Hans van Houwelingen’s Until it stops resembling itself

Hans van Houwelingen’s Until it stops resembling itself

Stroom Den Haag

Spinoza and Thorbecke on their way to The Hague.
© Hans van Houwelingen.

September 2, 2011

Hans van Houwelingen
Until it stops resembling itself
Curator: Mihnea Mircan

4 September–11 December 2011

Saturday, 3 September, 8 pm–12 midnight (Museum Night The Hague) Hogewal 1-9
2514 HA The Hague
The Netherlands

Opening hours:
Wednesday to Sunday, 12 noon–5 pm

T +31-70 3658985
info [​at​] stroom.nl

Stroom Den Haag proudly presents a solo exhibition by Hans van Houwelingen, one of the leading contemporary artists explicitly engaged in the field of art and public space. His thought-provoking designs and proposals reflect a novel and critical view on the contemporary monument. Especially for the exhibition the statues of Spinoza, the famous philosopher, and of Thorbecke, the founding father of modern Dutch democracy, will temporarily leave their pedestals in The Hague and Amsterdam respectively, in order to meet each other at Stroom Den Haag. Within walking distance of the center of Dutch political power and under the watchful eyes of these liberal thinkers Van Houwelingen will address the way we think about art, public space and the power structures that impact both.

The exhibition ‘Until it stops resembling itself’ forms a diptych with a book on Van Houwelingen’s recent proposals, titled ‘Undone.’ One concern shared by these projects is an economy of the monumental genre, whereby the artist insists that new monuments need not be built, but that existing statues and markers can be rearranged in a new urban syntax and a new discursive configuration: as in a shifting, puzzle-like image of ourselves. Statues and tombstones dislodged and moved, filmed and broadcast in real time, engaged and re-imagined in a polyphony of critical voices—from these different perspectives, the exhibition comments on the impossibility of excising such works from the contexts for which they were designed. Yet it also functions as an invitation to reconsider the monument as a site for tense negotiation, for the making and unmaking of issues political or cultural, for the encounter between social actors and social ghosts.

The exhibition is curated by Mihnea Mircan, artistic director of Extra City – Kunsthal Antwerp. The publication is realized in collaboration with Extra City, which will also host an exhibition by Hans van Houwelingen together with Jonas Staal (18 November 2011–8 January 2012). The publication (published by Jap Sam Books and available from late October) will feature contributions by eminent authors such as Julia Bryan-Wilson, Mark Jarzombek, Brian Dillon, John Heijmans, Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield, Gerald Raunig, David Riff, Jonas Staal and Marina Vishmidt.

Stroom School:
 A side program of guided tours and discursive events will accompany the exhibition. The first guided tour—by Hans van Houwelingen and Mihnea Mircan—will take place on Sunday September 4 at 3 pm. 
For up-to-date information on other events please check: www.stroom.nl

The exhibition is made possible by:
City of The Hague, City of Amsterdam, Mondriaan Foundation, Extra City (Antwerp), Volendammer Vishandel J. Bootsman (Rotterdam), World Trade Center (Rotterdam), De Bijenkorf (Rotterdam), Jaap Karelse (The Hague), St. Ondernemers Rembrandtplein (Amsterdam), Hotel The Veteran (Amsterdam), Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen, Pro Acoustic (The Hague).

Hans van Houwelingen's Until it stops resembling itself
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Stroom Den Haag
September 2, 2011

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