Wrapping Up

5 Jul

On June 13, in a coda of sorts to this year’s editing on our “Imagining the Image” seminar on the concept(s) of representation, we attended Walid Raad’s performance Les Louvres and/or Kicking the Dead at the Stedelijk Museum; afterwards, we had a post-performance chat with Walid at the Marwan project space near the museum.

By now, the semester is coming to an end. Theses have been written (or are still being written) on topics ranging from nuclear bunkers and 1960s feminist film and video collectives to the Next 5 Minutes “tactical media festivals” of the 1990s and projects that imagine a possible political representation of nonhumans.


Meanwhile one of our students, Lexie Davis, has curated an exhibition at the Finnish Museum of Photography:

Out of Sight: Picturing the Unseen highlights new work by four emerging interdisciplinary artists who question and explore the fraught relationship between visibility and the construction of “Otherness.” The exhibition asks who is unseen, particularly in the West, and considers how difference is confronted through forms of visual representation. It approaches the unseen as a process—an “unseeing”—in which certain groups of people are systematically erased, ignored, removed, and reimagined according to the needs of a dominant culture.

No wonder Lexie’s thesis isn’t quite finished yet. Check out the exhibition if you’re in the area!


Kunstlicht on Nuclear Aesthetics

15 Apr

On April 16 at 19:30, the latest issue of the journal Kunstlicht will be launched at Framer Framed in Amsterdam. This issue on nuclear aesthetics partly came out of a seminar Sven Lütticken taught last year, and among the contributors are CSAC students Jeroen van der Hulst, Esmee Schoutens and Lexie Davis.

As well as the editors, artists Agnès Villette and Susanne Kriemann will participate in the launch in person or with artworks. Susanne Kriemann’s work also graces the cover. For more info on the launch, see here.

Catching Up

15 Apr

If this blog has been somewhat inactive, it is not for lack of activities. Quite the contrary: We have been too busy doing things to report on them. Over at the VU Art & Culture blog, however, CSAC student Esmee Schoutens did manage to report on her research trip to the US, where she has been “scavenging archives” pertaining to the Jewish Museum’s Sofwareexhibition and LACMA’s Art & Technologyprogram of the late 60s and early 70s: https://vuartandculture.com/2018/12/04/research-practice-esmee-schoutens/

Esmee is currently working on her thesis, for which she’s taking her interest in art and technology from the 60s into the 1990s and the “tactical media” scene congregating in Amsterdam during the Next 5 Minutesconferences.

Global Art Histories and Migrating Artists

16 Nov


The fall semester has been under way for some time, and the lack of updates here does not mean there’s been a lack of activity. Quite the contrary, in fact!

The latest issues of the VU-affiliated journal Kunstlicht (with a healthy dose of Critical Studies students and alumni on the editorial board) has the title Globalizing Art Histories: Politics and Paradoxes. On a somewhat related note, Critical Studies student Esmée Schoutens has teamed up with two peers from the VU and the University of Leiden for a presentation at a conference in Cambridge titled Migrants: Migrants: Art, Artists, Materials and Ideas Crossing Borders.

Their presentation is on Positioning migration in the art collection and exhibitions of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. It analyses the museum’s collection database to determine the percentage of artists from “underrepresented” (non-Western) countries in the collection, and the percentage of artists within that group who have migrated to the West—raising the question whether such migration is almost a precondition for having work purchased.


Milo Rau Review

19 Apr


This semester, Sven Lütticken is teaching his art criticism class. The VU Art & Culture blog has published a text written by Critical Studies student Tim Renders in the context of this seminar; it’s a review of the exhibition of Milo Rau’s Congo Tribunal project at Stroom in The Hague.


19 Apr


On April 11, VAMA/Critical Studies alumnus Joana Ozorio de Almeida Meroz was awarded a PhD for her dissertation Transnational Material Politics: Constructions of Dutch Design, 1970-2012. Congratulations!

Joana’s dissertation “traces how the idea of Dutch design has been socially and materially constructed at the intersection of nationalizing imperatives and transnational networks. To render the national and transnational, social and material actors that have participated in the construction of Dutch design both visible and traceable, this dissertation’s scope of analysis is limited to Dutch international cultural policy between 1970 and 2012. Taking place at the crossroads of national and transnational dynamics, material artefacts and human practices, Dutch international cultural policy provides a clearly delineated empirical realm in which to examine the construction of Dutch design.”

Joana is now teaching in our department, so the saga continues!