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'If I Can't Dance...' to Take Over the Van Abbemuseum for Eighteen Hours

EINDHOVEN.- The entire evening, night and morning of Friday 19 March to Saturday 20 March, the Van Abbemuseum’s directors are transferring the museum’s management to the international If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution platform. The From Dusk Till Dawn event takes place in the ‘Oudbouw’ of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. From Dusk Till Dawn is taking Masquerade as its theme and includes an exhibition, a performance programme and a series of lectures by twenty internationally renowned artists and thinkers, including Keren Cytter, Suchan Kinoshita, Joachim Koester, Peggy Phelan, and Lars Bang Larsen. If I Can’t Dance is the closing act of Part 1 of Play Van Abbe, a programme that started November 2009 and last for a total of 18 months.

From 9 March 2010, If I Can’t Dance will be present at the Van Abbemuseum and the visit will culminate in the performance event From Dusk Till Dawn from 19 to 20 March. The ‘intervention’ in the Van Abbemuseum is the grand finale of the project entitled Edition III – Masquerade. If I Can’t Dance want to use it to investigate together with artists and philosophers how the individual is regarded in our current day and age. We are living in an era that has seen the revival of the cult of the individual. But where does that take us if we wish to account for the ‘other’ and want to exercise influence on the world we live in?

In works that are primarily new, the artists present their views with regard to paradigms such as power relations, gender, the subconscious and transformation, making use of principles like ritual, role-play, mimicry and imitation.

From Dusk Till Dawn presents the ‘topsy-turvy world’ in the fine tradition of carnival. The Van Abbemuseum will be activated as a ‘stage’: the stately museum galleries will provide the backdrop for a diversity of performances. Visitors will be encouraged to participate actively, to step into a new museological world. Because the programme runs from sunset to sunrise, the perception and experience of the museum will also be completely different: bright daylight will turn to twilight and darkness, making an appeal to all the senses.

Interruption Play Van Abbe
From Dusk Till Dawn temporarily interrupts the exhibitions regime of Play Van Abbe. Part 1 of Play Van Abbe, The Game and the Players, tests and questions the roles of all those in the museum from the director and curator to the artists and the audience. The theme Masquerade directly plays on the idea of who is playing what role and why and asks of the audience to participate and to occupy the museum in a completely different way over the period of the project.

The Van Abbemuseum’s director, Charles Esche, regards the performances and lectures as a welcome, temporary interruption of the first part of the Play Van Abbe
programme. He hopes that From Dusk Till Dawn will “critically question the museum and investigate how an institution can function more performatively.” This radically different way of handling a museum is wholly in line with the intentions of From Dusk Till Dawn. “I take over the directorship temporarily and consider that as a wonderful opportunity to make our Masquerade theme concrete,” says initiator Frédérique Bergholtz. “All those present will be actively participating in this.”

Variable programme
The visitors will be presented with a new programme component every hour. One example is Detournement, in which Suchan Kinoshita produces performances with people who lead a public life and also play a ‘role’ in that sphere, such as actors, lawyers and directors. She challenges these figures to step outside their everyday roles and allow themselves to be ‘misused’ by the situation which unfolds on the stage.

One of the performances is taking place at Plaza Futura, a theatre close to the museum, where on Friday evening at 20.30 and 22.30 the artist Keren Cytter presents The True Story of John Webber and his Endless Struggle with
the Table of Content, a performance that has already caused a furore in New York, Berlin and London, where it was staged in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.
For further information and programme details: or

Van Abbemuseum | Keren Cytter | Suchan Kinoshita | Joachim Koester | 'If I Can't Dance...' |

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