Chapter 3HREE and a 1/2
This Is How We Move
Nine art academies, a hundred and seventy-five young artists, one exhibition. For the first time in history, recently graduated art academy students from all fine arts bachelor’s programmes in the Netherlands are presenting their work together.
ALL INN chooses collaboration over competition and collectivity over individualism. The initiative anticipates the uncertainty of an artistic career by offering young artists a broad introduction to the art world. This, on one hand, translates into a carefully constructed exhibition that highlights the dialogue between various works and current tendencies in the arts, and on the other hand, into an extensive public program curated by the young makers themselves.
ALL INN was initiated by nine Dutch bachelor’s degree programmes in fine arts, in collaboration with curator Rieke Vos. Het HEM is the generous innkeeper that welcomes ALL INN and its visitors and embraces them with warmth and care. The project has been made possible with the support of Mondriaan Fonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, NN Group and Stichting Stokroos.
Update: The initiative is not accessible to public. We invite everyone to experience ALL INN via the livestream, set up on this page as of Wednesday 31st of March until Sunday April 4. More information via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The livestream is part of the work I don’t think we have anymore Stream left. I’ll check with the kitchen. created by Sid Dankers & Mike Megens. They will explore the possibilities of a livestream within a new environment and context that was given to them. This new set invites the artists of ALL INN to participate in a collective live broadcast, through their own images, stories, characters, music, and language, thus creating a gesamtkunstwerk. In an evershifting hierarchy of roles and an undefined playing field they bring new work to the table.
Academy Minerva in Groningen, St. Joost School of Art & Design in Breda and Den Bosch, AKI ArtEZ University of the Arts in Enschede, Base for Experiment, Art and Research (BEAR), ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem, Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, HKU in Utrecht, Royal Academie of Art in The Hague, Maastricht Institute of Arts and Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam
Eady van Acker, Ingrid Adriaans, Emma Agterberg, Maria Akcay, Danielle Alhassid, Emiel Ambroos & Hans-Hannah, Django van Ardenne, Noah Arends, Megan Auður, Rosa Bakker, Madelief van de Beek, Romy Berends, Maya Berkhof, Celina Bermudez Vogensen, Jacob Bertilsson, Rakshita Bhargava, Merel van Bochove, Charlotte Bol, Eugenie Boon, Anouk Bouwens, Vladimir Bovt, Geertje Brandenburg, Attila Buonsenso, Shari Mona Cinzia, Sid Dankers & Mike Megens, Andrea Dautzenberg, Anna de Vriend, Indigo Deijmann, Erin Dekker, Cas van Deurssen, Boris Dieleman, Charlotte Dijkstra, Marten Drewes, Reinier van Duijn, Tatiana Duran Martinez, Gideon Eillert, Jesse van Epenhuijsen, Merel van Erpers Roijaards, Salima Essakkati el Musalima, Larissa Esvelt, Erlend Evensen, Anastina Eyjolfsdottir, Sietske Feenstra, Shardenia Felicia, Jesse Fischer, Benjamin Francis, Isabella Francis, Dave Fransz, Audrey Frijns, Yael Gabay, Kiana Girigorie, Max Glader, Nicky Goldsteen, Philipp Groubnov, Jim van den Heuvel, Clémence Hilaire, Liza Houben, Manon Jeuken, Matthijs Jeuring, Shimon Kamada, Nikki Kirpestein, Elisa Klabbers, Máté Kohout, Fenna Koot, Jakob Krinzinger, Krijn Kroes, Puck Kroon, Teun Krosenbrink, Tara-Eva Kuijpers Wentink, Zwaantje Kurpershoek, Karin Kytökangas, Tessa, Langeveld, Lasity Last, Emmie Liebregts, Isa van Lier, Tosja van Lieshout, Beatriz Luz, Lisa Maartense, Cassidy Maclear, Ahmad Mallah, Sophie Mastenbroek, Sarah McLacken, Kee van der Meer, Donata Meijer, Narges Mohammadi, Mike van Moolenbroek, Daan Mulder, Marianne Nannings, Kyra Nijskens, Mathilde Nobel, Kara Noble, Ratri Notosurdirdjo, Amel Omar & Paul Braspenning & Marit Biemans & Jetske van Dorp & Sofie Hollander & Malú van der Bijl, Eva Oomen, Nuno Orlando, Bas Oussoren, Giulietta Frieda Pastorino Verastegui, Vasiliki Pavlou, Marieke Peeters, Sachia Pereira-Stolle, Mitchel Peters, Kariem Philippa, Lore Pilzecker, Goretti Pombo, Elisabeth Praastink Wessels, Emma Priester, Gerke Procee, Karina Puuffin, Helia Rafie, Amber van Rangelrooij, Hannah Reede, Judith Reijnders, Eleonora Johanna Remmen, Falkona Rexhepi, Sophie-Charlotte Richardson, David Rietdijk, Seulbin Roh, Joris Roosen, J. Roussel, Karolina Rupp, Sona Sahakian, Lynn Salentijn, Astrid Sandbæk, Phillip Schmidt, Anne Schoemaker, Jeltje Schuurmans, Jacob Schwartz, Thijs Segers, Divyangi Shukla, Eva Sigurðardóttir, Vidya Sloots, Christina Stavrou, Famke Storms, Strategies of Relationality, Julie Ten Broek, Finn Theuws, Wanda Tiersma, Valter Tornberg, Nune Tounjikian, Myrthe Triepels, Ema Vanekova, Celina Veenendaal, Joost Vermeer, Jette Vogel, Simon Wagter, Jordanka Waiyaki, Janna van Welsem, Eva Van Wenum, Christy Westhovens, Luuk Willemen, Annemiek van der Wilt, Tim van Wijk, Noah van Wijk, WONNE, Klaudija Ylaite, María Yzaga, Rosa Maria Zangenberg, Quinn Zeljak, Nomin Zezegmaa, Tycho van Zomeren, Merel Zonneveld & Werner van der Zwan
Every other Wednesday-evening a team of 25 motivated graduates met digitally, tucked between daily chores and to-do lists for tomorrow they reflected on a looming question: how can we get a grip on our lives, our artistic practice, and our future?
Rosa Zangenberg made sketches to capture the atmosphere of the event. Puck Kroon wrote a report about this evening:
Cameras on, microphones muted. It is Wednesday 8 p.m., the 10th of March. Normally on Wednesday evening the organisation of ALL INN has a general meeting about the exhibition, but today the first talk of the public programme is planned. Surrounded by participants of ALL INN, artists Isabelle Andriessen and Maria Roosen were invited to talk about their practice, to answer pressing questions from the graduates and to tell anecdotes they experienced during their career in different generations.
The first question that pops up is about the definition of artist growth. Isabelle defines artist growth as artistic development: thinking and writing about why she wants to be an artist, what she wants to add to the discourse. It is an attempt to answer the following questions: What effect do I want to have on the viewer, what is it that I want to say or express? What is my voice and how is my work related to the work of other artists?
Maria tells about how different it was in the 80’s and 90’s to encounter other artists. “In the beginning I was really shy when I went to openings of exhibitions. It was not easy to become comfortable in these situations. My father always said when I went to a party: you have to come home when the party is at its highpoint. It is true: when you stay a bit longer in an artspace, it is easier to emerge a conversation with the exhibiting artists.” Isabelle also experienced this shyness. “You really need the guts to reach out to somebody you look up to. On the other hand, when you are really engaged with something and you need help to get something done, people are very willing to help. Through the process of getting into a world you don’t know yet, you learn how to speak the language to communicate what you would like to investigate.”
About the process of being an artist, there is a lot to say. Isabelle: “Going to the Rijksakademie or follow a masters abroad, is no ticket to a successful career. A CV is important, but your intrinsic abilities and motivation are more important. It could be helpful to look at careers of other artists that you feel related to, to set out a fictional structure for your own development.” Maria says it is different for every artist and emphasises: "follow your own path."
The expectations of institutions are there and curators have their own agendas. But according to Isabelle, any other expectation would be easier than her own. Maria trusts her gallerist Fons Welters and takes his ideas as an advice. She tells about the possibilities to stay in a museum 24/7 in the 90’s. Isabelle laughs: “Nowadays that is impossible, because of fire safety and insurances. There is always a level of compromise - financial, security wise or whatever.” But still, those initiatives are important to keep the art world alive and surprising, especially as young artists. Maria: “Make your own exhibitions in your living room or outside, get people curious about what you are doing. You can’t wait for museums or gallerists to find you.”
The process while working with glass is for Maria more interesting than the end result. She shares how she is always part of the process, guides the glass blower during the change in behaving of the material from fluid till the shape she has in mind, although the final product is always different than her initial idea. Isabelle works with unstable media, which is a challenge to work with. Her work mostly consists of an institutional critique. Do performative works decrease or increase value because of the experience that could be missed? Both in public as in private collections, it demands a different form of attention.
Performance is slowly better understood, but there is more concentration needed than for sculpture: her work comes with a script, instructions and materials to install. “While I was exhibiting in the Stedelijk Museum, there were a lot of conversations about the toxic-ness of the work and therefore the performative element can be overlooked. I want to push something within the art institute and try to find the liminal space between performance and sculpture, so I need this friction. Making exhibitions is sometimes more about practicality than about content.” And what keeps you going? Why do you do what you do? Maria wants to get grip on the abstract things of life, like death. “While mourning, creating art gives you something to survive: how you connect to things and how can you shape your solitude. I try to translate these questions into the material I use: glass or wood for example. The choice of material depends on the feeling of what I want to express in an artwork.” Isabelle has a utopian work in mind, not in a concrete way but she senses it. “Composed synthetic, non-living material that still acts like an entity which has an agency of its own. The failure keeps me going.”
Talking business with museum directors Ann Demeester (Frans Hals Museum) and Rein Wolfs (Stedelijk Museum). Our second talk of the public programme starts different than expected: Ann Demeester didn’t show up and also Rieke couldn’t reach her. So, Rein Wolfs will have the complete attention of everybody in the virtual Zoom room. Rosa Zangenberg en Beatriz Luz are moderating this talk, keeping an eye on the questions participants sent in and guiding the conversation.
The goal to reach a museum and end up in a big solo exhibition will probably take many years; it seems quite incomprehensible and impossible. How to choose the ‘right’ artists for exhibitions in the Stedelijk Museum? How do we, as young artists, come into a museum? What could be the role of a museum in society and in the future? As the average age of the participating artists of ALL INN lies around 25, it is interesting to know what Rein did when he was that age. “In the 80s, I was still studying while it was possible to do it slower than nowadays. I finished two years later. During my study, I went often to the library of the Stedelijk Museum. I knew it was a place I wanted to come back after some time, so the ambition was already there.”
This ambition to become museum director grew over the years and was nourished by collaborating with young artists as soon as Rein had the possibility, even during his study Modern and Contemporary Art History in Amsterdam. “Modern art really differs from contemporary art. How can we be critical on the modern with the contemporary eye?” Throughout the conversation, Rein emphasises the necessity of a museum to engage with society and the city. There is a lot of work to do, for example in collecting artworks from artists with non- European or non-North American backgrounds to help reduce the gap for minorities and underrepresented groups. Although it is impossible to fix a gap of 125 years of collecting art, the Stedelijk Museum is actively trying to buy more works from female artists and artists of colour. “I would like to see that the museum becomes more relevant. Not only for peers, but also for people who are not yet represented within the context of the museum. We need to expand the scope, we need a strong humus to build upon. We will always stay an international museum, but we need to think about locals and the local routing. There is no aesthetic question on the outside and an ethical question on the inside. We can’t be only l’art pour l’art anymore, we want to be different because of concurrence that comes out of everywhere. I want the Stedelijk Museum to become a museum that it is build on local community and has an international output.”
Rein is expecting the Stedelijk Museum to be still existing in the future because of the amount of the heritage within the collection. Collection based institutions are more future resistant than institutions without a collection, but nobody knows what is going to happen tomorrow. “I have the feeling that content will change within the change of society: there will be different topics addressed. As a museum, we need to reflect on these topics. I still think that the actually artwork - the original - will be something people want to see and therefore we need to be very flexible. Museums come from a history to take care of unique artworks, but the museum is still too slow I must say. I hope museums can get faster.”
“Don’t hesitate to be your own curator sometimes.” This sentences pops up now and then during the conversation. As museums are very layered, complex organisations, young artists need to be aware of trying to understand this institutions step by step. The art world is like a huge chain and when becoming part of that chain, you can make a difference. There is no recipe of approaching museums or galleries, for example both institutions send representatives to visit graduation shows to scout artists and their works. “Why do our curators or me choose a particular artist for an exhibition? It is a difficult question to answer; it is about gut feeling, about using your senses and finding intelligence within an art work. And of course: could the work fit in the exhibition?”
“Art is not easy, but that complexity is beautiful in the end. Being an art historian, you put a lot of effort into your study for seeing the enigma. The arts are a tough field, because you have to find your own position as artist or as curator. As young artist you have to be active in finding a way and a place to show your work: hard work becomes successful work. Try to think as an artist- curator. Being a curator is not that difficult - take it in your own hands!”
Joke Hoeven (Head of Communication) and Rieke Vos (Curator) reflect on a challenging and joy-filled year leading up the realisation of ALL INN.
was it utopian and naive to think that we could host an exhibition with 175 artists in November? We even wanted to call it an ‘INN,’ an unpretentious meeting place, a refuge for stranded travellers in the art world. At the time it was impossible to predict the future, and the ways in which gathering would be compromised, so when reality hit we had to accept it.
ALL INN hinges on in-person gatherings. It was initiated out of a need to organise as one, for a generation of artists who saw their graduation go up in smoke. If they didn’t already feel doubt about the prospects of life as an artist, then that uncertainty would now surely grab them by the throat. ALL INN offered a space to cope with this. Those who wanted to, could become an essential part of a larger whole. Together we developed a project of a scale and scope unfeasible for anyone working alone, and it was in this collaborative pro- cess that we found a powerful remedy for dealing with the unknown. Every other Wednesday-evening a team of 25 motivated graduates met digitally, tucked between daily chores and to-do lists for tomorrow they reflected on a looming question: how can we get a grip on our lives, our artistic practice, and our future?
As our work progressed, the world around us changed at rapid speed. In addition to the simmering reality of the pandemic, there was also a growing call for more justice and equality in society, as established institutions were called into question, and their internalised systems of sexism and racism put on display, also – and perhaps especially – in the arts. This actuality was a reason to share experiences and consider our collective position. Rather than translating this into a statement or programme, it resulted in an attitude; a way of communicating and making space for one another, to support each other’s ideas and initiatives and create a sense of interconnectedness as a solid base for change; a space where mutual learning and joy flourished.
‘To solve questions with action,’ this is how one of the graduates in the organisation described ALL INN’s trajectory. Despite having to postpone the event twice, we made the realisation of the physical exhibition our priority, because we knew how invaluable the experience of pre- senting work at a location like Het HEM is for the young artists participating. Our initial public programme consisting of conversations with professionals in the arts, was reshaped into a series of ZOOM-meetings in which the 2020-graduates could enter into a dialogue with experienced artists, museum directors, art activists and curators about everything they always wanted to know but never dared to ask. In the ‘Monologue INNtérieur,’ hosted on our Instagram channel @all_ inn_graduates (and throughout the pages of this book), participants shared personal reflections, insecurities and frustrations about a difficult year, as well as their ambitions to use their artistic vision to create something valuable. And lastly, we made this publication that immortalises the ‘forgotten’ graduates of 2020 in print.
2020-graduates Beatriz Luz (1998, São Paulo - Academy Minerva) and Gideon Eillert (1993, Enschede - AKI ArtEZ Enschede) meet each other digitally across the Atlantic Ocean and disclose how the past twelve months have been for them.
G How was your year?
B Interesting above all, it brought a shift in dynamics for the entire world. A disruption in a way, which was scary at first, to accept new routines, and challenging for me and my art-making. Looking back, last year taught me to welcome time into my artistic path. To take time to reflect, to make, to see different opportunities and understand where I want to walk towards, to understand that being an artist is a long-run project.
G: How have able you been to keep your practice going? And how did time affect that?
B: So, I think now, my practice is about getting more involved - with certain causes, dialogues, colors. I am more present, I have a bigger sense of care and a slower pace. A type of intimacy, I haven't experienced before, grew in me.
G: And what has ALL INN been to you?
B: Well, ALL INN was a game-changer, not only in my practice but in my vision about art education. It has brought me a beautiful opportunity to engage and connect with students and teachers from other academies, that I never really had before. I have been learning so much, not only in a practical sense of how to build an exhibition, how to talk to other artists and how to manage and frame a big concept, but also in the way one exchanges stories and realities. Of course, it wasn’t only good times, it introduced me first-hand to the frustrations practitioners in the art field face when creating/building a project: postponements, funding, miscommunications; And therefore, it has been a precious and on-going lesson. I hope it's clear that our intention is not only remembered as an exhibition, but for our willingness to transform reality together. I foresee ALL INN expanding after this year.
B: Tell me, how was your year?
G: Of course it has been a very strange year. It was all going very well with my studies at the academy and then the pandemic happened and everything stopped. This of course happened to everybody at the time. Luckily I managed to get some space to work from home and keep my process going. There was no final exhibition at the AKI in Enschede which was also quite disappointing. But I have been able to get a job and a studio after graduation and keep the work alive. This has kept me hanging on while all exhibitions and other types of events were not possible. Keeping the artwork going has always been the most important thing for me. Currently, I am trying to apply for master and residency programs, trying to make sure I have a next chapter after this, but for now, it is just waiting. And then there's ALL INN of course.
B: How was it to be part of ALL INN? What has the project brought you?
G: I feel ALL INN has already helped me quite a bit. It has given me a perspective, and a way to work in the outside world. I was very active at the academy and when the pandemic started I was mostly struggling with being completely disconnected from everything all of a sudden. So ALL INN has been the thing reconnecting me to the world. Going to Het HEM and making the curatorial set-up, meeting with the people in the team, taking care of tasks and feeling useful for this project. I am really hoping for the best for this exhibition and I hope it will be successful despite the circumstances.
Over the course of a one-hour Teams call, course leaders Marleen Hartjes (Maastricht Institute of Arts) and Frank Koolen (HKU) share their experiences of the past year. The burning question: under what conditions are artists able to work whilst facing the current circumstances? We fall into the middle of their conversation …
M: What this moment teaches us is the importance of flexibility, and the need to take agency over your life and artistic practice. It doesn’t make sense to wait for things to change, we have to be pro-active, have a plan B or C. It’s not always up to you to make Plan A happen, a physical exhibition with an audience in times of Corona … Having a sense of agency can be a positive driving force, rather than stand-by mode, it allows you to seek out new opportunities. It shows you have a choice. When you develop a studio practice, you also foster an intrinsic drive to make your work; you act, think and make in a specific way. If, as a result of a lockdown, this studio practice comes to a standstill, your driving force, your engine may break down. That makes sense, people need a moment to recalibrate. But I hope people can find ways to start up their spare engine when this happens. Especially because this engine is already inside of you, you don’t need your studio for it to work.
F: I recognise that. A focal point of many recent conversations has been; ‘what can we still do now’ in the grand scheme of art it’s a good conversation to have, and you can use it to think about your own future flexibility. What is possible when you struggle financially? What is possible when you don’t feel good? What is possible when you miss out on a stipend, masters program, or residency. It’s important. It’s a question of resilience and finding opportunities when nothing seems to go your way. In addition to this, I see a move within the academy to focus on the social aspect we are missing so much at the moment. A strong solidarity started taking shape amongst the students last year, I recognise that also with the artists of ALL INN. Yes, everyone is focused on the individual question; ‘what can I still do now?’ but this question is almost immediately translated into a collective one; ‘what can we still do?’ We may have the ability to do things alone, but we’d rather do it together. At the heart of creativity lies the ability to find the next step, no matter the circumstances.
M: We’ve been talking about the mechanisms of the art world, how impenetrable they seem for those who are new to it, or who are looking at it from the outside. Perhaps, in this time, and specifically through ALL INN, we have an opportunity for a reset. I hope we find ways to make connections based on shared mentalities. An artist collective that moves beyond a focus on its peers, the academy or the region.
F: This is something you can really recognise in this group of artists who have been working for ALL INN for almost a year now. They want to work collaboratively because they enjoy it, but also because they missed out on this until now. Not just because they want to kickstart their artistic career, but because they want to manifest this collectively, as a way to make a fist against the slippery nature of this pandemic. They show that they can move beyond misery and don’t have to be a victim of the current situation, but instead are able to ride the wave.
M: And I think that’s what’s been making these meetings fun. We always have to relate to reality, students always need to focus on the broader perspective when working on their art. At the same time we need to remain critical towards this reality. And due to the fact that some of the major questions of our time also found their way into art, such as #METOO, social media, the digital aspects of art, more critical landscapes are added rather than dissolving or disappearing. Our work as artists and academies becomes more complex, but richer at the same time, the impact is growing.
F: The range of possible conversations grows and it feeds into the continuous conversation you have with yourself and others, we need to keep stimulating this. Embrace the discomfort and our search within it.
M: Maybe that’s at the core of all this. Maybe the conversation is sometimes more important than the work. And the work is stronger when you engage in that conversation. Everyone knows the flight or fight response in moments of discomfort. If you choose to flee you’ll miss the opportunity for growth because you’re not engaging in the encounter or conversation. In the many conversations I had, for example about Kunstpodium T, we always came back to meeting and conversation as the most important aspect and base for a strong network; but meeting without being forced to meet. The fact that you don’t have to meet one another, but rather, what is the opposite of ‘having to’?
M: Haha, yes! That you want one another. We solved it! That we want to with each other. And that we want to in general!