September 17, 2017 - Van Abbemuseum - Research programme: Deviant Practice
September 17, 2017

Van Abbemuseum

Installing Brook Andrew, Ahy-kon-uh-klas-tic, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2017.

Research programme: Deviant Practice
Call for proposals, 2018

Application deadline: November 17, 2017
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In 2016 the Van Abbemuseum launched the research programme Deviant Practice. Following the conclusion of nine research projects over the past year, we are seeking new proposals from artists, curators and writers for 2018. Researchers will be awarded a grant of 2,000–10,000 EUR depending on the project for a mutually agreed period of work in and with the museum.

About the research programme: Deviant Practice
We understand deviance as veering off the entrenched path. For the modern art museum such as Van Abbemuseum these paths emerged from the west’s understanding of itself and by inference its relationship to others. Deviance therefore necessarily involves challenging long-held institutional, racial, geo- and bio-political assumptions. We understand the prefix "de" in deviance in relation to notions of demodernising, decolonising, deprivileging or decentralising—key strategies we hope to continue to explore. We also understand deviance as an opportunity to reflect on the manner in which we approach our own practices and protocols: questioning past suppositions, hierarchies and modes of working might be one way to institute deviance. At the same time, deviance should also concern itself with how we find paths through the present and towards the future.

We ask applicants to consider two research frameworks:

1. Archives: The Van Abbemuseum understands the archive as encompassing the collection of art works, the library’s collection and the museum’s paper archives. Within the museum it plays a central role in the formation, categorization and preservation of histories. As such, it is a contested site and needs to be continually interrogated. We are seeking proposals that challenge the role, status and use of the archive and the narratives it can produce.

2. Constituencies: We feel that today, more than ever, a museum cannot define its subjects. It needs to understand them and form joint positions with them. We wish to further our understanding of how to work with and through constituencies both locally and internationally. We are seeking proposals that address the museum’s ongoing engagement with its existing constituent groups with whom we will connect you, as well as with new groups.

About the grant
Researchers will be given open access to the museum archives and networks to be negotiated on an individual basis. They are expected to present an internal seminar for museum colleagues at the start of their research and a public paper for publication within the Van Abbe and/or L’Internationale digital platforms in early 2019. Other possibilities such as exhibition or further publication can be discussed. Residency in Eindhoven is not expected and researchers will able to make use of the museum’s free accommodation on their visits, depending on availability. Limited travel costs may be covered within the total grant. Researchers will work with an interlocutor at the museum from either the curatorial, mediation, library or collection departments.

Research proposals
Our principle criterion is to allow new knowledge and methodologies to enter the museum. We therefore seek proposals that challenge our expectations. We invite researchers to consider the following resources and areas:

Archives: Arte Útil, LS Collection, René Daniëls, Van Abbemuseum’s institutional, exhibition and collection archives. For the latter, knowledge of the Dutch language is a strong advantage.

Van Abbe Networks: Agents of Change, Queering the Collection, L’Internationale Museum Confederation, Special Guests.

Additionally, we will offer one research fellowship for a candidate with interest and expertise in the structuring of archives to work with us on developing and systematizing the Gate Foundation archive.

Deadline: Proposals should be sent to opencall [​at​] by the November 17, 2017.

Please send proposals in PDF format, including: 
–Project description (maximum 750 words)
–Biography (maximum 150 words)
Images may be embedded in the PDF but should not be sent as separate files.
Files should be labeled: Deviant Practice_YOURNAME.

Deviant Practice 2016–17
Descriptions of current research projects can be viewed here. The researchers will present their projects at the Van Abbemuseum on September 21. The one day symposium "Deviant Researching" is part of the three day event Demodernising the Collection: Opening Weekend.

Papers will be published in an e-publication, released early 2018.

The research programme Deviant Practice 2018–19 programme is sponsored by Mondriaan Fund.

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