make them move. The principles of the museum are radicalism and hospitality. Those are the plus and the minus that drives it. The moment you are too hospitable you have to drive it with radicalism, and of course the moment when you are too radical, you have to drive it with hospitality. The radical hospitality or hospitable radicalism is what I am interested in. ‘Engaged Autonomy.’ That was another word I played with. ‘Modest Proposal.’ There are always these terms that come together and have a slightly paradoxical relationship. FP
... like ‘Bourgeois Leftovers.’
For more on the de-sacralised art object, see pages 26, 145 For Marx and the bourgeoisie, see page 103 For more on The Witch and a Shipwreck Full of Paintings, see page 19
overall caption and one which would distinguish the work in a particular manner with regards to ‘genre painting.’ Given the nature of the proposal, it would at one point onwards, be a single contact at de Appel through which the work would be discussed and conducted — one curator that is the sole witness to what is produced and who oversees the donation of the painting to a chosen institution. In addition the artist that I would commission to create the work would remain anonymous to everyone except myself. I hope this is useful. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. With kind regards, Chris
Chris Evans Kari Cwynar
Hello. Here’s a bit more information on the proposal as promised. I’m proposing a work as part of a series in which, via the patronage of institutions, I commission artists to produce paintings intended to supplement a particular deceased artist’s oeuvre using associative source material and a sketched layout that I provide. In considering how what I’m proposing might relate to the premise of the Curatorial Programme’s show, I’ve been thinking about how works of unknown provenance join the ‘Leftovers’ gathering over time in institutions and museums (often through donations, misplaced indexing, etcetera). The work I’m proposing would join such a gathering as an artwork that: may or may not be attributed to a particular artist; is retained as ‘of interest’ or as a ‘copy;’ or that simply has to be added to an institution’s catalogue by protocol. I’ve been thinking about titling and captioning — i.e. what would be present in the exhibition space and how that might be articulated in a non-sensationalist, non-nefarious sounding manner. I’ll consider coming up with an individual title for the work that sits within the For more on invisible institutional processes, see pages 12, 14, 61 For more attention to historical gaps, see page 7
To read more of micro-fiction, see page 23 For more on capital and filth, see page 63
ing a suit and tie, has assured its client that, certainly, rest assured, in some distant living room, in the early afternoon of said weekday, someone (female aged 25-35) will likely fall victim to the worn appeal of the network’s celebrated sitcom — Seinfeld, beloved ‘show about nothing.’ ‘I don’t get art. It always has to be explained to me and then I have to have someone explain the explanation.’ – George Costanza, Seinfeld
Frames Moosje M. Goosen In the high towers is where they make rain, her son says. Look up, he says, look up and see where the building vanishes into vapor. He tilts his head to measure the sky. That’s where airplanes fly to, he says. That’s where the rain comes from. Through the living room window — all eyes for clouds, clouds all overhead — he watches the upper floors of high-rise office buildings disappear into a roof of dim, dull gray. His warm breath hits the surface of glass where it leaves its own fog, the moist air of an eight-year-old boy, a mist you can draw into. Raindrops on the other side of the window. They appear brighter and bigger from this inside point of view. A couple of hours later, the sky has cleared up. Sunlight passes through and hits the surface of their window, travels ahead, straight into their living room, where it mounts a wall of illuminated dust specks floating here visibly as if attracted by the light. The living room is what it should be: a ficus in the corner, smaller plants in the window, a four seat dining table and wooden floor underneath. Still life. On the left side of the room, an empty, pale-green sofa watches television with the sound turned off. The TV screen broadcasts light signals; tries to engage the sofa, involuntary onlooker, in a sitcom-telethon. It’s a Tuesday afternoon. Marketing research has looked into the matter and, somewhere, in a boardroom on the umpteenth floor of the television network’s headquarters, marketing research, wear-
When marketing research is asked to clarify why, after so many reruns, people would still be watching Jerry Seinfeld and Kramer and George and Elaine, he clears his throat and reminds his client of television’s truth: ‘It’s the TV that watches its target audience,’ he says. ‘Not the other way around.’ t Back in the apartment, a newspaper is opened on a page reviewing a major retrospective of paintings by Eduard Manet. Olympia appears, sudden and unstable, like a mirage. ‘Never has a painting excited so much laughter, mockery, and catcalls as this Olympia,’ a critic wrote in his review of the Paris Salon of 1865. ‘On Sundays in particular the crowd was so great that one could not get close to it, or circulate at all in Room M; everyone was astonished at the jury for admitting Monsieur Manet’s two pictures in the first place.’ A prostitute in a window hardly ever produces laughter — apparently it required the hand of Monsieur M, and the transition from window to frame, for Olympia to be perceived as a scandal. Olympia sees her audience as much as they see her. She’s unimpressed by the crowds she attracts, and indifferent to the crowd that rejects her. One and a half century later, we can look at her and listen carefully for the faint echoes of laughter, but the joke is always on us. Whether we laugh or sneer at the naked girl; whether we have come to accept or admire her presence; even if she’s met with sheer disinterest — Olympia still looks at us the same. Stoic. There’s no need for your approval or disapproval. You don’t have to like what you see. Try to see the generosity of it.
Her son is no longer in front of the window but in his classroom at school. She’s alone. At this moment, Seinfeld and Kramer are the only other people in the room. She’s standing in front of the window and, for as long as she has her back turned to the flickering image on her TV screen, there’s a world inside this room that does not exist to her; that fails to manifest itself in the faint traces of evanescent light. A world of broadcast images vaporizes into nothingness. And so what if this world is weightless, thinner than air? There’s a show that must go on and on and on. Current episode: the twenty-first of the third season, the one in which Jerry’s new girlfriend paints a portrait of Kramer — the funny tall neighbor of the comedian; the ‘loathsome, offensive brute’ that always simply enters the story by bursting through the comedian’s apartment door, to which a disembodied and fictitious audience bursts with pre-recorded laughter. Scandalous Kramer will forever be laughed at. We are told to chuckle along. Just before the sitcom is about to end — its multiple plots tumbling down in a cluster of punch lines — the TV switches to commercial break. Products pass by and, with the sound still on mute, the sofa is made to watch a silent procession of food, beverages and other manufactured goods. On her TV, even the most vulgar image — a pizza, smothered in cheese — appeals when entering the screen. End of commercial break. t Centuries ago, the frame served to provide a protective edge, a twilight zone between this world and that (the otherworldly). Even today, when looking at a painting by the Italian Fra Angelico, or one of the brothers Van Eyck, the frame prevents us from leaping into the painted heaven of saints. Their lack of privacy must be respected at all times; their presence channeled by the attentiveness of the audience looking in. Saints do not appear outside of their respective frames, except to the mystics with visions (and often only in blinding light). Her living room window faces a window on the other side of the street. In this apartment, looking out means looking in. She can tell that the salary man in the office, fifth floor of the building across, has noticed her presence. Both have their rituals. When she waters the plants at 2pm, he’s usually having his third cup of tea — except for on weekends and holidays, when the office is vacant. When he’s out of the picture.
On several occasions they have made an effort not to acknowledge one another, to respect each other’s privacy. But these rectangular holes in the wall anticipate stories; they capture the coincidental portrayal of two seemingly random persons, living, working, in the same street — people whose lives have been plotted together by the proximity of their everyday whereabouts. This is what realism is about. Wait, this is realism. These windows constitute a mutual perspective of lines that converge outside of their respective buildings. He sees this and she sees that and somewhere in between, these loose ends meet. A while ago she bought a plant, similar to the one in the office window across the street. She carried it home with a moisturizing plastic bag around the pot and stem — she had errands to do along the way; it was a warm day. While watering the plant, she pictures the office across as an eco-system, where things behave naturally or, rather, accordingly. Where the air is conditioned and humidified. Her plant will soon match the height of its double on the other side, and the connection between this apartment and that office would, perhaps, begin to make more sense. She’s almost certain she won’t recognize him if they were to see each other on the street below, five floors down. To her, he is fixed to that frame, he was born into it, similar to the way the prefab brown and standard-size window frame, opening up to this view, is part of the bigger whole of the office building. There are at least 83 more of these frames on this side of the building, each with its own singular view. The man on the other side might not be a saint. Nevertheless, the window across magnifies this dull scene of a man sitting at his desk. When pictured as a painting, it’s an instant classic. Even though she ‘gets the picture’ he’s still shrouded in human mystification. Someone she can look at but whose life remains private. t Marketing research, that slick and too perfect son-in-law with his perfect suit and his perfectly knotted tie, has never understood pure imagination; he scrutinizes the banality of our desires and hands us ongoing lists of empty boxes we can tick. Would he take up her place in front of the window, he would see a man that lives an average of 46 minutes away from work; who reads newspaper x or y on his
morning commute, using his leather briefcase as an improvised table. He would also see a man that works to retire, one day. But what marketing research can’t seem to wheedle out — the one formula he can’t formulate — is what it means to be still (and still be meaningful). This is what the woman sees when she sees the man in the office across. It’s reminiscent of what she sees when she sees a woman inside her house, in front of a window, painted by Vermeer. t She walks to the sofa and switches off the television. In the early afternoon of said weekday, the sun keeps beaming light into her living room. At the end of its ray, where it clashes with the wall, a framed portrait captures its reflection. It hits the light back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. (Across the street, a man looks up and notices the woman’s absence.)
Hh 61 from: to:
Will Holder Charles Esche
Dear Charles, [I'll be so informal, since we have been introduced, through Ann D. and Chris Evans] Firstly, with regards to the printing of a postcard for Bourgeois Leftovers, thank you so much for making this possible. Kari and the other CP students asked me to cc. you in on correspondence with your PR/design/printing team. However, before doing so, and to save us all a lot of back & forth, I'd hope you might find a moment to confer. This concerns two possible positions with regard to the card, and how this work might be acknowledged in writing (your Bourgeois leftovers being exemplary for what a few words can do). Firstly, considering that my proposal is to have an edition (500?) of the card printed, within the production logic of all of van Abbe's cards. My understanding — and it's crucial that you agree with this — is that the card would be printed in an edition and sold amongst your other cards — until the edition runs out. I would not want to interfere in the Van Abbe logic — ie. it would not be designed by me, nor To consider 50 IKEA frames, see page 87 For a framing of Arnout Colnot’s Still Life with Blackcocks, see page 83
flagged up as part of the CP show,* or sold at de Appel (since it is not part of their collection). Outside of this logic, my sensitivity is towards the necessary writing on the back of the card. Here are two possibilites:
Edgar Fernhout, Damesportret / Portrait of a Lady, 1937, olieverf op doek/ oil on canvas Although the work has been consigned by you to the Bourgeois Leftovers pile, it might nevertheless be understood as being representative for the Van Abbe's 'identity,' when this identity has an equivalence with all work shown publicly.
Edgar Fernhout, Damesportret / Portrait of a Lady, 1937; reproduced by Will Holder "...for single mothers", four-colour offset print, 2013. In this case it would be understood that it is the work of Will Holder which is representative for Van Abbe's identity.
Jj 63 For a Ruthless Critique of Everything Hidden Angela Jerardi
However, of course, the second case will raise issues of copyright and/or authorship, making this exercise less straightforward than initially imagined. Of this I am dependent on your knowledge of such matters, regarding the Van Abbe's collection, and how best to proceed. * We COULD imagine a clause to the first case — that the printed card be textually acknowledged as the work of Will Holder "...for single mothers," SOLELY in the curatorial structure / publishing and captions of the CP exhibition. ie. as mentioned above, this 'flagging up' necessarily takes place outside of the confines of Van Abbe's logic.
A Concocted Conversation: Gustave Flaubert (GL), Karl Marx (KM), Frederick Engels (FE) GF
What a horrible invention, the bourgeois, don’t you think? 1
[Frederick Engels enters the room]
The whole dream of democracy is to elevate the proletarian to the level of the imbecility of the bourgeois. The dream is partly accomplished. He reads the same papers and has the same passions. 3
Apologies for my lack of economy. Yet, hoping to glean from your experience. Yours, Will [footnote ...for single mothers: a series of reproductions,made by me, since 2008. Many of these have been oral reproductions of feminist or gendered work which, as a result of its content, has found its own, usually literary form. In all cases, the conflict between the content, the male representative, and his body and voice's form, has been pleasantly productive]. For more from Charles Esche, see page 41 See page 87 for another example of market infiltration
As a capitalist, he is only capital personified. His soul is the soul of capital. But capital has one single life impulse, the tendency to create value and surplus-value, to make its constant factor, the means of production, absorb the greatest possible amount of surplus-labour. Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks.2
Hatred of the bourgeois is the beginning of virtue. But I include in the word bourgeois, the bourgeois in blouses as well the bourgeois in coats. 5
The more you approach infinity, the deeper you penetrate terror.7
[Ah, but] all past history was the history of class struggles. These warring classes of society are always the products of the modes of production and of exchange.4
[But,] labour is the source of all wealth. And it really is the source — next to nature, which supplies it with the material that it converts into wealth. But it is even infinitely more than this. It is the prime basic condition for all human existence, and this to such an extent that, in a sense, we have to say that labour created man himself.6
Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form. 8
Filth Outside, I hear the street sweeper going by. It seems rather quaint that the job of a street sweeper still exists. Of course, here in Amsterdam, this job is no longer a person using a simple broom to sweep the street. The role now is performed in a highly mechanized, motorized vehicle. But still, it is a job performed by a human and a job with real utility. Despite our nuanced systems of telecommunication, fiber optic cables, and hand-held computers, we still need someone to come and clean human refuse, dirt, and grime from the street. The street sweeper comes by my small residential street twice a week: slowly maneuvering between the cars, pedestrians, and bicycles, the rotating disc brooms bristle against the road while a vacuum underneath sucks up the debris and stores it away from view in a collection bin inside the truck, ostensibly erasing the unpleasant record of urban life. As the industrial revolution triggered mass migrations to cities, sanitation became increasingly important as diseases and sickness quickly spread through the labor force located there. Factory workers lived in overcrowded slums, London’s population alone stretched to six million people at the end of the nineteenth century. Rotten food,
animal and human waste, and industrial run-off filled the streets. Thus systems and strategies of sewage removal and the methodical cleaning of public space became increasingly important. The English engineer and bourgeois gentleman, Joseph Whitworth, is credited with the creation and patent in 1846 of the Besom Cart, a horse-drawn street sweeping device. Theoretically, this made the city cleaner and safer for the people that lived there. The politics of sanitation and cleanliness however, might be less honorable than they first appear. From an 1842 report by Sir Edwin Chadwick outlining the need to develop sanitation systems, it was found that insanitary conditions caused psychological degradation, which in turn led people to invest in the troublesome hope of revolution. In other words, “a public gift of good sanitation might be the key to a happy, healthy, and docile proletariat.”9 The absence of hygienic and affordable neighborhoods for the proletariat was a direct threat to the stability of the social order, thus putting the status of the bourgeoisie at risk.10 The word sanitized still holds a sinister meaning; something must be sanitized or cleaned to make it more palatable, a means of erasure. “The Cleaner” appears in La Femme Nikita to finish the job and to destroy all evidence from the scene, thus removing it from record. Meanwhile, the perception of filth is ambiguous at best. The widely-studied anthropologist Mary Douglas argues that within human culture “there is no such thing as absolute dirt: it exists in the eye of the beholder.”11 Instead, our perceptions regarding filth reveal something else: “dirt offends against order.”12 Wealth A defining characteristic in the development of the bourgeoisie is not just the accumulation of wealth per se, but the performance of that wealth. Whether from Leipzig, London, or New York, the bourgeoisie of the nineteenth century discovered philanthropy as a useful means of confirming their status within society.13 Then and now, wealth is of course, a necessary precondition for acceptance into the elite. But it is hardly sufficient. Despite having lived in the United States since 1650, the Vanderbilts were not accorded social recognition from the “old money” establishment until they could link their wealth to cultural prestige, for example, their financial support in the establishment of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.14
Meanwhile, Žižek reminds us that this tradition of philanthropy thrives today among the elite he calls “liberal communists.” Bill Gates is already the single greatest benefactor in the history of humanity — “The catch, of course, is that in order to give, first you have to take.”15 Similarly, in an op-ed for the The New York Times titled “The Charitable-Industrial Complex,” Peter Buffett, son of billionaire Warren Buffett, explains that today’s elite are “searching for answers with their right hand to problems that others in the room have created with their left.”16 Regardless of the sincerity of the philanthropist, the resulting “public good” is decidedly unclear. Despite the radical shifts in class structure since the nineteenth century, philanthropy continues to perform a dual duty. First, it allows the world’s elite to perform prestige for and amongst their peers and sanitizes their conscience. Simultaneously it provides a necessary stopgap measure for the increasing inequality inherent in the capitalist system, allowing a seemingly permanent postponement of crisis.17
of large populations via social management and edifying social mores. At the same time, the museum can be seen as an instrument, which delineates producers and consumers of knowledge, enforcing this division, through its very architecture, to delineate between the public space of display, where knowledge is made available for passive consumption, and the hidden spaces out of public reach, where the production of this knowledge occurs.20 The museum’s ability to speak as an authoritative voice, however, has waned. The aspirations of the museum seem, as Boris Groys puts it: “historically obsolete, out-of-touch… and even somewhat bizarre.”21 Instead, the internet has taken the place of the museum as the primary site of representation. And in an odd twist, this fall from power opens the gamut of possibility. If the museum is no longer the arbiter of taste, it can instead be a site of criticality, and imagining. And it is precisely its out-datedness that is of value. The museum is a repository of cultural memory, and its radical potential as a public space lies in making visible what we can’t see.
Dissonance (Endnotes) To the casual observer, the museum appears as a highly democratic structure and public space. Entrance to many museums is free, or at least, often cheaper than a ticket to the nearest cineplex. The museum appears to be a resource and asset available to everyone; the ideals and aspirations of a democratic civil society are manifested in these impressive architectural structures. Of course, a museum must have material culture to display; it is an architectural edifice to house a collection. And the contents of these collections, by their very placement within the museum, are inherently deemed valuable, perhaps not monetarily, but certainly culturally— worthy of being preserved. There is however, a conflict inherent in the museum and its purported public mission: “the dissonance between, on the one hand, the democratic rhetoric governing the conception of public museums as vehicles for popular education and, on the other, their actual functioning as instruments for the reform of public manners.”18 As the reformer Thomas Greenwood so aptly put it in 1888: “A Museum and Free Library are as necessary for the mental and moral health of the citizens as good sanitary arrangements, water supply and street lighting are for their physical health and comfort.”19 Calling on the seminal work of Foucault, cultural theorists and museologists have argued that the museum is in fact a site of control. The museum can be seen as an example of the emergence of new technologies to control behavior
1 Flaubert, Gustave, Letter to Madame Louise Colet, September 22, 1846. 2 Marx, Karl, Capital, Volume I, Chapter 10, Section 1, The Limits of the Working Day, 1867. 3 Flaubert, Gustave, Letter to George Sand, 1871, from The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters, 193. 4 Engels, Friedrich, Herr Eugen Dühring’s “Revolution in Science,” Introduction, 1878. 5 Flaubert, Gustave, Letter to George Sand, 1867, from The George Sand-Gustave Flaubert Letters, 70. 6 Engels, Friedrich, The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man, 1876. 7 This quote is attributed to Gustave Flaubert in many popular online sources, but it remains unclear if it can actually be attributed to him, and if so, from which text. 8 Marx, Karl, Letters from the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, Letter from Karl Marx to Arnold Ruge, Septem ber 1843. This letter has also been published with the alternate title “For a Ruthless Critique of Everything Existing.” 9 Hamlin, Christopher and Sally Sheard, “Revolutions in public health: 1848, and 1998?” BMJ 317(29 August 1998): 588.
10 Adam, Thomas, “Philanthropy and the Shaping of Social Distinctions in Nineteenth-Century U.S., Canadian, and German Cities,” in Philanthropy, Patronage and Civil Society: Experiences from Germany, Great Britain, and North America, ed. Thomas Adam, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004), 18. 11 M. Jay Slottman, “Out of sight out of Mind: Privy Architecture and the Perception of Sanitation,” Historical Archaeology 34, no. 1 (2000): 40. 12 Ibid. 13 Adam, Thomas, “Philanthropy and the Shaping of Social Distinctions,” 16. 14 Ibid., 18. 15 Žižek, Slavoj, Violence: Six Sideways Reflections (New York: Picador, 2008), 20. 16 Buffett, Peter, “The Charitable-Industrial Complex,” The New York Times, July 27, 2013, A19. 17 Žižek, Violence, 23. 18 Bennett, Tony, The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics (London & New York: Routledge, 1995), 90. 19 Greenwood, Thomas, Museums and Art Galleries (London: Simpkin, Marshall and Company, 1888), 389. 20 See Bennett, Tony, The Birth of the Museum, and Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, “The Museum in the Disciplinary Society,” in Museum Studies in Material Culture, ed. Susan Pearce, (Leicester, Leicester University Press, 1989). 21 Groys, Boris, “The Museum in the Age of Mass Media,” Manifesta Journal 1 (2003), 32-41.
For more on Boris Groys, see page 41 See page 82 for a message from the artist Alison Knowles For further examples of philanthropic gestures, see page 52
69 Script from the performance Pastapun met mint oysters (2013) Jugedamos Putting a bottle before the cup A lobster claw hides in the grapes The shit on the frame points to a light in the darkness Don’t shit on my frame Don’t frame my shit Don’t hang your paintings outside or else they go crooked Why shoot the cock while the goose is shot at Schiphol A full jar on the head is better than a drunk man in the field Pastapun met mint oysters
I think it was a proverb about the meeting between the jeugd and the old. The jeugd enters the room and is surprised to see the old sitting there. The jeugd asks the old, “How come you’re still alive?” And the old chuckles, “he, he” like that, and he says, “I’m not dead, oh no, I will survive...” And he starts to sing with this kind of old black man voice, “Oh Death, ohhhhh death, won’t you spare me over till another year...” The jeugd is quite fascinated by the old but he is also nervous because he feels he cannot grasp him. Then the old says, “I’m here, I will always be here. I don’t do a lot, I’m just staying, just waiting for the best moment to make my pun.” A good pun is like an oyster. It is fresh and slimy, attractive and disgusting at the same time. It is a contradiction of logic, and that is what makes it surprising. A pun has to be consumed quickly à la minute, but the taste lingers a long time in the mouth. The oyster is a mise-en abîme of the proverb itself, it symbolizes the power of the pun. OR I heard that in 2043, The Hippos, an African American group, recorded a jingle advertisement for the product Retrospectacles. Many scholars argue Pasta pun met mint oysters appeared for the first time in that little diddy of a song. If you’re looking for future fun from long ago, grab you’re retrospectacles and go go go, find a pastapun met mint oysters, flip on back, Mr. Moishe Moister!
Good people of Amsterdam, we’ve got something pretty special for you, I’m only staying here until yesterday and then I’m off for Kansas, so I want to tell you something awesome that we’ve got in store for you! It’s a little bit time sensitive so I apologize for the interruption, but a little bottle of boogle dangle won’t untangle you’re groove, god damn no sireee! You’ve seen some really compelling demos here, they were slick, they were robust, this is nothing like that. This could go wrong in about 500 different ways, so tell me now, are you ready to step right up and witness the miraculous? This is crazy, a bit nuts, but we want to present for the very first time in the Netherlands our very own, old fashioned never released, fantastical, get em while they’re hot Retrospectacles! They put the jeugd, in yogurt, the cute in barbecute, and the spicy mustard in the ancient custard. They’ll even let you log on to the network with a wink of the eye, if you know what I mean! Nudge nudge, say no more! Are you feeling too retro metro? Do you ever want to travel forward in time to the patat of a different MoMA… San Fransisco MoMA, New York MoMA, Eindhoven MoMA, Memory lane MoMA perhaps? Well don’t be a square, try yourself a pair of retrospectacles! Pasta down from my great granddaddy, these shpeks will give you a new way to see the old and an old way to see the new. Don’t sit on your tush fusili reasons, get up cause I’m going to tagliatelle you what these retrospectacles can do! Are you ready Freddy spaghetti for a special surprise fine art people of Amsterdam? I have lent a pair of Retrospectacles to my friend JP He’s an authentic hep cat oyster, he’s really into radical predictions. We hooked him up with a pair of Retrospectacles to see what tricks he might do. Let’s try and get in contact with him: — JP Can you hear me?
— Yes DB, are you there?
— I’m here.
— I was listening your speech and it’s sounds pretty cool.
— Thanks JP, where are you?
— I’m in the bushes.
— What are you doing there?
— I’m counting nuts.
knocks knocks at the future fiori and farfalloni on top, like a butterfly on the flower. But be careful, punt NL.
— JP What do you see?
— I don’t see anything special at the moment, just a few squirrels. For sure, I’m no longer in the impossible present, but what is amazing is that I can feel the Retrospectacles squeezing into my face. I can say that Retrospectacles adapt to the user’s physical profile and work individually. I feel that the length of my nose reduces my eye gaze. Also it amazing, that the soft point on my forehead is responsible for my time zone senses. Basically it is a hip-hoptical tool, which simulates past pasta, Christmas presents and future furniture. I can feel that the algorithm of my memory and the time particles are constantly interchanging via reminiscential pasta spectrum.
— For example, D.B. are you still on retro?
— If you say past.
— And I say present, then the conventional time rectangle shifts diagonally to the local time zone, which is UTC +1. That means that the pasta penne shifts to the present shape of cannelloni. And I see now that the Retrospectacles have an extra option. If the user wants to have more classical time flavor of the great narrative, Retrospectacles can put the filter of the cheddar bastard cheese, which brings us to the general theory of pasta with ketchup. But if I would switch my spaghetti arrow on the faster tempo, DB, I say present, and you say...
— Amazing. We can Retrospeculate the past and future at once. It means the general pasta globe collapses to tiny bits of grattini grains — and then bebop bebop just don’t stop. The couscous
— I ain’t coming on that tab JP. What you’re saying is sexually very interesting but you’re creeping out like the shadow, you’re gammin up the glims, but at the same time your off the cob, and that’s what I like about you pops, even when you got your glasses on, you lay your racket as a killer diller.
— I see a prediction. My grandfather is sitting on a canal. He is a child and he’s taking a spoon out of his pocket. He’s putting it onto his nose, turning to a tourist holding a camera… and… NOW it’s uploading.
— Ok Retrospectacles, show me the future picture.
— Grandpa has disappeared, but the spoon is still here, it’s being put onto another person’s nose, and they are smiling posing for a painting. They are wearing mustaches, all of them, suspenders, my grandpa’s glasses too, and they’re eating sustainable local food. And there you are DB but you’re very old, you’re walking with a cane, and looking at the kids with the mustaches. You are clean-shaven, and well, it looks like I know what you’re going to say, but you already said it. I’m remembering tomorrow now, and I’m just projecting, or Retrospeculating, but once we’re there, I mean tomorrow, I think we’ll know that during this live hangout we were alive because we knew the respectacle jive.
OR Pastapun met mint oysters was one of the special dishes served on the menu of Chez le Paris, a French style Eet cafe in the northern Dutch city of Groningen. Oh yes! I remember Chez le Paris, oh my gouda kaas... they were so famous for their unstable tables. One leg would always be too short and then the table would gradually lean towards you, slowly, slowly, and… SPLAT! Foie gras on your bra! Of course this was not all the time, only happened when you put your elbows on the table. They made their tables that way on purpose to teach you manners, for those no good jeugd van tegenwoordig, them youngsters always with their elbows on the table, acting like it’s some kind of a sloppy Joe joint. Didn’t their mother’s ever teach them... Oh what a disgrace, next thing you know, people will be talking on their celery phones while in the rest or run like it’s no big banana peel! You know I was waiting outside Chez le Paris the other day and there was a group of boys saying that they were hungry. Ik heb honger! ik heb honger! Well you don’t know what hunger is, because you didn’t experience the war. And now lord, they’re saying that they’re not just hungry, but that they’re hangry, they’re so hungry that they’re angry!
Tell me, what do you see? I see black monochrome smartphones. The whole history of the black smartphone is here. Look, here is the first one, made in 0.0, we can recognize it among the others with its special flatness and geometry typical from the Suprematism phone. Small and square, this Malevichian specimen represents very well the ideal of mathematical purity. The pure feeling of mathematics. We also call it the Magic Square. This brings us to the Minimalism phone, which was very influenced by the Suprematism. We can easily recognize it because of its flatness as well, but also because it is a rectangle, which fits into the pocket much more than the square one. That’s why it was more popular than the avant-garde Magical Square, it was easier to use for the people. Back then it was called the Popiphone and all the other smartphones tried to copy it, like the Copyphone. But the original stays unique and still very contemporary. You can’t say that the Popiphone is a case of Leftoversism or Oysterism, it just stays as it is and crosses time endlessly. This one is also quite amazing, a Samsung Expressionism, I will say from early 2.2. In contrast from the Suprematism, the keyboard is part of the matter, it is much more expressive and has different effects of volume and matter. This antagonism between the screen and the keyboard was the basis for the next movement, the Blackberry movement as you can see here. The Blackberry’s statement is that the keyboard is like a valley, part of a plateau, I mean it is a component of a landscape that you cannot ignore. Of course there is a battle between these two philosophies. I can’t tell you who is the winner for the moment, they are still both very actual and active in the contemporary smartphone scene. And, here we have a very glossy Nokia specimen. Look at the mirroring surface, it is amazing, it must be a Post-minimalism Popiphone I would say, maybe from the Pastapost Tonalism? OR is that Alphonso Allais on the phone?
Twenty three Zwarte Piets stealing lekker liquorish candies in the MoMA museum in front of the Malevich square at night. Over radiated solarium girl desperately searching for her ING debit card in a fruit market while a sunset color hair salesman is trying to seduce her with a soup made of a quarter of semi-sized mushed pumpkin one sinaasappel, three carrots, a piece of chicken bouillon and all of that on Queen’s day.
A group of prisoners holding spatulas making a Zen garden in the snow. A sad faced mime is watching a chess game on TV between a crazy zebra and a wild skunk but the program is interrupted by static noise.
An ode to aspiration Srajana Kaikini Monologue I “I am a speck of dust. I settled on this book five years ago. Over time I’ve grown attached to her — Anna Karenina by Tolstoy, an old hardbound leather edition. The damp and yellow pages swell each day. I have changed my colour to match their yellowness. A particular shade of grey, soft bluish and melancholic that matches well with the mouldy mango yellow of the pages and of the wallpaper in this study. She used to have piano lessons here, and was taught how to greet politely. On her fifteenth birthday, she was gifted this book. She never read it beyond the first ten pages. And then I settled on Tolstoy’s pages. We seem to give her strange comfort — book, dust and nostalgia. As for me, I want to fly elsewhere; away from this stagnation.” Baudrillard quotes from the Littre dictionary “Anything which is the cause or subject of a passion” is an object. A child often finds a small pen cap more fascinating a toy to play with rather than a more sophisticated toy-car; a first symptom of the world of signs and meanings that the child will grow into. These are signs that multiply and proliferate through objects and through language.
To read more language spoken around objects in the exhibition space, see pages 12, 19, 26, 32, 56, 83, 140 For more retrospective speculation, see pages 19, 52, 63
The curiosity and the affection bestowed upon objects in our lives have a deep psycho-forensic spin to it. These ‘Things’ as artist Matthieu Laurette likes to call the domestic objects that accumulate in his studio, tell many stories. They are potent and decisive vehicles of signs that drive the desire economy in the global capital. A vulnerable prey to this consumerist Venus flytrap is the middle class. The aspiration of the middle class is a subject often turned into fodder for intellectual theoretical consumption. However, conveniently sidelined by the politics of theory are the emotional investments and personal drives behind this aspiring class. This class that is often entangled in the upwardly mobile graph aspiring towards a bourgeois lifestyle has been in crisis for long, and currently at the brink of extinction as most of them have climbed up the graph and turned into the nouveau riche while others are consolidated into the labouring class. The bourgeois class of today falls in between these ambiguous overlapping Venn diagrams of economy, job profiles and localities and geographies. While none can pin down one generic bourgeoisie of today, one can’t deny that they exist in several versions in different geo-political regions. The middle class in India may have different socio-political connotations than the middle class in the Netherlands. However the term has implicit within it processes of aspiration and a subsequent saturation of aspiration of an upwardly mobile class; a cycle that seems to keep repeating. A recent article by Sandipan Deb in the Livemint journal titled The Exit of the Middle Class, speaks of a state of perennial mental exit as a condition of today’s Indian middle class eliciting a disengagement and escape from the state, and retreat from the current state of affairs in the nation. ‘Bourgeois Leftovers,’ in a sense smells of ruin and discovery, an excavating exercise in revoking what has been relegated as perhaps extinct (the bourgeois as a pre-world war class) and confronting it with a condition that persists beyond the terminology even into the present; an engagement with the bourgeois outlook. A Dialogue In the film Revolutionary Road (2008) directed by Sam Mendes, adapted from the eponymous novel by Richard Yates, a working class suburban couple, Frank and April Wheeler, struggle with their social desires; a longing for a life in Paris, a yearning to read and have time for themselves, a wish to lead an independent life. Symptoms of a desire to perform the luxurious bourgeois.
APRIL Frank won’t be doing any kind of a job, because I will. A FRIEND (to Frank) And what are you going to do? FRANK I’m going to study... and I’m going to read and... I suppose I’m going to finally figure out what I want to do with my life. This desire to have time, have a life where one can afford to not work comes out of the aspiration for this suburban couple wanting to move out, and belong to another class. One could sympathise with this desire as it is driven by a need for change. However, it is often neutralised by a stark reversal of desires towards stagnation. Often, one stops at desiring and falls into the trap of contentment, takes refuge in the inertia of the status quo. APRIL You want to know the worst part? Our whole existence here is based on this great premise that we’re somehow very special and superior to the whole thing, and you know what I’ve realized...? We’re not! We’re just like everyone else. Look at us! We’ve bought into the same ridiculous delusion. This idea that you have to resign from life and settle down… In these tense and turbulent geographies of desire, a leading protagonist continues to be the ‘object.’ The object is a dialectical tool. It operates between two poles — one as an infinite container of signs that are always renewing and the other as a definite tangible material entity. It has an on the one hand an endless potential to accrue, invest itself with inexhaustible meaning and yet on the other hand, present itself as an opaque material; a rationalized product of science, made of atoms and molecules, surfaces and physical properties. A line from Lenin’s commentary on Marx seems here an apt extrapolation of this thought where he says “The discoveries of natural science — radium, electrons, the transmutation of elements — have been a remarkable confirmation of Marx’s dialectical materialism despite the teachings of bourgeois philosophers with their ‘new’ reversions to old and decadent idealism.”
The Indian philosophical theory of rasa dhvani argues that there is no possibility of an objectless emotion. Any emotional state, however abstract in its feel, can only be conveyed through concrete imagery and literal objects to give full force to an expression. A painting, a still life, an image, these are also attempts in reification of the fleeting moment. As images of things, they are condensations of meanings and affect in a material vocabulary. As things themselves, in a class conscious society, objects attain more implicit meaning as symbols of the condition of living they represent. The ‘personified object’ is a prevalent storyteller. Things in relation to each other and in relation to their owners, subjects, lenders and borrowers, are active agents in creating human relationships and also trapping them. Monologue II “They hung me in this foyer space three days before the grand party. I’m a small sized chandelier. I have a bronze frame painted gold and have acrylic beads that look like glass. Light weight and classy, they bought me at an antique shop for a bargain. Don’t mistake me to be a fake. My intentions are sincere, but I cannot deny the intent that was given to me by my makers — the intention to simulate an expensive glass home ornament. I think I pride my fakeness. Just like the clock that hangs in the living room downstairs. She prides herself in the time she gives to the owners of this home. They seem to have more time than others. She creates this illusion for them. She slows down time and turns it into luxury for this home. Just like I create just enough light to illuminate the centre of this foyer, the old oak furniture and glassware, and guide your eyes away from the dark corners with broken mirrors in the stifling dampness of this cluttered home.”
apathy or a lack of desire or grit in some section of society to break from the stagnant status quo and therefore be relegated to the dark corner of history as leftovers of an era by the progressives. Notwithstanding, a question that keeps coming back in our face in times of accelerated accumulation is how much can one relegate and leave behind and how much can one resurrect for reconsideration. “They (the Bauls) say, all these scriptures are nothing but leftovers from ancient celebrations. What are we, dogs? —that we should lick these leftovers? If there is need, we shall make new celebrations.” ** ** A Baul song excerpt from Kshitimohan Sen’s article discussing the mystic minstrels from West Bengal region of India, http://www.live mint.com/Leisure/h9RhtPoM9U01WWo2Lj257H/Making-new celebrations.html
The stagnant versus the ever-changing has been a subject close to traditional nomadic mystics in India. The Bhakti poets of the early sixteenth-century India talk about the concept of jangama (the everchanging) as opposed to the sthaavara (the stationary) as ways of living. These nomadic mystics shunned class-driven hegemonies by introducing an alternate school of thought expressing themselves mainly through street-sung ballads. An ode to the aspirant bourgeois citizens as a lost decadent class could well be a melancholic one. One that draws from this For more on the bourgeoisie, see page 103 See page 145 for Jesus and Star Wars For more on thingness, see page 87
82 from: Alison Knowles to: Angela Jerardi date: Sat, Mar 16, 2013 at 8:02 PM subject: Re: A request from the de Appel Curatorial Programme Dear Angela How very fine to contemplate Wies Smals again and send an idea to you: Go to a flea market or your own closet. Find a pair of shoes that are in bad shape. Tie the laces together and exhibit them under glass or on a pedestal. Label should read SHOES OF YOUR CHOICE for Wies 1962. I am honored to be in your shoe Bourgeois Leftovers. Sincerely Alison Knowles
83 from: Tamara Kuselman (email@example.com) to: firstname.lastname@example.org Hi again, Raoul! I’m happy you accepted my invitation to read the text. As you can see in the image below, the audience will sit in 3 or 4 rows of chairs looking (more or less) in the direction the room’s entrance. Every visitor will get a small mirror to follow the performance by watching through it. To start off, I’ll make a brief introduction in which I’ll explain how the mirrors are supposed to be used. I’m still working on how to make this short presentation, but I think it will be something like this. Standing in front of the audience, I start saying:
I walk left around the audience until I get to the painting.
To read about a letter from Alison to Wies Smals in the de Appel archive, see page 127 For more on the ways in which language shifts value, see pages 5, 12, 19, 23, 32, 52, 69
Please hold your mirrors up.
Now use your mirrors to see me.
Can you see me now?
The author of this painting was called Arnout Colnot. I chose this piece because of the sonority of his name: Arnout Colnot, Arn... Arnout Colnot.
I searched the title of the painting in Google Images: “Still Life with Blackcocks.” But the painting wasn’t among the results. Actually, the results were... unexpected. This will link with the image that I want you to show later on, in the middle of the reading. The image is one I got on Google Images when I searched for the painting.
But anyway, now we can imagine that we are looking at the sky... 126 years ago.
The circle and the marks that you see on the drawing are a translation of Arnout’s astral chart. I don’t know if you’re familiar with this but basically what it represents is the location of the planets in the sky at the moment of his birth. The text, on the other hand, is an interpretation of this written by Ina, the Astrologist I’m working with. The numbers on the diagram correspond to the ones on the text, so that you will read each paragraph while standing on the planet the text is referring to. Then you will walk to the next position.
Then you’ll start the reading.
The text, I would like you to read it from an iPad because between paragraph 4 and 5 I want you to show to the audience, very briefly, the image that I mentioned before, that is this one: I’m awaiting Florencia’s (one of the curators) reply, to see if we can get one.
I think it could be nice to start the last phrase on position 7. Then, while still reading, you could cross the room trough the chairs and to stop on mark 7.2, near the door. After giving the back to the audience for a moment, you would finish by turning around to pronounce the last few words facing them.
Let me know what you think about it. I’m very open to suggestions, thoughts, etc. See you on Monday. What time is good for you? I have to go at 6:30 pm. Hugs! T
THINGS (Purchased With Funds Provided By), 2010 – 2020, installation with 50 certificates and neon. Matthieu Laurette This work invites de Appel visitors to purchase objects for Laurette’s personal use in his studio. The visitor pays the retail price of the object and the frame (4,99 euros). In return, he or she will receive a contract bearing a photograph of the object co-signed by him-or herself and the artist.
For more uses of Google and smart technology, see pages 69 or 91 For more engagements with individual paintings, see pages 12, 32, 61, 91, 140, 145
For further reading on economic circuits, see pages 5, 52, 54, 59, 63 For works sold at the opening, see page 127 For more on the artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s studio, see page 16
103 Interview with Sven Lütticken (SL) May 6, 2013, Amsterdam by Kari Cwynar (KC) Angela Jerardi (AJ) Srajana Kaikini (SK) Alexandra Stock (AS)
We were interested in continuing the conversation we had with you at Casco [in March 2013] in which you were talking about Adorno quite a bit, and situating what “bourgeois” could mean today. My first question would be based on this, and a bit basic, but can you speak about what the word bourgeois conjures for you in relation to contemporary art and society?
SL If I look at Germany, which is my primary frame of reference, then Bürgerlichkeit is very contested. People use the term in different ways, either claiming Bürgerlichkeit for themselves or portraying others as being bürgerlich in a negative way, using the negative connotations that exist to smear their opponents. In contrast to the more neutral Mittelschicht, which would approximately be the equivalent of the UK “middle class,” Bürgerlichkeit stresses that it’s not just about income, More on visibility and invisibility on pages 32, 52, 61, 63, 134 For more on the aura of the image, see page 145
but about class in social and cultural as well as economical terms —about a whole class habitus. Of course the term “middle class” also comes with connotations as to what is “typically middle-class,” but Bürgertum and Bürgerlichkeit turn such connotations into a more fully developed ideology. Which doesn’t mean that the term is not contested; on the contrary. Ultimately terms such as middle-class — but especially bourgeoisie as a more highly-charged or ideologically charged notion — are never simply neutral labels for natural phenomena that are clearly contained; they’re always used strategically or tactically, people claim or reject them, or transform them in various ways. For instance, Spießbürger is a term that you constantly encounter in German literature from the nineteenth century, and actually Adorno uses it. The Spießbürger stands for the narrow-minded petit-bourgeois. The Spießbürger is always the enemy, someone who prides himself on being bourgeois but ultimately cannot live up to the expectations, and is always the proletarianised bourgeois, if you will. There’s this phrase of the neue Bürgerlichkeit, the new bourgeoisie or the new bourgeois-ness. This neue bürgerlichkeit is something that some political parties claim, or some movements within political parties claim, to differentiate themselves from the old Bürgerlichkeit, which was narrow-minded, had a strict, rigid moral code and was predominantly Christian and conservative. The neue Bürgerlichkeit is associated with a new type of urban population in BerlinMitte, for example, and with the Green Party (Die Grünen) rather than with the Christian Democrats. Just now, however, the chairman of the Liberal Democrats, the FDP, has accused the Greens of not being the neue Bürger but of being the neue Spießburger. So everyone is jockeying for a position and using Bürgerlichkeit and related terms as weapons but there is certainly also in Germany this fantasy of what a proper bürgerlich life would be, what it would entail, it’s also related to the German term Bildung, so having culture, being cultured, being educated, so there is certain media, like Die Zeit, that clearly caters to the bildungsbürgerliche class, so in Germany it’s really a term that’s very prevalent. So for me that would be the primary frame of reference, but there’s always the sense that it’s a problematic term, and it’s not a self-evident given, in the sense that the bourgeoisie or the bürgerliche schicht doesn’t have this unproblematic existence, it’s something that either is resurgent after having been under attack for decades, or it’s something that somehow has to be willed into existence again, or if it exists, it can be the wrong type
of Bürgerlichkeit, it can be Spießbürger, rather than the more cultured higher bourgeois version. It’s this constant battle.
KC In the German context, it is clear that many are staking claim to the positive aspect of the bourgeoisie, in the sense of “having culture,” but in Germany and elsewhere the label comes with this negative connotation as well, in the sense of narrow-mindedness [and the individualism, pursuit of ownership, etc]. Can you speak a little about the use of the word in the Netherlands? SL In Holland, burgerlijk is an insult — comparable to the German Spießbürger. If you call someone burgerlijk, and at least this has been the usage for many decades, you’re basically calling them narrowminded, provincial, happy with this laid-out life, having a semidetached house and two children, etc. I’m not following the Dutch discourse so much, but I haven’t really noticed a shift whereby people try to claim this notion again as something positive, something they identify with; I haven’t seen this new burgerlijk here, at least not to a similar extent. There is a more substantial erosion of certain bourgeois norms and ideals in Holland compared to Germany. For me, it was really striking when the culture cuts happened in Holland that NRC Next (which is a spin-off of NRC Handelsblad, and if any newspaper is an organ, a medium of what passes for the bourgeoisie in Holland, it’s the NRC Handelsblad) had this big headline on the front page saying “Finally Less Art,” whereas in Germany Die Zeit had this entire section that sounded warning bells about the attack on art and culture in Holland. That for me was such a striking juxtapositon, such a striking opposition. AJ
You also described how in Germany the bürgerlich is so tied to being a citizen whereas in my context, coming from the States, we use the word bourgeois, but we would never associate it with citizenship.
SL In France you have the citoyen on the one hand and the bourgeois on the other; the citoyen is the citizen, and the bourgeois a member of a specific class. Both terms have of course much older (Medieval) etymological roots, with citoyen deriving from cite and bourgeois from burgo/bourg. However, this distinction between the two only crystallised during the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.
Of course, Germany had a very complicated and complex relationship with the French Revolution. The German Romantics extolled the French Revolution at first but then turned against it under Napoleon, and throughout the nineteenth century, German culture was idealised and idolised as something that was essentially different from the French civilization. The term citoyen couldn’t really have a German equivalent either because it was part of this French civilization, part of the French post-revolutionary culture. The term Bürger came to cover everything. To some extent it was similar in Holland, though as I’ve noted the adjective burgerlijk has accrued rather negative connotations in the Netherlands. Anyway I can be a German Staatsbürger (citizen), and apart from that I may or may not be part of the Bürgertum in a class sense. The talk about Bürgerlichkeit tends to assimilate the virtues and duties of citizenship to a specific class; the bourgeois becomes the citizen par excellence. Of course, throughout the nineteenth century and through quite a bit of the twentieth, Germans did not in fact have what we would think of as the full rights of citizenship. The Bürger was not a full citoyen, which may be one reason why Bürgerliche Kultur became so important. Heine and Marx always lampooned the Germans for fleeing into idealist dreams rather than transforming society, as the French did on multiple occasions. In fact, the crucial period in Germany was the mid-nineteenth century, when Marx matured as a thinker, when the proletariat came to be theorised as the bourgeoisie’s other. For Marx, it was clear that in 1848-49 the bourgeoisie had both fulfilled and betrayed its historical mission, its emancipatory project. To put it bluntly, significant portions of the Bürgertum came to the conclusion that political representation can be dangerous because there was another class demanding all kinds of rights, the proletariat (which at that point, in Germany, wasn’t yet a predominantly industrial proletariat). Why not arrange ourselves with the nobility and opt for some form of neo-monarchy so we can go about our business, we can have our businesses, make money and enjoy culture, without all of those dangerous political rights and this call for emancipation that may ultimately be used against us? At this point, the bourgeoisie opted for security over emancipation. That’s when for Marx the bourgeoisie had really played out its historical role. Of course, one could question the progressive nature of the early bourgeoisie, for instance its role in the sixteenth-century Peasant Wars; there appears to be a certain pattern of the bourgeoisie siding with the powers to be in order to
suppress troublesome classes. However, in Marx’s account of history, the early bourgeoisie was needed as a historical actor to bring about change, whereas by the mid-nineteenth century the proletariat was ready to take over and the bourgeoisie could leave the stage. Again, according to Marx. Now, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and of “actually existing communism,” and after the upheavals of Wall Street, the middle class again sees that it is under attack everywhere, that it is being “squeezed,” as the phrase goes, but the enemy is less easily identified. If the mid-nineteenth century course of action was to some extent rational, driven by self-interest, you could argue that today’s middle class is rather apt to be conned into voting for neoliberal policies that will widen the income gap in favour of an extremely small group (the famous one percent), leaving them worse off since they in fact depend on all kinds of public services, like kindergartens and so on. Perhaps it is this very “squeeze” that stimulates attempts the middle class are interested in maintaining or re-gaining this sense of themselves as being members of this culturally — and intellectually — privileged bourgeoisie, even while their economic base is eroding. SK Now you’ve seen the paintings in the exhibition, and you have a sense of the label of “bourgeois leftovers” and the label’s connection to the objects, as it was assigned to the paintings. Charles Esche himself calls the label non-judgmental, as a factual label, because the bourgeois aesthetic in relation to these paintings is not pejorative, but a general reflection of the conditions under which they were produced, as Eindhoven had a big working class, with the Phillips [light bulb] factory, and then there’s this class that emerged that would support these painters. How would you situate the political potential of these paintings. Can be they be non-judgmental? Can they afford to be called neutral? SL
While you don’t use the term in an explicitly judgmental way, I doubt if it’s really possible to purge this term of all of the connotations that have accumulated over time. People try to neutralise certain connotations and develop others, but you can never say stop, we can finish this history, from now on it’s a neutral term. The very combination of “bourgeois” with “leftovers” suggests that the bourgeoisie, or a certain bourgeoisie with a specific taste, is a thing of a past, and in that sense the title is rather charged.
It’s interesting to see how Adorno uses the terms bürgerlich and Bürgerlichkeit. A lot of the time it’s clearly quite negative; he presents modern art as having to overcome, to criticise and to overcome, the bourgeois habitus and the bourgeois approach to art. The political context is of course crucial here; his outlook was shaped by the rise of fascism and the willingness of a sizeable portion of the bourgeoisie to arrange themselves with Hitler — who seemed like the lesser evil, if he was seen as an evil at all. “Was immer am Bürgerlichen einmal gut und anständig war, Unabhängigkeit, Beharrlichkeit, Vorausdenken, Umsicht, ist verdorben bis ins Innerste” [“What once may have been good about the bourgeois — independence, perseverance, forethought, prudence —, is now rotten to the core”], Adorno noted grimly in 1944. While its economic bases had eroded, the bourgeoisie lived on in a spectral afterlife, clinging on to values it betrayed. Think of concentration camp guards killing hundreds of people during the day, and then listening to Beethoven at night. Still enjoying bourgeois culture. Concerning art, one of Adorno’s dictums is that the bourgeois wants life to be karg (frugal) and art to be üppig (opulent), but that the reverse would be better. So art should be strict and stern and frugal, it’s life that should be a horn of plenty. Modernism, for Adorno, topples the bourgeois aesthetic ideology that treats art as an escape into art as an escape into a realm of fulfilment where a human being can be truly human. That for Adorno is the bourgeois lie, the essential lie of the bourgeois aesthetic. In terms of the exhibition, I think it’s interesting to see what one could term a dialectic of the bourgeois aesthetic and the modernist aesthetic in some works. I thought this one work, Bart Peizel’s Still Life with Books, which clearly is informed by modernism even as it tries to effect a “rappel à l’ordre.” The artist was apparently obsessed with Mondriaan. SL
KC He apparently not only was obsessed, but hated Mondriaan. There isn’t this pure opposition between modernism on one hand, and bourgeois leftovers on the other. Peizel, for example, may have hated Mondriaan but he still looked at Mondriaan, at early-twentieth century art in general, and at the whole culture of “mechanical reproduction.” It’s not a painting from 1850, or even 1880.
KC I think there’s an early assumption that one might make to think that these painters were ignorant or unaware of the discourse around modern art that was happening, but it was an active choice to paint in this way. SL
Of course for Adorno that still would have been the wrong choice. And for him art had to shatter many of these bourgeois pre-conceptions; he does paint this quite grim picture of the bourgeois basically not challenging the conditions of his life at all but then he can go to a Beethoven concert and pour out all of his emancipatory thoughts, feelings, and affects into that experience of art, and art has been used as an excuse to let things stay the way they are. For Walter Benjamin as for Bertolt Brecht, of course, Adorno himself clung on to forms of art that were essentially bourgeois. Rather than theorising and promoting modernist painting or modernist twelve-tone music, the potential of new media, of mass media, had to be embraced. Benjamin states that the crowds or the masses that display progressive behaviour when confronted with a film, become reactionary when confronted with a Picasso painting. This Picasso painting may be aesthetically progressive, but you need to actually be part of a certain bourgeois culture, you need to have a certain amount of leisure time, and you need to have a certain type of intellectual baggage to criticise it, to appreciate it, and in that sense it’s reactionary. Adorno is that man standing in front of a Picasso painting or listening to a Schoenberg piece and writing hundreds and hundreds of pages about the works of aesthetic modernism. The avant-garde rejection of painting as bourgeois art par excellence perhaps culminated in a text by Guy Debord in which he approvingly mentions Bakunin’s proposal to put paintings from the Dresden museum on the barricades in 1849, to see if this would prevent the art-loving bourgeois from firing, and applauds a group of students in Caracas for taking expensive French paintings hostage and then trying to bomb the van that was transporting them. Here painting is attacked as the ultimate artistic commodity, and the bourgeoisie as the consumer of this commodity. Today the opposition between bourgeois objects and avantgarde strategies has largely been cancelled out by the proliferation of project-based work, many of which are critical of institutionalised structures while also participating in the “liberalisation” of the cultural field. Recontextualising these works, given them a new lease on life
with this show, is a contemporary form of cognitive and affective labour that to me is at least as interesting as the paintings that are being treated in this manner. The show seems to be precisely about this conjunction, or disjunction. For decades, for the Van Abbemuseum, these paintings were mostly cumbersome material remains; they were not really important artworks. Now with this show, in a sense you re-position them, you re-contextualise them and re-integrate them into artistic discourse and they accrue new meanings. We’ve gone from Bakunin’s Raphael on the barricades to the Van Abbe’s leftovers on Ruth Buchanan’s grid structure. AJ
The paintings make me think of an archaeological remain, where something was of some value in someone’s home, and then it was thrown out and then hundreds of years later someone finds it and puts it back together and it becomes a beautiful bowl and you go to see it in a museum, but it was just a bowl used for soup. So it receives a new aura, but it’s not really the right aura, because it’s just these remnants. It’s odd, because while they still clearly retain meaningful value for some people, there’s a certain clarity within the contemporary art world of what these are; but it’s a problematic clarity, because you see when people walk through the show that this clarity doesn’t exactly hold.
SL In a weird way there seems to be a return to this Adornian opposition between das karge Leben and die üppige Kunst, as some visitors clearly come to marvel at this nude by Jan Sluijters. For them this is what art should be because it gives you this sense of visual and sensual fullness, plenitude, and it’s properly aesthetic, in contrast to these little objects by Alison Knowles and the documents that are part of Matthieu Laurette’s work; those works have no aesthetic qualities for the people who admire the Jan Sluijters. Stendahl’s notion of the artwork as a promesse de bonheur — which was so important to Adorno — is used to conform an already obsolete habitus, a kind of residual remainder of burgerlijkheid. AJ If the “bourgeoisie” was always a highly ideological way for the middle classes to conceive of themselves and their status and mission, by now it almost seems to be pure fiction with little behind it. As you said, the middle class is being squeezed; there is a super-rich and there is a proletariat that
may no longer be the working class of old. Things are confusing; I have stocks (a few), so what does that make me? I guess I’m curious about the extent to which nineteenthcentury terms still have relevance. It seems that we’re a little stuck in using them and we haven’t developed new, more useful critical language to describe the late-capitalist society that we live it. SL I would go along with that. Of course, the point has been made in a variety of ways since the 1960s. The traditional industrial proletariat in the capitalist west was at that point no longer this class that still had this clear emancipatory or revolutionary potential. New terms arose, pointing towards different forms of class formation or assemblages between groups: the cognitariat, the provotariat, the precariat, the multitude, and so on. To me a telling and rather funny symptom of the crisis of old conceptual frameworks was when Labour politician John Prescott made a documentary about the British class system (working class, middle class, upper class and their various nuances). He was talking to a young woman who in the terms of this triad was very clearly working class, but to Prescott’s surprise she maintained that she was middle class—“because I don’t work.” In other words, she was unemployed. Still, some residual forms of working class culture do of course exist even as the old social and economical structures have fallen away; and as a product of the German Bürgertum I’d be the last to deny that a lot of its habitus still exists, with all the good and the bad. Where it becomes pernicious is when some ideological fantasy of Bürgerlichkeit is packaged and marketed, and used as an excuse to pour scorn on Bildungsferne Schichten (the uneducated), Harz-IVEmpfänger (recipients of welfare), or immigrants. The phenomenon of the so-called Wutbürger (angry bourgeois/citizens) is telling: mostly elderly members of the middle class who protest loudly about some political or social wrong, some of these Wutbürger are fanatical fans of Thilo Sarrazin, the former banker and politician who warns that Germany is in the process of being taken over and ruined by procreation-happy (Muslim) immigrants with a low IQ. This, it seems, is one face of the new Bürgerlichkeit. Meanwhile, citizens who may or may not be bourgeois seem all-too-happy to give up what is perhaps the crucial bourgeois value, long since reduced to shibboleth: autonomy. Autonomy, self-determination, as connected to inviolate private property, was the key
bourgeois value for which the battles of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were fought — and the right to vote in democratic elections was of course the concrete political form taken by that autonomy. If at various moments, the bourgeoisie seemed happy to give up its political rights against some real or perceived outside threat, opting for property over freedom, today we see people that are being interviewed over NSA and GCHQ phone and internet surveillance use the same argument as if it’s some kind of magic incantation: If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about. No matter that tons of private data is in the hands of shady agencies that are beyond any meaningful form of democratic control; if it helps to fight terrorism, which is to say if it helps to prolong global inequalities and slow down the decline of the West, then to hell with autonomy, democracy, and the rest of these silly notions! The symptoms of a stagnant economy are of course everywhere to see, and many young people don’t have a career perspective similar to those enraged German pensioners who profited from the German economic boom after the war. Across Europe but of course elsewhere as well, people in their late teens and twenties are now faced with rising tuition fees and highly uncertain prospects as members of an ever-growing precariat. One would hope that instead of opting for defensive ideological delusions, or self-delusions, they strive to find common ground with others that may be more Bildungsfern than they are. What once was good about the bourgeois habitus may still be of use in struggles that can indeed no longer be understood with nineteenth-century concepts, but which try to make good on that promesse de bonheur. Either that, or the promesse de bonheur becomes the exclusive property of an ever-shrinking upper and upper-middle class that is happy enough to live in a paranoid surveillance society in which the number of threatening Others keeps growing and growing.
For more on aspiration, see pages 7, 77 For more international perspectives on the aftermath of modernism, see pages 41, 113
Pp 113 Mutations in Contemporary Art Language: a conversation with Gerardo Mosquera (GM) about the exhibition Bourgeois Leftovers. by Florencia Portocarrero (FP) Every decision implies the exclusion of other possibilities, inevitably generating leftovers that remain as residues or spectres. Decisions, however, are always temporary. For Bourgeois Leftovers we opted to pick up a group of thirty-two paintings leftover from the new Van Abbemuseum collection display: academic paintings produced in the beginning of the twentieth century. These paintings exist in a limbo — no longer consecrated but not yet discarded — they are apparently marginal to current artistic discussions. Intrigued by this odd condition, we invited nineteen contemporary artists to revisit them and think with us about the circumstances that determine their ambivalent status. Bourgeois Leftovers opens a conversation that would otherwise be closed, creating a space where two parallel discourses, that of fine arts and contemporary art practice, can coexist. This interview with Cuban critic and curator Gerardo Mosquera, on the occasion of the exhibition Bourgeois Leftovers, reflects on mutations in contemporary art language and the exclusions it generates.
as ‘Bourgeois Leftovers,’ something that already implies a complex political judgment. Working from there is a suggestive idea that also opens up an interesting reflection.
FP I want to start with something general: What were your first impressions about the starting point of Bourgeois Leftovers? GM I liked the idea from the beginning, not only because of its singularity but also for bringing up the important subject of art judgment and valuation, making visible the difference between what the market and the museum assimilate and what they leave out, i.e. leftovers. Choosing this topic as a starting point and transforming it into a contemporary art project is something I find really suggestive. It reminds me of the famous ‘Bad Painting’ exhibition curated by Marcia Tucker in the 1980s in the New Museum in New York; ‘Bad’ in quotation marks, of course. For this exhibition Tucker brought together a group of artists who were considered bad or kitsch, and who were in the margins of the artist circuit, to discuss the possible symbolic and aesthetic values of those works left aside. The exhibition was held at a moment of great transformation in the art world, that is, the emergence of postmodernity; which broke with the dominant strict modern canons and opened a more inclusive sense to judge art and culture. Discussions arising from the exhibition were pretty interesting. As you may imagine, the fact that Tucker was choosing the artists was already a value judgment; I mean, there was a ‘good bad’ and a ‘bad bad’ which she herself left aside. This kind of project has the value of questioning the canonised established criteria and letting us think unconstrained. Every judgment is relational and implies a relation with the subject who issues it; making this visible may surprise you. In addition, even being at the international vanguard under the direction of Charles Esche, the Van Abbemuseum is still the museum of a small town with a collection that has been historically constructed locally. Therefore, what has been left over from the permanent collection display could be considered as very peripheral art. In my opinion, bringing those leftovers from the museum to a contemporary art centre such as de Appel implies an attractive challenge. Moreover, you have not only presented these paintings, you have also put them in dialogue with contemporary artists, which entails a reflection on the possible present-day value of these leftover works — even when it may only be the starting point. Another characteristic of the project I consider quite original is that it is based in an anti-curatorial activity; at least as far as paintings are concerned. That is, you do not choose the paintings; they are the leftovers of Esche’s selection. I mean, you have curated what another curator put aside. You even found the works labelled
You just mentioned that these artworks could be considered as marginal or peripheral products. However, when we take a look at the biographies of the artists we may be surprised to find out that many of them were active agents in the artistic scene of the region, continuously taking part in exhibitions, travelling and even winning international awards. Isn’t it paradoxical that these artists, once part of the mainstream, have now become leftovers?
GM Artistic judgments are not final, but continuously dynamic. Some get settled and others are more temporal or even volatile. Rembrandt, for example, was not so prominently valued at his time. He became the artist we now know thanks to the Romantic Movement, when the subjectivity of his use of light and the emotional character of his works were rediscovered. It is at that moment that Rembrandt became retrospectively one of the greatest artists in history. I am not surprised these artists were renowned in the past and later become part of the leftovers. Aesthetic value judgments are not permanent. And maybe that is one of the most subversive aspects brought up by Bourgeois Leftovers. We may one day stop valuing classics as Mona Lisa or Michelangelo. I think that your exhibition also deals with the dichotomy of what is central and what is marginal in relation to the established canons, thus creating a critical look towards these constructions.
Thinking in terms of international art language, a subject you have widely worked on: how can we understand that these paintings, which ‘spoke’ the hegemonic art language of their time, a language obviously modernist, have now been discarded for being considered conservative and bourgeois? Does this mean that things have changed in the art world? If that is the case, what new pathways are being opened?
GM These works ‘spoke’ a canonised language, but never answered to the social and cultural situation of their time in a proactive way. Other paintings that did reflect the social or cultural circumstances, produced during the same time, are now more appreciated.
Still, qualifying them as bourgeois may be problematic. I just visited collector houses in Lima and Bogotá and found works by Antonio Caro — a really socially committed artist who has never worked for the market — in the bourgeois living room of one of the collectors. Works by Jota Castro, for example, also end up in private collections. All this may be troublesome. Art has the original sin of not being a form of mass production. What Benjamin thought would happen, never did: art never lost its aura. On the contrary, its aura is now bigger than ever, making a fetish of the original, even when we are in an era of technological reproduction. Art depends then first on the idealised object and secondly on the collector. Art appeals to an elitist and sumptuary demand and not to massive distribution, something that always conditions it and from what nobody working in the field is saved. I think an artist with political and critical concerns should opt to work sincerely in this direction and keep a cynical relation with the market, a relation where he or she may be aware of what is happening with their work, so they can move around freely without being swallowed by these mechanisms. It is important to see how many issues are triggered by your exhibition. I think it may also be considered as an anti-ready-made. A ready-made is an object out of the art world that is appropriated and transformed in art. What you do is quite different; you take over a group of artistic objects devalued by the canon and you present them again in order to create new meaning from them. The displacement caused by your project is a radical movement that allows for new meaning to be constructed.
International equivalence of art languageby Gerardo Mosquera, image courtesy Florencia Portocarrero.
FP I am personally interested in the encounter between the languages of the academic paintings and the contemporary artistic practice that takes place in de Appel as a consequence of Bourgeois Leftovers. I am especially curious about the discussions and reflections coming up from this encounter. Charles Esche left these paintings aside for being modernist in its more traditional version. That is, conservative, monolingual, and Eurocentric. For him they represent the past, our antiquity. On the contrary, the contemporary artistic practice arises from the premises of dialogue, inclusion, and criticality. It is riveting to see how our project has created a space of coexistence for these two languages and periods. What do you think about this?
GM I think it is an extraordinarily productive exercise that reflects the tension between what is modern, what tries to follow modernity and what is contemporary. You have created an explosive cocktail as far as value judgments are concerned. This discussion started in the 1980s and 1990s with the emergence of postmodernism. During those years, the idea of the canon and the value of art were called into question. The concept of quality was equally discussed. It was even said this term could not be used to talk about art, since it is a notion charged with power. Art was supposed to be thought through other judgments, such as the contextual role it played. All these topics were brought out into the open and discussed. However, now we are in a moment where a new kind of international language has been established, a language spoken within the international circuit. I think the proliferation of the so-called international language of contemporary art has caused this debate to be left aside. We are in a moment where everything has once again settled down. On the one hand we have contemporary art and the language accepted at the biennials, international exhibitions and places such as de Appel; on the other hand, we have commercial art, which can be aesthetically interesting but that is not proactive; and finally, we have traditional art. Creating these divisions we avoid confrontation. I feel attracted to the transversal approach chosen in Bourgeois Leftovers; the way it transcends these divisions and brings up again the discussion of the 1980s and 1990s, a discussion that was abandoned without being really resolved. This debate also includes the notion of centres and peripheries, of original art and derivative art. Due to the pressure applied by the margins, the central discriminatory canon was fought and cracked from the inside in order to obtain a more plural kind of agreement or commitment. I believe that during those years a great progress was made, but there are still many unanswered questions we can address. Not because an answer needs to be found, I do not believe in absolute answers; but because I think there are still fields we can reflect widely on. As I said, the attractiveness of Bourgeois Leftovers is that it does not only bring these issues out into the open, but also links them with the practices of those contemporary artists working precisely within the rules of international contemporary art.
FP In your text Notas sobre globlalización, arte y diferencia cultural (Notes on globalization, art and cultural difference) you state that in the 1930s there was already an international
language for modernism, an assemblage of the different ruptures caused by historical avant-gardes. However, academic painting was also itself an international language with its own rules. In fact, Latin American artists, and artists from other parts of the world, had to go to Europe to ‘speak’ that language correctly. GM Yes, and Gothic was also an international language before that, even when it was limited to Europe and not so widely spread. The same happened with academic painting, limited specifically to Europe and America, but also an international language with really precise rules. FP
Then, may we think there are more continuities in the art world than we want to admit?
GM Nothing is really new; changes are never as radical as we may think. What in fact has changed is that we now have a truly global participation that did not exist before and that involves countries where contemporary art production is quite new; even countries that did not experience modernism. Let’s think, for example, about Central Asia, or even China. Today we have an international language built by a wide diversity of subjects, which is exciting, since it implies the possibility of a transformation of the imposed language through mutations caused by disparities in experiences and interests. As a result of this dynamic, this international language has become a broken or fragmented line. I am really attracted to this disruption. I think this is something you are also exploring with Bourgeois Leftovers.
FP In A Brief Encounter with Fine Arts, Universality and Other Weathered Notions, Bassam el Baroni states that the Fine Arts are still at the core of artistic education and the common denominator between an art student in Alexandria and an art student in Philadelphia. However, because the notion of newness has become increasingly central to the way we value art, we may forget that artists from different generations and movements — i.e. speaking different languages — do coexist in the same historical period. In the 1920s, for example, Surrealism and Dadaism coexisted with Monet, alive and working on his water lilies. At the same time, paintings such as the ones presented in Bourgeois Leftovers were still being produced. What is the position of academically
oriented painting, or even the Fine Arts, in an official circuit where the contemporary art language prevails? Are they incompatible or unbridgeable languages? GM The discussion you have opened may go in the direction of inclusion and dialogue; even when for the time being they seem unbridgeable. I remember academic art exhibitions from the 1980s and 1990s where the paintings had been dug up from the museums storage rooms. I have in mind, for example, a remarkable exhibition by Ivo Mesquita (who later curated the ‘empty biennial’ of São Paulo). He curated an interesting show with works from the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, in which he dealt with eroticism in academic art. Academic painting can definitely be seen with a new interest nowadays. Even when today we cannot talk about a predominant academic practice, there is, in fact, one kind of artwork that we reject from our contemporary position. The same happens with some contemporary art practices in the margins of the canon. I am thinking, for instance, of Ousmane Sow, an African sculptor who creates expressionist life-size sculptures made of cement. I find his figurative style interesting and think he is an artist we should take into account. However, he is left aside because he does not fit in the postminimal, postconceptual and performatic canon that we call contemporary. Contemporary art has taken over the concept ‘contemporary’ and that is risky. There are practices and languages that have been influenced by modernity and the so-called contemporary practice, which follow unexpected pathways and as a result are not accepted. They are, at the same time, really remarkable, though. I have the impression that internationalisation, starting from the dissemination of what we call contemporary art language, has made us look away from these parallel practices. Energy has been focused on valuing the international language of contemporary art, which has captured the mainstream market and the dissemination circuits. Therefore, there are many artists and practices that are left over. FP This means that speaking the codes of the international language of contemporary art is the only way to be included in the circuit? GM There is, in fact, a general framework. What is remarkable, though, is the possibility of ‘speaking it bad,’ which is really enriching. It does not mean, however, that there are no things still left aside.
Finally, I wanted to ask you — which are the essential values that we endorse as contemporary art producers? How are they different from the past ones? What are the discussions regarding this subject that are brought up by Bourgeois Leftovers by generating this space of coexistence between two different times and artistic languages?
Conceptual art has had a huge impact on the artistic practices up to now. As a consequence, critical art in a broad sense is prioritised. A minimal aesthetic is also present. Baroque and overloaded features are seen with suspicion. This aesthetic also influences the curators’ work, for example in the way we deal with space and with the display of the works. In addition, the opening entailed by postmodernity, starting from Pop Art onwards, has provided contemporary art with a new methodological freedom; something I consider should be developed and explored even more. We also have to take into account the impact caused by Duchamp. There is a great difference between before and after Duchamp with the introduction of the concept of appropriation. There is a statement by Luis Camnitzer that is quite significant — ‘art is what it is,’ an oxymoron, a phrase that seems to have no sense, but is really suitable at the same time, since it reflects the faculty or the freedom of contemporary art to be just what it is. Anyhow, all this has already been accepted. I am interested, nevertheless, in those practices exceeding the canon and exploring new opportunities. In curatorial terms it could be an exhibition as Bourgeois Leftovers, and as far as artistic practices are concerned it could be that of Humberto Vélez, for example, that works in a performative but not endogamous way. In the future I hope to see that art is more focused on this inclusive and enriching direction and not fossilised in the form of a canon, based on the aspects mentioned before, among others. If that were the case, art would impoverish semantically and would start to repeat itself. (Endnotes) El Baroni, Bassam, “A Brief Encounter with Fine Art, Universality and Other Weathered Notions,” 2012. Mosquera, Gerardo, “Notas sobre globalización, arte y diferencia cultural,” 2001. In Proyecto Trama
Read Charles Esche on equivalence and on the aura around works of art on page 41 To read more on processes of translation, see pages 16, 122, and 134
— Right, this is it.
— And you haven’t watched it before, have you Nonna?
— (laughing) No, I haven’t. Well I never saw this. “Vivivideo, Cinema, Cultura, Spettacolo. The film shown in this videocassette has been allowed by the titolare to be used purely for private consumption,“ and now it’s moving too fast for me to read but is just expressing the regulations and punishments for anybody who uses it in a different way.
Un Borghese Piccolo Piccolo Daragh Reeves (dialing tones) (Dutch female automated voice, “enter code”) (dialing tones) (“enter international telephone number”) (dialing tones in swift succession, melodic) (“four hundred and thirty seven minutes”) (ringing tone, one only)
— Harrogate five six double three.... (older lady with Italian accent)
Now... Cineriz. Luigi e Aurelio De Laurentiis are the producers and Alberto Sordi appears in: Un Borghese Piccolo Piccolo, which means, a man of the lower middle class. With Shelley Winters as the wife, Vincenzo Crocetti, Renzo Carboni, and Romolo Valli makes an appearance.
— Hi Nonna, Hi Nonna (young man, English)
— Yes, tell me!?
The scene, which is a fixed scene, shows somebody on a bridge and some water, and a desolate scene of country side.
— So I’m set up. So I sent you a video tape, right?
The music is by Giancarlo Chiaramello
and Lorenzo Baraldi is responsible for the scenery
— And.. you have it?
and the costumes, Gitt Magrini.
Ruggero Mastroianni is, again, involved, and the general organization is in the hands of somebody else still.
— Yes, shall I switch on?
Oh gosh. I got to put it louder.
And they are there, they got a piece of tarpaulin which they hold over their heads and they move in, into the hut. And Alberto Soldi is saying the truth that now he’s an old man it’s up to the son. And of course the son says, “Well you’re not old at all. What are you talking about?”
This is a fisherman who has been trying to catch a fish and he’s getting very excited. “I got it! I got it! Catch, get a stone so we can kill him!”
Now they are looking out from this hut at the rain and the desolation... and Alberto Soldi is explaining to his son that the beauty of the place is nobody knows it and so they are never disturbed by anybody.
There, they’re holding this fish in their hands and as he’s struggling he’s going Oops, he’s been....
Now they have entered the hut and is pretty low-key. And now as they talk, Alberto Soldi let it rip that he was in the resistance, much to the admiration of his son who can’t believe it. “Papa, have you been in the resistance?! but tell me more...” And now the father is describing all the work he is going to do on this hut to make it into a beautiful place.
Produced by Luigi and Aurelio De Laurentiis and directed by Mario Monicelli, the direction by.
Well surely he is dead by now?! Well they have smashed his head. And this is Alberto Sordi who is speaking and he says, “now he is not going to help anybody,” the fish. And then he’s pointing out that in spite of his wearing a pair of gloves, he’s been hurt by the fish with one of its bones. And now he’s cleaning out the fish and they are commenting on what a lot of stuff he has inside his belly. So he’s commenting to the younger man who fished the fish how lucky they are because now it’s clean and dead, no head, nothing in his entrails, (in fact no entrails). And they go towards the car with their fishing rod. And Alberto Soldi boasts about his skills in fishing. It is a very desolate scene, it’s cold, it’s winter. There is a hut just on the shore. And Soldi is very proud of his son because he has become an accountant, “Ragioniere Mario Vivaldi, accountant! Mario Vivaldi!” the son’s name. “You will succeed, you will succeed as true as there is a god. And if all goes well, soon we shall have a new life.” “And you’ll be able to get a better car.” But actually the car now has reached that hut which was on the hill over above the shore looking very desolate and the hut is absolutely baracca - a rubbishy structure. Now it’s began to rain and the father is still gloating on the fact that with the son who is an accountant, what have they to worry about?
“Mario, do what they tell you at school and if you get a few pounds invest them, don’t spend them. And possibly put it in a post office account because the bank can go bankrupt and instead the post office belongs to the state and the state doesn’t let it go bankrupt.” (a big cough) Now then.... The fish has been put in a frying pan with some oil and now it’s frazzling away. Now. “Porca miseria!” is one of these exclamations, you know, “dash it all!”... a little stronger. And now we see a woman sitting in a room. She could be his wife and the mother of the boy, but I don’t know. She’s watching the television, a romantic story. And now, “Are we late, ma?! Are we late?” and what they want to see is not a romantic story, they have changed the station, and I think it’s a football game. “Mario, you’re wet through! oooh, going around under the rain all day long, it’s ridiculous.” “Let him be, he’s very fit, he’s very well.” And the mother worries about, “now he will catch arthritis.” And Mario wants to see the match, he doesn’t want to hear his parents. “You play, you are the son of the Lazio team so you are against me.” Obviously the father is not a Lazio Tifoso. The mother says, “Oh right, I understand.” “Go on, go on... Kick! Goal.” And now he wants, they want two coffees so mother is back in the kitchen, making them a drink.
The scene has changed, it’s dark perhaps it’s nighttime, it looks like quarter to seven, yes! We see Alberto Sordi turning over and switching off there.... Transcript of the opening 10 minutes and 11 seconds of a sound recording made in Amsterdam in May 2004, total length of recording 1 hour, 52 minutes, and 1 second.
Ss 127 “So, do you want to talk to me about one of the works?” Alexandra Stock You installed on a Wednesday and on Thursday morning when I came in, it really shook me. Because before any exhibition installation there is always stress and there are all of these things to do. Then you’re here in the morning and the first reaction is whoa! How dare they! Not cool. It’s not really an art-appropriate response but more my reaction of wanting to maintain the building itself. I didn’t know when you were building up and also didn’t know what was going to be put there, so that morning I kinda flipped because I thought “Who is so irresponsible to be smoking when we’re installing!” Seriously? Come on. It’s been many years since we’ve been allowed to smoke indoors and we’re next to the collection of the Van Abbe; we just had this woman walking around measuring the air! Now someone is smoking? The adrenaline made me sick, and I was trying to think who it could be — was it someone from de Appel? Sjoerd and his team would never do that but who would be so irresponsible? It took me a moment to see that it was an artwork but after the initial shock I really loved it. What I’ve seen from the audience is a humorous reaction towards the piece. Every day there are at least two, three really loud laughs coming out of Space A. Now I find it really sentimental
For more filmic references to bourgeois existences, see Revolutionary Road on page 77 For more co-produced translations/transcriptions/responses, see pages 7, 16, 52, 103, 113, 127
because viewing it as a smoker I look back upon the time when you could smoke indoors, but the work itself is of course looking at many bygone times. Today an artist was here and I thought “Finally I’m going to get all of these weird requests.” But he only wanted some photographs and not the weird stuff, shame. There’s a lot of weird stuff in this archive! I also have a lot of unknowns — the archive is all Bourgeois Leftovers! I’m most fond of the things that don’t fit in. Alison was already here in July 1974, before de Appel even got started. Here it is. It looks a bit like the work she has in the show now. ‘Objects in Hand — performance in de Appel, Amsterdam, 14 and 15 May 1976.’ There’s also a video, do you want to see it? You should have come before you made the show. I once presented these photographs to audience members at a book presentation that was taking place at de Appel, people that had been around from our beginning. I asked them to identify the people in the black and white pictures. I hung them up on a wall and invited them to add their anecdotes too and it was nice because some of the visitors reconnected as they were standing in front of the photographs, recalling what they remembered. This is a letter from Alison to Wies that’s in our archive. “The picture I’m sending is a nice one for the announcement, don’t you think? Pictures of fava bean, one stone, one duck bone, one plant sprig, and one can top. For the title of the evenings I like ‘Objects in Hand — two evenings of videos, slides, and performances.’ Love, Alison.” There are a few of these letters. It’s personal correspondence, so normally you can’t print this, but when we asked, Alison said “Just go!” You know, it’s really hard for me to talk about works. Like in the exhibition, my idea is to let people know the back story, but it’s something that cannot be done in five minutes. If you take the time — reading the correspondence between Wies and Alison for example — you take it a step further and begin to see a lot of through lines connecting to one another. This whole installation reminds me of a conceptual show we made in 2009 with Nell Donkers and Danila Cahen called Take the Money and Run, where we asked artists to make a work on a sheet of A4 paper that would question when art become valuable to the artist, the audience. I wanted to be part of this because it’s the first time de Appel is selling art works. I liked this one because it reminded me of the
Duchamp piece with the snow shovel; I also liked this one but it was too expensive. The cheap ones were already gone on the night of the opening! I also considered the one Paul O’Neill chose. That day I was actually working downstairs at the reception, filling in for Anna when she was on a short break. When he bought it I was very proud to have sold it to him. I bought mine at the opening and hung it up at home the same night, near the table in my dining room. I see it every morning when I wake up, I see it when I work, I see it when I eat. Around the picture, there’s a music installation and underneath it there’s a bench where I work at my computer. Across from it there’s a ceramic plate on the wall in white and blue, in the old Dutch tradition. In front of it I have a drawing by Albert Schafer-Ast, a German artist. It’s quite huge and it’s held only in shades of grey made in pencil. It gives the impression of an empty space, almost like an extra window in the room. There’s one more wall that has a mirror on it that reflects the light from a real window across from it. I had to move another work of art to hang this one up, a painting by an Expressionist who lived here in the 60s. He’s not really known but he was a black person from New York who lived here. My father bought it and we had it at home. I liked it. But now it’s on the floor in my apartment because I don’t have a new space for it yet. I’m kinda intrigued by this piece for a number of reasons. It’s beautiful, it’s minimal. There is a mystery. Something has happened but nobody knows what and when or why. The role of this work lies in the symbolic value of art, but does it need to generalise and elaborate further on that kind of value? I haven’t been part of this discussion and was wondering if there was any objection or if there were any difficulties around taking away the names of the sponsors. You can lead that back to value because to make this work possible you’ve chosen a niche, which was actually the credit area for the people who inserted real value into the renovation of this building. So there there’s a devaluation in taking away the visibility of those efforts. If you’re familiar with the institution or with the regular infrastructure, that creates a dynamic in crediting who supported de Appel at the benefit auction and this work in turn makes them invisible. I’m struck by this. If the work had been put in a big, white wall or somewhere upstairs that would have been different but it seems as if it was just a gut feeling. Because of its previous functionality no other space would have fit so well, so I’m kind of fascinated by that. Will you put back the sticky letters when you’re done?
When the plaque speaks of ‘one of the curators’ obviously it’s one of you, not knowing who will carry this secret to the grave. The person who was able to see the painting, has she at least confirmed that there is an actual, real work? Because if we’re talking about these things and justifying value, that also reflects on the fact that at this political moment one arguably has to be quantifiable. What if you would have received the Mondriaan grant? That would have resulted in being wholly influential in the way you talk about and present these works. I like that it also shows how museums and collections are defined and how narratives are manipulated, but at the same time I think this work is very uncommitted. But I do like it. It makes me think about works in general and what you expect art to do. Do you expect it to have closure? Or does it mean that I, in my own art-perception, my very subjective opinion, my own response to it, does it mean that I expect art works to actually do something or have an endpoint or have a dependable function? Why is it that I feel so let down? Come on! I think the gesture of the work itself is opportunist. Historical narratives change and can be influenced and possibly even manipulated. As an observer I find that interesting but also a bit unsatisfying. I do want a promise, a promise that… In two hundred years’ time there could be a moment of closure when the painting is being uncovered as we’ve uncovered the rest of the works here from the Van Abbe collection. The funny thing is that I’m not even annoyed or bothered that there is nothing here and that’s it’s anonymous, I even appreciate that although it’s a kind of falsity, it’s a bubble. If you want to believe in it that’s nice because maybe that makes up its appeal, but that artistic gesture needs to be more rigorous. At the same time I want to believe the story and am now confronted with my own projection. This work creates a different value and makes me think about what I value in art. Is it when a work is finished? When it’s preservable? Maybe it’s the artistic rigour or gesture, however poetic or settled, even in an open-ended way, but there has to be something. It resists the demands of institutions who are trying to live up to certain demands, requirements, justifications. It’s good, confusing but good. It’s kitschy but it’s also just a really nice image. She’s really pretty in a way. The girl has a pretty face, pretty eyes, the curls, it’s like the perfect girl of that period. She’s like a doll with her bob and large eyes and the red lips. All of the child stars from movies of the 30s and 40s looked like that.
What was her name, Eliza? That’s the thing about paintings, sometimes you want to know the story behind the painting, sometimes it can be beautiful just by itself. But I like to know the stories behind it the faces and that’s what I like about this exhibition, the combination of the old and the new works. I can imagine from your side when all of these paintings arrived you must have thought “Oh God!” but they grow on you, especially when you experience them daily. I joined in when there wasn’t even a premise as such. There was a curiosity or a tendency that lay somewhere between an interest and an obsession. There was something of a collective pull towards these A4 leaflets around which I saw a whole narrative growing. Of course I wasn’t at the Van Abbemusem for that first encounter but I can still imagine what happened that day because of the extensive discourse around the exhibition. With the show you resurrected old stories behind the paintings but one also enters a relationship with a contemporary theme or contemporary artists and for me this image, the first one you come into contact with, explains a lot about the exhibition. Timmy translated the origin story back into a sculptural work and it speaks to me both in a visual and aesthetic sense, but also within the framework of the exhibition. These are the two works you encounter first: Timmy’s installation in combination with the portrait of the Antinous bust. This way the antechamber becomes a grand starting point to the exhibition as your thought process is further dramatised by these crumbling pieces and Antinous, who in turn is looking down at the destruction on the floor. He isn’t outraged, nor does he look sad, he’s just in a state of disbelief. I think that you tried to give these paintings their voices back, which the artist does in a physical sense, but Antinous is also experiencing a direct connection to his own destruction and disappearance within the Van Abbemuseum’s collection. The juxtaposition of these old and newly commissioned works shows that they can all make an emotional connection to the audience. I know that somewhere in the process you were also talking about a fear of seeing the exhibition teetering on becoming either too funny or too cynical but I don’t think that happens anywhere in the show; there is no pun. Behind the surface there are all these different emotions. I don’t see the exhibition as a cynical approach either and it’s very important that it didn’t become a parody. This installation is so honest that you have to chuckle when you see the work.
This piece was almost offensive to me. I really didn’t like it at first, I was scared of it because it was so static. That’s what I like about this work now, it was an icebreaker for me personally. At first you didn’t want to come too close to it because it’s very fragile. Not only from my point of view, but on the night of opening I saw nobody touching them either because they look too perfect on the white table, with the red lines, and the lighting. People would just stand around the table, not wanting to hold the items and I thought, that’s not what they’re for! But that evening I didn’t want to touch them either. I actually showed my classmates from the Reinwardt Academy around the exhibition a few weeks ago. They are students and they touch everything so when we came upstairs and stood around the work they asked, “Can we pick them up?” I said yeah, but I don’t want to. Then someone said, “Oh, but I do!” and at once all five of us were playing with them. When we picked up the objects I noticed that they are just nothing, found objects. Before then I wasn’t even looking at the labels because I was still debating whether I could pick them up and once I do, what am I even supposed to do with them? Now that I know that you can basically do with them what you want, I started to look at the labels and ask why does it say this or that and finally ask the questions that the work really wants you to ask. Both Dina Danish’s and Barbara Visser’s works are founded in research, Dina’s focusing more on one work and Barbara’s is more a conceptual critique. They both incorporate the concept of the show itself. Their whole concepts are super interesting because they contain research into their work but in a totally different way. These works, for me, symbolise art historical research and personal interest against contemporary art theory and art criticism. It feels like a great honour to have worked with both of them and take part in developing these two different kinds of works. I also thought about Jan Sluijters’ Reclining Nude because it cannot be seen without Barbara’s work on the wall behind it, and I think that’s also the point of the exhibition. Now the colours coincidentally match perfectly and even the tour group from Bregenz asked if that was intentional because some of them were interested in exhibition design. At first it was intended to let more of the columns run behind the painting. That is also when at first at least three of the CP participants said “No way!” to that. I think it’s very interesting why that was seen as too big of a risk. I think a substantial art historical education, like I had, could have something to do with it.
I chose this old work because it looks really beautiful with its frame and the colours. I also unpacked it during installation, so there’s that connection to it as well. I really loved the painting over there because it’s almost as big as I am, so if you were standing in front of it, it was as if you could just walk down that path. That’s why I thought it was such a shame that you decided to put it up there. When Marjolein and I went to the Van Abbemuseum to do some research we found out that this painter, Jan van Herwijnen, had actually been admitted to a psychiatric hospital. I think he struggled with mental illness his entire life. I don’t really know how long he was in the asylum but there he painted many of the other patients. It was weird because at first we thought that they were just regular portraits and moved on but then we read up on his biography and knowing his backstory puts this painting in a different context. There are forests like this near Den Dolder, which is close to Utrecht and maybe this forest was near the hospital. I don’t know for sure but it’s a new layer to the painting, knowing that he was considered to be crazy. Some of the borrowed works from the Van Abbemuseum aren’t ugly, just not really interesting. But this one I really like. I can imagine that everybody here has a connection with at least one of the works in one way or another. I also really love the old lady over there. She’s a real grandma and she’s keeping an eye on everyone.
From interviews with and special thanks to Anna Andersson, Nell Donkers, Edna van Duyn, Guus van Engelshoven, Nathalie Hartjes, Marieke Istha, Kitty van Leeuwen, Marjolein van der Loo, and Renske Noordhuis
For more on the unseen painting, go to page 52 Read about Johanna Bauer-Stumpff’s Antinous on page 145 For more conversation in the form of the interview, see pages 7, 41, 103, 113
Vv 134 17 Leftout Leftovers (Bourgeois) 17 Farrow & Ball Archive Colours (2013) Barbara Visser F&B archive colours Chemise No.216 (archived in 2005) Estate Emulsion on white wall To the historically inclined a ‘drab’ from the seventeenth century. For a loft dweller the height of fashion. 0,14m2 > the size of: Johan Akkeringa Paardenrennen te Cingendael undated Oil on Canvas Green Stone No.12 (archived in 2008) Estate Emulsion on white wall Cool. As used in early eighteenth-century panel rooms. 0,49 m2, the size of: Hubert Bekman Herinnering uit Limburg undated Oil on Canvas
Image courtesy - artist
Light Stone No.9 (archived in 2008) Estate Emulsion on white wall A traditional colour that approximates to a very pale limestone. 0,95 m2, the size of: Martinus Johannes Bies Peellandschap undated Oil on canvas
Fox Red No.48 (archived in 2008) Estate Emulsion on white wall One of the clearest reds possible using finest burnt-earth pigments. 3,81 m2, the size of: Egbert R.D. Schaap Landschap met bloeiende bomen undated Oil on canvas
Drab No.41 (archived in 2008) Estate Emulsion on white wall A typical early eighteenth-century colour. Good for both internal and external joinery. 1,37 m2, the size of: Otto van Rees Twee kinderen 1925 Oil on Canvas
Gervase Yellow No.72 (archived in 2011) Estate Emulsion on white wall In memory of Gervase Jackson-Stops, the late advisor on architecture to the National Trust. 1,17 m2, the size of: Johannes Hendricus Jurres Don Quichotte en de kettinggangers undated Oil on Canvas
Potted Shrimp (permanently archived) Estate Emulsion on white wall Potted shrimps are a traditional Lancastrian dish made with brown shrimp flavoured with mace. 1,88 m2, the size of: Charles Eyck Portret van mej. N. 1935 Oil on canvas
Octagon Yellow No.7 (archived in 2008) Estate Emulsion on white wall To match the colour of the Octagon at the Bath Assembly Rooms as repainted in 1990. 0,76 m2, the size of: Toon Kelder Don Quichotte undated Oil on canvas
Ointment Pink No.21 (archived in 2011) Estate Emulsion on white wall Based on scrapes and cross-sections taken in a number of houses and dating to the early years of the nineteenth century. Found in the dining room ofÂ Calke Abbey and the library at Kedleston, and similar to the Regency scheme in the entrance hall and staircase at Castle Coole. 0,74 m2, the size of: Albert van Dijck Veulen 1937 Oil on canvas
Sand No.45 (archived in 2011) Estate Emulsion on white wall Italian in origin. A common earth pigment based colour. 0,82 m2, the size of: Raoul Hynckes Stilleven met koperen ketel 1938 Oil on canvas
Pea Green No.33 (archived in 2008) Estate Emulsion on white wall A name often referred to in 18th century accounts and here displayed as a clear green, as found on the original plain green paper of the Caricature Room at Calke Abbey. 0,25 m2, the size of: William Henry Singer Vallei in de winter undated Oil on wood panel Sutcliffe Green No.78 (archived in 2008) Estate Emulsion on white wall Connoisseurs often cite green as being the ultimate colour to hang pictures on. This is a good alternative to No. 42, Picture Gallery Red. 0,68 m2, the size of: Wim Schuhmacher Stilleven met vogels 1934 Oil on canvas Middle Ground No.209 (archive date unknown) Estate Emulsion on white wall An intermediate position, area, or recourse between two opposites or extremes; a halfway or neutral standpoint. 1,25 m2, the size of: Piet Wiegman Zigeunerjongen undated Oil on canvas
Berrington Blue No.14 (archived in 2008) Estate Emulsion on white wall A colour based on scrapes and cross sections of the original boudoir scheme at Berrington Hall. 0,24 m2, the size of: Jan Voerman Landschap aan de IJssel undated Oil on canvas Chinese Blue No.90 (archived in 2011) Estate Emulsion on white wall Originally mixed for an eighteenth-century room displaying blue and white Chinese pots. 0,94 m2, the size of: Jan Sluijters Portret van Germ de Jong 1933 Oil on canvas Monkey Puzzle No.238 (archived in 2008) Estate Emulsion on white wall A typical nineteenth-century estate colour which has, like so many successful colours, endured down the generations. Good with both brick and stone and indeed furniture. 0,79 m2, the size of: Quiryn van Tiel Winterlandschap 1936 Oil on canvas
Sugar Bag Light No. 29 (archived in 2008) Estate Emulsion on white wall This is the colour of a Sugar Bag Blue which has bleached in the sun. It is also very much like the blue of paper used for lining drawers in the late eighteenth century. 0,21 m2, the size of: Eduard Karsen Het huis ‘De Ark’ te Oudewater undated Oil on canvas
To read more on Rejects, see page 30 For further archive stories, see pages 26, 127
Zz 140 An excerpt from Inevitable by Louis Couperus ARNISA ZEQO
145 Speaking about Johanna Bauer-Stumpff’s Antinous through Miasmic Revisionism Timmy van Zoelen “I don’t really know if I can imagine Antinous as a real figure. The painting keeps pushing him into the unknown, always keeping it as a copy. Just like the image of Jesus. It is always a derivation from some lost original image. The painting is like a smudge, almost like a metaphor for the story of his life — all speculative. I found out that Adrian’s diary was mostly filled with fictionalised psychological accounts. There is this word ‘pederasty’ which implies the love of boys. But I can almost associate the story with that of Star Wars, you know, when Obi wan Kenobi takes Luke Skywalker as his apprentice and there starts a story of bonding. The story of Antinous is a classic case of mythology. That’s why it survived. It makes me think, maybe that was the reason why he ended his life; to escape the curse of aging and death. Perhaps he wanted to live through mythology. This painting of the sculpture has a strong inversion of space. The marble becomes flat and fake and a difference is created between the flat image and the real. And so in my work, by marbling the crumpled prints of the PDFs, it did a similar shift. I’m slowly getting used to the idea of sculpture being as it is. A sculpture is too realistic and just ‘is’ before you. It is too easy to present something as it is. For more modernist subjectivies, see pages 16, 19, 69 For more appropriated texts placed in relation to the exhibition, see pages 23, 30, 32
I worked in a very specific context in this exhibition and that was a first time, difficult but enjoyable. Somewhere through the process, I got this fear in me. Was I was also bourgeois? The art world often operates in a rather bourgeois indulgence. The exhibition stays in the gestural mode and that’s what I like about the show. I like to think of the space as different organs. The title Miasmic Revisionism also has this continual renewing addictive cyclic quality, of constantly reworking, speculating and renewing histories. Looking at other examples of busts of Antinous, I realised that all of them have different noses. In a way no one really knows how he looked originally. In the same way no one will ever know what the original face of Justin Bieber was like many years from now, apart from the flat pictures of him taken from specific angles that will be in circulation long after the real face is gone!” (as spoken in conversation with Srajana Kaikini, Thursday, June 13, 2013)
For another approach to Antinous, see page 140 For more on the body, see page 32
APPENDIX LIST OF HISTORICAL WORKS IN THE EXHIBITION 1.
Johanna Bauer-Stumpff, Antinous, 1935, oil on canvas
Arnout Colnot, Still Life with Blackcocks, undated, oil on canvas
Lucie van Dam van Isselt, Watercress with Plover Eggs, 1939, oil on canvas
4. Jacob Dooyewaard, Still Life with Pewter Pitcher, 1935, oil on canvas 5.
Willem Dooyewaard, Tago, Sitting Down, undated, gouache on paper
Willem Dooyewaard, Dress Making, undated, gouache on paper
Bart Peizel, Still Life with Books, 1933, oil on canvas
Wim van de Plas, Kid Oliveira (boxer), 1939, oil on canvas
Coba Ritsema, Still Life with Statue, undated, oil on canvas
Gé Röling, Yearly Fair in Sicily, 1933, oil on canvas
Dio Rovers, Still Life with Hen, undated, oil on canvas
Wout Schram, Still Life with Bottle, undated, oil on canvas
Albert Servaes, Portrait of Henri van Abbe, 1937, charcoal on paper
William Henry Singer, Summer Day, 1929, oil on canvas
Jan Sluijters, Reclining Nude, 1931, oil on canvas
Edgar Fernhout, Portrait of a Lady, 1937, oil on canvas
Johannes Franken, Portrait of Eliza, 1939, oil on canvas
Jan Goedhart, Untitled, 1933, oil on canvas
Walter Vaes, Portrait of a Girl, 1936, oil on canvas
Herman Heijenbrock, Steel Factories in Wales, 1937, oil on canvas
Cornelius Vreedenburgh, Polder Landscape, 1931, oil on canvas
Georg Hering, Fisherman from Volendam, 1931, oil on canvas
Betsy Westendorp-Osieck, The Little Hat, undated, oil on canvas
Jan van Herwijnen, Forest View, 1936, oil on canvas
Matthieu Wiegman, Portrait of Trees, undated, oil on canvas
Eduard Karsen, Beguinage in Autumn, undated, oil on canvas
All paintings from the collection of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Photos: Peter Cox.
Conrad Kickert, Still Life with Fish and Birds, 1931, oil on canvas
Willem Knip, Les Matiques at Night, 1933, oil on canvas
Ernst Leyden, Portrait of Joep Nicolaas, 1935, oil on canvas
Sal Meijer, Tower Sluice, undated, oil on canvas
Dirk Nijland, Still Life with Skull, 1932, oil on canvas
19. Dirk Nijland, Still Life with Nautical Instruments, 1935, oil on canvas
21 25 16
LIST OF CONTEMPORARY WORKS IN THE EXHIBITION Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri. A. The title of this work refuses to give itself. B. The title of this work is ‘on strike.’, 2013, materials variable Ruth Buchanan. A Condition, 2013, coated steel support structure, audio, 9’06”
Judith Deschamps. A Talk to the Leftovers, 2013, installation, re-creation of a space with chairs, beamer, speakers, images Judith Deschamps. A Walk to the Leftovers, 2013, guided tour of the exhibition Bourgeois Leftovers, de Appel arts centre, May 26, 2013 Marlene Dumas. Rejects, endless series, mixed media on paper
Jota Castro. Polvo y Ceniza, 2013, drawings Dina Danish. The Witch and a Shipwreck Full of Paintings, 2013, materials variable
Lydia Davis. A selection of short stories acting as extended labels for six of the paintings from the Van Abbemuseum collection: “In a House Besieged” by Lydia Davis. Copyright © 1984 by Lydia Davis. First appeared in Dog Hair Press postcard. Reprinted with permission of the Denise Shannon Literary Agency, Inc. All rights reserved. Available in Dutch from Atlas Contact.
Chris Evans. Untitled (de Appel Curatorial Programme 2013-2013), 2012 - ongoing. A painting – commissioned to supplement the oeuvre of a single deceased artist – anonymously donated to a public collection. Will Holder. Reproduction of Edgar Fernhout, “Damesportret/Portrait of a Lady, (1937)” ...for single mothers.” 2013, 500 four-colour offset postcards, produced and sold by the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven Jugedamos. Pastapun met mint oysters, performance, de Appel arts centre, May 12, 2013
“The Fish” by Lydia Davis. Copyright © 1986 by Lydia Davis. First appeared in “43 Poets (1984)”, ed. Bernstein in the journal boundary 2: Binghamton, 1987. Reprinted with permission of the Denise Shannon Literary Agency, Inc. All rights reserved. Available in Dutch from Atlas Contact.
Alison Knowles. Shoes of Your Choice for Wies 1962, 2013
“Suddenly Afraid” by Lydia Davis. Copyright © 1999 by Lydia Davis. First appeared in Bomb Magazine. Reprinted with permission of the Denise Shannon Literary Agency, Inc. All rights reserved. Available in Dutch from Atlas Contact.
Gabriel Lester. Cookie 1 & 2 (Koekeloeren 1 & 2), 2013, two cuculorises, two paintings from the Van Abbemuseum collection, tripods, lights
“The Outing” by Lydia Davis. Copyright © 1995 by Lydia Davis. First appeared in the literary journal Conjunctions. Reprinted with permission of the Denise Shannon Literary Agency, Inc. All rights reserved. Available in Dutch from Atlas Contact. “They Take Turns Using a Word They Like” by Lydia Davis. Copyright © 1999 by Lydia Davis. First appeared in Bomb Magazine. Reprinted with permission of the Denise Shannon Literary Agency, Inc. All rights reserved. Available in Dutch from Atlas Contact. “Men” by Lydia Davis. Copyright © 2007 by Lydia Davis. First appeared in 32 Poems Magazine. Reprinted with permission of the Denise Shannon Literary Agency, Inc. All rights reserved. Available in Dutch from Atlas Contact.
Alison Knowles. Time Samples, 2010-2013
Matthieu Laurette. Things (Purchased with funds provided by), (2010-2020)
Daragh Reeves. Eliza Watching ‘My Fair Lady’, 2013, ink on inkjet print Daragh Reeves. Still Life of Cigarette and Smoke, 2013, cigarette, nylon thread, feathers, glue Barbara Visser. 17 Left Out Leftovers (Bourgeois); 17 Farrow & Ball Archive Colours, 2013, paint colours, photographs Timmy van Zoelen. Miasmic Revisionism (Clinical PDF), 2013, paper, ink, wax
APPENDIX PUBLIC EVENTS Cinematic Leftovers Tuesday 23rd April, 2013 19:00-20:30 hrs. EYE Film Institute of the Netherlands In the context of Bourgeois Leftovers and in collaboration with the E*cinema Academy series at the EYE Film Institute of the Netherlands, de Appel Curatorial Programme presents a cinematic evening exploring, in the broadest sense, leftovers: archival material, found footage and outdated technologies, leftover perspectives, and the worst seat in the house. Featuring three filmic experiments by artist Daragh Reeves; a selection from film restorer and archivist Guy Edmonds’ occasional screening series, Saloon of Refuse; and a presentation of film scraps and reasearch into the archive with Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi, Silent Film Specialist at the EYE Film Institute of the Netherlands. Discussion to follow. Organised in collaboration with EYE Film Institute. Tickets: €10,-, available at EYE or. www.eyefilm. nl You will receive a discounted ticket for the exhibition at de Appel (reduced fair €4,50) upon showing your receipt for this event at EYE from April 23rd. Q&A with the exhibition curators and Barbara Visser Saturday 4th May, 2013 16:00-17:00 hrs. de Appel arts centre RSVP: email@example.com Normal entrance fee de Appel arts centre An interview between the six curators of Bourgeois Leftovers and artist Barbara Visser, discussing the making of the exhibition. Pastapun met mint oysters A performance by Jugedamos Sunday 12th May, 2013 18:00-19:00 hrs. de Appel arts centre No RSVP required Normal entrance fee de Appel arts centre
[ Knock knock at the door] “How’s that?” Baron stands up, takes out his cigar and freezes with a spoon in his hand. Pastapun met mint oysters pops up out of the blue as a weird dessert or an improvised dish from the fridge’s left over food. - “Na chukos la jugedamos a booch”. Everybody stares at the evening distraction with a curiosity to have a taste. How to Behave & How to Amuse A fundraising event cooked with Gabriel Lester Friday 17 th May, 2013 19:00-22:00 hrs. de Appel arts centre Free entrance An invitation for a special evening cooked in collaboration with artist Gabriel Lester, and inspired by bourgeois etiquette and social mores. Throughout the event, a series of “experiences” will be auctioned, playing on the bourgeois values one consciously or unconsciously performs. The experiences will be offered in a menu and available immediately after they are purchased, following one convention of the bourgeois sensibility: the expectation of instant gratification. Related performances will occur throughout de Appel during the event. The profits of the fundraiser will be used towards realising a publication for the exhibition. Is This a Good Painting? Reading Group at the Stedelijk Museum Friday 24th May, 2013 16:00-18:00 hrs. RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org Stedelijk Museum entrance fee + €2,50 supplement An invitation to read and discuss On the New by Boris Groys together, while seated around a painting. Bourgeois Leftovers began with an interest in the status of leftovers assigned to a found set of historical paintings at the Van Abbemuseum in October 2012. On the New by Boris Groys was one of the first texts we read together as a group of curators in relation to these paintings. As a way of revisiting this point of departure, and with the opportunity to think together within the context of the Stedelijk Museum, the first Bourgeois Leftovers reading group will return to the questions Groys raises around the internal logic of the collection within museums and the museum’s role in distinguishing between old and new. We invite guests to join us in discussing
the ways in which current artistic production operates in relation to this distinction, and to the legacy of the fine arts.
(organised in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum)
A Walk to the Leftovers. Judith Deschamps performance tour at de Appel art centre Sunday 26th May, 2013 14:00-15:00 hrs RSVP: email@example.com Normal entrance fee de Appel arts centre A Walk to the Leftovers is a performative tour re-enacting Judith Deschamps’ work in the exhibition Bourgeois Leftovers. On May 26th, 2013, Judith Deschamps gave a guided tour titled A Walk to the Leftovers. The tour questioned the uncertainty of the reality, continuously crossed by other times. On May 26th, 2013, Judith Deschamps will give the same tour, A Walk to the Leftovers, and will focus on leftovers, excess, and more particularly about what she considers to be “ghosts.” With the presence of a cultural mediator, the artist will go through the exhibition and then examine her own installation. Is This a Good Painting? Reading Group at de Appel arts centre Friday 7 th June, 2013 19:00-21:00 hrs. RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org Normal entrance fee de Appel arts centre With readings by: Olivia Dunbar, Moosje M. Goosen, Tamara Kuselman, and Arnisa Zeqo The second session of the Bourgeois Leftovers reading group at de Appel art centre, proposes reading as a way of establishing personal and intuitive relationships with the historical art object, without seeking to “recuperate” or interpret. Taking inspiration from Susan Sontag and Donald Barthelme’s call for subjective and sensuous responses to works of art, we invite guests to join us for a series of individual readings to the paintings on display at the exhibition. This evening features a group of writers and artists with text-based practices, who will each read beside or in relation to a chosen painting on display.
(organised in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum)
Bourgeois Leftovers Guided Tours During Bourgeois Leftovers, several guided tours will be conducted through the exhibition. The bilingual tours are led by a Dutch guide together with one of the Curatorial Programme participants. RSVP: email@example.com Museumkaart Guided Tour Entrance only with Museumkaart Sunday 21, 28th April, 12, 26 May, 2nd, 9th June 2013 , 15:00-16:30 hrs. Public Guided Tour Normal entrance fee de Appel arts centre Sunday 5th May, 15:00-16:00 hrs. Sunday 2nd June, 14:00-15:00 hrs.
One night only! One night only! Friday,
Entertainment & merriment will be on offer from
ConspiCuous Consumption in an act of conspicuous consumption*, the buyer of this experience can purchase privileged access to everything on auction this evening, usurping other buyers in the process. (*Conspicuous consumption denotes the act of buying many things, especially expensive things, that are not necessary to one’s life, done in a way that will make people notice the purchases.) Edition of 1 / 99 Euros Donated by Zhana ivanova
BouChE DE BourGEois visit the restaurant moEs to have your taste buds tantalized with a bourgeois amuse Bouche conceived for the occasion by owner mark Jansen. Edition of 10 / 5 Euros each Donated by mark Jansen of moEs eet- en drinklokaal
Entertainment & merriment will be on offer from
The Bourgeoisie: A state of mind, not a state of pocket
The Bourgeoisie: A state of mind, not a state of pocket
How to& Behave
How to& Behave
thE matriarCh’s savor raw frankincense and raw black pepper oil stimulate an extra sense as this added olfactory experience adds to your contemplatin the rarely-exhibited portrait of van abbemusem founder henri van abbe’s mother. Edition of 10 / 5 Euros each Donated by vivian Ziherl
How to Amuse How to Amuse
Unique bourgeois experiences available for purchase from 1-99 Euros !
spinoZana a Dutch Waltz of Exotic Delicacies: a sushi menu of the donator’s own choice, to be ordered online (www.justeat.nl) and eaten while sitting on a folding chair. Before feasting on the sushi, Gabriel Lester will read paragraph XXvi to XXiX of Ethica by spinoza. the donator then feasts on the sushi while watching a personal screening of the first four minutes of andre rieu’s ‘millennium Concert’. Edition of 4 / 30 Euros each (excluding the price of the sushi, to be covered by the donor) Donated by roderick hietbrink
Unique bourgeois experiences available for purchase from 1-99
at your sErviCE the director of de appel arts centre will serve as your personal geisha for a brief interlude. together, you will Euros ! do a close-up inspection of the painting Zittende tago while ann Demeester reads a related paragraph from Edward said’s orientalism. on request and for an additional contribution she will pour you a glass of her favourite champagne. Edition of 5 / 20 Euros each Donated by ann Demeester
An assortment of tonics and libations!
An assortment of tonics and libations!
A menagerie of amusements and etiquette lessons prepared by artists, curators, and other flâneurs:
A menagerie of amusements and etiquette lessons prepared by artists, curators, and other flâneurs:
isoCoLon somewhere in de appel’s building lays an encrypted message: a piece of information that many of us would like to apprehend, a bit of wisdom and absolute truth. however, a key is needed to decipher it. Eric Edition of 8 / 10 Euros each Donated by Daniel Jacoby
Balthazar Berling & Lukas Hoffmann, David Bernstein, Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Ann Demeester, Charles Esche, Yvonne Grootenboer, Roderick Heitbrink, Zhana Ivanova, Daniel Jacoby, Mark Jansen, Gabriel Lester, Ruth Noack, Ana Navas, Jurgis Paskevicius, Bart Julius Peters, Vivian Ziherl
Balthazar Berling & Lukas Hoffmann, David Bernstein, Giraudet de Boudemange, Ann Demeester, Charles Esche, LaDy in WaitinG Yvonne Grootenboer, Roderick Heitbrink, Zhana Ivanova, hidden in the de appel building is one last Bourgeois Daniel Jacoby, Mark Jansen, Gabriel Lester, Ruth Noack, Ana Leftover, a lady in waiting. For a small cost you can visit the lady in waiting. Climbing is required. Navas, Jurgis Paskevicius, Bart Julius Peters, Vivian Ziherl
De Appel’s Curatorial Programme requests the pleasure of your presence at de Appel arts centre on 17 May 2013 for a special evening concocted in collaboration with Gabriel Lester.
a visit to Barry LynDon De Appel’s Curatorial Programme visit the attic for an exclusive screening of stanley Kubrick’s ‘Barry Lyndon.’ several visitors may attend at a time. requests the pleasure of your open edition / 1 Euro each presence at de Appel arts centre Donated on by de appel’s curatorial programme DEath in thE aFtErnoon 17 May 2013 for a special evening visit an oddly uplifting speakeasy hidden in de appel arts centre and imbibe an unusual tipple from 1935, adapted from the original cocktail by Ernest hemingway. concocted in collaboration with Edition of 6 / 6 Euros each Donated by angela Jerardi Gabriel Lester.
open edition / 1 Euro each Donated by de appel’s curatorial programme
FROM THE BAR Gin Fizz - 4 Euros Old Fashioned - 4 Euros Kir Royal - 4 Euros Red Wine - 3 Euros Vedett Beer - 2 Euros Sparkling Water - 1 Euro Mixed nuts - 1 Euro Single Malt Scotch, Caol Ila, 12 years see ‘Time, people, cars, and clouds’ Personal Prosecco by Balthazar Berling and Lukas Hoffmann - 5 Euros
FROM THE BAR Gin Fizz - 4 Euros Old Fashioned - 4 Euros Kir Royal - 4 Euros Red Wine - 3 Euros Vedett Beer - 2 Euros Sparkling Water - 1 Euro Mixed nuts - 1 Euro Single Malt Scotch, Caol Ila, 12 years see ‘Time, people, cars, and clouds’ Personal Prosecco by Balthazar Berling and Lukas Hoffmann - 5 Euros
Fish Without CanapE vernissages are crucial events that propel the dynamics of contemporary art life. however, approaching important artists without having someone to introduce us can be a extreme difficult task. this time you will have the opportunity to greet again and again 40 of the most famous artists of our time! Edition of 5 / 10 Euros each Donated by ana navas noBLEssE oBLiGE one lucky buyer can purchase the privilege to represent the artist at the reception from a higher perspective than the crowd. From this point of view, you will be given the opportunity to wear his personal family ring, embodying le bon goût et l’héritage of a 500-year-old family from auvergne in France. the lone recipient will be given the chance to enjoy a cocktail served by a curator, a refined montecristo cigar and an anecdote provided by the artist, in an opportunity to shine in this society affair. Edition of 1 / 35 Euros Donated by Eric Giraudet de Boudemange
timE, pEopLE, Cars, anD CLouDs “my aim is to describe what is generally never noted, what happens when nothing happens...” (Georges perec) offered to you is a fine single malt scotch whiskey, Caol ila from the isle of islay, aged twelve years, served neat or with a splash of water. While drinking the whisky, open the notebook and write down a description of what you see directly in front of you. you can choose where to look, but only make a normal turn of the head. Do not talk to anyone, just watch, look and write. the text can be short or long, a list, a sentence, a paragraph, a drawing. as soon as the last drop of whisky is drunk, stand up and rejoin the party. Edition of 14 / 10 Euros each Donated by Charles Esche hoW to DraW a portrait Every portrait intends to capture the likeness, the mood and even the inner self of the model. this evening artist yvonne Grootenboer will show you how to draw your own portrait. Edition of 8 / 15 Euros each Donated by yvonne Grootenboer shoW mE your sECrEt the director of de appel will show you her personal marlene Dumas ‘leftover’ and will give you exclusive access to the back-story/genesis of this ‘sleeping beauty.’ Edition of 10 / 10 Euros each donated by ann Demeester siLvEr ConvErsatio silver Conversatio is a poem and a paper, recited for you with a clompen clap. Donated by David Bernstein and Jurgis paskevicius Edition of 7 / 12 Euros each
APPENDIX BIOGRAPHIES AYREEN ANASTAS I am not as much as I would like, as far as I could, if I was not myself one. If I were one, for sure I would, and then something afterwards will most likely happen. Thinking about it makes me feel the same and why then should I write it. Thinking that repeating in language and a biography is something to avoid, habitually when and especially. Avoidance is a mode of silence. The space is shrinking je ne sais quoi no entries found yet still hoping and feeling she felt like she was giving a wide berth. RUTH BUCHANAN Ruth Buchanan is a New Zealand artist currently living in Berlin. Using methods and media such as sculpture, photography, text, video, performance, sound and graphics, Buchanan constructs both literary and built spaces that investigate the parameters of artistic action. Recent solo exhibitions include: On or within a scenario, Hopkinson Cundy, Auckland (2013), Put a curve, an arch, right through it, Krome Gallery, Berlin (2012); Eigenwillige Zeiechensetzung, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz (2011); Lying Freely, Casco Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht (2010). Recent group exhibitions include Version Control, Arnolfini, Bristol (2013); Diagrams, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld (2012): and A wavy line is drawn across the middle of the original plans, Koelschiner Kunstverein, Cologne (2012). Buchanan published a building (Sternberg Press, 2012) and Lying Freely (Casco Office for Art, Design and Theory and Jan van Eyck Academie, 2010).
institution and its collection playing with means of appropriation and reproducibility of the archival materials. She curated the exhibition Ce lieu n’est pas la maison de Descartes at the French Institute of Amsterdam. She also conducts freelance curatorial projects and research, currently preparing a solo exhibition of Donelle Woolford at the Marrakech Biennale (2014), a book to be published by Frac Bretagne in collaboration with artist Judith Deschamps. JOTA CASTRO Jota Castro (1965) is an artist and curator with a background in law and politics. As an artist he uses photography, sculpture, video and installations to address issues of social relevance with politically incorrect humour. Castro’s work has been extensively shown around the world. He has participated in the Venice, Tirana, Prague, Sydney, Moscow and Gwangju biennials. Recent curatorial projects incluye: Rebuilding Utopia at the Emergency Pavilion for the 55th Venice Biennial (2013) Dublin Contemporary (2011) and The Fear Society at the Emergency Pavilion for the 53rd Venice Biennial (2009). In 2009, he successfully negotiated for the Region of Murcia’s candidacy for Manifesta 8. In 2010, he co-curated Spasticus Artisticus at the Ceri Hand Gallery in Liverpool. Castro is a consulting editor for Janus magazine in Belgium and Nolens Volens in Spain, and he teaches at the European University of Madrid. He is currently based in Brussels. KARI CWYNAR
Curator and art historian Kari Cwynar (1985) is currently working independently from Amsterdam, after completing the 2012-2013 de Appel Curatorial Programme. Cwynar earned her MA in art history from Carleton University, KARIMA BOUDOU Canada in 2010, and has held curatorial positions at the National Gallery of Canada and Karima Boudou (1987) is a curator based in The Banff Centre. Working independently and Rabat, Morocco. She works at L’appartement 22 with a range of collaborators, Cwynar has where she runs the programme of the institution. curated exhibitions internationally including: Boudou heads to Rabat from Amsterdam, where <laughter>, apexart gallery, New York (2013); she has completed de Appel Curatorial Bourgeois Leftovers, de Appel arts centre, Programme in 2012-2013, conducting the project Amsterdam (2013); Lynne Cohen Photographs Bourgeois Leftovers at de Appel. Prior to coming from 1973 to 1978, The Banff Centre, Banff to Amsterdam, she studied art history in Mont(2012); The Cedar Room, Open Engagement, pellier and Rennes, philosophy in Nanterre Portland (2012); The Work Locates Itself, (France). She worked as a curatorial assistant Columbia University, New York (2012); and at Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and L’appartement 22 The Collector‘s Circle, The Banff Park Museum in Rabat (Morocco). In 2011, she co-founded an independent collective of curators, DIS/PARERE, National Historic Site, Banff, (2012). Cwynar also writes criticism and essays, and recently which organized exhibitions in France and participated in a publishing-focussed residency Venice with young emerging French artists. She at The Banff Centre led by Will Holder, titled recently co-curated a project at Frac Bretagne ALWAYS LIFT INKING ROLLERS WHEN (France, 2012) with artist Judith Deschamps PRESS IS NOT IN OPERATION. IF ROLLERS conducting research in the archives of the
ARE LEFT TURNING ON THE DRUM THE INK WILL DRY FASTER AND THE ROLLERS WILL BE SUBJECT TO NEEDLESS WEAR. DINA DANISH Dina Danish’s (1981) work combines conceptual art’s preoccupation with language and structure with an interest in humour, misunderstanding, and mistranslation. Danish’s works have been exhibited at various venues including Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam, Kunsthall Oslo, and SFMOMA in San Francisco. Her most recent solo exhibitions include: Double Bubble Gum, Bubbles Double, Barbara Seiler Galerie, Zurich (2013), and Four Friends Fought Furiously For The Phone, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam (2013). Winner of Illy Present Future award at Artissima 18, and the Celeste Curator’s Choice Award, Danish studied in Cairo and San Francisco and was artist-in-residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam; A.i.R. Dubai; Fondazione Spinola Banna Per L’Arte, Turin; and PiST///, Istanbul. Danish resides in Amsterdam. LYDIA DAVIS Lydia Davis (1947) is a writer of short stories and an award-winning translator of French authors, including Proust and Flaubert. She is a professor of creative writing at University at Albany, SUNY and was a Lillian Vernon Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at New York University in 2012. In 2005 she became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2003 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. Davis’ work is acclaimed for its pithiness and humour. Her story collections include The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (2009), Varieties of Disturbance (2007), and Almost No Memory (1997), and the novel, The End of the Story (1995). Davis is the recipient of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize. Davis is based near Albany, New York. JUDITH DESCHAMPS is interested in fakes and imitations. She creates copies, moving and disturbing what we still call “reality.” Her simulations attempt to highlight the ambiguous nature of the reality. By mixing different times and playing with various forms of representation, Judith Deschamps questions the process through which we construct reality and history. As the artist used to say : “fiction is part of reality, we wouldn’t understand anything without it.” Judith Deschamps (1986) first studied theatre in the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris 3 where she experienced staging with a theater company. Then she studied scenography
mixed with visual and media arts in the University of Quebec in Montreal and in the Decorative Arts School in Strasbourg. After graduating in 2011, she has participated in several international solo and group exhibitions in institutions such as the Cartier Theater in Montreal (CA), the Delko gallery and the FRAC Bretagne in Rennes (FR), the Octave Cowbell gallery in Metz (FR), the Kaskadenkondensator art centre in Basel (CH), the Kunstverein and the T66 in Freiburg (DE), the Aubette 1928 and the Syndicat Potentiel gallery in Strasbourg (FR), the Edouard Manet Gallery in Gennevilliers (FR). MARLENE DUMAS Marlene Dumas (1953) studied the Fine arts at the university of Cape Town, South Africa (1972-75) before relocating to Amsterdam to attend de Ateliers ’63 in Haarlem (1976-78). Dumas is renowned internationally for her emotionally- and politically-charged paintings of the human figure, derived from personal experience as well as imagery sourced from pop culture, the media, and her ongoing archive of photographs and clippings. Dumas also has a strong interest in language, and her writings have been collected in the publication, Sweet Nothings (1998). The artist has exhibited her work extensively, including retrospectives at the MoMa, New York (2008) and the Museum of Contemporary art, Los Angeles (2009). In 2012 she was awarded the Dutch state prize for the arts, the Johannes Vermeer Award. Forthcoming retrospectives will be exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2014), at the Tate Modern, and the Beyeler Foundation in Basel (both in 2015). Dumas lives and works in Amsterdam. OLIVIA DUNBAR Olivia Dunbar is an artist and writer based in the Netherlands. Born in Vancouver, Canada, she is a recent graduate of the Piet Zwart Institute and in 2014 she will be a Resident at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten. Her works in text, video performance and installation result from practices of translation and mediation, where experience and information are reconfigured and exploited to produce vernacular forms. CHARLES ESCHE Charles Esche is a curator and writer and the current director of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands. He is co-founder and co-editor of Afterall Journal and Afterall Books with Mark Lewis. His recent documents include Strange and Close for CAPC, Bordeaux, 2011, U3, the Slovenian Triennale in Ljubljana, 2010.
In 2009 and 2007 he was co-curator with Khalil Rabah of the 2nd RIWAQ Biennial, Ramallah, Palestine. In 2005 he was co-curator of the 9th International Istanbul Biennial with Vasif Kortun and in 2002 the co-curator with Hou Hanru and Song Wan Kyung of the Gwangju Biennale, Republic of Korea. He has written for many art catalogues and magazines and a selection of his texts was published in 2005 under the title Modest Proposals by Baglam Press, Istanbul in Turkish and English, edited by Serkan Ozkaya. In 2012 he received the European Cultural Foundation’s Princess Margriet Award. Charles Esche will curate the São Paulo Biennial, 2014 with a team including Afterall editor Pablo Lafuente and Van Abbemuseum curator Galit Eilat as co-curators. CHRIS EVANS Chris Evans’ (1967) work often evolves through conversation with people based on their professional or symbolic role in society. He creates sculptures, letters, drawings, film scripts, and unwieldy social situations as a result of these encounters; these works become indexes of a larger structure through which Evans’ deliberately confuses the roles of artist and patron, genius and muse. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam (2012); Luettgenmeijer, Berlin (2011); Marres, Maastricht (2010); Mala Galerija, Ljubljana (2010); and Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp (2009). Evans’ work has also been shown in group exhibitions at Witte de With, Rotterdam (2012); the Taipei Biennial (2010); ICA, London (2009); Arnolfini, Bristol (2009); CIC, Cairo (2009); and Nottingham Contemporary (2008). Evans is based in London. RENE GABRI How much should he write to fulfill the task to fill in the blanks. I am a bit of a character a letter, a figure, a symbol, a sign, a mark, a line. How long? How long will it take for the world to know that ecology has more than seven characters, that economy is not wealth, in terms of production and consumption of goods and services. A possibility of something happening: join forces, combine, band together, ally, cooperate, collaborate, work together, pull together, team up, hitch up, hook up, twin. MOOSJE M. GOOSEN Moosje M. Goosen is a writer who lives and works in Rotterdam. She has contributed to various publications, such as Frieze and Metropolis M and frequently collaborates with artists. Recently she worked together with Sara van
der Heide (Art History / The Museum of Western Folklore, 2011) and Uqbar Foundation (Mariana Castillo Deball and Irene Kopelman). WILL HOLDER Will Holder (1969) is a typographer and writer, preoccupied with conversation as tool and model for a mutual and improvised set of publishing conditions — whereby the usual roles of commissioner, author, subject, editor, and designer are improvised and shared, as opposed to assigned and pre-determined. Holder is editor of F.R.DAVID, a journal concerned with reading and writing in the arts. In 2009 he co-curated Talk Show (with Richard Birkett) at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), an exhibition and season of events concerning speech and accountability. Together with Alex Waterman, he is editing and designing Yes, But Is It Edible?, a biography of American composer Robert Ashley for four or more voices (Vancouver: New Documents, forthcoming, 2013). Holder has been teaching at the Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, since 1996, and is based in London. ANGELA JERARDI Angela Jerardi (1979, US) is a curator currently based in Amsterdam. Until recently, she held the position of director and co-creator of FLUXspace, a non-profit artist run space and collective project in Philadelphia. Recent projects with FLUXspace include No Soul for Sale at the X Initiative, NYC (2010), and at the TATE Modern, London, UK (2011), Kat Culchur (2011), and a collectively produced chapbook in response to Chris Kraus’ text, titled re: Where Art Belongs. Angela studied cultural anthropology and Chinese at Earlham College, and likes tacos. JUGEDAMOS Jugedamos is a collaborative pun invented by Jurgis Paškevicˇius, Géraldine Longueville, and David Bernstein that plays according to the context where it’s hosted. The artists produce a new language that translates the looseness of both understanding and misunderstanding to generate stories, theories and displays. Jugedamos have exhibited at Walden Affairs (Den Haag), SculptureCenter (New York), and recently performed the Superusurpedsupper for the Collecting Matters Fellowship (Nomas Foundation, Kadist Art Foundation, and David Robert’s Art Foundation — held in Rome). Jurgis Paškevicˇus (1987, Vilnius, Lithuania) performs, writes and works within language and situation-specific acts. For some time now, he has been working with friends in
Vilnius on detecting scripts for spaces. In 2011 he ALISON KNOWLES moved to Amsterdam to follow the Master of Fine Art at the Sandberg Institute. In 2012 - 2013, Alison Knowles (1933) is a New York-based he took part in different exhibitions and perforartist known for her soundworks, performances, mances in Lithuania, Italy and The Netherlands. publications, and installations. A founding From the August of 2013 he is taking part in the member of Fluxus, Knowles produced what may Rupert residency program in Vilnius. be the earliest book object, a can of texts and Géraldine Longueville (1981, France) beans called the Bean Rolls, in 1963. In addition curates, sings and writes according the situation. to her book-based work, Knowles is well-known From 2005 to 2010, she ran La galerie extérieure, for her event scores, including The Identical a gallery without an art space but a specific Lunch (1969), a score based on her habit of temporality. From 2008 to 2011 she worked on eating the same food at the same time each day, several exhibitions, events, and teaching pro“a tunafish sandwich on wheat toast, with lettuce grams for the Paris-Cergy Fine Art school in and butter, no mayo and a cup of soup or a glass France. She recently conceived The entremet, of buttermilk.” Other event scores and perfora residency, recipe, banquet, and edition mances include Make a Salad (1962), Shoes organized at Villa San Michele in Capri and at of Your Choice (1963), and The Shoemaker’s the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Assistant (1977). Knowles also composed the Les Abattoirs in Toulouse. She is following the Notations book of experimental composition Master of Fine Art at the Sandberg Institute in with John Cage, and has collaborated with Amsterdam until July 2013, before going artists including Marcel Duchamp and George to New York for a while. Brecht. On the occasion of Documenta X, David Bernstein (1988, San Antonio, Knowles was appointed Guest Professor. Texas) performs, writes, and makes objects. He explores thinging (a reciprocal process of TAMARA KUSELMAN thinking, making things, thinking through things, and using things as lenses to look at other Tamara Kuselman (1980, Buenos Aires) is things). From 2006-2011, he lived in Brooklyn currently attending a MFA at Sandberg Institute and then moved to Amsterdam to pursue a in Amsterdam. She studied Fine Arts at UniverMasters of Fine Arts at the Sandberg Institute. sity of Barcelona. She has had solo exhibitions at In the fall of 2013, he will have a residency at the Sala Muncunill (Terrassa, 2011) and at L’Estruch Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius. (Sabadell, 2010). Her performances include Still life with Blackcocks at Bourgeois Leftovers, SRAJANA KAIKINI De Appel arts center (Amsterdam, 2013), El poder del ahora, During Rita McBride’s Blind Srajana Kaikini (1986, India) is a writer, curator, Dates at MACBA (Barcelona, 2012), Whe All researcher keen on mapping intersections of Shine On at SMART Project Space (Amsterdam, cross-cultural knowledge pools. She holds a 2010). She has participated in group shows such Masters in Arts and Aesthetics from Jawaharlal as Collective Fictions at Nouvelle Vagues at Nehru University, New Delhi with a Bachelors in Palais de Tokyo (Paris 2013), The Suspicious of architecture. She participated in the de Appel Suspense. Trafó Gallery (Budapest 2012), Curatorial Programme 2012/13 , at de Appel arts This is Not an Art Show, Either. Center for Centre, Amsterdam where she co-curated with Contemporary Art of Barcelona Fabra & Coats her colleagues the exhibition Bourgeois Leftovers. (Barcelona 2012), Jafre Biennial, (2011), Her past projects include Ecologies of excess La qüestió del paradigma, La Panera (Lleida, for KHOJ - Negotiating Routes: Ecologies of the 2011), Before Everything, CA2M (Madrid, 2010), Byways – Part IV, Adventures of a Narcoleptic among others. Kuselman has done a residency at Flaneur at the Gallery of the School of Arts and Hangar (Barcelona) and at Smart Project Space Aesthetics, JNU, Delhi in winter 2011, Familiar (Amsterdam). She won the Injuve Prize and in Strangers, as part of the IFA - KCFS film curato2011 and she was given the Miquel Casablancas rial workshop project 2012, Mumbai. Urbanism grant (Barcelona). and city spaces are her active interests. She is also a trained classical dancer of Odissi, and MATTHIEU LAURETTE her passion for writing extends beyond academia into prose, poetry, cinema and travel. She is an Matthieu Laurette (1970) is a conceptual artist active listener and reader and presently as the who works in a wide range of media, from TV recipient of the FICA Research Fellowship 2013, and video to installation and public interventions. she will explore the literal image and materialist He explores various strategies to examine the vocabulary in contemporary art through the relationships between conceptual art, pop art, Indian aesthetic theory of dhvani. institutional critique, economics, and contemporary society. Laurette’s work has been exhibited
extensively at various institutions such as Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (1998); de Appel, Amsterdam (2000); 49th Venice Biennale (2001); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2003 & 2006); P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center/ MoMA, N.Y (2005); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2005); MoMA, New York (2007); MNAMCentre Pompidou, Paris, (1997, 2000, 2004, 2007 & 2009); Z33, Hasselt (2012); Museo La Tertulia, Cali (2013). Laurette resides in Paris, New York and Besançon.
Gerardo Mosquera is an independent curator and art critic based in Havana. He was a cofounder of the Havana Biennial, a Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, NewYork, and has curated many international exhibitions. Author of numerous texts and books on contemporary art and art theory, he is artistic director for PhotoSpain 2011, 2012 and 2013, Madrid.
Gabriel Lester (1972, The Netherlands) lives and works in Shanghai and Amsterdam. The interplay between perception, imagination, belief and desire is the driving force behind Gabriel Lester’s practice. Lester’s artworks, films and installations originate from an aspiration to tell stories and construct environments that support these stories or propose their own narrative interpretation. In early years this led to writing prose and composing electronic music. Later, after studying cinema and eventually fine arts, Lester’s artworks became what could be typified as cinematographic, without necessarily employing film or video. Like cinema, his practice has come to embrace most imaginable media and occupy both time and space. These artworks seldom convey any explicit message or singular idea, but rather propose ways to relate to the world, how it is presented and what mechanisms and components constitute our perception and understanding of it. By dissecting things, editing, cutting up, repositioning and forcing perspective, Lester’s works captivate and engage. Ultimately Lester’s artworks suggest both rational consciousness as well as associative magic thought. Major (solo) exhibitions include: Minsheng museum, Shanghai (2012), Documenta 13, Kassel (2012), Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2011), Rodeo gallery Istanbul, Turkey (2010), Z33 Hasselt, Belgium (2009), Bloomberg Space, London, England (2007), Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden (2006), Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland (2005), BOZAR, Brussels, Belgium(2004), The Hague Gemeente Musuem, The Hague, The Netherlands (2002), CAN, Neuchatel, Switzerland (2001).
Florencia Portocarrero (1981, Lima) is an independent curator, professor and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She obtained her BA in clinical psychology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Perú, where she also received her MA in Psychoanalytical Theory. In 2008 she was an assistant curator in (E) star Gallery. Portocarrero was a participant of de Appel arts centre’s Curatorial Programme 2012/2013. She has worked as a research assistant in Rebuilding Utopia at the Emergency Pavilion for the 55th Venice Biennial. She was awarded with the Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros- Travel Grant to attend CIMAM’s 2013 Annual Conference. In August 2013, she was a participant in Independent Curators International’s Curatorial Intensive. Recently curated projects include: The State of Fictions at the Spanish Cultural Center in Lima (2010), Historical Animals at the School of Art and Design Corriente Alterna (2012), Black Days in Revolver Gallery (2012), The Tyranny of Intimacy at the Spanish Cultural Center in Lima (2012), Bourgeois Leftovers at de Appel arts centre in Amsterdam (2013) and Ornament and System at Wu Gallery (2013).
SVEN LüTTICKEN Sven Lütticken teaches art history at VU University Amsterdam. He is the author of Secret Publicity: Essays on Contemporary Art (2006), Idols of the Market: Modern Iconoclasm and the Fundamentalist Spectacle (2009), and History in Motion: Time in the Age of the Moving Image (2013).
MEHDI QOTBI Mohammed Qotbi, also known as Mehdi Qotbi, is a Moroccan painter born in 1951 in Rabat, Morocco. He studied at the School of Fine Arts of Rabat, Toulouse and Paris. Close to the King of Morocco Mohammed VI, he created in 1991 the Cercle Franco-Marocain for which he is also the president. In 2012, he was appointed president of the National Foundation of Museums in Morocco by Mohammed VI, the foundation aiming to reshape the museums of the kingdom and reinforcing the kingdom’s national narrative. DARAGH REEVES Daragh Reeves’ (1974) drawings, sketches, posters, slides, installations, films, and videos reflect the artists’s interest in cinematic processes, the medium of film, and the relationship
between language and image. The images he creates often appear as fragments of a larger narrative or script, isolating one moment in a story. His work distills and plays with the common elements of film, such as pacing, lighting, and framing, as well as the blurring of reality and fiction; it often remains purposefully unresolved. Reeves received an MFA from School of Visual Arts, New York (2000) and attended De Ateliers in Amsterdam (2004). Exhibitions of his work have been presented at The Jam Factory, London; Albatross Space, Tokyo (both 2001); Parkhaus Treptow, Berlin (2002); Visual Arts Gallery, New York (2004); Liste Young Art Fair, Basel; W139, Amsterdam (both 2005); The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, New York; Drawing Typologies, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Oporto, Lisbon (2007). Reeves is based in Brussels. ALEXANDRA STOCK Upon participating in de Appel’s 2012/2013 Curatorial Program, Alexandra Stock (1982) was appointed curator and manager of Al Riwaq Art Space in Manama, Bahrain. She holds a BFA with specialization in Theory from the Zurich University of the Arts and worked at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo from 2007-2012 in the capacities of associate curator, assistant to the director, and manager of the art space’s international residency program. During this time she was the Mediamatic Travel Guide to Cairo, served on the International Council of PBS’s series “Art in the 21st Century,” and consulted and managed numerous cultural projects realized both in and via Egypt. Alexandra has exhibited and screened her work at venues including CiC, Photo Schweiz, Photography Museum Braunschweig, Museum Folkwang, Amsterdam Museum, Marres, Schunk*, and at festivals in Switzerland, Egypt, and Togo. Additional writings and/or images of hers have been published, among others, in Bidoun (issue 25), foam in Van Loon (on Bart Julius Peters), “The Maghreb Connection. Movements of Life Across North Africa” (actar), and “Cairo: Images of Transition: Perspectives on Visuality in Egypt 2011-2013” (transcript). BARBARA VISSER From the beginning of her career, Barbara Visser has been occupied with the relationship between registration and dramatisation. Vissers’ work is driven by fascinations around original and copy, historical narratives and constructed biographies, which she translates into subjective documentaries. By questioning the authenticity of images and their interpretation by the viewer, she
inﬂuences the shape and the content of the work simultaneously. Projects are executed in an array of media: photography, ﬁlm, video, text, printed matter, and performance. Inﬁltrating into existing systems leads to a wide diversity of works. Barbara Visser studied photography and audiovisual arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, the Cooper Union in New York, and the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Since 1992 her work is shown internationally. Her work is represented by Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam. Visser has participated in the Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2006), Manifesta, Trento, Italy (2008), Architecture Biennale, Dutch Pavillion, Venice, Italy (2010), Art Biennale, Dutch Pavillion group show (2011). In 2011/12 she wrote and directed the ﬁlm C.K. (2012). Awards for her work include the Dutch Cultural Media Fund Documentary Award (2010), the Dr. A. H. Heineken Award for art and science (2008), David Roell Prize 2007, Prins Bernhard Foundation (2007), Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart Preis (2000), and Charlotte Köhler Prize (1996). ARNISA ZEQO Arnisa Zeqo studied art history and philosophy in Amsterdam and often experiments with exhibition making. In 2011, she co-founded Rongwrong, a space for art and theory, and runs it with Antonia Carrara. TIMMY VAN ZOELEN Employing strategies of corruption and encryption, Timmy van Zoelen (1982, The Netherlands) seduces the spectator to engage in his perverted phantasms. In his work, Van Zoelen exercises his idiosyncratic humour by sharing his salacious and facetious views on nature, history, and fortune. Moving from pulsion to representation, from foreplay to display, he is continuously evaluating desire, struggling between abstinence and indulgence, and between the tangible and the virtual. We find these results in an amalgamation of works erecting an uncanny web of allegoric integrity where the old and the new interpenetrate. Van Zoelen completed a two-year residency at De Ateliers in Amsterdam and holds a MFA from Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. Recent shows include: Offspring 2013 and LIMBODROME, De Ateliers, Amsterdam (2013, 2012): You took the part that once was my heart, The Hunterian, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (2012): :Hypercolon:, Smart Project Space, Amsterdam, (2011) and Anthem for the People’s Tomorrow, PZI Fine Arts Graduation show, Rotterdam, (2011).
BACK INDEX “...for single mothers,” 61 A academicism, 41, 113 accessibility, 41 actresses, 26 Adorno, Theodor, 103 Allais, Alphonse, 69 alternatives to the avant-garde, 16 Amsterdamse Joffers, 16, 32, 19, 145 Anastas, Ayreen (see also Gabri, Rene), 5 Andriessen, Janet, 26 anonymous artists, 52 Ansingh, Lizzy, 16, 19 Antinous, 127, 145 appropriation, 16, 26, 61, 87 arabic calligraphy, 7 archives, 26, 127, 134 art history, 7, 16, 56 art market, 7, 14, 113 art specialists, 14 artist’s studio, the, 16, 87 aspiration, 77, 103 aura, 26, 41, 91, 113 authorship, 16, 26, 61 autonomy of the art object, 41, 87, 91 avant-gardism, 19, 103 B bar graph, 134 Baudrillard, Jean, 77 Bauer-Stumpff, Johanna, 140, 145 Benjamin, Walter, 103 Bhakti, 77 el Baroni, Bassam, 113 Bieber, Justin, 145 biography, 16, 19, 140 book, 77 bourgeoisie, the, 16, 41, 63, 77, 103, 113 Boudou, Karima, 7 British Museum, 41 Buchanan, Ruth, 12, 103 Buffet, Warren & Peter, 63 “burning the paintings,” 14, 103 C canon, 113 capitalism, 5, 54, 63, 87, 103, 113 Castro, Jota, 14 Centre Pompidou, 7 certificate, 87 Chadwick, Sir Edwin, 63 CIMAM, 41 circular economies, 61, 87 citation, 26
citoyen, 103 Chagall, Marc, 41 “Charitable-Industrial Complex,” 63 Clark, T.J., 41 collections, 14, 26, 41, 52 remnants of colonialism, 7, 41 commodity, 87 commissioning, 41 conceptual art, 82, 87, 113 conditions of production, 12, 16, 52, 61, 87 contemporary art practice, 41, 113 contentment, 77, 103, 140 copy, 26, 61, 145 critique, 87 cuculoris, 91 cultural mediator, 26 curatorial voice, 26, 134 Cwynar, Kari, 16, 41, 61 D Danish, Dina, 19, 41, 127 Davis, Lydia, 23 de-acquisitions, museum, 41 de-sacralisation of the art object, 26, 41 Debord, Guy, 103 decoration, 87 democracy, 63 déja-vu, 26 Deschamps, Judith, 26, 41 description, 69 design, 87 dialogue, 77, 113 dispersion, 61, 87 dissonance, 63 donation, 41 Dumas, Marlene, 30 Dunbar, Olivia, 32 E Eindhoven, 41 Engels, Friedrich, 63 equivalence, 41 ,113 Esche, Charles, 41, 61 Evans, Chris, 52, 61, 127 exclusion, 113 F fair use, 87 fake, 26, 63 Farrow & Ball, 134 Fernhout, Edgar, 61 fiction, 23, 26, 56 filth (see sanitation), 63 fine arts, 113 Flaubert, Gustave, 23, 63 Foucault, Michel, 63 frame, the, 56, 87 funding, 14
Gabri, Rene (see also Anastas, Ayreen), 54 Galeries Lafayette, 87 Gates, Bill, 63 Germany, 103 ghost, 26 Google Images, 83, 91 Goosen, Moosje, 56 Greenwood, Thomas, 63 Gropius, Walter, 87 Groys, Boris, 41, 63 Guernica, 26
marble, 145 Marx, Karl, 41, 63, 77, 103 Même, 26 Miasmic Revisionism, 145 middle-class, 77, 103 modernism, 69, 103, 113, 140 modernity, 41 Mondriaan, Piet, 19, 41, 103 monologue, 12, 69, 77 Mosquera, Gerardo, 113 Muji, 87 Musée du Louvre, 7, 41 Museum of Contemporary Art, Rabat, 7 museums, 7, 14, 41, 63 mutations, 113 mythology, 145
H “having culture,” 103 Hillesum, Etty, 26 Holder, Will, 16, 61 hospitality, 41 I ICOM, 41 IKEA, 87 Indian aesthetic theory of suggestion, 77 industrial revolution, 63 institutional critique, 26, 87 international art language, 113 inversion, 145 iPhone, 87 Islamic architecture, 7
N National Foundation of Museums, Morocco, 7 neo-liberalism, 41, 103 O object, 77, 82 P
Kaikini, Srajana, 77, 145 King Mohamed VI, 7 Knowles, Alison, 82, 103 Kuselman, Tamara, 83
paintings, on, 16, 30, 69, 77 paintings and indexicality, 41 painting words, 12 patronage, 41 pederasty, 145 Peinture, 7 Peizel, Bart, 19, 41, 103 performance, 26, 32, 69, 83 philanthropy, 41 Picasso in Palestine, 41 Portocarrero, Florencia, 113 postcard, 5, 61 postmodernism, 113 proletariat, 63, 103 promesse de bonheur, 103 (see also aspiration) public/private domain, 41
language (production of), 12, 16, 23, 32, 61, 69, 83, 113, 140, Laurette, Matthieu, 77, 87, 103 leftovers, 26, 63, 77, 134 Lester, Gabriel, 91 light, 91 limitations, 41 literature (in relation to the art object) 23, 56, 140 Lütticken, Sven, 103 Lyautey, Marshal, 7
Qotbi, Mehdi, 7
J Jerardi, Angela, 63 Jesus, 145 Jugedamos (David Bernstein, Géraldine Geffriaud, Jurgis Paškevicˇius), 69 K
R Rabat, 7 radicalism, 41, 63 rationality, 134 reading paintings, 12, 32, 56, 140 Reeves, Daragh, 122, 127 rejects, 30, 77 repatriation, 41 representation, 16, 26, 61
reproduction, 16, 26, 61 retrospection, 69 return, 16, 26 Revolutionary Road, 77 Ritsema, Coba, 16, 32 S sales, 87 sanitation, 63 script, 12, 26, 69, 83 selection, 134 Sluijters, Jan, 103, 127, 134 Smithsonian, 41 social hacker, 87 Société Générale du Maroc, 7 sponsoring, 87 stagnation, 77 Star Wars, 145 still life, 12, 16, 32, 56 Stock, Alexandra, 127 stone, 134 storage, 12, 41, 52 street-sweeping, 63 Superflex, Free Sol Lewitt, 41 Suriname, 14 T Theatre, 26 Things, Matthieu Laurette, 77, 87 translation, 16, 113, 134, U use, 87 V value, 41, 87, 103, 113 Van Abbemuseum, 41, 61, 113 visibility, 16, 41, 61, 63, 91, 134 Visser, Barbara, 41, 127, 134 volume, 134 W wallpaper, 77, 134 wall texts, 23, 41 wealth (see bourgeoisie,) 63 Whitworth, Joseph, 63 Wiegman, Matthieu, Portrait of Trees, 41 women artists, 16, 19, 32 writing history, 7, 16 Z Zeqo, Arnisa, 140 Žižek, Slavoj, 63 van Zoelen, Timmy, 127, 145
ADDITIONAL CREDITS AND COMMENTS
Karima Boudou would like to thank Madeleine Compagnon for translating from French, An interview with Mehdi Qotbi. The translation on the artist Coba Ritsema in Kari Cwynar's The Handsomest Kid in the Class is sourced from: Adriaan Venema, 'Coba Ritsema: 't Knapste kind van de klas' in De Amsterdamse Joffers (Baarn 1977): 97-114. Image credits for Lydia Davis’ wall labels in Bourgeois Leftovers at de Appel arts centre: All photos by Cassander Eeftink Schattenkerk, 2013. For the installation A Talk To The Leftovers, Judith Deschamps would like to thank: Nathalie Sharman, Christophe Berthaud; for the performance A Walk To The Leftovers: Janet Andriessen, Renske Noordhuis, Brigitte van Bakel, Suzanne Voorhans, Tytis Sonnenfeld, Marjolein van der Loo, Damien Dubras. The text on Marlene Dumas' work is excerpted from: One Hundred Models and Endless Rejects, published by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and co-published by Hatje Cantz Verlag. Olivia Dunbar’s text Still Life with Statue (What is That Thing That Is) was originally read at de Appel arts centre on June 6, 2013. Moosje M. Goosen’s story Frames is a slightly adapted version of a text written and produced in 2012 for the Koninklijke Schilderprijs as part of a series of essays for the annual publication. Goosen read this text during a public programme at de Appel arts centre on June 6, 2013. Arnisa Zeqo's contribution is excerpted from Louis Couperus, Inevitable, New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, Inc, 1920. Zeqo read this text during a public programme at de Appel arts centre on June 6, 2013.
COLOPHON Bourgeois Leftovers de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam 20th April-16th June, 2013 Exhibition curators: Karima Boudou, Kari Cwynar, Angela Jerardi, Srajana Kaikini, Florencia Portocarrero, and Alexandra Stock Publication editors: Kari Cwynar and Srajana Kaikini, with Karima Boudou, Angela Jerardi, Florencia Portocarrero, and Alexandra Stock Design: Bart de Baets Print: Speed-o-Print
With special thanks to:
All of the contributors to the exhibition and publication; Ann Demeester, Nell Donkers, Edna van Duyn, Guus van Engelshoven, Marina Fränkel, and all staff at de Appel; Bart de Baets; Charles Esche; Sven Lütticken; Gerardo Mosquera; Mehdi Qotbi; Rustan Söderling; Pieter and Elisabeth at San Serriffe. With financial support from the City of Amsterdam, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and all Voordekunst contributors. please add this as the next para: We would thank our interns, Marjolein van der Loo, Renske Noordhuis, Julia van Grieken at de Appel; Sjoerd Tim and team; Justin Gosker and team; all staff at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Frascati Theatre; Antiek Centrum; Institut Français, Maison Descartes; Farrow & Ball; Kortmann APS; Edwin Becker; Emma van der Put and Timmy van Zoelen; all of our tutors; Mark Jansen and all staff at MOES; Hendrik Folkerts and the Stedelijk Museum; Anna Abrahams and the EYE Film Institute; who made the exhibition Bourgeois Leftovers a reality.
About de Appel Curatorial Programme:
Initiated in 1994 as an in-house international training trajectory for young curators, the Curatorial Programme of de Appel arts centre offers its participants hands-on experiences and skills for the further development of their professional career. Each year the programme culminates with the collective development of a final project at de Appel arts centre. www.bourgeoisleftovers.com www.deappel.nl
Copyright - de Appel Curatorial Programme 2012-13