ARE YOU ALIVE OR NOT? Looking at ART through the lens of THEATRE . February 11: Act 1, scene 4 . A dialogue between Joanna Zielińska, Maaike Gouwenberg with a performance by Richard John Jones. Studium Generale Rietveld Academie & Rietveld Uncut 2015 ( framework studium generale: Gabriëlle Schleijpen)

| tag: Amsterdam

In January, February and March 2015, through talks, readings, discussions, performances, workshops, film screenings and an exhibition of student work, Studium Generale Rietveld Academie* & Rietveld Uncut** are collaborating on an extensive, artistic research trajectory.


Enter: Tadeusz Kantor (Maaike Gouwenberg & Joanna Zielińska), Harry, Speaking in Tongues (Richard John Jones, Robertas Narkus, Gerard Ortín and Aki Spadaro)

1 3 . 30 – 1 5 . 3 0
A dialogue in several parts by Maaike Gouwenberg & Joanna Zielińska, interspersed with visuals and a live performance by Richard John Jones with additional voices by Robertas Narkus, Gerard Ortín and Aki Spadaro, on piano.

1 5 . 4 5 – 1 7 . 3 0
Beamclub screening of artist films compiled by Gouwenberg & Zielińska: Der Schlamm von Branst – Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Vision Verticale – Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, The Saprophage – Nathaniel Mellors, It Takes Tea To Tango – Uta Eisenreich and more

Non-students are welcome, entrance free.



Tadeusz Kantor and his props and costumes

The prolific Polish artist Tadeusz Kantor (1915-1990) was a painter, stage designer, poet, actor, and 'happener', he made a name for himself as a man of theatre, but he remained first of all a painter who thought with images and used actors and props instead of paint.

Tadeusz Kantor was an independent and uncompromising artist. His eclectic work thrived on conflict; he never refrained from provocation. He wanted art to be ‘useless’ and ‘autonomous’. Considered a ‘heretic of the avant-garde’, he left a substantial oeuvre of theoretical writings, works of art, costumes, stage scenery and theatrical objects.

In 1980 Tadeusz Kantor established Cricoteka a ‘living archive’ of the legendary Cricot 2 Theatre wich he had founded in Kraków in 1955. The nature of Kantor’s output and possible ways of presenting it in a museum are still among the key concerns for Cricoteka but today these are viewed from the perspective of contemporary art discourse and new methodologies.

Joanna Zielińska is an art historian, writer and curator based in Poland. She is chief curator at the Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor – Cricoteka in Kraków, where she has opened in 2014 the Museum’s new building with the exhibition and public programme Nothing Twice. Previously Zielińska worked a.o. with the curatorial collective Exgirls and was in residence at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York. Since 2011 she is furthermore working on a long-term project on artist novels called The Book Lovers (in collaboration with artist David Maroto).

Radical Languages, Nothing Twice

With the two examplary projects that they will highlight today, Zielińska and Gouwenberg try to bridge the gap between the space of the theatre and the space of the exhibition, featuring a variety of artists strategies to activate both domains.

'Radical Languages' suggests and proposes possible interpretations of Kantor’s creative output and places them in the context of contemporary art discourse.
'Nothing Twice' tackles the double nature of the object as both a prop in performance and an autonomous artwork. In other words: the issue of the materiality of performance and the staging of the exhibition space itself.

Maaike Gouwenberg is a Rotterdam based curator. Projects that she has been involved in bring together theatrical and curatorial aspects. This results in performance programs and long term collaborations with artists. In 2010, Gouwenberg initiated A.P.E. (art projects era) with artist Keren Cytter. A.P.E develops performances, exhibitions, printed matter and meetings that cannot necessarily be realised within traditional institutional formats or frameworks. Since 2014 Maaike runs her own multidisciplinary residency program Deltaworkers in New Orleans where she hosts one Dutch artist per year. Next to her curatorial practice Gouwenberg is a short film programmer at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and a committee and board member at
numerous art organisations and theatre groups.

When Harry Was Speaking in Tongues

Gouwenberg and Zielińska's dialogic lecture will culminate in a performance by Richard John Jones, based on a previous sculptural work that comprised of 4 costumes displayed on mannequins.

The lecture now quickly moves off-piste involving cabaret and theatre formats, additional voices and strategies of modernist narrative performance. As the lecture form breaks down completely, multiple stories and references lay bare the act of relating a story from one context to another and the formation of a narrative as an inherently performative act that primarily defines the audience to which a speaker responds. Throughout, there is a consideration of the title of the original sculptural work “Develop Your Legitimate Strangeness” which is explored, through anecdote, as a possible conception of freedom.

Richard John Jones is an artist based between Amsterdam and Marseille. His work explores the foundational ideas of representation and visibility, focussing on the use of these for the formation of community and strategies for autonomy. Often using archival research as a departure point his work references the history of anti-assimilationist queer movements, acts of withdrawal and also the occult, namely practices of witchcraft, neo-paganism and ritual. He is questioning how these interact with our contemporary preoccupation with visibility as a key emancipatory paradigm. Currently exploring visibility and invisibility from the history of textile production, he is working materially and metaphorically with the development of camouflage as a technology of erasure and its connection with the ‘invention of abstraction’ in modern art of the early 20th Century.



January 7 - January 14 - January 21 - January 4 - February 11 - February 18 - March 4 - March 11

13:30 to 15:30 to 17:30: talks ~ readings ~ presentations ~ performances ~ screenings
at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie

18 to 22 March: installations, actions & conference-festival at de Brakke Grond

*Studium Generale Rietveld Academie is a rambling, cross departmental and trans disciplinary lecture and performance program with an annually changing, overarching research theme, addressing students of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, as well as the general public.

**Rietveld Uncut is an annual joint presentation by the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Within the Rietveld the process of making, from concept to work, is an important element throughout the whole study. This process often stays invisible to the outside world; Rietveld Uncut aims to shed a light on this unique, dynamic and experimental part of the academy and reveals this process to the public. Departments and individual students contribute with projects evolving around the research topic introduced by the many guest lecturers invited by Studium Generale Rietveld Academie.