From SMBA closure to Pannekoek and back

1.) SMBA closure

SMBA (Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam) will close its doors as of July 2016. On occasion of this event, Kunstlicht, together with Herbert Ploegman, organises a discussion around “diversity, criticism, and the closure of SMBA” at SMBA, coming Tuesday, June 14th, at 19:30. Panelists will be artists, academics, and activists, including Jack Segbars, Patricia Kaersenhout, Dimitris Dalakoglou, and Irene Fortuyn. The event will be moderated by Angela Bartholomew and Hendrik Simons, PhD candidate and student of the VU. Here is an excerpt from their announcement:

The decision to close down Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA) has been received by the media and the art world without much ado. SMBA, a semi-autonomous presentation space for experimental art in Amsterdam run by the Stedelijk Museum, opened its doors in 1993 amidst various art galleries in the Jordaan. In the retrospective publication We Show Art: 10 Years SMBA from 2004, art historian Rogier Schumacher argues that SMBA has, in large part, furthered the legacy of the Stedelijk Museum as an institution that promotes vanguard art. Furthermore, its bolstering of a global perspective has laid bare the intricate links between modern art production, canonization, and Western hegemony. In brief, SMBA has constructively contributed to the diversification of the Stedelijk’s institutional practice, while securing attention for post-colonial issues of art representation.

Read on and register here.

2.) Jeronimo Voss

When joining the event, make sure to be early enough to visit the last exhibition of SMBA, Jeronimo Voss’ “Inverted Night Sky”. The exhibition is inspired by charcoal drawings of the Milky Way found in the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy in Amsterdam.

3.) Anton Pannekoek

Just in case you (like me) have never heard about Pannekoek before, he was a Dutch Astronomer and Marxist (1893-1960). If you are curious how this goes together (astronomy and Marxism): there is an interdisciplinary conference on Anton Pannekoek happening at KNAW today and tomorrow, with a closing lecture by VU docent Sven Lütticken, on ‘Council Aestheticism. Pannekoek, the Avant-Garde, and contemporary art’.More information here.

4.) Back to SMBA closure

But back to SMBA, for which the interdisciplinarity and combination of art & critical discourse proven also in the Voss/Pannekoek exhibition and conference project has definitely been characteristic, in addition to a strong interest also in the globalization of the art world: Just five days after the event at SMBA, a further event is scheduled at its ‘mother institution’, the Stedelijk Museum: On Sunday 19th, from 13:30 to 17:30 you can attend a  ‘public kick-off meeting’ entitled ‘SMBA and Beyond’ It is not yet the inauguration of a succeeding institution or project, but the kick-off of a research project dedicated to establishing what a succeeding institution should look like. You can find further information and register here. (but please be aware that, while the SMBA event on Tuesday will be in English, the Stedelijk Sunday event will be in Dutch).

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