December 14, 2005 - W139 - GLOBAL TOUR: Art, Travel & Beyond.
December 14, 2005

GLOBAL TOUR: Art, Travel & Beyond.

GLOBAL TOUR: Art, Travel & Beyond
17 December 2005 - 22 January 2006


Opening: 16 December 2005, 9 p.m.

W139 is located at a short walk from Central Station in the basement of the Post CS building (Stedelijk Museum), Oosterdokskade 5, 1011 AD Amsterdam.

Participating artists:
Renaud Auguste-Dormeuil, Boris Achour, Zeigam Azizov, Alberto Baraya, Davide Balula, Otto Berchem, Jordi Bernado, Candice Breitz, Mircea Cantor, Jota Castro, Coco Fusco, Meschac Gaba, Gerald, Hong Hao, IAT, Martin Krenn, Oliver Ressler, Paula Roush, Manit Sriwancihpoom, Nika Spalinger.

Through its progressive development over the last two centuries, tourism has made a major contribution to our illusion of the world as a global village. Destined to become the most important industry worldwide in the near future, it can be seen as an important metaphor of current cultural globalisation, as well as an extremely suitable area for developing critical approaches to the socio-economic mutations taking place across the globe. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that many artists today are employing the language of tourism in their work, continuing an interest in tourism that has developed over the last couple of decades but working along different lines than the traditional approach.

The Global Tour project, initiated and conceptualised by French curator Amiel Grumberg (1980-2004) brings together the work of twenty international artists who have each developed specific projects around the issues of travel and tourism, their many manifestations and their consequences for contemporary society. Launched in 2003, the project consists of an exhibition and a series of artistic actions designed to establish a dialogue between the art space and its immediate tourist environment.

For more than two decades, before moving to its temporary location in the Post CS building, W139 was located in the epicentre of the Amsterdam Red Light District; the Warmoesstraat. This street lies near De Wallen, the historic prostitution district that in recent decades has been transformed into a busy and harmless recreation zone for international visitors. As cultural commentator Trevor Davies pointed out in a report written in 1999, the image of Amsterdam as the Pleasure Capital par excellence tends to dominate and block alternative images, counter images and the creation of new images. When images become too strong, reality may take the passenger seat. In Davies opinion, Amsterdam is subject to gradual Disneyfication. It is being turned into a kind of theme park where activities and events are orchestrated and staged in order to please (foreign) visitors who never experience the actual reality of the city. The areas ambiguous nature and the bi-polarity of the Amsterdams public image led the late Amiel Grumberg to propose his project Global Tour to W139.

The exhibition GLOBAL TOUR: Art, Travel & Beyond will be accompanied by a 174-page full-colour catalogue. The book was designed by Mircea Cantor and includes texts by Marc Auge, Zeigam Azizov, Ann Demeester and Laurence Perrillat, Amiel Grumberg, Nelson Guerreiro, Oliver Lamm, Anita Pleumarom, Igor Spanjol and Stefan Tiron, as well as contributions by artists Carlos Garaicoa and Dan Perjovschi. The catalogue can be ordered by sending an e-mail to

Global Tour will run in W139 until January 22nd, 2006. Opening hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m. W139 will be closed on the December 25th, 2005 and January 1st, 2006. Throughout this period, one can also view an installation by designer Annelys de Vet. W139 is located at a short walk from Central Station in the basement of the Post CS building (Stedelijk Museum), Oosterdokskade 5, 1011 AD Amsterdam. For more information, please call 31 20 622 94 34, send an e-mail to or check our website
Global Tour is generously supported by:
Aeroplastics contemporary- Bruxelles, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, l’AFAA-Association Française d’Action Artisique, Courtyard Galley-Beijing, Stichting DOEN, Galerie Vu -Paris, Gemeente Amsterdam, Institut Francais des Pays – Bas (Antenne de la Haye), Marlan Lichtreclame b.v., Lloyd Hotel- Amsterdam, Galerie Lumen Travo-Amsterdam, Maison Descartes, Ministerie van OCW, Mondriaan Stichting, Société Novale Paris, Stichting Cultuurfonds van de Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten, Thonik, VSBfonds.

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