Donnerstag, 6. Mai 2010

The Autonomy Project

The Onderzoekschool Kunstgeschiedenis and the PMK are participating in the Autonomy Project, a collaboration between a number of institutions - including the Van Abbemuseum, where the Autonomy Summer School will take place from 28 June to 2 July. Attempting to redefine autonomy in contemporary art, the project involves both art and art history students, hence the crucial role played by art schools and universities. A web site - a NING, to be precise - has been created, with discussion groups that participants can join. Unfortunately, the PMK group and most other Dutch groups are still dormant (whereas the Hildesheim group in particular contains a lot of material), but hopefully this will change.

So what is it all about? In part that's for the participants to decide, but here's a short introduction, taken from the site:

The word 'autonomy' sounds outdated. In an artistic field, this term finds itself unfortunately wedged between two possibilities: the romantic notion of the isolated Artist, developing works in a studio, unaffected by the socio-political beyond his walls; or the cold reality that to operate within those same socio-political arenas an artist and the mediators involved in a creative action are only there to facilitate a public agendas or to smooth social process. These two positions are not mutually exclusive. The current state of contemporary art practice in the Netherlands and other Western European countries is multicultural, globalised, professionalised. And it is within this multi-faceted geographic and cultural context that the Autonomy Project seeks to facilitate a number of events over the coming years (including a public debate and formal symposium) in different locations, bringing the issue and practice of autonomy back into debate.

And as for the structure of the Summer School:

The week-long programme will mingle rhetorical and theoretical discussion around notions of Autonomy with active group work, as well as presentations by guest artists and speakers. The Summer School aims to equip the next generation of creative agents with the critical skills to articulate their position and practice in relation to the possibilities of Autonomy, while operating within the complex contemporary cultural field. The week will be loosely structured around a daily theme. Each day will offer several presentations by guests as well as an opportunity for discussion and workshop sessions. Participants are free to decide which discussions and activities they would like to join - our aim is to make it possible for participants to attend every presentation if they wish but also to create time for reading, group work, debate and production of work or responses. During the evenings we will also visit projects of interest around Eindhoven.

Image: Rafts by Robert Jasper Grootveld moored next to the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam.

Sonntag, 2. Mai 2010

Second Annual Graduate Symposium

On June 8, the PMK will present its second annual Graduate Symposium. At this symposium, (Research) MA students specializing in modern and contemporary art will present their "theses in progress." Students from Amsterdam (UvA and VU), Groningen, Leiden, Nijmegen and Utrecht will participate in this second installment. The aim is to foster a 'graduate culture' and a spirit of exchange and debate among advanced students.

Last year, the first Graduate Symposium was hosted by Kitty Zijlmans in Leiden. This year's edition is a co-production of UvA (Rachel Esner) and VU (Sven Lütticken, with student-assistant Laura Prins). It will take place at the VU on June 8, from 10 AM to 5 PM, in room 12A-39 on the 12th floor of the main building (De Boelelaan 1105). Entrance is free, and no registration is required for audience members. All you need to do is show up!

Grotere kaart weergeven

Samstag, 1. Mai 2010

Platform Moderne Kunst Presents: TJ Demos

On Tuesday May 18, the Platform Moderne Kunst presents an afternoon with art historian TJ Demos of University College London. The seminar is organized for MA students specializing in modern and contemporary art.

T.J. Demos writes widely on modern and contemporary art and his reviews and essays have appeared in Grey Room, October, Artforum, Texte zur Kunst, and Art Press. He is also the author of The Exiles of Marcel Duchamp (MIT Press, 2007), which places Duchamp’s installations and mixed-media projects - including his “portable museum,” La Boîte-en-valise, in relation to geopolitical and aesthetic displacement during the early twentieth century’s periods of world war and nationalism.

During the seminar, T.J. Demos will discuss his current book project, provisionally titled Migrations: Contemporary Art and Globalization, which explores the relation of contemporary art – including practices from North America, Europe, and the Middle East – to the experience of social dislocation and political crisis. In particular, T.J. Demos will address the work of the Otolith Group, Steve McQueen, and Hito Steyerl. His presentation will be based on two of his recent essays: "Moving Images of Globalization" and "The Politics of Opacity: the Otolith Group's Nervus Rerum." Both essays will be made available on his website ( for downloading. Participants are expected to have read both essays in advance.

The session will take place in Leiden on May 18. There only is room for a limited number of participants; as usual, students can make a reservation via PMK members or their contacts in the various art history departments.

Image (edit): A snapshot from the seminar.