1. Research Exhibitions

        Play, Van Abbe, Part 1: The Game and the Players

        28 November 2009–21 March 2010

        Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL)

        1. About
        2. Images
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        Installation view, Exhibition: Repetition: Summer Display 1983, Part of Play Van Abbe Part 1, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. Photo: Peter Cox
      2. Who are these ‘players’ within a museum and which stories do they tell? How was the collection presented in 1983 and how is this perceived in 2009? How does the current director present the collection? In what way does an art museum position itself – both in the present and in the past?

        These questions will be put up for argument in The Game and the Players in three exhibitions: Repetition: Summer Display 1983, Strange and Close and Rien ne va plus. Part 1 of Play Van Abbe will be closed in March 2010 with the project If I Can’t Dance… Edition III – Masquerade.

        Repetition: Summer Display 1983 is a reconstruction of Zomeropstelling van de eigen collectie (Summer Display of the Museum’s Collection), a collection presentation in 1983 which was curated by Rudi Fuchs, the director of the Van Abbemuseum at that time, and his curators. Fuchs made the exhibition after his return from Kassel, where he organized documenta 7. He presented a number of new purchases in this summer display, including works by Georg Baselitz, Alighiero e Boetti, Daniel Buren, Luciano Fabro, Gilbert & George, Rebecca Horn, Hermann Nitsch, Sigmar Polke, Lawrence Weiner, and Ian Wilson. An audio tour by Willem de Ridder was part of the exhibition. This audio tour will be made available in its original form for visitors of the reconstruction.

        Repetition: Summer Display 1983 raises questions such as: Which story did the original curators want to tell and how do we perceive this part of history in our time? Does the presentation in this new context become a new exhibition or a copy of an exhibition? Archival materials about the display in 1983 provide extra information on the reconstruction process and the history of some of the works in the exhibition during the past 26 years.
      4. STRANGE AND CLOSE (Former West research exhibition)

        Parallel to the reconstructed exhibition, current director Charles Esche curated Strange and Close, a presentation of recent purchases by the museum and other works from the collection. Esche presents in this exhibition a view on the history of the period after 1989, the year of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the protests on the Tiananmen Square in China and the beginnig of the end of Apartheid in South-Africa. The exhibition, in which many new purchases are on view in the museum for the first time, invites the visitor to discover new relations between art and its various contexts. 

        Strange and Close is a complement to Repetition: Summer Display 1983, showing the much broader geographical area that contemporary art now covers. Moreover, Strange and Close signals a shift in collecting: from the autonomous art work towards an entangled variety of objects, archives, (documentary) sources and stories. The exhibition features works by: Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin; Yael Bartana; Harun Farocki; Edgar Fernhout; Dan Flavin; Johannes Müller-Franken; Leo Gestel; Isaac Israëls; Gülsün Karamustafa; Toon Kelder; David Lamelas; Ernst van Leyden; David Maljković; Aydan Murtezaoğlu; Toos Nijssen; Silke Otto-Knapp; Dan Perjovschi; Dan Peterman; Michelangelo Pistoletto; Wilhelm Sasnal; Sierk Schröder; Thomas Schütte; Albert Servaes; Jan Sluijters; Nedko Solakov; Mladen Stilinović; Charley Toorop; Walter Vaes; Betsy Westendorp-Osieck; Matthieu Wiegman; Carel Willink.
      5. RIEN NE VA PLUS

        The presentation Rien ne va plus, curated by Christiane Berndes, Diana Franssen and Steven ten Thije in collaboration with guest curators, exhibits a number of installations and projects from the collection of the museum during the period from 1966 to the present by artists who tackle social issues in an explicit dialogue with the museum context. Here the emphasis is put on the story of artists that involve the visitor in their ‘play’. The title is taken from the signal for players of a roulette game indicating that the taken positions can no longer be changed and that chance will determine who wins and who loses. 

        The artists in Rien ne va plus do not play for ‘profit’, but to put up for discussion the rules within the museum, the art world or society. They draw our attention to codes that in many cases are so self-evident for us that we are even no longer aware of them. Is it possible to reveal these codes? The exhibition contains works by Marcel Broodthaers, Chto Delat?, Tino Sehgal, Maria Eichhorn, and Franz Erhard Walther. The Museum of American Art Berlin is a guest of the Van Abbemuseum with the work Kabinett der Abstrakten. The series Lily van der Stokker and guest … will be concluded with a presentation of works from the collection, selected by Van der Stokker. She shows them in the room with the selfdesigned wallpaper and gives them a compliant ‘frame’

        From 8 until 21 March 2010, the curatorial platform If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part of Your Revolution will perform the closing act of Play Van Abbe – Part 1 at the Van Abbemuseum with the project Edition III – Masquerade. Edition III – Masquerade interrupts the exhibitions regime with a series of new performances and projects by Keren Cytter, Jon Mikel Euba, Olivier Foulon, Suchan Kinoshita, Joachim Koester and Sarah Pierce. 

        Edition III – Masquerade will culminate in a performance event, From Dusk Till Dawn, between Friday evening 19 March (5pm) until Saturday morning 20 March 2010 (11am).The international If I Can’t Dance… platform will be taking over the ‘Oudbouw’ of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven for the entire evening, night and morning of Friday 19 March to Saturday 20 March. For eighteen hours the Van Abbemuseum’s director Charles Esche is transferring the museum’s management to the international If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution platform.

        From Dusk Till Dawn is taking Masquerade as its theme and includes an exhibition, a performance programme and a series of lectures by twenty internationally renowned artists and thinkers.