On Wednesday October 31, as part of the public Rijksakademie Reading Room Program, curator Marja Bloem and artist Brenda Tempelaar will respectively address the book as exhibition space.
Anticipation and Expectation: Books as Exhibition Space
Wednesday 31 October, 16:00 – 18:00
Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten
Most of the time, a publication is merely used as a form of documentation that looks back on an exhibition passed. Seth Siegelaub however, considered the information in the catalogue literally of primary importance: "The exhibition consists of (the ideas communicated in the) catalogue; the physical presence (or the work) is supplementary to the catalogue
" he states in the press release for the January Show, 1969.
Marja Bloem will address the position of the Publication as Exhibition Space, relating the topic to Seth Siegelaub who memorably addressed many issues in the visual arts from the 1960's onwards; and searched for alternative ways of exhibiting art. One of his ideas was the pages of the catalogue as art work. The first examples of these ideas are the Douglas Huebler catalogue and the book Statements by Lawrence Weiner. The Xerox book is probably the most famous example. These books are not just artist books in the ways these are considered nowadays; they are the work itself. Still, there is a connection between the two, and one could argue that the aforementioned catalogues have influenced the artist books genre enormously. In the same line, the phenomenon of magazines providing pages to artists to autonomously present their work did not exist before Siegelaub published these catalogues.
In relation to Bloem's more historical positioning and reading of the position of the publication, Brenda Tempelaar will present her publication The Exhibition Tower
. Her catalogue is not a keepsake of a bygone exhibition, but the only form in which the series of exhibitions ever existed. The Exhibition Tower is a publication that features a series of four exhibitions staged inside a scale model of a tower that Tempelaar based on the OMA designed building for Lafayette Anticipations in Paris. The exhibition catalogue focuses on the concept of an 18-metre-high void and architectural/curatorial flexibility. The central question throughout the publication is what OMA’s design offers its prospective exhibitioners. Is it just mobile, or does it actually mobilise something? The editorial essay Animating the Ghost Sonata draws a parallel between the tower’s design and a 1907 screenplay by August Strindberg that is about expectations, dreams and house rules. All exhibitions took place behind the closed door of a studio at the Van Eyck academy in Maastricht: the catalogue is the only publically accessible rendition of the series of shows. The Exhibition Tower features works by Stéphanie Lagarde, Graham Kelly, GVN908 and Golnar Abbasi.
About the Rijksakademie Reading Room Program
The Rijksakademie Theory Workshop has invited Vincent van Velsen as a guest resident to develop a public program that will bring people together in an informal setting at the Rijksakademie Library. This central space functions as the symbolic heart of the Rijksakademie, and alike the institute, fosters practices relatively outside the realm of daily business. Both institute and library are considered to be places where thoughts can be developed in relative isolation - as much individually as in collaboration with others. Similarly, the RRRProgam serves as a place for research and as safe haven. It provides the opportunity to openly be, (inter)act, speak and think (different) – in relation to historic and contemporary sources. In that line of thought, Van Velsen developed his RRRProgram that questions the structures of given frameworks: anticipation and expectation.
This event came about through generous input and support of Remco Torenbosch and Omar A. Chowdhury.
Marja J.A.L. Bloem
Marja Bloem is director of Stichting Egrees Foundation, which takes care of a collective conceptual art collection, historical textile and a library on these topics. She began her career at the Municipal Exhibition Service in 's-Hertogenbosch (1969-71) where she was involved in exhibitions on the Belgian painter Roger Raveel, and Dutch artists such as Ferdi, Boezem, Dibbets and Van Elk – amongst others. She accomplished her master's degree in art history at the University of Leiden (1972) and worked as a curator and exhibition maker at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam from 1971 to 2005. She specialized in art from the 1960's onwards as well as contemporary music.
She was and still is a board member of various foundations in the field of music and contemporary art. Furthermore, Marja Bloem was part of several committees at various funds and sat in many juries, including the Royal Grant for Painting (Koninklijke Prijs voor Vrije Schilderkunst). She widely gave lectures and published in various magazines, both national and international; and from 1993 to 1998 she was an editor at Kunst- en Museumjournaal. She has published texts about Agnes Martin, Kazimir Malevich, Lawrence Weiner, Richard Tuttle, Marina Abramovic, Gerhard Richter, Imi Knoebel, Georg Herold, Lucio Fontana and the important New Zealand artist Colin McCahon.
Elaborating on a position in between art practice, architectural planning and criticism, Brenda Tempelaar (1990) works long-term on bodies of research that explore exhibition scenography, art historical information and non-technical ways of looking at technological innovation. Brenda Tempelaar studied Fine Arts at AKV | St. Joost Breda and Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam. She was a participant of the Jan van Eyck academy in Maastricht and recipient of the price for young art criticism in 2016. She is an editor of Tubelight magazine, contributed to Metropolis M and ArchiNed and wrote essays for P/////akt, the Bonnefantenmuseum as well as various texts for individual artists. Occasionally, she teaches art writing at AKV | St. Joost and lectures on art and writing at various art schools. In 2017, she received an Emerging Artist’s stipend from the Mondrian Fund.
Vincent van Velsen
Vincent van Velsen is an Amsterdam based writer, critic and curator with a background in art and architectural history. He regularly writes for individual artists, institutions and magazines; amongst which Frieze, Flash Art and Metropolis M – where he holds the position of contributing editor. He curated exhibitions for Castrum Peregrini, Framer Framed, Kunsthuis SYB and Museum Flehite, amongst others. In collaboration with Alix de Massiac, he won the second edition of the curatorial prize of the Dutch Association of Corporate Collections (VBCN, 2014) and in 2015/16 he was a resident at the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht. Currently he is working on forthcoming exhibitions for TENT (Rotterdam) and Stroom (The Hague); and in collaboration with Dan Walwin at Nest (The Hague). Van Velsen is an advisor at the Mondriaan Fund, as well as a board member at Frontier Imaginaries and De Appel.