The Office for Curating

– Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

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According to an Office Desk

With


Rebeka Põldsam

Delivered by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk and Rebeka Põldsam

When


23 September 2013

Address


Center for Contemporary Arts Estonia, Vabaduse väljak 6, 10146, Tallinn, Estonia

Additional Information


This event is hosted by the Center for Contemporary Arts Estonia (CCA).

Contact


Introduction

The talk According to an Office Desk – An Introduction to The Office for Curating introduced the offices’ more recent and ongoing activities, aims and the ideologies embedded within its curating and writing practices to an audience in Tallinn, Estonia. The event is organised by Rebeka Põldsam, as part of the events programme of the Center for Contemporary Art Estonia (CCAE).

 

According to an Office Desk II

Delivered by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


26 – 28 October 2013

Address


GAMeC – Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Via San Tomaso 53, Bergamo, Italy

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

The presentation According to an Office Desk II, subtitled The Call of the Bowerbird as a Curatorial and Representational Device puts forward the intricacies of the Bowerbird’s mating call in which objects (findings) are assembled, arranged and staged in order to reflect back on oneself, to create an appeal for being the right partner. From this position, the presentation diverges slightly to human nature and touches upon a similar dynamic as present within the curating and writing practices of The Office for Curating, as headed by Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk. Furthermore, the presentation touches upon the notions of Zuhandenheit (ready-to-hand) and Vorhandenheit (present-at-hand) in relation to the objects and texts assembled by The Office, their redistribution in the shape of different curatorial formats, as well as the idea of having a unified and continuous sense of practice by instigating an office structure to move away from the “independent” self and applying a generic name and a seemingly fictitious facade instead.

This presentation forms part of Qui. Enter Atlas 2013, the fifth symposium of emerging curators. The event is hosted by GAMeC (Bergamo, Italy), organised by Giacinto Pietrantonio and Stefano Raimondi, and conducted by Pierre Bal-Blanc and Mirjam Varadinis.

 

Acts of Annotation

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


19 June – 27 September 2013

Opening


18 June 2013, 18.00 – 21.00

Address


Nomas Foundation, Viale Somalia 33, Rome, Italy

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

The work Acts of Annotation – Background Noise consists of a short essay and a vinyl piece commenting on the transition and structural shift from the space of the book to the space of the exhibition. In that, the text – annotating a number of movements, from a Brutalist flat in London to an apartment in Rotterdam, from the cages of birds in an Amsterdam zoo to a sound carrier made audible in an exhibition space in Rome – becomes the script for positing an ambiguity within the exhibition, and the documentation thereof, more specifically. The sounds of birds, as played from the adjacent record player, come to stand for a graspable and thinkable, albeit problematic dimension: the distribution of the sensible beyond material and physical properties, as well as a conflict between a lawless nature and artificially constructed gridlines.

The work forms part of the exhibition AB by Gabriele de Santis, which began as a project on paper, and has now expanded into three dimensions at Nomas Foundation in Rome. The AB book has been used as a boomerang, which has in turn created a complete circle of dimensions – perhaps more than three. Using the original travel mates of the journey, and other hitchhikers along the way, a map has been generated. Artworks become orientation points in the space; landmarks used to navigate courses of thoughts in the exhibition. The instalment and the production of a rhythm of an exhibition are equatable to the contours of territories on an atlas…

 

 

Adorno’s Grey

With


Hito Steyerl

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


2012

Additional Information


Published on the Metropolis M website.

Contact


Introduction

Review written on the occasion of the exhibition Adorno’s Grey by Hito Steyerl at Wilfried Lentz Gallery, Rotterdam. The review was published on the website of Metropolis M.

Read the review here.

 

Aleksandra Domanovic

With


Aleksandra Domanovic

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


2015

Additional Information


Metropolis M – ISSN: 01689053

Contact


Introduction

Exhibition review written on the occasion of Aleksandra Domanovic’s presentation at the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, as part of their ongoing series within the frame of Sensory Spaces. The text was published in Metropolis M Issue 5, October–November 2015.

All Begins With A

With


Janneke van der Putten

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


16 July – 28 September 2015

Opening


16 July 2015, 20.00

Events


Opening performance of 'Invisible Architecture' by Janneke van der Putten and Christian Galarreta ––– Closing event on the 28th of September, with the performance of 'Voice and Space' by Janneke van der Putten and workshop participants, followed by the lecture 'Threads of A – Conversation' by Joke Robaard.

Address


TENT, Witte de Withstraat 50, 3012 BR, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Contact


Introduction

For her exhibition All Begins With A, Janneke van der Putten (1985, lives and works in Rotterdam) presents a number of recent and ongoing works in which the relationship between sound, voice and singing, as well as the human body, time and space are investigated through her personal experiences, physicality, and voice. The lengthy walks, tours and listening studies that Van der Putten conducts are an important starting point for her work. In that she makes use of her voice as an instrument to scan and articulate a particular situation and space, and thereby allow an environment’s often-hidden features to be foregrounded and experienced. The work is often driven by the rhythms of nature and the transitions of day and night. Hence, Van der Putten’s practice could be considered as a form of psychogeography: she establishes relationships between herself and external, given realities, such as a cemetery in Rotterdam, the isle of Vassivière, Lima’s urban environment, or the desert coast of Peru, and engages in direct relationships with sonic phenomena such as bird sounds, gunshots, and echoes.

 

All the Pieces, Back Together

With


Elena Damiani, Frauke Dannert

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


29 November 2013 – 18 January 2014

Opening


28 November 2013, 18.00

Address


Selma Feriani Gallery, 23 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2QN, The United Kingdom

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

The duo–exhibition All the Pieces, Back Together with Elena Damiani and Frauke Dannert, curated by Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, revolves around recent works from the artists’ practices, focussing specifically on the possibilities of expanding collage into the space of sculpture and installation. In that, the exhibition is sought to comment on the fragmented nature of collage, in the light of its potential dimensionality when thought and approached spatially, architecturally. In so doing, the works themselves, rather than the gallery space, will become the support structure and stage for a more immersed and cinematic way of looking at fragments, materials and objects that become sequences within a comprehensive environment.

Art or Life: Aesthetics and Biopolitics

When


2012

Additional Information


Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg – ISBN: 9783869843711

Contact


Introduction

This catalogue was published on the occasion of Curated by_Vienna 2012, titled Art of Life: Aesthetics and Biopolitics. The book features a foreword by Bettina Leidl and texts by Eva Maria Stadler, Beatrice von Bismarck and Isolde Charim, as well as a text and reference material for the exhibition Artists of the No (Projektraum Viktor Bucher).

 

 

Artists of the No

With


Nina Beier & Marie Lund, David Raymond Conroy, Dora García, Ryan Gander, David Sherry, Pilvi Takala

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


20 September – 28 October 2012

Opening


20 September 2012, 18.00 – 22.00

Events


Performance 'Just popped out, back in two hours' by David Sherry during the opening reception from 19.00 – 21.00. Second performance 'Less your discount' on Saturday 22 September during the Vienna Art Fair, booth Projektraum Viktor Bucher, 15.00 – 16.00.

Address


Projektraum Viktor Bucher, Praterstrasse 13/1/2, Vienna, Austria

Additional Information


Artists of the No is conceived and commissioned within the context of Curated by_Vienna 2012.

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

In a society characterised by an imperative to perform, to be productive, to take part in a time-pressured culture of high performance, artists are more than ever pressured to work and conform to the demands of professional activity. This is not the only way. In other, more questionable words, is this the way we really want to work? How do artists manage the imbalance between work and life? Are there creative possibilities in refusal, passivity, procrastination and idleness?

The exhibition Artists of the No ultimately engages with a number of artistic propositions and works that propose a “No” – refusal, uncooperativeness, diversion, postponement, reluctance, and so forth – as a response to an existing demand that takes shape in the imperative, both imposed and imparted, to perform. In doing so – and this is the point at which the exhibition deviates from the claim that creating nothing is better than creating something (failure fundamentalism) – the works rise above socio-economic demand (as well as common thinking and behaviour) by frustrating all expectations: provoking a situation and a number of scenarios in which the potential for difference becomes tangible through imagination and aesthetic experience. Rather than becoming an insufficient gestural proxy to put another artistic act into action, perhaps, the exhibition creates a moment in which specific solutions and answers remain provocatively latent, for the right reasons. How could we possibly afford not to work, to perform – financially and existentially? What it does show is that not to “get with the program”, to break the spell of the pressure to produce for the sake of production, to put aside for a moment the overwhelming and saturated system of infra-artistic mediations, to create some space to breathe, to be and spend some time with oneself, to think, could equally be reached and established through work as a kind of performing dissent. Take your time.

Back Once Again (Forever)

With


Michiel Ceulers

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


2012

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Press release written on the occasion of the exhibition Back Once Again (Forever) by Michiel Ceulers at Galerie Juliette Jongma.

 

Cahier I – Can't Hear My Eyes

With


Elena Bajo, Michiel Ceulers, Lydia Gifford, Marie Lund, Magali Reus, Artie Vierkant

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


2013

Additional Information


Design by Quinten Swagerman and Thomas van der Vlis.

Contact


Introduction

The exhibition Can’t Hear My Eyes (NoguerasBlanchard) is accompanied by the catalogue Cahier I – Can’t Hear My Eyes, designed by Quinten Swagerman and Thomas van der Vlis. The catalogue features extensive documentation of the works in the exhibition, a contextual and a visual essay.

The catalogue is published in an edition of 100, and is available for €10. The catalogue can be ordered via this website.

Cahier II – CC

With


Thomas Jenkins

Written by


Thomas Jenkins and Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


2013

Additional Information


Design by Max Senden.

Contact


Introduction

The exhibition Two in the Wave is accompanied by Cahier II – CC, a collaborative effort between Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk (The Office for Curating) and PrintRoom. The book is designed by Max Senden and published in an edition of 100. CC is a correspondence between Thomas Jenkins and Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk revolving around the work The Seas and Oceans of the World (Thomas Jenkins, 2012). 

Cahier III – Within the Sound [...]

With


Milena Bonilla and Luisa Ungar, Dina Danish and Gogi Dzodzuashvili, Dora García, Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Marcellvs L., Lubomyr Melnyk, Clare Noonan, O Grivo, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané and Joana Saraiva, and Triin Tamm

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Tiago de Abreu Pinto

When


2014

Additional Information


Within the Sound of Your Voice is conceived and commissioned as a Parallel Project in the context of the Marrakech Biennale 2014, initially presented at Le 18, Derb el Ferrane ––– Design by Quinten Swagerman and Thomas van der Vlis; audio mastering by Vitor Munhoz ––– Media partner: Cura.

Contact


Introduction

Within the Sound of Your Voice
Parallel Project for the 5th Marrakech Biennale – 2014

Within the Sound of Your Voice is a portable group exhibition at thirty-three rounds per minute. The exhibition is portable, taking the shape of a vinyl record, weighing approximately four hundred and forty grams. The vinyl is protected by a sleeve, which also serves to express and illustrate its contents – textually, visually, aesthetically. The sleeve of this exhibition has been designed to incorporate a third dimension: an architecture that can be unpacked and enveloped in another space, becoming a space in and of itself, or a space within a space. The exhibition is comprised of the voices of thirteen artists in the act of speaking, at times indirectly or metaphorically: Milena Bonilla and Luisa Ungar, Dina Danish and Gogi Dzodzuashvili, Dora García, Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Marcellvs L., Lubomyr Melnyk, Clare Noonan, O Grivo, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané and Joana Saraiva, and Triin Tamm.

The record is released in an edition of 100, and is available for €35. The record can be ordered via this website.

Cahier IV – Suite (Botanique)

With


Alexandra Duvekot, Bartholomäus Traubeck

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


2014

Additional Information


Suite (Botanique) is conceived and commissioned in the framework of the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2014, initially presented at TivoliVredenburg ––– Design by Quinten Swagerman and Thomas van der Vlis

Contact


Introduction

The exhibition Suite (Botanique) is accompanied by Cahier IV – Suite (Botanique), a collaborative effort between Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk (The Office for Curating) and the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2014. The seven inch vinyl record is designed by Quinten Swagerman and Thomas van der Vlis. Cahier IV – Suite (Botanique) features excerpts from works by Alexandra Duvekot (The Plant Orchestra, 2013) and Bartholomäus Traubeck (Years, 2011).

The record is released in an edition of 200, and is available for €10. The record can be ordered via this website.

Can't Hear My Eyes

With


Elena Bajo, Michiel Ceulers, Lydia Gifford, Marie Lund, Magali Reus, Artie Vierkant

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


7 April – 18 May 2013

Opening


Barcelona: 12 April 2013, 19.00 – 22.00 Madrid: 6 April 2013, 12.00 – 21.00

Address


Xuclà 7 (Barcelona), Doctor Fourquet 4 (Madrid), Spain

Additional Information


Can't Hear My Eyes is conceived within the context of the NoguerasBlanchard Curatorial Open Call 2013.

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Can’t Hear My Eyes shows a number of works with sculptural and painterly connotations, dimensions and properties: to evoke their seemingly static nature and surface in light of the work’s inherent – and consequently invisible and not directly sensible – dynamics, through the format of an exhibition, in two given spaces. It does so in order to test the potential of the work of art in the key of current tendencies within our information culture. The given fact that we have grown more and more accustomed to hard facts as based on transparent, ascertainable (‘checkable’) and ‘democratic’ sources of information and modes of communication; and the surge for clear–cut definitions to indicate the parts that surround us, has lead to, one could argue, an incongruity between works of art and the way we generally organise and conceive of our lives.

The exhibition Can’t Hear My Eyes proposes to assess the viewer’s position – the witness and perceiver of the event: the space, the exhibition, the artworks –  by foregrounding the potentiality of perception and the distribution of the sensible by means of ‘showing, not telling’. In so doing, it avoids didactic and explanatory devices in order to emphasize, and hopefully stimulate modes of perception and awareness for the artworks’ surfaces, tactility, their material qualities and characteristics, and moreover to think the inherent processes of application, the mental and physical application of the possibilities and languages of painting and sculptural elements as allocated to physicalities; the performative and dynamic parts that have become part of the works by preceding actions and that are evoked through the act of making.

Ultimately, the exhibition implies a certain movement – albeit its seeming tranquility and delay – towards an understanding of material as information: it is an invitation to engage in a close reading of surfaces, of speaking through volumes and images rather than ‘know–what’ (facts). In that, as one might sense at this point, the exhibition is not structured around a specific theme, but is rather an analogy of artistic approaches and practices in which the artworks shape the exhibition through internal self–organisation, the process mostly coming from the artworks and the spaces themselves.

Cedar Tavern, The

With


Willem Besselink, Susanna Browne, Jeffrey Dunsbergen

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


6 – 9 February 2014

Address


Van Nellefabriek, Van Nelleweg 1, 3044BC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Additional Information


This presentation is conceived and commissioned by TENT (Rotterdam) as part of their programme for Art Rotterdam 2014.

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

I came to New York to study art, and to meet artists. And where do you find artists? In bars, especially in the 1950s. Drinks were cheap in those days. White Rose bar whiskey was twenty-five cents a shot; if you had $3 you could get twelve shots – that would do it. Among the artists’ bars was the old Cedar Tavern on University Place and Eighth Street, not to be confused with the Cedar Bar, which was also on University Place and came later.

The Cedar Tavern had been a workingman’s bar and therefore cheap. It was just a long, narrow space with a room in the back. It was where Pollock had kicked the bathroom door off its hinges and they left it that way. The fluorescent lights looked green. They had Audubon and horse prints on the walls. I can just picture the bartender right now – he had a funny eye, and because of that he looked at you strangely. For dinner you could go to Nedicks around the corner and get a fifteen-cent hot dog. I began hanging out at the Cedar Tavern, where I went with the sole purpose of meeting the grand masters of abstract expressionism.

[…]

John McMahon, another of Bill’s assistants, knew de Kooning well by this point, and he told me a funny story about how he first met him. “One day I was walking down the street,” he said, “and there was de Kooning. I saw him at the Cedar Tavern but I’d never talked to him, so I crossed the street and said, ‘“Mr. de Kooning, I’d like to talk to you about painting.”

“Talk about painting?” de Kooning said irritable, as if I’d brought up a thoroughly unpleasant subject. “I hate goddamned painting. Are you that son of a bitch from Yale that’s been leaving notes under my door?”

“No, no,” I said, “that wasn’t me.”

“Aw, to hell with it then,” he said. “Good-bye!” And he walked away.”

Curatorial Program for Research

With


Nico Anklam, Tainá Azeredo, Emily Butler, Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield, Iliana Fokianaki, Kevser Conkaya Guler, Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Dorota Michalska, Chang Qu, Lia Zaaloff

Delivered by


the CPR management team in collaboration with the following local hosts: Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center (ECADC), Helsinki International Artist Programme (HIAP) and Checkpoint Helsinki.

When


12 – 26 October 2015

Contact


Introduction

The Curatorial Program for Research (CPR) is an intensive research program for international curators. CPR introduces its participants to new cultural localities, a variety of artistic practices, and differing modalities of artistic production. Developed by practicing curators, the Curatorial Program for Research aims to provide directed professional growth for curators. CPR was established in 2015 with headquarters in Indianapolis and Stockholm, and maintains an expanding network of satellite locations in over fifteen cities worldwide.

As part of the first iteration of the CPR Core Program, a group of ten curators will travel to Tallinn, Estonia and Helsinki, Finland. The Core Program stresses both academic rigor and on-site  research. Each city  features a customised curriculum that includes readings and classes about local history, arts and culture, as well as visits to local artist studios, and art institutions. During the Program, the participants will present and discuss articles, papers, and essays related to their daily visits.

Dans Cinquante Ans d'Ici

With


AND Publishing & Åbäke, Xavier Antin, Ruth Beale, Nina Beier & Marie Lund, Elena Damiani, Aurélien Froment, Ryan Gander, David Jablonowski, Laurie Kang, Boris Meister, Klaus Scherübel, Sebastian Schmieg & Silvio Lorusso

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


12 March – 19 April 2014

Opening


13 March 2014, 18.00

Address


Les Territoires, 372 rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, 5e étage, porte 527, Montréal (Québec), H3B 1A2, Canada

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

View Trailer for an Exhibition.

The exhibition Dans Cinquante Ans d’Ici posits the book – as both thing, container and idea – against the backdrop of some recent and ongoing discussions that address the probable demise of the bound volume in conjunction with the emergence of digital reading devices. As the title of this exhibition already implies, a somewhat speculative approach towards the subject is taken insofar any productive attempt at summation of the debate has resulted in stances taken on either side, but quite obviously avoided closure as the situation undoubtedly remains open–ended.

Departing from the title, that somewhat wittily plays with the redundancy of such effort, the exhibition puts forward a variety of devices and modes of interaction that enable humans to engage with information and knowledge, its sharing and distribution. Indeed, here one could speak of the co–existence of the book with other variable – both digital and analog – formats, rather than reasoning in terms of a dichotomy. As much as this is the case, the key question for this exhibitions remains: to what extent have the changes in our relationship with information and the formats we employ for its transmission altered our rapport to knowledge and its production? What is becoming of bound volumes today – that foundation of our society, those keepers of our history – from both a personal and an artistic perspective? The exhibition Dans Cinquante Ans d’Ici ultimately presents an analogy of artistic examples that advances the ways books find their inscription into contemporaneity, and speculates on possible scenarios to come.

David & Goliath

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


2013

Additional Information


Metropolis M – ISSN: 01689053

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

The text David & Goliath – De Onderzeebootloods (in Dutch) was written as a reflection on the format and impetus of De Onderzeebootloods, the large-scale presentation space of the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam. The text was published in Metropolis M Issue 3, June–July 2013.

Earthbound, The

With


Merike Estna, David Ferrando Giraut, Tuomas A. Laitinen, Tanel Rander, Jenna Sutela, Jaan Toomik, Anna Zett

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


1 – 6 December 2015

Address


Cannonball, 1035 North Miami Avenue, Suite 300, Miami, FL 33136, The United States

Additional Information


The Earthbound is realised within the framework of CPR (Curatorial Program for Research), hosted by Cannonball, Miami, and coinciding with Art Basel Miami Beach.

Contact


Introduction

The Earthbound takes the shape of a film programme that revolves around the idea of the human being inextricably bound to the Earth, its soil and ecosystems. Differentiating between ‘the world’ as the social construct of a manmade and human society, and ‘the Earth’ as an assembler of living and inert, human and nonhuman, the programme aims to confront the persistent and often feigned disconnection between humankind and the Earth. In that, the programme seeks to reinscribe and reassert the human figure to the soil, as based on a playful etymological reading of the Latin root ‘humus,’ to furthermore seek for its recovery in the shape of a dependent, far from autonomous species that is becoming with and defined alongside the different forms of existence that co-inhabit the Earth.

From fieldwork-taking to patchwork-making, The Earthbound presents a number of film works by artists that underscore the importance and urgency of being responsive to the given matters and concerns at hand, to further engage in the diplomatic affair of establishing interrelations and alliances with and between the arts, politics and the sciences. In other words still, if one would come to think of Holocene ecologies in the wake of the Anthropocene, by what means could the arts position itself in accordance and response to the changing and intensifying climatological and environmental changes that face us today? Here one might think of the arts prompting and rendering oneself sensitive to the geopolitical concerns that – in terms of scale and reach – often take place outside of our daily living and working practices, or to generate awareness for those biological and ecological instances that bypass the human sensorium altogether. More actively speaking, The Earthbound looks at those instances from artistic practice that think through the possibilities of adaptive and livable ecologies; works that engineer new domains of experience and thinking of artificial, hybrid and synthetic constellations beyond business-as-usual, or a human “technofix” for every potentially threatening scenario.

Ultimately, The Earthbound aims to foreground the idea that the human fleshed existence is evenly and equally open to enquiry, furthered through artistic investigations into material states and substances that pass through both bodies of land and the tissues of being human – enabled through media archeology, psychogeography, documentary and speculative aesthetics. In thinking Earth magnitude, from the soil, let us engage in acts of consciousness-raising about our place in the scheme of things, resonate and tremble those ‘backdrops’ that are normally held still, for we are always coming home.

Exercise in Not–Knowing, An

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


2012

Documentation


Introduction

On Thursday the 10th of May I proceeded to talk about the ever so close relationship between life and work, to discuss my devotion to creating my own (curatorial) writing style through a palm reading conducted by a London-based psychic. Rather than becoming the negation of everything the other person would say, I am inclined to think my writing and curatorial work is closely linked to my own personality. Paradoxically as it may sound to then engage in a palm reading, the question rises whether a reading of our, and in this case my physical make-up could prove to be a more structural and tangible approach to the continuous act towards individuation? Since this exercise is rooted in the physical world of encounter, between two persons: myself, the subject of the exercise, and an external agent, or should I say agents?, the informant, the psychic; the hand, the eye, and the mind; between the physical and the mental; the knowable and the sensible, the unknown and the open-ended, I intend this exercise as to open both a speculative space and to take flight from the common denominators of know-how (experience through practice, learning), know-what (facts) and know-why (science).

The exercise is employed to come to terms with the field of not-knowing, or nonknowledge. This area of enquiry seems to be in conflict with the scientific and academical modes of rational thinking, and, more generally, could be considered as reactionary and contested in our time-pressured culture of high performance. In fact, artistic “research” often functions as a parody of instrumentalised academic knowledge production: falling short of even its eroding criteria. However, this may not be a negative thing, at least not entirely. The failure to meet a dubious standard always holds the potential to erupt into a questioning of that standard. In this respect, it is interesting to note the place held by the symptom in what passes for artistic knowledge production. While the rhetoric and practice of artistic knowledge production can themselves be seen as symptomatic of the social constraints to which autonomous art is subjected, the outcome of this exercise actively engages with the ‘symptom’ as an alternative to the empire of signs created by academic disciplines: pointing both backwards and forwards in time, beyond the current order of things.

Reading / Writing: An Exercise in Not–Knowing is partly published in Reading Complex Act V – Postscript.

Fiction on Display

With


France Fiction

Edited by


France Fiction and Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


Fall 2013

Additional Information


Cura. Magazine – ISBN: 977203850700415

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

The text Fiction on Display – A Collection of Collections puts forward a number of fragments from fiction novels that describe a provocative account of a collection of objects. In that, the text is intended to open new registers of thought, curatorially, to think about fiction and fictitious collections as a means to inform exhibitions and presentations in different and divergent manners, as exemplified by, for instance, the better known endeavours of Malraux, Broodthaers, Filliou and Duchamp. The text features fragments from The Museum of Unconditional Surrender (1997) by Dubravka Ugresic, A Barbarian in Asia (1945) by Henri Michaux, and At the Tolstoy Museum (in: Forty Stories, 1987) by Donald Barthelme.

As a rise to the occasion, the artist collective France Fiction was invited to make a contribution, for which they proposed the inclusion of a recent gameplay with a collection of objects entitled Le jeu de qualités.

Followup

When


1 July – 31 December 2014

Address


Schloss Ringenberg, Schlossstraße 8, D-46499, Hamminkeln, Germany

Additional Information


This residency is made possible by the Mondriaan Fund.

Contact


Introduction

Followup is the title for a Dutch-German collaboration, for which one Dutch and one German curator will be given the opportunity to dedicate half a year to the development of an exhibition programme in different museums and art spaces in the border region.

The Mondriaan Fund offers and supports this practice-oriented foreign residency for a young Dutch curator up to the age of thirty-five. In that, a collaboration has been established with Schloss Ringenberg in Germany. With the residency, the Fund aims to provide an opportunity for young curators to reflect and expand on their practices in a different environment and culture. The jury for this residency has appointed Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk as the curator-in-residence for the period of July to December 2014.

For a Length of Time

With


Ane Mette Hol

Written by


Ane Mette Hol and Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


2013

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

The text A Correspondence Between Ane Mette Hol and Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk was written for the occasion of the exhibition For a Length of Time at Motive Gallery, Brussels.

Ghostly Presence

With


Sergio Caballero, Ken McMullen

Delivered by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


8 April 2011, 15.00 – 20.00

Address


Frederick Parker Gallery, 41 Commercial Road, E1 1LA, London, The United Kingdom

Additional Information


Ghostly Presence forms part of the exhibition Textures of Time.

Documentation


Introduction

Ghosts call our calendars into question. The temporality of haunting, through which events and people return from the limits of time and mortality, differs sharply from the modern concept of a linear, progressive, finite time. The hauntings recounted by ghost narratives are not merely instances of the past reasserting itself in our perceivably stable present. On the contrary, the ghostly return of traumatic events is precisely what troubles the boundaries of past, present, and future. The ghost always presents a problem, not merely because it might provoke disbelief, but because it is only admissible insofar as it can be rationalized by a modern concept of time. One could argue, from the standpoint of modern historical consciousness, supernatural forces can claim no agency in our narratives. During this event we would like to consider the problems that rise with such discourse and scrutinize the ghostly presence and condition from a current perspective.

Good Vibrations, Loose Associations

With


Alexandra Navratil

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

Edited by


Jelle Bouwhuis, Joram Kraaijeveld

When


2014

Address


SMBA, Rozenstraat 59, 1016 NN, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Essay coinciding with the exhibition This Formless Thing by Alexandra Navratil at SMBA, Amsterdam. The text focusses on image distribution and circulation on online platforms, and by what means a digitised collection (of images) could be approached in the light of a private collection and as an artistic device.

Great Indoors, The

With


Aurélien Froment, Jean Hubert, Thomas Jenkins, Fran Meana, Clare Noonan

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


7 September – 19 October 2013

Opening


6 September 2013, 14.00 – 20.00

Events


Artist talks with Jean Hubert, Fran Meana and Clare Noonan on the 6th of September at 16.00.

Address


Rue Vandenbrandenstraat 1, 1000, Brussels, Belgium

Additional Information


On the 7th and 8th of September the annual Brussels Art Days will take place, for which the gallery will be open from 12.00 – 19.00.

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

The Great Indoors is the title of a group exhibition that takes as its central subject the increasing disconnection between nature and human activities, as advanced by a number of artworks, positions and approaches taken from a variety of artistic practices. In that, the exhibition seeks to comment on man’s growing distance, retreat and deviation from nature – especially considering the ways in which we generally conceive and organize our lives today – as well as its recovery, particularly in the light of the natural, domesticated and artificial forms of representation and mediation that have come to be attributed to the overall perception of “nature in general”. In other words still, the increasing social construction of the concept of nature, expressed within a cultivated context, has arguably fostered an elaborate network of what might be termed a surrogate nature, or an Ersatz nature. Moreover, there is a tendency to consider and implement nature as a static resource and a malleable entity. At the same time, however, nature is treated, paradoxically enough, as a self–contained and self–regulating ‘domain’, capable of providing an unsurpassed backdrop for a quiet break… Or has this lengthy break come to an end, nature no longer functioning as a mere backdrop for human activities?

The Great Indoors will engage with the question “If nature is no longer a mere background for human activities, what does this change mean to the arts and social sciences?” As such, the exhibition will put forward a number of transitions: from the idea of nature as a backdrop for human activities to the social conception of the natural – the shift from external to externalized nature – and a further leap from the exterior to the interior: the home and the domesticated, the studio, the gallery space and the artificial: The Great Indoors. In so doing, the ultimate landmark might perhaps consist of the idea that nature is not only a support structure, but an assembler, one that links the living and the inert while being both, that serves as a basis to explicate the social and the material, beyond the realm of the formal, and that leads us back to being animals…

High Definition

With


Dan Walwin

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

Edited by


Sally Müller; Text available in English and German, translated from the English by Stefan Barmann

When


2016

Contact


Introduction

The text High Definition revolves around the artistic practice of Dan Walwin, and was commissioned for the catalogue coinciding with the Dorothea von Stetten Art Award 2016: an art prize and exhibition – this year focussing on contemporary art from The Netherlands – conceived and hosted by Kunstmuseum Bonn.

The central axis of the text concerns Walwin’s employment of video installations, further specified in the key of the nonhierarchical relations established inter se the different actors presented in his work, both on the level of the spatial ramifications of the exhibited work and the subject matter presented in the films. These actors – be they human, a car tire, a wire fence or a slab of concrete – surely possess different degrees of intensity, scale and reach, but eventually no arbiter or authoritative figure, granted the rights to acknowledge and legitimize the event, seems to be able to present itself. Exploring such flat ontology, one enters into immersive environments where the material components and object-actors are reminiscent of those counterparts present in our daily living and working practices, whilst remaining strangely ambiguous and radically other from those prior experiences inscribed onto and deducted from our preconceived knowledges and epistemological maps.

 

Imaginary Museum of Tintin, The

With


Siemon Allen, Nina Beier, Sammy Engramer, Ryan Gander, Jochen Gerner, Helen Marten, Luzie McKenzie, Marco Pando, Franzesc Ruiz, Rose Shakinovsky, Steve Wolfe

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

Contact


Introduction

The online exhibit The Imaginary Museum of Tintin assembles the preliminary visual research on Tintin, Studio Hergé in relation to contemporary artistic practices and artworks on the subject.

View the exhibit here.

John Smith, THE POSTHUMAN

With


Dagmar Atladóttir, Milena Bonilla, Patrick Coyle, Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Michael Esposito, Hannah James, Krõõt Juurak and Alex Bailey, Ieva Miseviciute, Meggy Rustamova, Niklas Tafra and Sanna Marander, Luisa Ungar and Milena Bonilla, Alex Waterman

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Sally Müller

When


7 November – 30 November 2014

Opening


Thursday 6 November 2014, from 18.00 onwards

Events


Weekend of performances with Dagmar Atladóttir, Hannah James, Krõõt Juurak and Alex Bailey, Ieva Miseviciute, and Meggy Rustamova on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 November, 12.00 – 17.00.

Address


Bonnefantenmuseum, Avenue Céramique 250, 6221 KX, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Additional Information


Design by STTADA (Lysiane Bollenbach and Sonia Dominguez) ––– John Smith, the Posthuman is a followup project, developed in close collaboration with the Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht.

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

John Smith, THE POSTHUMAN
Notes for a script, in eleven and probably additional movements

9 April 2014*
In December 2013, John Smith was found by the Norwegian police in the midst of a snow drift, suffering from total amnesia. He was discovered in an industrial area of Oslo and may have been a victim of a crime, police told the Norwegian newspapers. The Oslo police released pictures of the man – who goes by the provisional and generic name of John Smith, until his memory returns – hoping that he will be identified by the public. Despite suffering from amnesia, John Smith proved capable of reasoning fluently in English with an accent, having at least a partial understanding of the Czech, Slovak, Polish and Russian language. Authorities have been trying to determine the man’s identity for at least four months by sending photos and finger prints to East European police forces, among Interpol, and by searching in missing people databases. John Smith has since agreed with the police to seek the public’s help in trying to identify him. In a statement, the police said: “The man has no identity papers, and does not remember his name, where he came from, how he ended up in Norway or any other details of his life. He is aged in his twenties, 187 centimeters tall, has blue eyes and dark blonde hair.”

5 October 2014**
‘John Smith, THE POSTHUMAN’ takes the shape of a group exhibition and a thought-experiment. In departing with John Smith as its protagonist, the project takes an interest in the condition of amnesia, and how this state marks a rupture in one’s daily living and working practices. How to act on the world stage without access to preconceived knowledge obtained through memorisation, without an epistemological map at hand? To what extent does a limited access to memory prompt different affects between a human and its surrounding world? Does amnesia alter the perception of phenomena and the approach towards other objects and entities?

As a thought-experiment, the project inscribes the previous scenario and questions to the idea of “thinking without the head,” as a means to trigger non-cognitive dialogues with our surroundings and to promote new ways of sensuous thinking. In so doing, John Smith becomes both object and subject of interrogation, in which his reaching out and extending into the world comes to represent a way of acting on an equal footing with other objects and entities. Here, the idea of the posthuman is considered as a crucial position in bridging sensibility today, as it no longer privileges human ways of encountering and evaluating the world, but instead attempts to explore how other entities encounter and apprehend the world. In other words still, the posthuman position aims to establish a pluralisation of perspectives – without necessarily rejecting or eradicating the human figure – that complicates our ability to speak univocally and universally about something called the human.

7 November 2014***
As advanced by different sound works and performances, ‘John Smith, THE POSTHUMAN’ seeks to explore different ways of approaching the human figure, by going outside of human common thinking and behaviour, by letting the world, the objects and entities it contains talk back to you. Here one might think of:

I … Dagmar Atladottir’s post-apocalyptic theatre performance of objects, in which post humans revert to pre human representations and activities.
II … An ape’s report to an academy, as put forward by Milena Bonilla.
III … An account of a man texting on a bus, by Patrick Coyle.
IV … The final response of Joan Volmer Burroughs; a phantasmagoria by Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Michael Esposito.
V … Breaking the skin and pursuing the temptation of space through the eyes of a spider crab, a performance by Hannah James.
VI … Animal jokes for animals by Krõõt Juurak and Alex Bailey.
VII … Ieva Miseviciute, Lord of Beef: a series of impersonations ––– dance and speech acts depicting objects, people, phenomena, and philosophical concepts…
VIII … A plant carrying a script by Meggy Rustamova, unfolding the artist’s personal experiences, with blackouts and their consequences.
IX … A monologue of a canary being swallowed by a cat, by Niklas Tafra and Sanna Marander.
X … Luisa Ungar and Milena Bonilla’s conversation with a cacao plant.
XI … The disappearance in a crowd by Alex Waterman.

* Based on an article by Heather Saul, published in The Independent on 9 April 2014.
** Based on a curatorial statement, partially informed by the writings of Levi Bryant.
*** Dear visitor, please feel invited to join us in this thought-experiment and move alongside John Smith in the experiencing of the different sound works and performances.

Long Circuits for the Pre-Internet [...]

With


Katja Novitskova

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Katja Novitskova

When


2015

Additional Information


Estonian Art – ISSN: 14063549

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

The interview Long Circuits for the Pre-Internet Brain, a Correspondence between Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk and Katja Novitskova is featured in Estonian Art magazine. The interview revolves around Novitskova’s artistic practice, and pays special attention to the ambiguous deployment of the term “post-internet”, and by what means, if at all, the term can still find its inscription into contemporaneity. The interview can be read here.

Memo to Charlie Parker, A

Delivered by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


26 February 2013

Address


VAAL Gallery, Tartu Road 80D, 10112, Tallinn, Estonia

Additional Information


This event is hosted by the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center (ECADC).

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

A Memo to Charlie Parker is an interactive lecture that serves as the introduction for the exhibition Shadows of a Doubt, taking place in October 2013 at the Tallinn Art Hall, as part of the Tallinn Photomonth 2013.

The lecture is intended to foreground the two key positions of the exhibition: to slice through the dichotomy of past, present and future and focus on the conditions of the present moment instead, and secondly, to address the speculative and fictive (constructed, manipulated) nature of images in giving shape to and seizing the present moment, the now.

In that, the lecture takes the shape of eighteen memo’s (attributed to the song Now’s the Time by Charlie Parker) which are linked to the outcome of multiplying the eyes of two dices. Members of the audience are invited to throw the dices and read from or watch the corresponding resource.

Museum of Unconditional [...], The

With


Haris Epaminonda, Yoeri Guépin, Tim Hollander, Hannah James, Simon Kentgens, Una Knox, Wesley Meuris, Ieva Miseviciute, Mandla Reuter, Wouter Sibum

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


2 May – 5 July 2015

Opening


1 May 2015, 18.00

Events


A Night at The Museum of Unconditional Surrender (June 6, 2015). An evening of performances, readings, lectures and screenings with David Bernstein, Alexis Blake, Yoeri Guépin, Tim Hollander, Hannah James, Wesley Meuris, Museum of Museum, Musique Chienne, among others.

Address


TENT, Witte de Withstraat 50, 3012 BR, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Dear Visitor,

Firstly, a warm welcome to The Museum of Unconditional Surrender. In fact, it goes without saying that your presence is much appreciated, and is deemed even more necessary for this kind of exhibition endeavour. As you will see.

You may have already guessed that The Museum of Unconditional Surrender departs from the above curious account, although – and please bare with us – we will momentarily hold certain points of view in suspense. The exhibition you are about to witness proposes a slight reversal: a twist of plot. Indeed, the plot thickens, as we speak.

The exhibition will shift its focus from the artworks and how they perform, to those objects and structures that commonly enable and advance their presentation. In The Museum of Unconditional Surrender, the mise en scène, support structures, and displays take centre stage; temporarily abandoning their secondary rolls in favour of a leading one. What or who is playing the active role now? We can no longer speak of a B-squad, or a stand-in … Everything is centre stage. The division of roles between objects and subjects is made ambiguous and placed in the center of attention.

In this perceptual arms race, The Museum of Unconditional Surrender makes room for renegotiating the position of the ‘exhibition object’, a boundless set of entities common and akin to the exhibition space. A natural habitat of sorts. Projectors, plants, interns, exit signs, plinths, pedestals, wires, strings, temporal walls, invigilators, monitors, and vitrines with attached dust particles: the exhibition space is an ecology full of playful objects and entities. Let’s unsettle the plot and have an encounter with the object that is mostly withheld from sight and withdrawn from thought, but that has an abundance of qualities and characteristics, a material agenda, its own state of being, and enhanced functions to enable us to perceive it and other, external phenomena. 

Thus, The Museum of Unconditional Surrender essentially becomes an embodied experiment – that’s where you come in, dear visitor – aiming to make ambiguous and strange the exhibition’s spatial, physical and written language, the institution to which it has become attached, and more importantly, the objects and entities that it temporarily holds. The visitor essentially becoming an object in its own right; no leading subject who tells what is in front, no heroism of the One. What is it to be an object?

Why ambiguous and strange? Well, as a means to come to terms with the game at play: the idea of a persistent disconnection between object and subject, human and thing, visitor and artwork. To slice through the implied hierarchies, taxonomies, and attitudes in approaching different and external objects, and to stop classifying and seeking to determine what something ‘is about’. Instead, let’s aim to provide an equal footing for those objects and entities we encounter and perceive in an exhibition, so that they are partners in our daily living and working practices. Obscuring the divisions between I and It, What and Who.

The Museum of Unconditional Surrender is a temporal and convivial assembly of differing and cohabiting objects and entities, striving towards a more sensitive and responsive exhibition dynamic.

Yours truly,

Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

On behalf of The Museum of Unconditional Surrender

Night at The Museum [...], A

With


David Bernstein, Alexis Blake, Yoeri Guépin, Tim Hollander, Hannah James, Wesley Meuris, Museum of Museum, Musique Chienne

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


6 June 2015, from 21.00 – 01.00

Address


TENT, Witte de Withstraat 50, 3012 BR, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Contact


Introduction

On the 6th of June, from 21.00 onwards, The Museum of Unconditional Surrender will present its coinciding museum night, with presentations, readings and performances by David Bernstein, Alexis Blake, Yoeri Guépin, Tim Hollander, Hannah James, Wesley Meuris, Museum of Museum, Musique Chienne, among other guests.

During A Night at The Museum of Unconditional Surrender, a range of positions – integral to its exhibition – will be activated and addressed, revolving around the question: by what means of thinking and acting can we overcome the persistent separation between objects and subjects, visitors and the artworks they come to witness in an exhibition? To what degree is this ongoing division of roles informed by classic museological notions of structuring and ordering external objects and realities by means of taxonomies, hierarchies, and classification mechanisms, making objects seemingly dependent on their translation into name tags, descriptive and academic texts? Have we been reasoning badly with objects in the space of an exhibition, over-animating and over-projecting, whilst resting too comfortably in and with our firmly assured categories of being human?

In that, A Night at The Museum of Unconditional Surrender will make an attempt trying to loosen and dissolve the implied distance and hierarchies between the human figure – in the guise of viewer, audience member and visitor – objects and thingly-matter. Through a variety of stage-setups and performative tools, the often delimited roles, granted to and by things and humans in an art context, will be made ambiguous and fluid, from passive subjects to active objects, and vice versa. Positions include: a lecture-performance by Yoeri Guépin, entitled The Thing That Disappeared Into Other Things: a visual journey focusing on the ecology of objects in different guises: the index, the database, the collection, and the exhibition; How to Handle an Object, a performance and series of object-‘handlings’ choreographed by Alexis Blake, diffusing the boundaries between the space of exhibiting and the space of utility, stage and audience; a presentation by Wesley Meuris on FEAK (Foundation for Exhibiting Art & Knowledge), the enterprising loan program that makes art available for everyone; Se non é vero é ben trovato, a performance in which David Bernstein tells a story about an architectural competition for a glamping resort in Malaysia; and the discussion A Parliament of Artists and Things with Tim Hollander and Hannah James, revolving around the quest for a common and shared language between humans and other objects and entities in the space of an exhibition. The night will be accompanied by the ongoing screening of a museological film compilation entitled Collection Cinéma by Museum of Museum, as well as a music act by Musique Chienne – music for dogs and humans.

None of the Above

With


Ziad Antar, Keren Cytter, Dora García, Bert de Geyter, Piero Golia, Mathilde ter Heijne, Gabriel Lester, Nathaniel Mellors, Ahmet Ögüt, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Philippe Parreno, Pilvi Takala, Tris Vonna-Michell

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


2011

Contact


Introduction

This book is a kind of hypothetical catalogue – more a (self–)provocation and (meta–)reflection than a true editorial object – in which different texts (a critical essay, a manifesto, a conversation and a fictional account) constitute together a multiple approach of an aporia, and is furthermore employed to consider the necessary preconditions and stage setups of the acts of curating and the curatorial in the key of fiction.

None of the Above is published as a device to preclude its own proposed exhibition project The Event of Reality Applied Knowledge / Fiction – whose presentation has been delayed, but as well as to inform a more general understanding of a fictional exhibitionary practice. Thus allowing for speculations and interpretations of the project’s possible shape, outcome, setup, and so forth, also by means of thinking of an understanding of curating as the production of and engagement with knowledge, in which ‘knowing’ is not the absorption of information and materials – not simply analysis and interpretation, but rather something we actively produce through our various practices. In other words, a mental map for an exhibition is akin to laying out a territory of thoughts, a cosmology of connections, attractions, or and again repulsions. Equally to how an exhibition ultimately exists through knowledge, in a mental space, a mental territory is thus to be mapped out.

On the Estonian Theatre

With


Patrik Aarnivaara, Arthur Arula, Merike Estna, Gundega Evelone, Ulvi Haagensen, Tomi & Vesa Humalisto, Flo Kasearu, Anastasia Parmson, Minna Pöllänen, Kristin Reiman, Pire Sova, Triin Tamm

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, with Rebeka Poldsam, Merilin Talumaa and Marie Vellevoog

When


29 June – 13 July 2014

Opening


28 June 2014

Events


The performance event So Soft /+ Pure by Merike Estna will take place on 2 July 2014 from 18.00 onwards at Aqva Spa in Rakvere, Estonia.

Address


Castle Park, Rakvere, Estonia

Additional Information


On the Estonian Theatre: Twelve Proposals for Rakvere is conceived and commissioned in the context of Kilometre of Sculpture.

Contact


Introduction

Kilometre of Sculpture (KoS) is proud to announce its first outdoor sculpture exhibition in Rakvere, Estonia. Following a yearlong trajectory with an open call for artists, its outcome and with the addition of selected works, the first iteration of KoS is marked by the exhibition On the Estonian Theatre: Twelve Proposals for Rakvere, bringing together works by twelve national and international artists.

The exhibition coincides with the Baltoscandal international performing arts festival in Rakvere, and in judging the tremendous popularity of theatre in Estonia, the exhibition is a rise to the occasion that aims to expand the field of sculpture by seeking for its advancement through artistic practices that explore and activate sculpture in the key of theatre, performance and staging, and vice versa. On the Estonian Theatre: Twelve Proposals for Rakvere brings together works by a new generation of artists that address a certain ‘tension’ within their artistic practices: to strike a balance between the seemingly contradictory mediums of theatre, performance, staging and sculpture. Sculpture, almost per definition, is considered to be a solid and rigid object employed to give lasting form to matter, whereas theatre, performance and the act of staging are essentially fleeting and of a temporal nature. 

This group exhibition puts forward twelve proposals that think through the specificities of sculpture and theatre, performance and staging, taking the shape of hybrid objects and events that respond to the nature of the site in Rakvere, inhabit and become part of the fabric of daily life, whilst questioning these mediums and modes of perception and expression simultaneously. 

The responses of the participating visual artists, choreographers and stage designers vary considerably, and being dispersed around different sites in Rakvere, the consequence is that neither medium is resting comfortably in its respective category. Instead, the works can be thought of as stages and stage setups that allow us to think about these mediums more dynamically and dimensionally; the works being loosely connected and retreated at the same time.

Percussive Hunter

With


A Kassen, Juliette Bonneviot, Nina Canell, Nicolas Deshayes, Kevin Gallagher, Paul Geelen, Camille Henrot, Carlos Irijalba, Rachel de Joode, Fran Meana, Alexandra Navratil, Katja Novitskova, Angela de Weijer, Müge Yilmaz

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


11 March – 16 May 2015

Opening


10 March 2015, 18.30 onwards

Address


Akbank Sanat, Istiklal Caddesi 8, Beyoglu, 34435, Istanbul, Turkey

Additional Information


Percussive Hunter is conceived and commissioned in the context of the Akbank Sanat International Curator Competition 2014.

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Listen. I am listening to the Earth.

Percussive Hunter is a group exhibition dedicated to the examination of processes of mattering and sonic resonance contained by, and inherent to material substances. Especially considering the depth of the material contingencies between the inorganic and organic, the human and nonhuman registers of the Earth that have recently gained urgency in artistic practice, among other fields of enquiry. Here, the artistic process of perception-making through mattering is employed to move away from the surface of our contemporary society, through different material strata, sonic and spatiotemporal reverberations, to foreground specific instances of material agency beyond the immediately perceptible. The exhibition title is derived from a certain type of animal that sources its nutrition by means of scanning and tapping surfaces – here one could think of the Woodpecker and the Aye Aye. Thus, although employed metaphorically, the exhibition entails to reach out and seek for those undercurrents, both material and immaterial, audible and inaudible, scopic and non-scopic, that allow artists to reinvent fundamental metaphors and models for relating to our present day reality, beyond surface effects and towards a more deep understanding of how matter functions and resonates within the different natures of the material world.

Ultimately, the exhibition Percussive Hunter could best be framed as an ecology, or as an exhibition that puts forward a climate of vibrant matter and lively intensities, one in which acts of artistic differentiation investigate the varying natures of the material world. In that, the exhibition is tacitly posited against the backdrop of capitalism’s imperative of linear growth and materialistic accumulation, radically standing at odds with ecology’s notion of interdependence and scarcity. In that, the exhibition seeks to introduce and exemplify a number of objects, concepts and phenomena by means of different clusters, pivoting between those fields of enquiry including Dark Ecology and the Anthropocene, Objected Oriented Ontology and Posthumanism. Fields of study and interrogation that inform a fundamental discussion of how matter functions beyond mere ownership and human application, aiming towards a heightened sensitivity towards other, non-human states of material being and the affects they put forward. In so doing, the ultimate landmark might perhaps consist of the idea that an ecology is not only a support structure, but an assembler, one that links the living and the inert while being both, that serves as a basis to explicate the social and the material, beyond the realm of the formal, and that leads us humans back to being animals…

Plea for Tenderness, A

Delivered by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


15 December 2012

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

A Plea for Tenderness was written for the occasion of the lecture series to coincide with the exhibition Een Poging tot Nieuwe Vriendelijkheid.

Posthuman Exhibitionism

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

Edited by


Sanne Goudriaan, Marten Esko

When


2014

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

The text Posthuman Exhibitionism was written as a reflection on a number of tendencies – among New Materialism and Speculative Realism – regarding the idea of approaching other, non-human objects and entities on an equal footing (as opposed to hierarchically), specifically within the context of the exhibition, and thus considering “exhibition objects” ontologically rather than epistemologically. The text was published in Uus Materjal.

Qui. Enter Atlas

With


Antonia Alampi, Andrew Berardini, Alessandro Castiglioni, Michele D’Aurizio, Lara Khaldi, Sam Korman, Isla Leaver-Yap, Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Theodor Ringborg

Delivered by


Giacinto Di Pietrantonio and Stefano Raimondi, conducted by Pierre Bal-Blanc and Mirjam Varadinis

When


26 – 28 October 2013

Address


GAMeC – Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Via San Tomaso 53, Bergamo, Italy

Contact


Introduction

In the context of Qui. Enter Atlas, the fifth and annual symposium of emerging curators at GAMeC, Bergamo, a group of curators will present and discuss their personal experiences, theoretical and methodological positions, and reflect on the profession of the curator. The event is organised by Giacinto Di Pietrantonio and Stefano Raimondi, and conducted by Pierre Bal-Blanc and Mirjam Varadinis.

For this occasion, Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk will present a paper entitled According to an Office Desk II – The Call of the Bowerbird as a Curatorial and Representational Device (located in the above index).

Reading Complex Act I & II

With


talks, exercises and discussions by Amber Ablett and Eloise Jones of [Details on Request] and Fatos Ustek; moderated by Nico de Oliveira

Delivered by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk and Catherine Y. Serrano

When


12 May 2012, 15.00 – 17.30

Address


The Showroom, 63 Penfold Street, NW8 8PQ, London, The United Kingdom

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Reading Complex Act I & II – Coordinates / Relocations wishes to engage more directly and discursively with an audience on the subject of writing. Essentially concerned with the act of writing within an image-based society, we would like to question how we as viewers, readers and witnesses dissect alternative information and knowledge from a given situation, a presentation, a written account. What is the role of the writer and what motivates their responsibility to the act of writing?

Reading Complex Act I & II – Coordinates / Relocations invites a number of speakers whose practice shows a keen engagement with writing, and how the act of writing might perform a different, more ambiguous role in the field of contemporary art practice. Here, language and writing forms the host for projects that engage with the relationship between art and fiction, art and reality. This could be further considered as a conflict with and a movement from the loss of the documentary image to its recovery in the element of the fictional.

Through open discussion, we wish to engage with the ways in which meaning sets itself in thought, the way it plasticises itself as a body of knowledge not simply by analysis and interpretation, but rather as something we actively produce through our various practices.

Reading Complex Act III

With


Pablo Pijnappel

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk and Catherine Y. Serrano

When


2 March – 17 March 2012

Opening


1 March 2012, 19.00 – 21.00

Address


Seventeen Gallery, 17 Kingsland Road, E2 8AA, London, The United Kingdom

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

“I like to see the making of my stories, in essence, as investigations about stories where the product is like a forensics analysis: areas get fenced out to be examined, and evidence is removed from where conclusions can be drawn, but it leaves the connecting of the dots entirely to the viewer – who becomes the de facto investigator.”
– Pablo Pijnappel, Berlin, 2011

Reading Complex Act III – The Plausible dissects the well-known platitude “seeing is believing”. This act takes the shape of a solo presentation in which the work Fontenay-aux-Roses by Pablo Pijnappel forms the central point of the exhibition. Fontenay-aux-Roses, a cinematic work comprised of projected black and white slides accompanied by audio narration, will further complicate the ways by which we consume, i.e. believe, the truths of an image and the stories that exist within them.

Reading Complex Act IV

With


Ruth Beale, Elena Damiani, Christophe Gérard and selected works from the Government Art Collection by Jerry Barrett, Frank Holl, Sir Joshua Reynolds, William Russell and Richard Wentworth

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk and Catherine Y. Serrano

When


19 March – 5 April 2012

Opening


23 March 2012, 18.30 – 20.00

Address


Government Art Collection, Queens Yard, 179a Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7PA, London, The United Kingdom

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

In the wake of the digital turn, in this era of iPads and Kindles, the book is becoming a sensual luxury artifact, a precious and extravagant superfluity and an aesthetic emblem, subject to new levels of fetishization and bibliomaniacal fancy. With the recent advent of digital reading devices capable of reducing the physical space needed to house thousands of books to the size of a single copy, we are made aware of the possibility that no more bound narratives will cross our domestic thresholds.

Reading Complex Act IV − Sans Titre is an exhibition of artworks, objects and structures that address the physical form of the book in light of its current digital turn and changing modes of readership. Advanced by current art practices and through the re-contextualization of historical works from the Government Art Collection, this exhibition engages with the changing role and function of the library, the thoroughly materialistic quality of the book, the act of annotation, the book’s transition from analogue to digital formats and the consequent shifts in the distribution of texts and the conditions of (co)producing knowledge.

Reading Complex Library
For this phase of the project we, in shifting from an ongoing dialogue, compiled a selection of our growing body of resources into the Reading Complex Library: bringing together objects of reflection and interaction for an audience. The Reading Complex Library contains the books placed in relation to the fragments explored through the Reading Complex programme. This body of knowledge offers a space for dialogue, between ideas and words, things and art-objects.

Reading Complex Act V

With


texts and contributions by Ruth Beale, Elena Damiani, [Details on Request], Christophe Gérard, Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Pablo Pijnappel, Catherine Y. Serrano, Fatos Ustek, selected artworks from the Government Art Collection by Frank Holl and Richard Wentworth, among others.

Edited by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk and Catherine Y. Serrano

When


2012

Additional Information


AND Publishing – ISBN: 9781908452191

Contact


Introduction

The Reading Complex project was initiated in August 2011, departing from a research phase that included a thorough and immersive exchange of literature, fiction and theory on the current state of reading and writing within the framework of contemporary art practice. Underpinned by a shared interest in (the future of) the book, its materialistic properties and the relationship between image and text in (co)producing knowledge, the project unfolded and was implemented as a number of acts which provided the framework for Reading Complex.

In shifting from a more private and ongoing dialogue, the public phase consisted of five acts: an event in two parts, a solo presentation, a group exhibition and a publication. In that, the initial programmatic structure of the project has been influenced and altered by the character of each partnering institute. Ranging from a non-profit space, a commercial gallery, a governmental cultural institute, and the space of the book, Reading Complex has undergone different modes of engagement.

This book takes up the challenge of gathering this multiplicity within a single bundled work on paper in order to give an overview of what the project has accomplished, as well as to highlight themes addressed which merit continued dialogue and attention. The first part of the book includes essays by the initiators, extending and elaborating on topics explored in the previous iterations. The second part compiles Acts I – IV, including, retrospectively, documentation on the various parts as well as new contributions in addendum. We hope that this resource may offer you an insight into Reading Complex, that it may be an object of reflection and interaction: to both look back at what has been taking place and to allow for new thoughts and new projects to take flight.

Reading Complex – Leitmotiv

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk and Catherine Y. Serrano

When


2011 – 2012

Contact


Introduction

Reading Complex is a curatorial research project initiated by curators Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk and Catherine Y. Serrano, supported by the MA Course Curating the Contemporary at the London Metropolitan University, delivered in conjunction with the Whitechapel Gallery.

Reading Complex forms both the overarching title and leitmotiv for a research platform and a programme of exhibition projects which investigate the notion of reading. Through the introduction of a variety of conditions and configurations, the project intends to consider, show and engage with the ever-changing, but palpable nexus between viewer-reader and image-text. Subject to continuous flux and transformation, this area of enquiry requires our constant evaluation and involvement. Reading Complex therefore acts as a conduit for modes of dialogue and exchange where experience and reflection can come together: focusing on the way we construct narratives and our consistent attempt to make a whole out of sometimes dislocated and unhinged fragments. The project thus challenges the idea that we as readers come prepared to make a narrative reading of any encounter. Strongly informed by ‘inconsistent’ narratives presented to us on a daily basis, we have developed specific expectations and anticipations that are redolent of narrative form. As a result, we have become more alert to fakery, montage, editing, scenario and staging: allocating the reader as the figure who authenticates the narrative by presenting him or herself as both narrator and eyewitness.

Through a shared and collective practice, we hope that Reading Complex enables us to constitute a ‘container of knowledge’, a ground of accumulation, as being something we actively produce through our various practices. As the boundaries between reality and fiction become increasingly difficult to discern, we feel the need to explore how these might come together beyond context and illustration. Seemingly simple, but disturbingly difficult to grasp,‘reading’ forms the leitmotiv for a project that seeks to critically explore these points of fragmentation while focusing on the less tangible forces and attitudes.

Refugium

With


Isabelle Andriessen

Written by


Isabelle Andriessen and Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

Edited by


Marjolein Geraedts

When


2015

Additional Information


Tubelight – ISSN: 15697452

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Refugium takes the shape of an image contribution for the Vrijplaats section of the Dutch contemporary art review magazine Tubelight. Coinciding with an interview between the commissioned artist Isabelle Andriessen and curator Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Refugium revolves around issues concerning naturecultures, the exchange of properties between organic and inorganic registers, as well as ideas of liveable ecologies in capitalist ruins and the oppositions between mortality and timelessness as observed through the figure of the mushroom. Refugium was published in Tubelight #97, December 2015 – February 2016.

Ringenberg Biennale, The

With


Emanuel Engelen, Kristina Köpp, Sebastian Ludwig, Jörg Obergfell, Dieke Venema, Julia Weißenberg

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Sally Müller

When


19 October – 14 December 2014

Opening


Saturday 18 October, 16.00 – 21.00

Address


Schloss Ringenberg, Schlossstraße 8, D-46499, Hamminkeln, Germany

Additional Information


Design by STTADA (Lysiane Bollenbach and Sonia Dominguez)

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Schloss Ringenberg, with its impressive walls and moat, its apple orchard and black swans, is the highlight for the local inhabitants in the otherwise placid and somewhat dormant surroundings of the countryside. Over the years, the function of the castle has shifted from a noble’s residence to a city-owned semipublic space, with occasional openings to the public. The Derik-Baegert-Gesellschaft is responsible for the conception of the activities taking place at the castle, currently framed by the followup residency programme. On a day to day basis, the activities of the castle’s residents are focused on and dedicated to advancing their respective practices. As a response to this situation, The Ringenberg Biennale seeks to comment on the nature of the site and to establish a sense of mutual reciprocity, inclusiveness and interconnectedness among the people living in Ringenberg and the castle’s residents. To foreground a seemingly enclosed castle, and to make it act as both support structure and gathering place: to activate the site as a temporal shared endeavour.

The castle’s exhibition spaces will host the six solo presentations by the resident artists Emanuel Engelen, Kristina Köpp, Sebastian Ludwig, Jörg Obergfell, Dieke Venema, and Julia Weißenberg, showing both pre-existing and recent works, executed during their stay at Schloss Ringenberg. Each solo presentation aims to give a specific insight into the artist’s practice, further emphasised by interviews conducted in dialogue with the curators. Furthermore, over the past two months we have collected apples from the orchard, located at the back of the castle, in order to produce an apple juice for the occasion of the exhibition. The availability of this natural resource has given us the opportunity to establish collaborations with the Heimatverein (the caretakers of the orchard) and a juice manufacturer in Hamminkeln.

By implementing The Ringenberg Biennale and its corresponding structure, we hope to facilitate dialogues among the local inhabitants, the residents at Schloss Ringenberg and its visitors from Germany and abroad.

Shadows of a Doubt

With


Nina Beier, Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács, David Raymond Conroy, Filip Gilissen, Ane Mette Hol, Toril Johannessen, Flo Kasearu, Gert Jan Kocken, Laura Kuusk, Oliver Laric, Gabriel Lester, Katja Novitskova, Magali Reus, Meriç Algün Ringborg, Jani Ruscica, Mario García Torres, Tarvo Varres

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, assisted by Kadri Laas

When


2 October – 27 October 2013

Opening


1 October 2013, 18.00 – 20.00

Address


Tallinn Art Hall, 6 Vabaduse Square, 10146, Tallinn, Estonia

Additional Information


Shadows of a Doubt is conceived and commissioned in the context of the Tallinn Photomonth 2013.

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

The group exhibition Shadows of a Doubt invites the visitor to make an appointment with thought: an informal and casual appointment with an exhibition that revolves around our constant, but equally ambiguous relation to, and understanding of the present moment. In other words still, the exhibition is an attempt at capturing a reflection – or a shadow, for that matter – of the present moment as something that is constantly becoming, but never quite arriving, something we grapple with, but hardly – perhaps even impossibly – seem to grasp, something that occasionally keeps you from sleeping at night, but hardly matters the next morning, or perhaps even more. Thus, the exhibition is not so much of an attempt at the summation of the timely values we have come to know, or an act of support by providing a number of definitions, rather it is intended to exemplify and animate the fleeting, unstable and doubtful nature of the present moment. In so doing, the exhibition becomes an assembly point intended to slice through the mutual exclusiveness proposed by the common division of past, present and future. For instance, to address the often fictionalised dimensions of past memories and future anticipations, affecting and sometimes even corrupting the ways by which we are enabled to think in the present tense. In light of the previous remarks, the exhibition proposes to treat the present moment as the ‘untimely’: a continuous and empty time that potentially solidifies new thoughts and recollections by means of our interactions and encounters with objects, ideas, other people and spaces, and situations that give shape to a present condition.

The exhibition and its concerns are advanced by a number of examples and positions – in the shape of artworks and approaches from artistic practices, across different media – each introducing and reflecting on a specific shape and condition, rendition and evocation of the present moment. Hence the works are sought – collectively – to problematise a single notion of the present moment: to posit fragmentations and speculations that could start to serve as encounters, and moreover as objects of reflection and interaction for the viewer. Ultimately, it is the aim of the exhibition to generate momentum, a dedicated time for engagement with certain ideas and concepts that put forward the present moment – through storytelling, narrative sequences, displaced and collected imagery, and so forth. In that, the viewer plays a crucial role – as the witness of the event – in the activation of the works, and above all, in positioning his or her individual and heterogenous perception and (re)collection of the here–and–now, through imagination and aesthetic experience.

It is about making the present moment more ambiguously fascinating than ever before.

Sliding under Traces

With


Paul Geelen

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


11 February – 13 March 2016

Opening


11 February 2016, 18.00 – 20.00

Address


A Tale of a Tub, Justus van Effenstraat 44, 3027 TK, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Additional Information


Sliding under Traces marks the outcome of the 6th C.o.C.A. Foundation Art Prize, an incentive prize and bursary for young artists living in the Netherlands. Further information via www.stichtingcoca.nl ––– The exhibition is kindly supported by the Pauwhof Fund and the municipality of Rotterdam.

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

The C.o.C.A. Foundation Art Prize is an award and a grant for young artists living in the Netherlands. For the sixth edition of the award, A Tale of a Tub presents the starting point for a new series of works by artist Paul Geelen (Weert, 1983) in collaboration with C.o.C.A. during Art Rotterdam. Within his artistic practice, Paul Geelen examines the similarities and possible cross-pollination between science, chemistry and art, often in the shape of process-based and sculptural installations. As part of the grant, Paul Geelen traveled to Chile to collect his materials and to investigate the origins of the rejuvenating effects of snail slime. He associates this process with a study of the oldest preserved mummies in the world. Geelen combines these two areas of research and translates them on the basis of his artistic practice into a series of artistic proposals regarding the possibilities of a new life elixir.

Spending Quality Time With My [...]

With


Kate Cooper, Momu & No Es, Alexandra Navratil, Anni Puolakka & Jenna Sutela, Jenna Sutela, Milos Trakilovic, Maki Ueda, Amy Suo Wu, Anna Zett

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Jesse van Oosten, assisted by Noor Kloosterman

When


11 February – 10 April 2016

Opening


11 February 2016, 20.00

Events


Therapy Session (24 March 2016), an evening of lectures, screenings and performances by Robin van den Akker, Ilke Gers, Tomoko Sauvage, Milos Trakilovic, Amy Suo Wu, Anna Zett.

Address


TENT, Witte de Withstraat 50, 3012 BR, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Thursday 11 February 2016. Sleep 5 hrs. Weight 59.6 kg. Number of steps 5431. Health status 72%. Stress level 58%. Glasses of water 0. Days lived 10,842. Current mood: nervous.

Digital technology is an increasingly inextricable part of our everyday lives. We use wearable monitoring devices and digital extensions to gather data about our health, condition and performance. Consequently, the human body is ever more frequently and closely connected to digital media and the associated logic of codes and algorithms that controls life in an advanced capitalist society. The influence of the digital world is no longer confined to our online activities; it is now deeply entrenched in our everyday private, working and physical lives.

This hybrid world, in which digital and physical forms of existence coincide, is the field addressed by the exhibition Spending Quality Time with My Quantified Self. Our relationship with technology is ever more intimate and pervasive: to preserve or enhance our sense of wellbeing, we obsessively measure, monitor and check our bodily condition and health. We constantly use apps and digital structures to gauge and share the effects and results in terms of sporting performance, eating patterns, sleep rhythms, and so forth – all areas that exist between the surface of our physical being, our own perceptions and the relatively subjective interpretation of them. In a world ever more deeply permeated by calculations, data, information and software-driven infrastructures, the ‘quantified self’ can be seen as symptomatic of our cursory and speeded-up sense of time and priorities. Our bodies and digital identities have become part of an economy of clicks, tracks, traces and likes, in which powerful public and private corporations turn the content and data voluntarily placed on user-generated content platforms into financial profit.

The question is whether this binary interaction between the human body and digital technology effectively results in more insightful and qualitative self-knowledge and identity-formation. Digital extensions and prostheses for the human body often offer solutions for measurable facets of day-to-day existence, but what areas lie beyond the borders of the quantifiable and codifiable? Spending Quality Time with My Quantified Self is a group exhibition presenting a number of artistic positions in which the human condition, bodily development and the physical body to which we are inescapably bound are explored in relation to the technological and economic systems of which they are part. The participating artists suggest forms of wellbeing, identity construction and self-realisation that escape the persistent imperative of constant performance under time pressure, in search of areas that transcend the performance index.

Standard Book of Noun-Verb [...], The

With


Rosi Braidotti (philosopher), Tim Hollander (artist), Clare Noonan (editor), Marnie Slater (editor, proofreader), Sonia Dominguez (graphic design), Timotheus Vermeulen (philosopher)

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

Edited by


Clare Noonan and Marnie Slater

When


2017 (expected)

Additional Information


The Standard Book of Noun-Verb Exhibition Grammar is made possible with support of the Mondriaan Fund.

Introduction

Synopsis | The Standard Book of Noun-Verb Exhibition Grammar takes the shape of a series of theoretical speculations and fictions revolving around the exhibition as an ecology, an assembling ground of various differing modes of being in the world, with their different scales, reaches and levels of energy-exchange. The book is largely centred around those objects (that are equally their own subjects) that could be said to lack positional momentum, purely seen and reasoned from a human viewpoint. Essentially the book is aimed to posit a non-anthropocentrism and non-anthropomorphism looking to diversify and make more-dimensional approaches to perception-making and identity-formation on the charged grounds of an exhibition; where species meet, where ontological and epistemological registers clash, overlap and contaminate each other, where the living and inert, organic and an-organic exchange properties, qualities and performance.

From fieldwork-taking to patchwork-making, The Standard Book of Noun-Verb Exhibition Grammar seeks to comment on the nature of the exhibition and its objects. Further informed as a possibility space for thinking and acting with and alongside different forms and modes of being, the book positions itself as an ‘ontico-fictional’ approach to the exhibition as an ecology turned inwards. As a spatiotemporal placeholder of sorts, the exhibition space is constantly becoming, but never quite arriving: it temporarily holds and encloses different entities, to ground entirely new ecological constellations in a successive, but not necessarily linear manner. Taking this unstable ground as its premise, The Standard Book of Noun-Verb Exhibition Grammar inscribes itself to a free and wild creation of approaches, in particular revolving around the ‘exhibition object.’ A plural, boundless and inclusive set of entities ‘common’ and ‘akin’ to the exhibition space. A natural habitat of sorts, in which no thing or being is truly ever at home, and in which no stable pattern of repetition could be asserted. Projectors, plants, interns, exit signs, plinths, pedestals, wires, strings, temporal walls, invigilators, monitors, vitrines, and so on, and so forth: the exhibition space is an ecology full of playful and ticklish objects and entities that elicit reactions, become describable and are as equally open to inquiry as the human figure.

Within the frame of “business as usual,” these objects and entities are most often accounted for as ‘supports’ or ‘carriers’ of both the artworks and institutions to which they have become applied, by humans. In The Standard Book of Noun-Verb Exhibition Grammar, these objects are approached anew, or afresh rather, not necessarily to insert another agent to grant them with further autonomy or to make a plea for equal rights, but rather to differentiate function from functionality, being from meaning, animation from reanimation, or de-animation in order to render the matter completely inert. Indeed, the act of exhibition-making could be seen as a form of spatial writing by means of objects, but what is there to be found also in encountering, interpreting and describing these objects, entities and their interrelationships, besides art as the cultural field of inter-human energy exchange? In other words still, are we enabled – through the act of writing and thinking – to account for certain, more-dimensional groundings of the exhibition object? Groundings that would allow us to overcome and move away from reductionistic views that would strip these things and beings of their performances, to their recovery in the space of the exhibition as a diplomatic affair, in which properties, characteristics and qualities are exchanged between the various parts, in an aim to pursue a more diversified registry of the agency of things and beings in an exhibition.

The exhibition space being informed by various linguistic, semiotic and symbolic devices invoked to convey informations, signs, meanings and knowledges, both imposed and imparted, The Standard Book of Noun-Verb Exhibition Grammar sets out to come to grips with this charged territory by introducing a large number of templates and entries that strive for the conceptual integration between the space of fiction and the time and space of an exhibition. That is to say: to take a leap from our over-indebtedness to language as a means to think that what is known to us, objectively speaking. To employ speculative approaches as generative and imaginative principles for exhibition objects as things considerably more complex, rich and dense than their common substantive and everyday applications could possibly imply. The book’s title, indeed, increasingly becoming more of an antithesis to what it initially aimed to foreground…

Suite (Botanique)

With


Alexandra Duvekot, Søren Lyngsø Knudsen and Birgitte Kristensen, Carlo Patrão, and Bartholomäus Traubeck + selected resources on the topic of plant communication by Daniel Chamovitz, Mort Garson, Roger Roger and Martin Monestier, Molly Roth, and Peter Tompkins, Christopher Bird and Walden Green (The Secret Life of Plants)

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


10 – 14 September 2014

Address


TivoliVredenburg, Vredenburgkade 11, 3511 WC, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Additional Information


The exhibition is conceived and commissioned in the framework of the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2014 ––– Design by Quinten Swagerman and Thomas van der Vlis

Contact


Introduction

View Trailer.

‘O Tiger-lily,’ said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind, ‘I wish you could talk!’ ‘We can talk,’ said the Tiger-lily: ‘when there’s anybody worth talking to.’ […] ‘And can all the flowers talk?’ ‘As well as you can,’ said the Tiger-lily. ‘And a great deal louder.’ ‘It isn’t manners for us to begin, you know,’ said the Rose, ‘and I really was wondering when you’d speak!’ […] – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The exhibition Suite (Botanique) looks into the subject of plant communication, as to propose new ways for humans of thinking with plants by means of affective, non-cognitive dialogues. A type of “thinking without the head” that prompts tacit sensitivity and sensuous modes of exchange. In that, the exhibition aims to overcome the common idea that plants are barely animate objects, and should instead be regarded as partners in our daily living and working practices. Suite (Botanique) includes a number of sound installations: The Plant Orchestra consists of a performance and a lecture by Alexandra Duvekot, in which she addresses the sounds uttered by plants that are inaudible by the human ear, and talks about how sound could function in the treatment of sick plants. The work Years by Bartholomäus Traubeck is an installation based on a generative process that translates data retrieved from the year rings of trees into piano music. Furthermore, a Suite space will host a number of resources, among various vinyl records on the subject of plant communication, including The Forest Organ by Søren Lyngsø Knudsen and Birgitte Kristensen, alongside a radio broadcast on plant consciousness by Carlo Patrão. Ultimately, these artistic positions and experiments might as well be considered as intermediaries between plants and humans, as attempts at bridging certain persistent incomprehensions and miscommunications in the key of developing a shared language.

Vinyl Record  

To coincide with the exhibition, a catalogue in the shape of a seven inch vinyl record (translucent green) is made available. The record contains excerpts from works by Alexandra Duvekot and Bartholomäus Traubeck, and is designed by Quinten Swagerman and Thomas van der Vlis.

The record is released in an edition of 200, and is available for €10. The record can be ordered via this website.

Swedenborg Epic.

With


Dave Charlesworth, Kitty Clark, Leif Elggren, Bentley Farrington, Marenka Gabeler

Curated by


Rianne Groen, Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Nina Swaep

When


5 February – 5 March 2012

Opening


4 February 2012, 19.00 – 21.00

Address


4 Brockmer House, Crowder Street, E1 0BJ, London, United Kingdom

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Swedenborg Epic. is an exhibitionary reprise offering a domestic space to artists to create a work around three accounts upholding the charge of insanity brought against Emanuel Swedenborg (Stockholm 1688 – Wapping, London 1772). These accounts, largely based on linger and hearsay, have been propagated by Swedish pastor Mathesius, Methodist leader Wesley, and questionably by the Moravian Brockmer as based on events taking place during Swedenborg’s stay at Brockmer’s house in London during 1744.

Arguably, the possible fictionalisation and extravagance of these accounts have lead to a certain degree of degeneration in regard of Swedenborg’s reputation, both during his late days and posthumously. Taking these peculiar and rather ambiguous accounts as its leitmotiv, the project opens a space for speculation and image-correction of Swedenborg’s stature and meaning in the present.

Textures of Time

With


Jeremy Evans, Jörg Köppl, Emily Speed, Jill Townsley, Yonatan Vinitsky, Joby Williamson, Ben Woodeson

Curated by


MA Curating the Contemporary

When


6 April – 15 April 2011

Address


Frederick Parker Gallery, 41 Commercial Road, E1 1LA, London, The United Kingdom

Documentation


Introduction

The artists presented in Textures of Time share a common interest in making temporalities tangible. Taking temporality as its point of departure, the artworks become agents in order to scrutinise or make palpable time’s various forms and modes of operation. The relation of art to temporality is often linked to the promise of eternity, and maintains a paradoxical relationship between the permanent object versus that of the experiential moment. Departing from this promise, the artworks here emphasise impermanence or allude to the instability of the present. As Boris Groys mentions in his essay Comrades of Time: “Contemporary art deserves its name if it manifests its own contemporaneity – and not simply if it is currently made or displayed.” One would not question how contemporary our contemporaneity is, if the picture of the world were stable and well defined. Instability and uncertainty are characteristic of our time – the present ceases to be a point of transition from past to the future. Instead, present time is a site of continuous reflection and recurring iterations.

Therapy Session

With


Robin van den Akker, Ilke Gers, Tomoko Sauvage, Milos Trakilovic, Amy Suo Wu, Anna Zett

Delivered by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Jesse van Oosten

When


24 March 2016

Address


TENT, Witte de Withstraat 50, 3012 BR, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Contact


Introduction

Taking place within the frame of the exhibition Spending Quality Time With My Quantified Self, the event Therapy Session will transform TENT into a space for mental gymnastics and artistic experimentation. By making an appointment with thought, Therapy Session seeks to further explore and address the often ambiguous exchange and interaction between the human body and the digital technologies that both underpin and inform our identities. By means of a series of diverse formats, ranging from a lecture on algorithms in artistic practice to a video screening on boxing and the human nervous system, from a performance on self-encryption to a water singing bowl concert, Therapy Session aims to think of and engineer domains of wellbeing beyond the performance-index dominated by obsessive self-monitoring and the aestheticisation of health.

Together / Alone

With


Layla Curtis, Mark Harris, Alistair MacKinven, Miriam Nabarro, Peter Saville

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk and Marte Elisabeth Paulsen in collaboration with The Whitechapel Gallery

When


28 March – 28 June 2011

Address


Mint Hotel, 7 Pepys Street, EC3N 4AF, London, United Kingdom

Introduction

“An airport is no more than a sort of shopping mall, a simulated urban neighborhood. Give or take a few things, it offers the same benefits as a hotel.” – Georges Perec

The exhibition Together/Alone takes as its point of departure the notion of non–place as set out in the book Non-Places – An Introduction to Supermodernity (1995) by Marc Augé. The concept of non-place could be considered in the light of how we live in our current society, generally conceived as a society of work, leisure, “freedom”, and travel. In our global society, the non-place is one of the places we relate to. Through the relations individuals establish within the spaces that enable them to move from point A to point B, the non-place takes shape. Airport lounges, hotel lobbyʼs, and subway stations could be considered as examples of the non-place; they mediate a whole mass of relations, with the self and with others, through words, sometimes even texts. Non-places are generally conceived as places with a neutral configuration; more often they tend to mimic each other in order to encompass a sense of universality, as opposed to emphasize their, arguably, non-existing individual style or distinctive features. In other words, one feels as much at home in a hotel in Asia as in a hotel from the same chain in London, as well as in a Starbucks in Moscow or in Amsterdam.

The various workings of overarching language structures and the consequent subjectification of individuals informs many of the works on view. Together/Alone brings together a selection of contemporary artworks that intend to make visible, engage, confront, and problematise the numerous oppositions between language as a general force of power (as one of the structures that intend to regulate our daily lives) within the notion of non-place. Although the notion of non-place is not a new one, the intention is not so much to find out how we have reached this point, but perhaps recognise that we have reached it, that we are here.

Tolerable Risk

With


Ben Woodeson

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk and Ben Woodeson

When


2012

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Tolerable Risk features a correspondence between artist Ben Woodeson and Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk. The text was published in Art Licks Issue 6, 2012.

Tradition Doesn't Graduate

With


After Howl, Henry Andersen, Bernardus Baldus, Lény Barney, Louise Boghossian, Jonathan Boutefou, Ailsa Cavers, Hugo Dietür, AM Dumitran, Maika Garnica, Carl Haase, Yvonne Lake, Wannes Missotten, An Onghena, Tyagi Pallav, Vasilis Papageorgiou, Margaux Schwarz, Britt Sprogis, Yaozheng Tan, Hanne Van Dyck, Jonas Vansteenkiste, Ersi Varveri

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Komplot

When


27 May – 25 June 2016

Opening


27 May 2016, 18.00

Address


Hopstraat 63 – Rue du Houblon, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Additional Information


The exhibition Tradition Doesn't Graduate is a collaboration between St. Lucas School of Arts Antwerp and Komplot, and marks the outcome of the Master of Research in Art & Design year 2015-2016 ––– Closing event on the 25th of June, with book launch and concert by Jardin.

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Regardless of who turns pro and pursues a career in the arts, or drops the bar and decides to play one’s cards elsewhere, the graduate course will continue on the same level by consolidating new players on the field. No institution without transformation? Tradition doesn’t graduate.

From the homogenous gloss of the arts course looming over its students-cum-artists, to its recovery in the key of a heterogenous and diversified art field, the exhibition Tradition Doesn’t Graduate expands on the social fabric and dynamic of a group on the verge of graduation, vis-à-vis the structuring principles of the course, its registry of promise, and the idea of forming a collective that is best seen as a porous and fragmenting whole, held together by the course as a formative and generative template.

Having landed in Brussels at KOMPLOT, from Antwerp, the group embarks on a collective and joint effort to unpack their works for the charged moment of graduation, whilst simultaneously wanting to maintain and mark their own position in the scheme of things. A diplomatic affair, to say the least. What does it mean to become a group, bound together for a given time, in the ambiguous and temporal vacuum of a graduate course? What does it entail to exhibit (as) a group? Joint by an equal number of peers from Brussels, Tradition Doesn’t Graduate seeks to unfold the lines of thought, residues, marks and traces, acts of confrontation and resistance that rise by folding and being brought together. Here, ideas of ongoing feedback, call and response, checks and balances rise to the fore, between one’s respective artistic practices and the voices of the revolving group members, the surrounding environment and the different temporalities implied.

Two in the Wave

With


Thomas Jenkins, Batia Suter + coinciding bookworks and publications

Curated by


Karin de Jong and Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


13 April – 25 May 2013

Opening


12 April 2013, 19.00 – 22.00

Address


Printroom, Schietbaanstraat 17, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

The exhibition Two in the Wave presents two works concerned with the artistic treatment of printed-matter and the book in light of our surrounding seas, oceans and the connotations these seemingly boundless expanses put forward. As advanced by the two works, there is a sensible retreat from the documentary image to its recovery in the element of the fictional. For instance, both works share a formal approach towards their display – evoking the characteristics of displaying scientific material – whereas their contents disclose a certain ambiguity towards the treatment of information. In that, the works foreground the possibility of generating alternative knowledge through the displacement and fictionalisation of collected imagery, as well as by showing the construction of systems of representation and the various readings and stories this puts forward.

 

Unbearable Limit of [...], The

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


2014

Additional Information


Metropolis M – ISSN: 01689053

Contact


Introduction

The text The Unbearable Limit of the Exhibition Space makes an inquiry into and aims to give an overview of the exhibition programmes and directorship of Lorenzo Benedetti at De Vleeshal and De Kabinetten van de Vleeshal (Middelburg, The Netherlands), where he served as its curator and director between 2008 and 2014. The text is published in Metropolis M Issue 4, August-September 2014.

Untitled (Constants Are Changing)

With


Filip Gilissen, Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Written by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, with a contribution by Lorenzo Fusi

When


2011

Contact


Introduction

The publication Untitled (Constants Are Changing) takes the shape of a thesis text, presenting a critical analysis of the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, particularly dedicated to the body metaphor and the painterly aspects present in his work. In addition the book includes a number of images of works by Filip Gilissen, with a coinciding text by Lorenzo Fusi.

Ways of Working [...]

With


Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, Céline Berger, Dina Danish, Jakup Ferri, David Horvitz, Sally O’Reilly and Colin Perry

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk

When


12 April – 3 May 2014

Opening


11 April 2014, 19.00

Address


Upominki, Kapelstraat 32, 3024CH, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Additional Information


Ways of Working, According to an Office Desk is conceived and commissioned in the framework of the 5 ½ Proposals to Work and Live in the Current Millennium programme by Oblique International (Patrícia Pinheiro de Sousa and Susana Pedrosa), in collaboration with Weronika Zielinska (Upominki, Rotterdam).

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Link.

I am in the studio, it is admin time. I open the mailbox, there is a new message from the photographer that documented my latest exhibition. He has provided the images of my work in tiff format only, so I convert the set to low-res jpegs in order to update my website and portfolio accordingly. Then I forward an earlier video work from 2008, via WeTransfer, to an artist-run space in Brussels. They are hosting a symposium on ‘Clean Aesthetics,’ but I won’t attend since my travel expenses cannot be reimbursed through “sudden budget limitations.” At the same time – upload time estimated at 2 hours and 41 minutes – I try to work through a pile of receipts I kept from my short residency in Riga earlier this year, as VAT returns are due in two days. Can I declare food and drink costs? The studio visit that was planned for later this afternoon was cancelled by the curator, and instead I spend some time on Facebook and Mousse Magazine’s website, rather than starting to read “Bells and Whistles: More Speculative Realism” by Graham Harman. Supposedly, this text could inform a new series of work… I leave the studio. I am taking over a shift from a colleague at the espresso bar… 

The group exhibition Ways of Working, According to an Office Desk brings together works by Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, Céline Berger, Dina Danish, Jakup Ferri, David Horvitz, Sally O’Reilly and Colin Perry, and revolves around the question: “How to profess, rather than how to professionalise?”

In our time-pressured culture of high-performance, the position and activities of the artist remain subjected to an imperative to perform. In that, a substantial part of the artistic working field maintains a climate that relies heavily on a market(ing)-driven way of thinking, in which the value of professionalisation is firmly embedded within, for instance, the systems of art education, market mechanisms, the majority of grant application policies and public art commissions. This ongoing articulation of “professional practice” undoubtedly has a strong influence on the ways artists conduct their work, and by what means they relate and respond to a system in which professionalisation has become inherent to self-organisation: the artist taking the role of the manager-without-team, single-handedly facing the world. At the same time, from an external perspective, one could sense an incongruity between the different ways in which artists’ work today, and how this is being perceived and informed more generally, through common thinking and behaviour, and predominantly by means of media (mis)representation. For example, the idea of impoverishment and scarcity – a vow-of-poverty – as a tool for critical thinking and production that remains a viable myth.

Ultimately, the exhibition intends to strike a balance between the urges of professionalisation inherent to the arts, as opposed by some persistent stereotypes that overshadow the ways in which artists practice and profess today. In that, the works put forward different perspectives on, for instance, the condition of the artist who needs to support his or her practice through a day job (Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan), or the frustration triggered by the amount of time spent on administrative tasks, and to remind oneself to prioritise studio time instead (David Horvitz). Other works look into the role lists with artist names play, exchanged among peers, in order to further inform and advance one’s practice (Dina Danish), the dominant position of International Art English within the contemporary art world, and by what means the centrality of this language affects non–English speaking artists (Jakup Ferri), or the rapprochement of the art and the business world in the Netherlands, addressed through a risk analysis workshop (Céline Berger). Finally, the work Do I Really Look Like That (Sally O’Reilly and Colin Perry) presents a montage of misrepresentations of art and artists on television.

Within the Sound of Your Voice

With


Milena Bonilla and Luisa Ungar, Dina Danish and Gogi Dzodzuashvili, Dora García, Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Marcellvs L., Lubomyr Melnyk, Clare Noonan, O Grivo, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané and Joana Saraiva, and Triin Tamm

Curated by


Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Tiago de Abreu Pinto

When


26 February – 31 March 2014

Opening


25 February 2014, 18.00

Address


Le 18, Derb el Ferrane – Riad Laarouss, 40000 Marrakech, Morocco

Additional Information


Within the Sound of Your Voice is conceived and commissioned as a Parallel Project in the context of the Marrakech Biennale 2014 ––– Design by Quinten Swagerman and Thomas van der Vlis; audio mastering by Vitor Munhoz ––– Media partner: Cura.

Contact


Documentation


Introduction

Within the Sound of Your Voice
Parallel Project for the 5th Marrakech Biennale – 2014

Within the Sound of Your Voice is a portable group exhibition at thirty-three rounds per minute. The exhibition is portable, taking the shape of a vinyl record, weighing approximately four hundred and forty grams. The vinyl is protected by a sleeve, which also serves to express and illustrate its contents — textually, visually, aesthetically. The sleeve of this exhibition has been designed to incorporate a third dimension: an architecture that can be unpacked and enveloped in another space, becoming a space in and of itself, or a space within a space. The exhibition is comprised of the voices of thirteen artists in the act of speaking, at times indirectly or metaphorically: Milena Bonilla and Luisa Ungar, Dina Danish and Gogi Dzodzuashvili, Dora García, Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Marcellvs L., Lubomyr Melnyk, Clare Noonan, O Grivo, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané and Joana Saraiva, and Triin Tamm.

The ten exhibited works comment on the nature of the exhibition site and, more generally, on the context of the Marrakech Biennale and the city as a whole. In response to the biennale title Where Are We Now?, we felt an urge to explore a different exhibition format: to compose an analogy of examples that would allow visitors to come to terms with their time and space more dimensionally, by making its context seem strange, less coherent, and less grounded. In other words, the exhibition aims to make the listener the subject of a sequenced experiment, to overturn one’s epistemological maps, confront one’s preconceived knowledges, and (perhaps most importantly) to prompt and trigger a curiosity for the things in the world through not-knowing and not understanding.

Vinyl Record

The record is released in an edition of 100, and is available for €35. The record can be ordered via this website.