This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time

This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam

Rayyane Tabet, waiting for a manifestation, 2014.
© Rayyane Tabet.

September 26, 2014

This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time
September 13–November 9, 2014

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam Rozenstraat 59
The Netherlands

Kristina Benjocki, Sebastián Díaz Morales, Peter Fengler, Priscila Fernandes, Daniele Genadry, Walid Sadek, Rayyane Tabet, Esmé Valk, and Cynthia Zaven

Curators: Angela Harutyunyan and Nat Muller

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam presents This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time, a collaborative project with the American University of Beirut (AUB) Art Gallery, developed by curators Angela Harutyunyan and Nat Muller. The exhibition features newly commissioned works by nine artists based in Lebanon and the Netherlands. This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time is the second of four exhibitions in SMBA as part of the Stedelijk Museum’s Global Collaborations program. The show will travel to the AUB Art Gallery in March 2015.

This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time takes its cue from Laurie Anderson’s ominous 1982 song “From the Air.” Anderson’s song depicts a feeling of imminent disaster, characterized by a loss of control over our agency and positioning in the world. We seem to live in an era of acceleration, ever-expanding and dominating technology, and ongoing crises that are increasingly experienced on a global scale. While we can share our daily events to a degree that was not possible before, we seem to have less power over the course that the world is taking. Although we are constantly exposed to the various histories in the making, all the incessant news feeds, social media, and other recording devices might so overload us with information that we actually understand less of our current times. Events play out in real time at our fingertips, but does that really help shed light on our current condition? Angela Harutyunyan and Nat Muller suggest that we are in dire need of a reconsideration of how we experience and record our times. 

This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time activates different temporalities and calls on us to pause and reflect, if only for a moment. The artists investigate to what extent the recording mechanisms and material recordings of our lived times represent and influence our perception of temporality. The works engage with history, politics, form, social and individual narrative, and lived experience from a contemporary angle that looks into the past and at the present moment, and glances into the future. Rather than making sweeping generalizations or seeking truths, many works in the exhibition are personal and open-ended, hinting at the suggestion that “records of the time” are always partial, incomplete, and subjective. Take for example Rayyane Tabet’s site-specific durational intervention—for a week—where he covers the exhibition space in pencil tally marks. Or Kristina Benjocki’s reinterpretation and rematerialization of Yugoslav history by transforming excerpts of history books into woven carpets.

This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time will be accompanied by an SMBA Newsletter with an introduction by Angela Harutyunyan and Nat Muller. This newsletter is bilingual (Dutch/English) and available for free at the exhibition, and as a PDF on the SMBA website. An interview with curators Angela Harutyunyan and Nat Muller by Vincent van Velzen is published on the Global Collaborations blog, A comprehensive publication will be issued in 2015.

Public events
Thursday, October 30 and Friday, October 31, 2–5pm at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
“Sculpting in Time: Present Conditional”: a program curated by Rasha Salti screening films by Mahdi Fleifel, Sarah Francis, Ghassan Salhab, and Mohamed Soueid.

Saturday, November 1, 7pm–2am at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam
Museum Night in Amsterdam with performance-lecture PAPERWORK by Peter Fengler at 8pm at SMBA

Sunday, November 2, 1–6pm at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
“Housing Time: Museum, Memory and Momentum in Lebanon”: a symposium on Beirut’s relation to memory, history, collections, and museums old and new. With the participation of Zeina Arida (Sursock Museum), Octavian Esanu (AUB Galleries), Mona Hallak (Beit Beirut), and Kristine Khoury. Followed by The Night of Recounting the Years, a screening of the Egyptian classic The Mummy (1969) with live music by Sharif Sehnaoui and Raed Yassin.

Global Collaborations / This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time is generously supported by principal benefactors Stichting Ammodo and the Mondriaan Fund and made possible with additional support from The Arab Fund For Arts and Culture, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, CBK Rotterdam, STEIM, and Stichting Stokroos.

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Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam
September 26, 2014

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