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Van Abbemuseum Welcomes Visitors to Experience the Museum on Transformation Mode
Alexander Dorner & El Lissitzky, Kabinett der Abstrakten, Halle für Kunst Lüneburg 2009. Collection of the Museum of American Art, Berlin. Photo: Julian Boy, Hamburg.

EINDHOVEN.- From Tuesday 9 March until Friday 9 April 2010, the entire Van Abbemuseum is on the move, bustling with installation activity and preparations for the change from Part 1 to Part 2 of the exhibition programme "Play Van Abbe". During Transition visitors can experience the museum on its transformation mode and are invited to take part in special behind-the-scenes tours. By joining Transition visitors can experience the museum via backstage corridors, exchange views with artists, the conservators and technical crew-members while closely observing installation processes.

Transition functions as a bridge between the different parts of "Play Van Abbe", the 18 month long central programme of the Van Abbemuseum that started on 28 November 2009. "Play Van Abbe" is comprised out of four parts, accompanied by three transition-periods (Transition I, II, III).

During "Play Van Abbe" the museum changes the rules. An installation period no longer means closed doors and disappointment, it is fun, interesting and surprising.

'Transition I', between Part 1 and 2 of "Play Van Abbe", gives the visitor an opportunity to take part in the action and experience the Van Abbemuseum inside-out.

Visitors will get a broader view on the museum because they will now see the people, places and activities which, though commonly hidden from the public, are an inseparable part of the museum.

During 'Transition' the museum gives ‘the stage’ to technicians, conservators and security guards while offering the public an active role in the professional process.

(De-)installation up close
Visitors are welcomed into the galleries while under construction for the next exhibition. In these halls, which are normally closed to the public, visitors will find special information stands featuring details about previous and future exhibition as well as stories - short movies and texts- which reveal the different views that museum employees, together with artists and guests, have on handling and installing art.

For more installation insights visitors are invited to join the free, daily 2 o’clock tour where they can hear more details from the guides.

Special tours
During Transition the museum offers special behind-thescenes tours. Visitors will be exposed to the bustling activity in the ’museum kitchens’– archive, depot, transport, workshop and offices. Each Transition tour will focus on a different aspect of the museum activity:

• ‘Installations tour’ - Visit the museum workshop and the different installation halls to find out more about processes and techniques of art installing. Tour by Theo Wajon, Head of Technical Services.

• ‘The museum behind the scenes, transporting and conserving art ‘– Discover how the museum transports its artworks and it keep its collection in good condition for years and years. A tour by Louis Baltussen, Head of Conservation and Bettine Verkuijlen, Registrar.

• ‘Research Library and Archive’– Explore the library depot and examine the special books, posters and documents and their stories. Tour by Willem Smit, Senior Librarian and Archivist.

• ‘Climbing the Van Abbemuseum Towers’– Find out more about the special architecture of the museum, walk on the ceilings and discover the hidden passages in a tour by Architects from Eindhoven.

The 18 month program Play Van Abbe takes its collection as a central focus point and tries to find answers to questions like “What is the role of an art museum in the 21st century?”. The program exists of exhibitions, projects, performances, lectures, discussions and new ways to make critical reflection by the public on the relationship between art and society possible.

The first part, The Game and the Players, started on Saturday November 28, 2009, and can be visited until March 2010. In this part the museum focused on the stories of artists and exhibition makers.

Part 2 of Play Van Abbe will focus around the theme Timemachines. This part will look at historical museum models. How does a museum tell a story by means of presentation techniques, and which assumptions lie behind it?

Van Abbemuseum | "Play Van Abbe" | 'Transition' |

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