Kris Dittel

I work as an independent curator and editor, based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. I am also Associate Curator Visual Arts and Onomatopee Projects in Eindhoven. My work centres on clusters of research informed by my training in economics and social sciences, as well as by an ongoing interest in the (failure of) communication, and performativity in relation to the body and language. I am particularly attentive to queer, feminist, embedded and embodied practices.

My current curatorial work engages with the subject of code switching (To Be Like Water, Sculpture International Rotterdam, 2020) and the material substance and performative potential of the (human) voice (Post-Opera, TENT Rotterdam, V2_, Operadagen Rotterdam, 2019). Previous curatorial and editorial projects explored questions of social and economic value in art and the value of artistic labour (The Trouble with Value, 2017–20) and the relationship of language and economics (The Economy is Spinning, 2016-17).

My bilingual background (Hungarian and Slovak) have deeply influenced my relationship to language and text, which remains a complexity I work from – mostly in English. I have contributed to numerous artists’ books and catalogues, as writer, editor or script editor. Such edited publications include The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation (Onomatopee, 2020), Marjolijn Dijkman: Radiant Matter (Onomatopee, 2018), The Economy is Spinning (Onomatopee, 2017), and Antonis Pittas: Road to Victory (co-edited with Clare Butcher, Mousse Publishing and Hordaland Kunstsenter, 2017). Currently I’m working on two volumes as co-editor, Clementine Edwards: The Material Kinship Reader (Onomatopee, 2021) and Singing Beyond Human, with Jelena Novak (2021).

Download my CV HERE

 

Contact:
info at krisdittel dot com

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Research

Voice as Material

Voice as Material is an ongoing research that explores the material substance and performative potential of the (human) voice in artistic practices. It’s concerned with the relationship between the gaze and the voice, the (changing) relationship between the body and the voice, and vocality as a site of continuous transformation and becoming.

As part of this work I’ve been collaborating with musicologist, dramaturg and opera scholar Jelena Novak, PhD. A major outcome of our joint investigation was the Post-Opera project, which included two exhibitions, series of performances and a symposium at TENT Rotterdam and V2_Lab for the Unstable Media and the Operadagen festival Rotterdam.

At present my work looks into vocalization as a socially and culturally framed practice, with special interest in questions of the voice and gender, and I continue my collaboration with Jelena Novak as co-editors of an upcoming volume Singing Beyond Human.

1
The Post-Operatic voice
at Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam
21 April, 2017

A conversation with opera scholar Jelena Novak introduced our convergent interest in the voice and body relationship from the perspective of contemporary opera and visual art. The event also included my performative talk ‘The Voice in Search of a Body’, concerning the cultural history of the voice and the quest to recreate the voice by technological means. The talk was delivered via my personalised digital voice.

2
Post-Opera
exhibition and performance programme
at TENT Rotterdam, V2_Lab for the Unstable Media and Operadagen Rotterdam
co-curated with Jelena Novak
April-June 2019

More about Post-Opera HERE

3
Symposium ‘Installing the Voice’
at TENT Rotterdam
15 May, 2019

co-organised with Jelena Novak, PhD

Speakers:

Michal Grover Friedlander (keynote), Paul Elliman (keynote), Hannah Bosma, Kris Dittel, Brigitte Felderer, Jelena Novak, Veronika Witte, Katarina Zdjelar

The symposium Installing the Voice focused on the ways in which contemporary artists, composers and performers reinvent the relationship between the body and the voice. There is hardly any other artistic genre where the voice is more essential than in opera. Yet the operatic singing body was long taken for granted and overlooked. Installing the voice, in the framework of music theatre and especially of an exhibition, can be a strategy to make the voice manifest, give it a place, put it into position, and set it up for analysis or experimentation.

The one-day event gathered both researchers in the emerging field of Voice Studies, Musicology, Opera Studies and Cultural Theory, and artists who explore the singing body in contexts beyond opera. The participants addressed topics related to staging the voice, the cultural history of the human voice, the emergence of singing and speaking machines, the voice in the posthuman era, vocality and power.

Programme Committee:
Ivana Ilić (University of Arts, Belgrade, Faculty of Music)
, João Pedro Cachopo (Universidade Nova de Lisboa / CESEM), Kris Dittel, independent curator
, Jelena Novak (Universidade Nova de Lisboa / CESEM)

Symposium 'Installing the Voice', photo Jasna Veličković
Symposium 'Installing the Voice', photo Jelena Novak
The Post-Operatic Voice, poster design by Team Thursday
Symposium 'Installing the Voice', photo Jasna Veličković

Value

A series of projects engaging with the slippery notion of value in and outside of art, and the value of artistic labour.

1
The Trouble with Value
at Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow, PL (December 2017-March 2018)
and Onomatopee Eindhoven, NL (April – July 2018)

A sequence of exhibitions and performances The Trouble with Value engaged with the tangled story of the symbolic and economic value that a work of art holds, being a product of its maker’s labour. It provided insights into current notions of value and value systems surrounding us. The project explored various mechanisms of value creation and devaluation in art, the role of infrastructure in its circulation and valuation, the capacity of language, as well as that of iconoclasm as a mode of image (and value) creation.

More information about the exhibitions HERE

2
The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation
Publication
Onomatopee, 2020

The publication consolidates the research behind The Trouble with Value exhibition series and brings together theoretical and artistic contributions.

More info about the book HERE

3
Working Group of Freelance Curators and Art Workers
Platform BK, Amsterdam
ongoing

With a number of colleagues we founded a ‘working group of freelance curators and art workers’, in collaboration with Platform BK. The group focuses on pressing issues concerning working conditions for freelance curators and art workers in the Netherlands, with an aim to advocate for and improve the conditions in the cultural field.

Read our preliminary statement HERE

Translation, Language

The Economy is Spinning

Exhibition and publication
2016-17

How does the economy speak to us? Does it speak through us? Sometimes its voice trembles with fear, and at other times it whispers with hope and sings in excitement about better days to come.

The Economy is Spinning was an exhibition and book project, exploring the ways the language of economics and finance influences and frames our thinking.

Read more about the project HERE.

The Translation Trip 

The Translation Trip was a joint research trajectory with curator and writer Sara Giannini, composed of readings, talks, visits and encounters circumnavigating the concept and practice of translation as a curatorial device. Operating between 2015 and 2017, the nomadic meetings delved into insights on different understandings of translation as practice and philosophical metaphor.

A selection of sessions below.

More information HERE

1
Translation, Art and the Strangeness of Language with Sami Khatib
De Appel Arts Centre
June 2015

The inaugural appointment was the close reading of Walter Benjamin’s seminal essay The Task of the Translator with Benjamin scholar Sami Khatib, PhD at De Appel Arts Centre in June 2015. The talk elucidated key passages of the text and situated the essay within Benjamin’s philosophy and dwelled upon the issue of universal translability beyond capitalist modes of translation. The public event pondered translation as the infinite after-life of texts and its relation to the strangeness and foreignness of language as such.

Find the recording of the event HERE.

2
Waiting for Self Seduction

a reading performance by Kris Dittel, Sara Giannini and Sam Samiee
in the setting of Samiee’s exhibition Bedroom Posters
Witteveen Visual Art Centre, Amsterdam
April 2015

A performance by three narrators, in the setting of ‘Bedroom Posters’, surrounded by bits of sky while boys are asleep.

It’s 3 pm. The gallery is open. It’s sunny outside and a beautiful light crosses the space. Three people are reading and talking about intimacies, dispossession of the self, pleasure, loneliness. I am turned on. I particularly like the way that pillow resonates with the words I catch: “Am I in love? Yes, since I am waiting.”

I pick up a text that is given to me. Is it a script?

Oh, I fell in love with a dead boy.

3
Private/Public

studio meeting and discussion with artist Sarah van Lamsweerde and invited guests.

The Translation Trip, Waiting for Self Seduction, a reading performance by Kris Dittel, Sara Giannini and Sam Samiee, in the setting of Samiee’s exhibition 'Bedroom Posters'
The Translation Trip, Waiting for Self Seduction, a reading performance by Kris Dittel, Sara Giannini and Sam Samiee, in the setting of Samiee’s exhibition 'Bedroom Posters'
The Translation Trip, Waiting for Self Seduction, a reading performance by Kris Dittel, Sara Giannini and Sam Samiee, in the setting of Samiee’s exhibition 'Bedroom Posters'
The Translation Trip, Waiting for Self Seduction, a reading performance by Kris Dittel, Sara Giannini and Sam Samiee, in the setting of Samiee’s exhibition 'Bedroom Posters'
The Translation Trip, Translation, Art and the Strangeness of Language with Sami Khatib, De Appel Arts Centre 2015
The Translation Trip, Private/Public, a studio meeting with Sarah van Lamsweerde
The Translation Trip, Private/Public, a studio meeting with Sarah van Lamsweerde
The Translation Trip, Private/Public, a studio meeting with Sarah van Lamsweerde
The Translation Trip, Waiting for Self Seduction, a reading performance by Kris Dittel, Sara Giannini and Sam Samiee, in the setting of Samiee’s exhibition 'Bedroom Posters'

More coming soon.

Exhibitions and Such

Post-Opera

Exhibition, symposium and performances
At TENT Rotterdam, V2_, Operadagen Rotterdam festival
April-June 2019

Co-curated with

Jelena Novak

Participating artists:

Jan Adriaans
Mercedes Azpilicueta & John Bingham-Hall
Adam Basanta
Paul Elliman
franck leibovici
Janneke van der Putten
Martin Riches & Tom Johnson
Urok Shirhan
Ho Tzu Nyen
Jasna Veličković
Suzanne Walsh
Geo Wyeth
Katarina Zdjelar

At the meeting point of visual arts and opera the exhibition examined the transformation of the human condition through the vocal sphere.

The human voice has historically been central to our psychological and social understanding of individuality and selfhood. Hence, the voice is intimately entwined with what counts as being ‘human’. The category of ‘human’ carries inherent non-neutrality; it indicates access to certain privileges and entitlements, to which not all bodies equally seem to belong to and allowed to have a voice. This begs the question: ‘what kind of voices are recognized as such, within our societal power dynamics, and what are the possibilities for “other” voices to be heard?’

Leaning on these questions, the exhibition project Post-Opera dismantled the opera world as one of the last unquestioned bastions of humanism. In Post-Opera singing machines and mechanisms, beasts animals and other ‘others’ sung in installations and performances that used opera as a theme and/or material. They sung beyond opera and at the same time beyond human.

Along the way the project considered technological developments that shift the ways in which we look at bodies, voices and identities today. As we become increasingly accustomed to an intrusive intimacy with technology, and are surrounded by artificial voices, new questions emerge: In what ways do such disembodied creatures affect our understanding of what constitutes a voice? And how do such voices gain presence?

There is hardly any other artistic genre where the voice is more essential than in opera. For a long time the operatic singing body was overshadowed by the voice, being only a ‘blind spot’, a taken-for-granted organic ‘instrument’, not considered important enough to be taken seriously in the process of meaning making. The exhibition drew from the experiences of postdramatic operas that often engage in a reinvention of the body-voice relationship, using technology to alter voices or to break the seamless connection between the singing body and voice, thus stretching the boundaries of the body and the voice and of the opera genre itself.

Paul Elliman: How We Learn the Old Songs, performance, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
franck leibovici, a love poem, 2019, multimedia installation, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
Katarina Zdjelar, Reading ‘Europe, Where Have You Misplaced Love?’, video installation, 2019, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
Ho Tzu Nyen, No Man II, 3D animation projected on spy mirror, 6-hours loop, 2016, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
Jacques Fabien Gautier d'Agoty, Two anatomical drawings, Collection Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
Athanaus Kircher, Speaking Statues (1650/2019) and G.R.M. Marage, Sirènes a voyelles et résonateurs buccaux (1900/2019), photo Aad Hoogendoorn
Martin Riches, Singing Machine (2010-2013), performing The Audition composed by Tom Johnson, 2019, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
Martin Riches, Singing Machine, drawings, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
Adam Basanta, A Truly Magical Moment, 2016, kinetic sculpture, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
Adam Basanta, A Truly Magical Moment, 2016, kinetic sculpture, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
Mercedes Azpilicueta and John Bingham-Hall, Scores for Rotterdam, 2019, installation with sound, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
Ho Tzu Nyen, No Man II, 3D animation projected on spy mirror, 6-hours loop, 2016, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
Jasna Veličković, Opera of Things, 2019, installation in three acts, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
franck leibovici, a love poem, 2019, multimedia installation, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
franck leibovici, a love poem, 2019, multimedia installation, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
Jasna Veličković, Opera of Things, 2019, installation in three acts, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
performance Jan Adriaans, Swarming Chants at V2_Lab for the Unstable Media, photo Gustavo Velho
Paul Elliman: How We Learn the Old Songs, performance, photo Aad Hoogendoorn
Press

Exhibition review ‘To obtain a voice (in our own affairs) – Post-Opera at TENT’ by Isabelle Sully in Metropolis M
http://www.metropolism.com/nl/reviews/38087_post_opera_tent

Exhibition review ‘The Anatomy of Voice: Two Views on the Exhibition Post-Opera’ by Ivana Ilić and Iva Nenić in ‘New Sound International Journal of Music’ http://ojs.newsound.org.rs/index.php/NS/article/view/45
Download the article HERE

Symposium ‘Installing the Voice’ report in Resonate magazine, Australian Music Centre
https://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au/article/music-theatre-now-and-post-opera-rotterdam-2019

Credits

With thanks to Mondriaan Fund, CBK Rotterdam, Stichting Stokroos, Fonds Podiumkunsten , V2_ , Operadagen Rotterdam. CESEM – Centre for the Study of the Sociology and Aesthetics of Music , NOVA FCSH – NOVA School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Culture Ireland en FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology

Design and implementation of computer network to sequence sound playback and light cues: Andre Castro

The Trouble with Value

Two exhibitions, performances and publication

Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow, PL
16 December 2017 – 18 March 2018

Onomatopee Projects, Eindhoven, NL
22 April – 27 July 2018

Co-curated with

Krzysztof Siatka

Participants at Bunkier Sztuki

Rachel Carey, Fokus Grupa, gerlach en koop, Sława Harasymowicz, Monique Hendriksen, Femke Herregraven, Gert Jan Kocken, “Kra Kra Intelligence” Cooperative, Sarah van Lamsweerde, Louise Lawler, Adrian Paci, Ewa Partum, Mladen Stilinović, Feliks Szyszko, Maciej Toporowicz, Timm Ulrichs

Participants at Onomatopee

Benera and Estefán, Rachel Carey, gerlach en koop, Fokus Grupa, Karolina Grzywnowicz, Monique Hendriksen, Arnoud Holleman and Gert Jan Kocken, Kornel Janczy, Adrian Paci, Feliks Szyszko, Timm Ulrichs

Exhibition and publication graphic design: Agata Biskup

The Trouble with Value discussed the tangled story of social, symbolic and economic value that a work of art holds, being a product of its maker’s labour; with an attempt to provide insights into current notions of value and value systems surrounding us.

Any artwork is subject to a web of assessments, expressed from the perspective of experts and audiences. Among those actors in this judgmental spectacle are curators, critics, art historians, philosophers, art dealers, and of course the public too. Institutions and the machinery of the art market complete this disposition.

Aside from the monetary evaluation of artworks and their unregulated market, the criteria for an artwork’s quality and its merit remain rather vague. Despite this fact, the contemporary art world is persistently fixated on the “value” of art: wanting to recognise what is “new” and “original”, “relevant”, “challenging” or “radical”. Yet, is it possible to truly recognise what makes a work of art “outstanding” or “contemporary”, those qualities which are telling of their time while also carrying universal modes of understanding?

The whole is made from a not-quite-transparent set of determinants that are difficult to break down. As usual, it is much easier to reflect on the past, for a look back provides examples of views and ideologies that defined – perhaps in a rather simple way – values and “qualities” of artistic creations. This is how the development of the canon of art has reached a condition where, despite continual redefinition and deconstruction, its rate of change is tardy at best. Well, don’t we all like tunes we already know?

Since the arrival of the avant-garde movement art has taken a progressive and experimental position, one which breaks away from tradition and introduces new ideas that sometimes do not receive appreciation and understanding during the era of their creation. According to many of its critics, the socially engaged ideals of the early avant-garde slowly faded into an elitist project in which only a continuous chase of “new and radical” impulses remained. Other critics consider contemporary art to be little more than an exceptional asset, a neutralised commodity that refrains from institutional criticism or engagement with the politico-economic realities of our time.

Today, when the methods of branding, marketing and aura-creation are the prevailing means for valuation the good-old invisible hand of the economy, matching demand and supply, is at rest.  The booming contemporary art market behaves similarly: without a set of market rules, it operates on the basis of an empathically fetishised commodity. Is art capable of escaping (and should it) a commodity fetishism that relies on the apparent autonomy of an artwork and its aura? How can we devise other strategies to value art?

The Trouble with Value aimed to locate and extract practices that bring us closer to understanding the potential of art to represent different notions of value in the contemporary. How can we counter the certain apathy of the contemporary to engage with positions that resist this mood and present us with challenging perspectives on value? The project attempted to locate artistic and institutional practices that offer viewpoints beyond the strategy of blending-in and conforming to expectations.

In the light of the above, an investigation into the sources of an artwork’s value, the values it may create and the value systems it is subject to is an arduous, if not simply naïve task – for all methods, theories and ideologies fail. It is impossible to lay out the basic arguments in a singular, clear and precise manner but it is possible to distinguish several attitudes within the practices of contemporary artists as being notable for their reflections on the difficult process of cultivating value in a work of art.

One such aspect is the role of language in building narratives and providing a layer of immateriality to complete a work of art. We may also take into consideration the variety of modes artists (de-)value and disseminate their artworks. The infrastructure of art and the institution’s role in the circulation and presentation of art is certainly one we cannot disregard. Furthermore, we would like to consider iconoclasm as a mode of image and value creation along with matters of the canon of art in globalised society. Last but not least, we would like to acknowledge and problematise the question of artistic labour and its modes of valuation inside and outside of its institutions.

Arnoud Holleman and Gert Jan Kocken, Broken Thinker, 2009-ongoing, and Karolina Grzywnowicz, Still Life, black oak sculpture, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
Louise Lawler, Moon (placed and pulled), 2014/2015, Bunkier Sztuki, photo Studio FilmLove
Mladen Stilinović, An Artist Who Cannot Speak English is No Artist, acrylic on artificial silk 1992, Bunkier Sztuki, photo Studio FilmLove
The Trouble with Value, Bunkier Sztuki, background: Gert Han Kocken, Judenporzellan, 2009, photo Studio FilmLove
Fokus Grupa, Map of Invisible Matter, wallpaper, Bunkier Sztuki, photo Fokus Grupa
Fokus Grupa and Mladen Stilinović at Bunkier Sztuki, photo Fokus Grupa
Feliks szyszko ,Art Box Mondrian, lithography and acrylic on board, 1972, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
Rachel Carey, Liquidate it All Away, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
Rachel Carey, Liquidate it All Away, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
Rachel Carey, Liquidate it All Away, installation detail, Photo Rachel Carey
gerlach en koop, Dispersion, half a sheet of waterproof sandpaper used to deface the head of a 1 euro coin (left) and the other half used for the tail of the same coin (right), 2010, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
gerlach en koop, Entitled, ‘vide-poche’ removed from a toilet in the former Générale de Banque/Generale Bank (managers’ quarters) in Brussels, 2017, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
gerlach en koop, Entitled, ‘vide-poche’ removed from a toilet in the former Générale de Banque/Generale Bank (managers’ quarters) in Brussels, 2017, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
Fokus Grupa, Map of Invisible Matter, banner, 2018 and Monique Hendriksen, Naturally False, video 2017, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
Benera and Estefán, I Work, Therefore I’m Not, drawing series 2012–ongoing, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
Benera and Estefán, I Work, Therefore I’m Not, drawing series 2012–ongoing, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
Adrian Paci, The Column, video, 2013, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
Timm Ulrichs, Ich kann keine Kunst mehr sehen!, 1972, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
sława Harasymowicz 12/6 site-specific multimedia installation including serigraphy, wall drawing and video, 2017, Bunkier Sztuki, photo Studio FilmLove
sława Harasymowicz 12/6 site-specific multimedia installation, detail, 2017, Bunkier Sztuki, photo Studio FilmLove
The Trouble with Value, Gert Jan Kocken, Madonna of Nagasaki, Defacement 9 August 1945, 2010, Bunkier Sztuki, photo Studio FilmLove
Sarah van Lamsweerde, Tell/Sell, a Common Story: The Book of Collections, performance, photo Bunkier Sztuki
Arnoud Holleman and Gert Jan Kocken, Broken Thinker, 2009-ongoing, and Karolina Grzywnowicz, Still Life, black oak sculpture, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
Links

Information about the related publication HERE

The Trouble with Value at Bunkier Sztuki
The Trouble with Value at Onomatopee

Download

the exhibition guide at Bunkier Sztuki HERE
and the exhibition guide at Onomatopee HERE

Press

‘What Makes One Thing More Important Than the Other? Kris Dittel and Krzysztof Siatka in Conversation with Piotr Policht’ in Blok Magazine
https://blokmagazine.com/what-makes-one-thing-more-important-than-the-other-kris-dittel-and-krzysztof-siatka-in-conversation/

A photo report on Daily Lazy
http://www.daily-lazy.com/2018/01/the-trouble-with-value-at-bunkier.html

‘The Trouble with Value – Liquidating Artworks’ in Metropolis M by Nicole Sciarone
https://www.metropolism.com/nl/reviews/35708_the_trouble_with_value_onomatopee

Marjolijn Dijkman/ That What Makes Us Human

Exhibition and publication
Onomatopee
December 2016 – February 2017

Even though when we look into outer space what we see are light sources, carriers of traces from the past, we associate outer space with the future. For instance, in astrology the movement of celestial bodies are believed to have an influence on the future development of life on earth, and throughout history flyby comets and falling stars are believed to have brought respectively disaster or opportunity. This projection screen of human destiny has evolved into the ambition to conquer and colonize cosmic space, escaping possible disastrous developments on Earth. For many ‘visionaries’ the only way for humankind to survive is to expand human territories to the Universe.

In Marjolijn Dijkman’s film an asteroid, which embodies a potential threat for life on Earth, might as well become a prospect for the completion of the human desire to colonize space. The space-fiction animation presents us with the tension between these futuristic scenarios and evokes the human fear, curiosity and the ideological sources of such project. Besides these topics it circumnavigates an ancient fundamental human question: are we alone?

The accompanying multilingual narrative is a collection of quotations from various found sources, including science (astrophysics, cosmology, cognition) to spiritual approaches and historical resources, expressing curiosity and desire of space exploration, going back as far as 1500BC until today. The text is translated into Chinese and English accompanied with five other changing languages (Hindi, Arabic, Russian, Japanese and Spanish), all largely spoken official world languages and relating to countries involved in important space programs, astronomical projects, search for extraterrestrial intelligence and future asteroid mining. These texts often speak in ’the name of humanity’ in a quite conflicted way. The multiple languages enhance the suggestion of a universal voice and in the same time add another layer of complexity in the interpretation.

The object on display That What Makes Us Human is a 1:1 titanium 3D printed reproduction of a Canyon Diablo Meteorite, which fell on Earth 50.000 years ago. The meteorite fits perfectly in a human hand and resembles flint tools that prehistorical Paleolithic humans used around the time of the meteor’s impact. The object, which might have been used as a weapon or a tool, signalizes the beginning of an era when human consciousness was evolving, eventually leading up to the development of technological devices that make a similar impact on earth as a meteorite. The titanium copy of the meteorite here rests on a silicone replica of a human hand – in times when humanity is able to create H-bombs, which may release larger forces than an impact of a meteorite. The sculpture is a speculative artefact dedicated to this evolution of technologies, and our quest for cosmic powers.

More info about the associated publication Radiant Matter HERE

Marjolijn Dijkman, Prospect of Interception, animation film, photo Onomatopee
Marjolijn Dijkman, That What Makes Us Human, 3D printed 1:1 titanium facsimile of a Canyon Diablo Meteorite, photo Onomatopee
Marjolijn Dijkman, Prospect of Interception, animation film, photo Onomatopee
Marjolijn Dijkman, Prospect of Interception, animation film, photo Onomatopee
Marjolijn Dijkman, Prospect of Interception, animation film, photo Onomatopee

The Economy is Spinning

Exhibition, performance programme and publication
June – July 2016
Onomatopee, Eindhoven

Participants

Mercedes Azpilicueta
Zachary Formwalt
Monique Hendriksen
Jan Hoeft
Hanne Lippard
Toril Johannessen
Robertas Narkus
Antonis Pittas
Nick Thurston

How does the economy speak to us? Does it speak through us? Sometimes its voice trembles with fear, and at other times it whispers with hope and sings in excitement about better days to come.

Economic jargon settles in to make things sound correct by making them sound familiar; it comes to our aid when troubles arise and comforts us with its reasonable-sounding justifications. Like religion, it gives hope and solace, soothes worry and anguish. The doctrine is everywhere, oozing out of academic studies and financial newspapers; ’efficiency’ has become the measure of the everyday, as ’cost-benefit analyses’ guide us to make decisions in the interests of the greatest possible returns.

This logic promises freedom in exchange for leaving things to take their own course: laissez faire, laissez passer. The ’invisible hand’ of the market should ensure that needs and wants are met without any outside intervention or regulation. Yet needs and wants are not governed by rational rules: the desire to have it all, to have it now and without limits, is a notion without end, with irrationality as its command.

The Economy is Spinning looked into various manifestations of the language of economics and finance, a language that permeates our vocabularies and builds the boundaries of our imagination. The exhibition considered the economy as a ‘performing body’ that reveals its state of mind in its language. With contributions by nine artists, the exhibition accentuates and exaggerates the absurdity of this language and of its underlying mechanisms.

PS: “Reason is always a region cut out of the irrational”. So say D&G. It is “a region traversed by the irrational. Underneath all reasons lies delirium, drift. Everything is rational in capitalism, except capital or capitalism itself. The stock market is certainly rational; one can understand it, study it, the capitalists know how to use it, and yet it is completely delirious, it’s mad. It is in this sense that we say: the rational is always the rationality of an irrational.” (Deleuze and Guattari in Chaosophy, ed. Sylvere Lothringer, Autonomedia/Semiotexte, 1995)

The Economy is Spinning, exhibition view with works by Toril Johannessen, Nick Thurston and Antonis Pittas, photo Onomatopee
Toril Johannessen, Words and Years - Physical and Economic Expansion and Recession; Crisis in nature and science; Logic and Love in Art, silkscreen prints, 2010, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, Antonis Pittas, installation view, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, Antonis Pittas, Clip (Untitled), 2015, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, Antonis Pittas, installation view, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, installation view with works by Antonis Pittas and Jan Hoeft, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, Jan Hoeft, Exit Strategies, installation view, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, Zachary Formwalt, Kritik der Politik und Nationalökonomie, C-print, photo Onomatopee
The EConomy is Spinning, Nick Thurston, Van de onderaanneming of, Principles of Poetic Right, data projection, 2016, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, Monique Hendriksen, Delusional Cause, performance documentation, photo Onomatopee
Monique Hendriksen, On Nature, installation view, 2016, photo Onomatopee
Monique Hendriksen, On Nature, installation detail, 2016, photo Onomatopee
Monique Hendriksen, On Nature, video, 2016, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, Robertas Narkus, Contract, marker on wall, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, Robertas Narkus, Contract, installation detail, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, Mercedes Azpilicueta and Robertas Narkus, installation view, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, Mercedes Azpilicueta, Geometric Dancer Doesn’t Believe in Love, Finds Aspiration and Ecstasy in Spirals, installation view, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, not in the exhibition: Superflex, Financial Crisis, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, exhibition view with works by Toril Johannessen, Nick Thurston and Antonis Pittas, photo Onomatopee
Links

https://www.onomatopee.net/exhibition/the-economy-is-spinning/

Download the exhibition guide HERE

A chapter of The Economy is Spinning was hosted on the online archiving platform Unfold  (Unfold #3)

Info about the accompanying publication HERE

Eva Olthof/ Return to the Rightful Owner

Exhibition
Van Abbemuseum library, in collaboration with Onomatopee
September 2016 – January 2017

Eva Olthof’s installation Return to Rightful Owner invites visitors to consider the thin line between the private act of reading and the public space of a library.

Olthof combines ideologically loaded texts, carved on library facades, with the politics of forgetting, remembering and citing. The starting point of the installation and her eponymous book is the complex political history of the American Memorial Library (Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek, AGB) in Berlin. This was the first American style “open access public library”, founded in the 1950s as a gift to the inhabitants of West Berlin, where for the first time different sorts of literature were made available there for every layer of the society.

The installation linked the observations Eva Olthof made during a research trip in 2015 to a number of public libraries in the United States (Boston, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Detroit) with material from her book Return to Rightful Owner. In the United States these often monumental library buildings are frequently inscribed with texts on the façades referring to the creation of the American democratic state under the rule of law. The promises of free access to knowledge and information, literally shown on the façades of the libraries, are diametrically opposed to recent events in the United States. Edward Snowden could be put away as a traitor for sharing information which concerns that very democracy in America. These libraries served as a source of inspiration for the American Memorial Library, which implemented the same ideological promises in West Berlin.

Eva Olthof, Return to Rightful Owner, Access – Entrance, lightbox, photo Peter Cox
Eva Olthof, Return to Rightful Owner, installation view, photo Peter Cox
Eva Olthof, Return to Rightful Owner, digital prints of scanned and photographed archive material and text, photo Peter Cox
Eva Olthof, Return to Rightful Owner, digital prints of scanned and photographed archive material and text, photo Peter Cox
Eva Olthof, Return to Rightful Owner, digital prints of scanned and photographed archive material and text, photo Peter Cox
Eva Olthof, Return to Rightful Owner, Access – Entrance, lightbox, photo Peter Cox

Helen Cho/ 21 Objects for Hesitation and Reimagining their Many Selves

Exhibition, performance and publication
July – August 2015
Onomatopee

Co-curated with Renske Janssen

“This bag contains an object for hesitation reimagining its many selves.
Please feel free to take it with you.
Look inside the bag only when you have left the parking lot. The object for hesitation is now yours.”

Helen Cho’s performance 21 Objects of Hesitation explored the materiality of ceramics in relation to her experience of diaspora and Korean roots. Especially for the exhibition at Onomatopee she delved into the core material of the earth, clay, to contemplate and explore the notions of moving closer to oneself and one’s external world.

Helen Cho is a Korean-Canadian artist based in Toronto, Canada. Her artistic practice consists out of various mediums such as poetry, sculpture, drawing, video and performance. Cho shows, both in the physical sense and the manifestation of that, a poignant desire for “object” and “image” making. Highly aware of the complexity of representation of objects, their material, and the prosaic yet seductive qualities of mass-produced materiality gain her attention. Cho’s artistic practice contemplates modest gestures and rituals. Narratives are suggested in seemingly trivial artefacts, locations and transactions of everyday life making her work subtle, sensitive yet outspokenly ‘necessary’. Her current project explores the approachability and allusiveness of ceramics that exists between arts and craft, but also in the artistic, the domestic, and between sheer object- making and performance. Cho researches the traditional medium on its merits to past and future as the terracotta material shows both strength and fragility.

Each day during the exhibition one unfired object of hesitation left the exhibition space and was placed outside, free to be taken.

Helen Cho, 21 Objects for Hesitation and Reimagining Their Many Selves, 2015, 21 unfired clay objects, a modest gesture; Photo Peter Cox
Helen Cho, 21 Objects for Hesitation and Reimagining their Many Selves, installation view, Onomatopee, photo Peter Cox
Helen Cho, 21 Objects for Hesitation and Reimagining Their Many Selves, 2015, a modest gesture; Photo Peter Cox
Helen Cho, 21 Objects for Hesitation and Reimagining Their Many Selves, 2015, a modest gesture; Photo Peter Cox
Helen Cho, Untitled Base: Ceramic Sculpture in Search of Objects, 2015-ongoing, ceramic, imaginary object; Photo: Peter Cox
Helen Cho, 21 Objects for Hesitation and Reimagining Their Many Selves, installation view, photo Peter Cox
Helen Cho, 21 Objects for Hesitation and Reimagining Their Many Selves, Tai Lam, film, installation view, photo Peter Cox
Helen Cho, (left) Tentatively Entitled: Cloud, 2015, HD video, 3 min (right) Helen Cho, Tentatively Entitled: Earth, 2015, HD video, 14 min; Photo Peter Cox
Helen Cho, Untitled: paper Suseok formed on 21 rocks from downtown Toronto collected between 2013 and 2015, papier-mâché; Photo Peter Cox
Helen Cho, 21 Objects for Hesitation and Reimagining Their Many Selves, 2015, 21 unfired clay objects, a modest gesture; Photo Peter Cox

Project assistance: Lidia Vajda
Publication design: Gabriela Baka

Links

about the exhibition:
https://www.onomatopee.net/exhibition/21-objects-for-hesitation-and-reimagining-their-many-selves/

about Helen Cho’s related publication (Onomatopee, 2015):
21 Objects for Hesitation and Reimagining Their Many Selves

A Blind Man in His Garden

Exhibition and performance programme
LUMA Westbau, Zürich, Switzerland
June – September  2015

Co-curated with

Emma Panza

Featuring works by

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Pawel Althamer, Danai Anesiadou, Richard Artschwager, Melchiorre Bega, Walead Beshty, Monica Bonvicini, Mark Bradford, Maurizio Cattelan, Valentin Carron, Spartacus Chetwynd, Silvie Defraoui, Trisha Donnelly, Urs Fischer, Peter Fischli/David Weiss, Sylvie Fleury, Katharina Grosse, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jenny Holzer, Mike Kelley, Ragnar Kjartansson, Jorge Pardo, Philippe Parreno, Seth Price, De Rijke/De Rooij, Wilhelm Sasnal, Jim Shaw, Slavs and Tatars, Christopher Williams, and Pauline Curnier Jardin

Performance commissions by

Dina Danish Styrmir Örn Gumundsson

If our understanding of an artwork is always fragmented, based on factual information, a compressed image in a database or publication, lessons learnt and forgotten, can we allow our sensations and intuitions to take over our imagination?

The title of the exhibition refers to Joel Sternfeld’s photograph, A Blind Man in His Garden, Homer, Alaska, which prompted us, curators to think of the potential of visual artworks to trigger multiple narratives and activate various senses. By shifting the attention away from the visual experience of a lush rural landscape towards vivid sensations, possibly felt by the depicted man, Sternfeld’s photograph suggests the multiplicity of experience, beyond its visual effect.

The exhibition A Blind Man in His Garden was a fable with an open ending, a hidden path inside a network of mystical déjà vus, where the garden eventually becomes a place where any act of imagination could find a space beyond visual connotations.

Indirectly the exhibition engaged with the subject of art collections, pondering the issue of personal taste and preference, as well as the hidden potentials and narratives of acquisitions.

Performance Commissions

Styrmir Örn Gumundsson, Trippy Tiptoe Tour

The performative intervention included costumes including red contact lenses, a soundtrack for each room of the exhibition and directed actions for the exhibition curators.
Find the video documentation HERE.

Dina Danish, Stages for Tongue Twisters

Three performances of staged tongue twisters, which eventually evoke their pronunciation by the spectators and participants.

 

A Blind Man in His Garden, exhibition view with work by Maurizio Cattelan, Jenny Holzer, De Engholm et Willumsen, Katharina Grosse, Pawel Althamer, Ragnar Kjartansson, Walead Beshty, Urs Fisher, Thomas Hirschhorn, Silvie Defraoui, Melchiorre Bega (lamps)
A Blind Man in His Garden, exhibition view with works by Danai Anesiadou, Slavs and Tatars, Seth Price, photo POOL
A Blind Man in His Garden, exhibition view with works by Seth Price, Slavs and Tatars, Wilhelm Sasnal, Jorge Pardo (set of lamps), Laverrière Janette (3 tables), photo POOL
A Blind Man in His Garden, exhibition view with works by Valentin Carron and Mike Kelley, photo POOL
A Blind Man in His Garden, Philippe Parreno (Small Version of Guggenheim Marquee), Urs Fischer (What if the Phone Rings), Christopher Williams (Untitled), photo POOL
A Blind Man in His Garden, with works by Maurizio Cattelan, Urs Fisher, Pawel Althamer, Katharina Grosse, Ragnar Kjartansson, Thomas Hirshhorn, Walead Beshty, lamps by Melchiorre Bega, photo POOL
Performance Dina Danish, Pirate Private Property, photo Robert Huber
Performance Dina Danish, Pirate Private Property, photo Robert Huber
A Blind Man in His Garden, performance documentation Trippy Tiptoe Tour by Styrmir Örn Gumundsson, photo POOL
A Blind Man in His Garden, performance documentation Trippy Tiptoe Tour by Styrmir Örn Gumundsson, photo POOL
A Blind Man in His Garden, exhibition view with work by Maurizio Cattelan, Jenny Holzer, De Engholm et Willumsen, Katharina Grosse, Pawel Althamer, Ragnar Kjartansson, Walead Beshty, Urs Fisher, Thomas Hirschhorn, Silvie Defraoui, Melchiorre Bega (lamps)
Links

More about the exhibition HERE

Exhibition documentation on Art Viewer:
https://artviewer.org/a-blind-man-in-his-garden-at-luma-westbau-pool-etc/

Sarah van Lamsweerde/ Paper Is a Leaf That Will Destroy Us in Its Fall

Performance, exhibition and publication

Performance at Veem House for Performance, Amsterdam
November 2015

Exhibition at Onomatopee, Eindhoven
November 2015 – January 2016

The meaning of a word is nothing other than the totality of its uses. – J.S. Madumulla

Proverb strings or mutánga play an important role in the oral tradition of the Lega, a group of people from the northeastern areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each string carries 40-60 miniature objects, which represent a proverb and traditionally function as carriers of wisdom. The meaning of these objects is activated in social situations, told and re-told, often in a debate and discussion, by members of the community.

Sarah van Lamsweerde’s project explored this past tradition and questioned what it would mean to develop such an ideographic device in this age of disembodied images and communications. Real and imagined metaphors emerge through strangely familiar but clearly contemporary objects, tales and actions, creating a speculative view on what forms of knowledge can be achieved and rendered from (im-)material interactions with our environment today.

The premise for this project presented aesthetic and ethical questions: what symbols to harvest from our contemporary jungle overgrown with Action shops and viral life-hacks? Is this form of cultural appropriation a dubious exercise or a good starting point for a collective conversation? Together with fellow-artists Esther Mugambi and Alex Zakkas, Van Lamsweerde explored to what extent our individual tales are collective and how (un)common our places in the world are. More than making sense of this world, they look for relations both mundane and mystical by examining seeds of thought, burning Doritos, and seeking ‘breaths of fresh unknown’.

Paper is a leaf that will destroy us in its fall, (2015), Veem house for performance, performance view, photo Ernst van Deursen
Paper is a leaf that will destroy us in its fall, exhibition view, proverb cord Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen, Berg en Dal, photo Peter Cox
Paper is a leaf that will destroy us in its fall, exhibition view, Onomatopee, 2015, photo Peter Cox
Paper is a leaf that will destroy us in its fall, exhibition detail, Onomatopee, 2015, photo Peter Cox
Paper is a leaf that will destroy us in its fall, exhibition detail, Onomatopee, 2015, photo Peter Cox
A circle without an end is a hook (cigarettes in the shape of a reload icon, object design by Alex Zakkas), photo: Peter Cox
Paper is a leaf that will destroy us in its fall, (2015), Veem house for performance, performance view, photo Ernst van Deursen
Links

https://veem.house/EN/paper-is-a-leaf
https://www.onomatopee.net/exhibition/paper-is-a-leaf-that-will-destroy-us-in-its-fall/

More info about the accompanying publication HERE

Video documentation of the reanimation of a Lega proverb string from the collection of the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren: https://vimeo.com/121610670

Performance trailer: https://vimeo.com/151302972

Press

Tijs Goldschmidt in NRC: ‘Use your legs and you shall eat’ (in Dutch)
https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2015/11/26/spreek-woorden-aan-een-touwtje-1560669-a52552

Credits

Paper is a leaf that will destroy us in its fall was a coproduction by Stichting Tre Tigri, Veem House for Performance and Onomatopee.

Concept and development: Sarah van Lamsweerde
Creation and performance: Esther Mugambi, Alex Zakkas and Sarah van Lamsweerde
Voice and Lega-proverb coach: Pierre Tombo
Executive producer, curator and co-editor: Kris Dittel
Dramaturgical assistance: Zhana Ivanova
Scenography, props and dress: Liza Witte
Sound advice: Piet-Jan van Rossum
Graphic design: Céline Wouters
Production assistance: Anna Frijstein

Father, Can't You See I'm Burning?

Exhibition and publication
De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam
April – June 2014

Co-curated with

Renata Cervetto
Lara Khaldi
Emma Panza
Aneta Rostkowska
Kate Strain

Exhibition participants

Marinus Boezem
Justin Gosker
Jan Hoeft
Krõõt Juurak
Sarah van Lamsweerde
Ieva Misevičiūtė
Robertas Narkus
Pavel Pepperstein
Michael Portnoy
Jan Rothuizen
reinaart vanhoe
Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries
Katarina Zdjelar

Father, Can’t You See I’m Burning? was a project co-curated by the six participants of de Appel Curatorial Programme, unfolding in multiple parts: a prelude, an exhibition, a series of events, footnotes and a publication, which brought together a score of newly commissioned artworks and texts, to be presented across time and space.

Conjured from the ashes of a radical inheritance, this project loosely reconsiders an important non-event, an exhibition that never happened, namely, that of the Situationist International’s proposal to Willem Sandberg to build a labyrinth in the Stedelijk Museum, in 1959.

A labyrinth?

Father, Can’t You See I’m Burning? allowed us – as artists, audience and curators – to infiltrate the building of de Appel Arts Centre, testing different tools and inhabiting existing infrastructure. In doing so, we twisted conventions into losing sight of their assigned functions and force them to mutate in a strikingly subtle way. For example, marketing platforms became exhibition spaces, presentation spaces became studios, storage rooms became stages, stairwells became sofas, and collaboration became corruption.

 

A Suggestion of Facts / A Reluctant Statement on the Politics of Compliance

Whistleblowers, Trendsetters, Firefighters, Arsonists, Situationists, Modern Heroes, here we are now, we want to burn, don’t we? Who said so? Who put the matches in our aprons?

I

In 1959, the Situationist International (SI) proposed to Willem Sandberg, the director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, to build a labyrinthine structure connecting the inside of the museum to the outside world. Sandberg responded that it could be done, but under two conditions: the SI should collaborate with the fire brigade and secure additional financial support. The Situationists withdrew.

II

What can be conjured from the ashes of this historical non-event? In this instance, we respect the radical decision of the Situationists (in withdrawing their proposal on the basis that its integrity would be jeopardized by Sandberg’s caveat), but at the same time, we would have loved to see possible outcomes resulting from this proposed labyrinth. If today’s art institution is so much shaped by rules and regulations, external expectations and internal fears, can the dream of an impossible labyrinth compel us to enter the realm of the possible?

III

The exhibition Father, Can’t You See I’m Burning? voiced skepticism towards a certain legacy of rebel- lion that we – contemporary artists and active curators at large – have inherited. It is the legacy of non-compliance – as performed in the instance of the labyrinth that didn’t happen. We find ourselves in a kitchen with ready-made radical recipes for Molotov cocktails, with ingredients like the ideology of the avant-garde, institutional critique and art as propaganda. We drag this heritage of inhibited hopefulness into our present, we impersonate it, we disobey, we rebel, and then burnt down we come to a halt. Be- cause that is what we learned from our patronizing fathers and modern protagonists, who linger in cast shadows of misguided radicalism. We do not want to fall into that trap of fulfilling expectations and pre-molded formats. We do realize the urgency to continue, to carry the weight, but we are not going to be anchored down by this legacy. We’d rather carry the matches lightly in our aprons and cook with un- inhibited intuition.

IV

So what kind of fire do we cook with? It is not the aggressive fire of artistic activism. Nor is it the ethereal fire of beauty and sheer formalism whose only use is to keep the art market simmering. And it certainly is not a temporary glaze of fireworks – a mesmerizing spectacle aimed to dazzle. It is rather a material and sensual fire, inside a slow-burning stove, where meals are shared and stories are told. A rhythmic, repetitive and bodily fire. A phatic fire ignited by the energy of language, permeated with music. A fire of alchemy, not chemistry. An irreducible fire that was present in the caves of Lascaux, burnt the incense in medieval cathedrals and left the ashes for Malevich’s Black Square. A fire that – while appealing to different senses – propels incessantly and spreads in different directions without having any special purpose. An uncontrollable internal drive to perform, engage and experience. A fire that offers possibilities, not solutions.

V

We are dancing to prolong that fire in our belly. We are swaying in the present, blindly pursuing the call of the future. What can we give you? No saints. No sinners either. Only this: a fantasy of transmutation, a transmutative fantasy. Can’t you see the flames already dancing under our feet?

 

reinaart vanhoe, Banner, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
Justin Gosker, Sphere, 2014, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
installation view with works by Katarina Zdjelar and Robertas Narkus, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
Robertas Narkus, Turbulence 3, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
the clutter, curatorial intervention (functional space for talks, events, gatherings), photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
Ieva Misevičiūtė, There is no stopping this institution, installation detail, photo Carina Erdmann
Ieva Misevičiūtė, There is no stopping this institution, installation detail, photo Carina Erdmann
Marinus Boezem, If you’d like to see this photo in colors, burn it, 1967-69, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
Sarah van Lamsweerde, Tell/Sell, a common story, performance and installation, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
opening performance, Krõõt Juurak, Internal Conflict, jackets: Kunsthalle Beijing, photo Carina Erdmann
Jan Rothuizen Fantasio Again and Again, 2013-14, wall drawing, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
reinaart vanhoe, Permanent Loitering Space, 2014, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
installation view with works by Sarah van Lamsweerde (Tell/Sell, a common story) and Jan Hoeft (Exit Strategy), phot Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
Jan Hoeft, Surface Drainage, 2014, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
Jan Hoeft, Surface Drainage, 2014, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
Michael Portnoy, The Roaster, icw Rán Flygenring, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
Michael Portnoy, The Roaster, icw Rán Flygenring, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
Justing Gosker, Sphere and performance By Burning We Obtain One Gram of Powder by Katarina Zdjelar, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
Dina Danish, A Simultaneous Poem by Charlie Chaplin, Kurt Schwitters, IK Bonset, Lettrist International And Everybody Else, performed by participants of the curatorial programme
dissemination of commissioned texts, responding to the Situationist International's unrealised project at the Stedelijk museum Amsterdam, photo De Appel Arts Centre
dissemination of commissioned texts, responding to the Situationist International's unrealised project at the Stedelijk museum Amsterdam, photo De Appel Arts Centre
dissemination of commissioned texts, responding to the Situationist International's unrealised project at the Stedelijk museum Amsterdam, photo De Appel Arts Centre
reinaart vanhoe, Banner, photo Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
Links

Download the exhibition booklet HERE

Pavel Pepperstein’s short story, ‘The Tunnel’ was disseminated via an e-flux announcement, available HERE

More info about the associated publication HERE

Press

Review by Maaike Lauwert, initially published in Metropolis M
http://maaikelauwaert.com/articles/father-cant-you-see-im-burning/

Review by Saskia Monshouwer
http://www.monshouwereditions.nl/op-het-derde-vel-papier-staat-alleen-de-tekst-your-fired-over-de-tentoonstelling-father-cant-you-see-im-burning-in-de-appel/

Feature on Mousse :
http://moussemagazine.it/deappel-2014/

Physical and Virtual Bodies

Museum of Modern Art Arhem
February – April 2013

Co-curated with

Stephanie Seidel

Participants

Gabriele Beveridge
Barbara Bloom
Bonnie Camplin
Fleur van Dodewaard
Cheryl Donegan
Andrea Fisher
Nan Hoover
Inez van Lamsweerde
Rachel Niffenegger
Lidwien van de Ven
Barbara Visser
Christoph Westermeier

Portraits and postures, acquainted through media, advertisement or (art) history, are marked with the stigmata of the accustomed, the familiar and the every-day. They not only strongly shape our ideas of the (human) body but also create and reinforce viewing patterns and clichés of the perception of the very same.

Since the arrival of modernism artists were intensely preoccupied with exploring the capacities of images, their engraved narratives and their representation of bodies and gender in contemporary culture. In the 1990s new modes of digital processing and unlimited reproduction opened new possibilities for image (re-)production. The imagery of media (MTV), blue screen techniques and ways of digital image manipulation infiltrated contemporary ways of processing images.

The exhibition Physical and Virtual Bodies includes a selection from the past two decades, departing from the museum’s collection and invited artists, who present recently produced work. By the use of the media of photography, film and installations these artists confront and subvert the contemporary images of the everyday world and liberate their representational aspects. By applying different strategies, the presented artists endow pictures with new capacities and question the production of meaning.

By any means the artists aim to recreate or capture the body. But by reinventing its form they cause changes, certain distortions in the translation of often-familiar images and motives. Via mechanisms of abstraction, re-creation, appropriation or absence they challenge our ideas of the body. These bodies (present or sensed by their absence) become independent from their accustomed context and create a charged space between picture and the imagination of the viewer.

Realised in the framework of a curator-in-residence programme at Schloss Ringenberg.

Physical and Virtual Bodies, invitation card, Barbara Bloom, The Model
installation view, works by Fleur van Dodewaard and Inez van Lamsweerde, photo Charlotte Lagro
installation view with work by Gabriele Beveridge, photo Charlotte Lagro
installation view, Gabriele Beveridge, Fast Tanning Sunbeds, photo Charlotte Lagro
installation view, Gabriele Beveridge, photo Charlotte Lagro
installation view, Christoph Westermeier, photo Charlotte Lagro
installation view with works by Bonnie Camplin, Inez van Lamsweerde, Gabriele Beveridge, photo Charlotte Lagro
installation view with works byCheryl Donegan and Barbara Visser, photo Charlotte Lagro
installation view with works by Nan Hoover and Rachel Niffenegger, photo Charlotte Lagro
installation view with works by Barbara Bloom and Bonnie Camplin, photo Charlotte Lagro
installation view, Andrea Fisher, photo Charlotte Lagro
Physical and Virtual Bodies, invitation card, Barbara Bloom, The Model

Solid Enough to be Inhabited

Schloss Ringenberg
April  – June 2013

Co-curated with

Stephanie Seidel

Participants

Antonia Carrara
Daiga Grantina
Kelly Schacht
Berndnaut Smilde

Why bother with this prose when the castles in the air, shimmering through in a frenzy of speculation, were solid enough to be inhabited? 
(Siegfried Kracauer)

A castle, a stern monumental structure standing in the midst of a swampy countryside. This seemingly eternal building shaped by the events of past times, the force of the wind or neglectful past owners, has never played a significant historical role since its first stones were laid in the 14th century. Instead of bricks and mortar it is constructed from the vaporous material of fables and myths. These sensations seize the castle’s walls together and fabricate its status as a monument, which embodies a continual expansion of human desires and performance.

Solid Enough to be Inhabited takes those desires, fabulations and projections as a point of departure. Leaving behind the weight of history and flaws of memory, the exhibition proposes the creation of a symbolic space by the imaginary and puts the tension between the solid materiality of the building and its fragile status as a castle in the air into the centre of attention. The participating artists focus on this reality that is constituted from the imaginary, a fantasy that inhabits and transforms our physical world.

Solid Enough to be Inhabited
Kelly Schacht, Ruthless Affairs and Historic Practices, photo Simon Vogel
installation view with a work by Antonia Carrara, photo Simon Vogel
installation view with a work by Antonia Carrara, photo Simon Vogel
installation view with a work by Antonia Carrara, photo Simon Vogel
Antonia Carrara, Screensaver, image still
installation view with a work by Antonia Carrara, photo Simon Vogel
installation view, Kelly Schacht, photo Simon Vogel
installation view, Daiga Grantina, photo Simon Vogel
installation view, Daiga Grantina, photo Simon Vogel
installation view, Daiga Grantina, photo Simon Vogel
installation view, Daiga Grantina, photo Simon Vogel
installation view with a work by Berndnaut Smilde, Photo Simon Vogel
Solid Enough to be Inhabited

Theatre of Thought*

Exhibition and publication
Bonnefantenmuseum in collaboration with the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht
October 2012 – January 2013

Participating artists

Adrian Alecu
Clifford Borress
Christophe Lemaitre
Snejanka Mihaylova
Nathania Rubin
Esmé Valk

Six artists, associated with the postgraduate institute, presented recent works. The individual contributions support the concept of this exhibition, which has been developed around the notions of display, stage, body and performance. Using the metaphors of ‘stage’ and ‘backstage’ as two essential functions of the theatre, both rooms are seen not as a platform for representation, but rather as a synonym for a personal investigation into conscious and unconscious thought.

 

*title after the book of the same name by Snejanka Mihaylova
installation view, photo: Peter Cox
exhibition view, photo: Peter Cox
installation view with works by Esmé Valk and Nathania Rubin, photo: Peter Cox
Esmé Valk, What Belongs to the Present, film installation, photo: Peter Cox
Nathania Rubin, Sylvia and Ted Sketchbook, pencil, charcoal and ink on wall, photo: Peter Cox
Nathania Rubin, I Think I Made You Up Inside My Head, animation with sound, photo: Peter Cox
installation view, photo: Peter Cox
Adrian Alecu, installation view, photo: Peter Cox
Christophe Lemaitre, A Very Small Difference Between Two Homotheties, 2012. Event documentation of an exchange of works by Walead Beshty and Eric Baudelaire in the course of the exhibition, 2012, photo Romy Finke
performance by Snejanka Mihaylova, 2012
installation view, entrance, photo: Peter Cox
installation view, photo: Peter Cox

More info about the accompanying publication, titled Morning Prayer: On the Importance of Practice[a question without answer] and Contact [an unfulfilled desire] HERE

Press

‘In theater van het denken kan alles’ in Zuiderlucht (in Dutch)
https://www.zuiderlucht.eu/in-theater-van-het-denken-kan-alles/ 

B32 | F65

B32 was an independent art initiative on Bourgognestraat 32 in Maastricht, in a former textile label factory, which I co-run together with Chantal Le Doux, Katja Donnerstag, Claudia Falutoiu, Nina Grunenberg and Lene ter Haar between 2010 and 2013. A derelict building at Fransensingel 76 gave home to F65, our additional, temporary location. We organized exhibitions, performances, public events, manifestations, protests, film nights, dinners, concerts, parties, for a while even an artist residency of sorts. B32 still operates in Maastricht with a new team and location.

B32
F65
F65, lightbox installation by Adrian Alecu, smoke action by B32
F65
B32, Nicole Michniewski, sorry ik moest werken, 2011
F65
F65
B32, Taxi Detour prep
B32, Taxi Detour station
B32< Taxi Detour, exhibition
B32, Taxi Detour, autokino, animation by Nathania Rubin
B32, Taxi Detour
B32, Taxi Detour, installation
B32, Taxi Detour station
B32, Taxi Detour station, rtwork by Jeroen van Bergen
B32
B32

Publications and Texts

bThe Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation

Published by Onomatopee
April 2020

With contributions by

Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, Rachel Carey, Kris Dittel, Fokus Grupa, Karolina Grzywnowicz, Maria Hussakows- ka-Szyszko, gerlach en koop, Sława Harasymowicz, Monique Hen- driksen, Femke Herregraven, Arnoud Holleman and Gert Jan Kocken, Anthony Iles and Marina Vishmidt, Kornel Janczy, Kra Kra Intelligence Cooperative, Sarah van Lamsweerde, Ewa Partum, Arkadiusz Półtorak, Krzysztof Siatka, Mladen Stilinović, and Maciej Toporowicz

 

The Trouble with Value discusses the social and economic value that
a work of art holds, being a product of its maker’s labour. This com- pilation of theoretical texts, essays and artistic contributions provides insight into current notions of value and value systems, and considers everything from the role of language to the circulation of art, and how it’s aided by the infrastructure of institutions.

Along the way, The Trouble with Value tackles the historical legacies of de-/valuation in art, the value of artistic labour, and art’s capacity to tell stories beyond mainstream channels of dissemination.

 

Download the introduction HERE

Available via Onomatopee:
https://www.onomatopee.net/exhibition/the-trouble-with-value/#publication_12074 

Edited by Kris Dittel
Graphic design: Agata Biskup
Copy editor: Clementine Edwards

Type: softcover, including poster
Dimensions: 190×285 mm / 7,48×11,22 inch
Pages: 224
ISBN 978-94-93148-20-8
Language: English
Edition 1.200

The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation, photo Onomatopee
The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation, photo Onomatopee
The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation, photo Onomatopee
The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation, photo Onomatopee
The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation, photo Onomatopee
The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation, photo Onomatopee
The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation, poster insert, artwork by Gert Jan Kocken and Arnoud Holleman, The Thinker, photo Onomatopee
The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation, photo Onomatopee
The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation, photo Onomatopee
The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation, photo Onomatopee

txtThe Trouble with Value / Notes on the Death of the Genius

Essay in the publication The Trouble with Value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation

Onomatopee, 2020

The Trouble with Value discusses the symbolic and economic value that a work of art holds, being a product of its maker’s labour. The dynamic compilation of theoretical texts, essays and artistic contributions provides insight into current notions of value and value systems, and considers everything from the role of language to the circulation of art, and how it’s aided by the infrastructure of institutions. Along the way, The Trouble with Value tackles the historical legacies of de-/valuation in art, the value of artistic labour, and art’s capacity to tell stories beyond mainstream channels of dissemination.

This essay attempts attempt to make a claim on the disappearance of the figure of the Genius. Built up by popularised assumptions, the genius has come to be understood as an individual that responds to a ‘higher calling’, a desire to create. Since the product of their labour is considered ‘exceptional’, this understanding also stands in the way of their being remunerated for their work.

Download the essay HERE

Find more information about the book HERE

bMarjolijn Dijkman: Radiant Matter

Published by Onomatopee
2017

With contributions by

Marjolijn Dijkman, Kris Dittel, Ken Hollings, Maarten Vanden Eynde, Raqs Media Collective

Edited by

Marjolijn Dijkman and Kris Dittel

 

Radiant Matter comprises of a series of artworks that are united in their desire to analyse and reflect on the nature of scientific inquiry, the role of speculation, fiction and spiritualism.

A central position in this book belongs to the Radiant Matter, an edited pictorial essay which the book lends its title from, consisting of over 250 images selected from various disciplines: astronomy, cosmology, medicine, technology and anthropology. Their colour composition is not coincidental; it is based on the gradient seen on scientific observations of cosmic background radiation. Since ancient times celestial bodies are thought to have had an influence on the human body, as oftentimes represented in the image of the Zodiac Man. Already in the 1800s electromagnetic waves had been discovered and some 100 years ago cosmic radiation was identified. Radiant Matter recon- figures such moments in history, scientific or spiritual in nature, in order to analyse, manipulate and revaluate their significance.

Read the introduction HERE

Available via Onomatopee:
https://www.onomatopee.net/exhibition/radiant-matter/#publication_2194

Design by Salome Schmuki
Type: Softcover
Dimensions: 280 x 216 MM / 11 x 8.5 inches portrait
Pages: 88
ISBN 978-94-91677-76-2
Language: English
Edition 1.000

Marjolijn Dijkman: Radiant Matter, photo Onomatopee
Marjolijn Dijkman: Radiant Matter
Marjolijn Dijkman: Radiant Matter
Marjolijn Dijkman: Radiant Matter
Marjolijn Dijkman: Radiant Matter
Marjolijn Dijkman: Radiant Matter
Marjolijn Dijkman: Radiant Matter
Marjolijn Dijkman: Radiant Matter
Marjolijn Dijkman: Radiant Matter
Marjolijn Dijkman: Radiant Matter, photo Onomatopee

bThe Economy is Spinning

Published by Onomatopee
2017

With contributions by

Mercedes Azpilicueta, Kris Dittel, Zachary Formwalt, Sara Giannini, Monique Hendriksen, Jan Hoeft, Sami Khatib, Hanne Lippard, Toril Johannessen, Robertas Narkus, Antonis Pittas, Nick Thurston, and McKenzie Wark

Edited by Kris Dittel

How does the economy speak to us? Does it speak through us? Sometimes its voice trembles with fear, and at other times it whispers with hope and sings in excitement about better days to come.

This book brings together contributions from visual artists, writers and theorists to rethink the way that the language of economics and finance influences our thought and modes of expression. Through artistic contributions, image essays and texts this book aims to manifest, across both art and theory, a poetic counter-language.

 

Available via Onomatopee:
https://www.onomatopee.net/exhibition/the-economy-is-spinning/#publication_2242

Download the introduction HERE

Graphic design: Rafaela Dražić
Type: softcover
Dimensions: 230 x 160 mm / 9 x6 inch portrait
Pages: 160
ISBN 978-94-91677-61-8
Language: English
Edition 1.200

The Economy is Spinning, photo Onomatopee
The Economy is Spinning, photo Rafaela Dražić
The Economy is Spinning, photo Rafaela Dražić
The Economy is Spinning, photo Rafaela Dražić
The Economy is Spinning, photo Rafaela Dražić
The Economy is Spinning, photo Rafaela Dražić
The Economy is Spinning, photo Rafaela Dražić
The Economy is Spinning, photo Rafaela Dražić
The Economy is Spinning, photo Rafaela Dražić
The Economy is Spinning, photo Onomatopee

bAntonis Pittas: Road to Victory

Published by Mousse Publishing and Hordaland Kunstsenter
2017

Edited by

Clare Butcher and Kris Dittel

Contributing authors

Anthea Holly Buys, Boris Groys, Galit Eilat, Clare Butcher and Nikos Papastergiadis, Charles Esche, Steven Ten Thije, Rebecca Uchill, Natalie Hope O’Donnell, Jennifer Steetskamp, Jelle Bouwhuis and Joram Kraaijeveld

Published in conjunction with Antonis Pittas’s exhibition at Hordaland Art Centre, in Bergen, Road to Victory is a conceptual publication that extends Pittas’ artistic practice as well as an anthology of essays reflecting on his work and its various contexts. Together the book and exhibition present an artist-initiated re-reading of the seminal work of exhibition designer, Herbert Bayer, whose 1942 exhibition Road to Victory at the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented a highly aestheticised and celebratory representation of the American involvement in the Second World War.

In revisiting this moment in the history of exhibitions, Pittas draws our attention to the embedding of propagandistic elements in artistic display conventions, ranging from the Russian avant-garde to the contemporary moment. Bringing into constellation a history of affect and abstraction in the exhibition space, the Road to Victory project brings together archival fragments, spatial transformations, new sculptural works, and textual contributions by a host of acclaimed authors. Each component is integral to the entire project, and intentionally sustains the suggested relationships between economic, historical, political and aesthetic trajectories.

Available via Mousse Publishing
https://www.moussepublishing.com/?product=antonis-pittas-road-to-victory

Designed by Project Projects
Assistant Editor: Virag Szentkiralyi
Language: English
Softcover, 288 pages
Size 19 x 25 cm
ISBN 9788867492572

Antonis Pittas: Road to Victory, photo Antonis Pittas
Antonis Pittas: Road to Victory, photo Antonis Pittas
Antonis Pittas: Road to Victory, photo Antonis Pittas
Antonis Pittas: Road to Victory, photo Antonis Pittas
Antonis Pittas: Road to Victory, photo Antonis Pittas

pA Blind Man in His Garden

Exhibition publication

Published by Pool, Zürich, 2015

Co-edited with Emma Panza

 

The publication is composed of a series of 15 posters in A3 format. Each poster features a title of an artwork from the Ringier and Hoffmann collections, including database information and description of the work, without its image.

The artworks (titles) in the publication were not on display in the exhibition, but they were present only through the medium of text, giving way to imagination, as well as highlighting the conditions and accessibility of artworks in closed-off private collections. Each copy of the publication is unique due to the particular printing technique.

Designed by Studio Temp

A Blind Man in His Garden
A Blind Man in His Garden
A Blind Man in His Garden

bFather, Can't You See I'm Burning?

Published by De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam
2014

With contributions by:

Sophia Al Maria, Mirene Arsanios, Marinus Boezem, Renata Cervetto, Sebastian Cichocki, Dina Danish, Kris Dittel, Chris Fitzpatrick, Justin Gosker, Jan Hoeft, Krõõt Juurak, Lara Khaldi, Yazan Khalili, Sarah van Lamsweerde, Vesna Madzoski, Mardi, Ieva Misevičiūtė, Robertas Narkus, Emma Panza, Pavel Pepperstein, Michael Portnoy, Aneta Rostkowska, Jan Rothuizen, Aaron Schuster, Janek Simon and Laurent-David Garnier, Kate Strain, Eloise Sweetman, reinaart vanhoe, Jan Verwoert, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Katarina Zdjelar, and Arnisa Zeqo

Edited by Kris Dittel

A reader, source book and non-catalogue, published on the occasion of the exhibition at De Appel Arts Centre.

Designed by Marc Hollenstein

More about the exhibition HERE

The printed publication is sold out. Email me if you are interested in a copy.
You can also download the publication HERE

Father, Can't You See I'm Burning? design by Marc Hollenstein, published by De Appel Arts Centre, 2014
Father, Can't You See I'm Burning? design by Marc Hollenstein, published by De Appel Arts Centre, 2014
Father, Can't You See I'm Burning? design by Marc Hollenstein, published by De Appel Arts Centre, 2014

pSolid Enough to be Inhabited

Published by Schloss Ringenber, 2013

Edited by Kris Dittel and Stephanie Seidel

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Solid Enough to be Inhabited at Schloss Ringenberg. The pamphlet unfolds into an A0 poster and includes exhibition texts, documentation and source material related to the exhibition and its site.

Design: Rustan Söderling

The printed publication is sold out. Email me if you are interested in a copy.

Solid Enough to be Inhabited
Solid Enough to be Inhabited
Solid Enough to be Inhabited
Solid Enough to be Inhabited

bMorning Prayer

Morning Prayer: On the Importance of Practice (a question without answer) and Contact (an unfulfilled desire)

 

Published by the Jan van Eyck Academy and Bonnefantenmuseum
2012

With contributions by

Adrian Alecu
Clifford Borress
Kris Dittel
Christophe Lemaitre
Snejanka Mihaylova
Nathania Rubin
Esmé Valk

Edited by Kris Dittel

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Theatre of Though*.  This source book includes individual contributions by the participants and documents the exhibition and its making.

Design: Emilio Macchia

 

The printed publication is sold out. Email me if you are interested in a copy.

 

Morning Prayer: On the Importance of Practice (a question without answer) and Contact (an unfulfilled desire)
Morning Prayer: On the Importance of Practice (a question without answer) and Contact (an unfulfilled desire)
Morning Prayer: On the Importance of Practice (a question without answer) and Contact (an unfulfilled desire)
Morning Prayer: On the Importance of Practice (a question without answer) and Contact (an unfulfilled desire)
Morning Prayer: On the Importance of Practice (a question without answer) and Contact (an unfulfilled desire)
Morning Prayer: On the Importance of Practice (a question without answer) and Contact (an unfulfilled desire)
Morning Prayer: On the Importance of Practice (a question without answer) and Contact (an unfulfilled desire)
Morning Prayer: On the Importance of Practice (a question without answer) and Contact (an unfulfilled desire)
Morning Prayer: On the Importance of Practice (a question without answer) and Contact (an unfulfilled desire)
Morning Prayer: On the Importance of Practice (a question without answer) and Contact (an unfulfilled desire)

txtThe Phone Call, Jan Hoeft: +4812

text published in Jan Hoeft: +4812
Verlag Für Moderne Künst, 2017

+4812 documents Jan Hoeft’s public artwork in Kraków, located between two football stadiums. A football scarf mimicking the design of the two hostile clubs was placed on the side of a newly installed handrail. It was stolen each day and replaced immediately, its art context always denied.

I contributed to this book with a fictional story about micro anxieties of making a phone call in the age of disembodied communication, speaking to/through machines and finding oneself in the infinite loop of one’s fears and desires.

The Phone Call, Jan Hoeft: +4812
Jan H0eft, +4812
The Phone Call, Jan Hoeft: +4812

Recent

07 08 2020

Between 12 and 21 August I’m participating Rosi Braidotti’s summer school Posthuman Convergences: Theories and Methodologies at the Utrecht University. The course “explores the implications of the posthuman convergence of posthumanism and postanthropocentrism for the constitution of subjectivity, the production of knowledge and the practice of the academic humanities.”

05 07 2020

In June and July 2020 I’m guest tutor and curator of the ‘Jahresausstellung’ of Michael Stevenson’s class at the Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg. The project, titled It’s a Matter of Work opened on 15th July at Die Vitrine, Nuremberg and runs until 26th July.

More info on the project website.

10 04 2020

The publication Trouble with value: Art and Its Modes of Valuation is out now, available via Onomatopee.

The book discusses the symbolic and economic value that a work of art holds, being a product of its maker’s labour. This dynamic compilation of theoretical texts, essays and artistic contributions provides insight into current notions of value and value systems, and considers everything from the role of language to the circulation of art, and how it’s aided by the infrastructure of institutions. Along the way, The Trouble with Value tackles the historical legacies of devaluation in art, the value of artistic labour, and art’s capacity to tell stories beyond mainstream channels of dissemination.

More about the book HERE.