EINDHOVEN, THE NETHERLANDS.-The Van Abbemuseum presents eight new episodes of Plug In, the series that reflects the museums new approach to exhibiting its collection. Curators and artists select work from the collection and display new, familiar or less familiar works in a different context. The Van Abbemuseum will also launch the first edition of a new series of research publications entitled VAMPR, an acronym for Van Abbemuseum Public Research, and celebrate the Viewing Depots first successful year. Curators, guest curators and artists will attend the opening on 15 December, during which TAM (Theater am Marienplatz, Krefeld/Fischeln, Germany) will perform Dieter Schnebels composition MoMa-Museumsstücke II (1994-95), a series of short musical portraits of artists such as Klein, Picasso, Mondriaan, Schwitters and Beuys.
New episodes of Plug In - Artist duo Bik Van der Pol previously shared their vision of how museums and their audiences deal with information in Plug In #28. A pivotal position was given to various artworks, one of which, Loompanics, is a project about the now defunct New York publishing house of the same name. Parallel to that they are showing a mural by Sol LeWitt in the new Plug In #28 Pay Attention. Act 2, together with the video Baldessari Sings LeWitt (1972) by John Baldessari. Both works are part of the museums collection.
In Plug In #31 René Daniëls. The return of the performance, guest curator Frédérique Bergholtz highlights the work of one of Eindhovens key artists, René Daniëls. Daniëls recently won the Oeuvre Award of the Netherlands Foundation of Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB). Daniëls work is represented in several major museums in the Netherlands and abroad. The Van Abbemuseum owns several works and also houses the works managed by the René Daniëls Foundation. Frédérique Bergholtz has based her selection of works from this enormous reservoir on the notion of the artist as performer, while also creating a link to works by other artists in the collection.
Christiane Berndes, curator of collections, uses these Plug In episodes to search for links between known and lesser known works in the collection as well as to do research on the use of space, both in the museum and in art. Plug In #32 One on one is the first of a series of presentations centring around a single work from the museum collection. The title of this Plug In is a reference to the one-on-one relationship between the work, the gallery and the visitor. Apart from the work itself, the gallery contains such information as publications, correspondence, exhibition history, reports on the works condition, restoration reports, illustrations of previous setups, etc., about the work in question. There is one chair in the gallery so that the visitor can sit down and look through all the information at leisure and for as long or as short as they like. The focal point of this Plug In is Frank Stellas painting Tuxedo Junction, 1960.
Plug In #33 Igloo Nero is displaying Mario Merzs well-known work. The room where its shown has just been redone. The wall to the corridor has been removed, so that the function of the room is that of a square, an open space which is part of the museums circulation space. In contrast, the Igloo Neros black shape has the effect of shutting you out. It is also interesting that in 1997, Merz added a second, open igloo to the first, thus enhancing the works ambivalence. From this position, you can read the work as a statement questioning the accessibility of museums and art alike.
Plug In #34 Starting with Kandinskyhighlights the first major international acquisitions made in 1951 by then director Edy de Wilde and includes works by Braque, Picasso, Sluijters, and Zadkine. This Plug In episode is based on the question of what the year 1951 meant for Kandinskys painting Blick auf Murnau mit Kirche. In Plug In #35 Andre, Mondriaan, Ryman shows works paintings and spatial work in which geometric shapes and their repetition play a key role. Plug In #36 From a to b brings together works that figure movement. Assembled in response to the Van Abbemuseums purchase of I WENT by On Kawara, this episode comprises a series of twelve books covering a period of twelve years in which Kawara made a daily note of his journeys on a map. This work is on show for the first time.
New series of research publications - The Van Abbemuseum has launched its own series of research publications under the name VAMPR (Van Abbemuseum Public Research). These publications are the outcome of research into the history and ideology of the museum as a public institution and into original documents of key exhibition organisers and policy makers. Recently the first edition of this series was published, the book Notes from the Future of Art; Selected Writings by Jerzy Ludwiński. Parallel to the publication of this book, Magdalena Ziołkowska, guest curator and editor, has arranged Plug In #30 around the differences and similarities found in the visions of the museum of contemporary art in Eindhoven and in Wrocław, Poland, in the mid-1960s.
Viewing depot celebrates its first birthday - Plug In #18 Viewing Depot took off exactly one year ago. In it, the Van Abbemuseum exhibits artworks from its own collection at the request of visitors. The public can submit a request in writing or by email, provided it is accompanied by a written motivation of at least 50 words to support the choice. This motivation will be displayed along with the work in Plug In #18 Viewing Depot. To date, over 160 people have requested some 130 different artworks, which have been on display in a variety of compositions and settings so that different combinations are on view each week.