Curatorial development in Scotland

Notes towards Be[com]ing Dutch

This edition of Framework will look at the project be[com]ing Dutch delivered through the Van Abbemusem in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

For me, the project managed to get somewhere near the synthesis of form and content and as such I would propose that we look at both aspects through the discussion.

The project took place over 2 years with multiple outcomes (which can be seen on the website).  I would suggest we focus on the 2 forms of the caucus and the exhibition and their inter-relations. The caucus took place over 4 weeks at the Van Abbemuseum and other locations around Eindhoven as an intensive theoretical investigation into the concerns of the project; placing what is often done behind closed doors at the forefront. The word caucus was used for its idea of a coming together to decide how to progress.

Over the period a set of paradoxes were posited:

  • The revival of nationalism versus the reality of globalisation and migration. How can art imagine a way out of this dichotomy?
  • The re-emergence of religion as the dominant cultural identifier versus the secular globalisation of capital.
  • How can art imagine identity differently today?
  • The autonomy of art versus its use (critically, economically and socially)
  • How can a museum effect change in a provincial city (Eindhoven).
  • Can art change politics, does politics determine art?

The caucus presented multiple often conflicting voices discussing what might be the differences between being Dutch as a highly prefigured political subject and becoming Dutch as a transitional state. There are obvious reasons to be looking to this project and the discussion that came from it at the current moment with the idea of independence in Scotland looming large. I would suggest that we don’t use this as a platform for a discussion on our political positions but instead try to have an open conversation on some of individual and collective concerns to try and work out how we might continue to develop these contingent positions through our actions as cultural agents.

I would propose that in preparation we try to watch some of the videos from the Eindhoven caucus all available online,9,1 Obviously there is a lot of information. I would suggest the first panel Becoming Dutch in the Age of Global Democracy as an interesting starting point and the following day’s sessions, particularly the keynote by Roger Buergel.

As another, unrelated but interesting, short introduction I would suggest reading ‘The Obsession with Identity Fascism’ by Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi – available here

If there are any other interesting and relevant articles you can think of please share in the comments below.