The Demon of Comparisons

28 Mar - 17 May 2009

A project by Electric Palm Tree

28 March - 17 May 2009
Opening: Friday 27 March 2009, 17:00 hrs at SMBA

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam presents the exhibition 'The Demon of Comparisons'. The opening on Friday 27 March 2009 at 17:00 till 19:00 hrs is accompanied by the lecture-performance Finders Keepers by Jeuno Kim.

With: Heman Chong, Hafiz, Beom Kim, Sung Hwan Kim, Tibor Hajas, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Tadasu Takamine, and with special contributions by Philippe Rekacewicz and Grace Samboh.

Curated by Kyongfa Che and Binna Choi in collaboration with Cosmin Costinas. Exhibition design in collaboration with Susanne Pietsch.

'The Demon of Comparisons' is an association of subjective positions relating in various ways to larger social and political frameworks, to power and cultural constructions. Persisting on the issue of individual agency in a landscape defined by questions of national and cultural identities, 'The Demon of Comparisons' questions the kind of collectivity these subjects can form.
The title is a translation of a phrase from Jose Rizal's novel Noli Me Tangere, "el demonio de las comparaciones", used by Benedict Anderson as the title of his book, under the rendering of The Specter of Comparisons. An original and insightful thinker, Benedict Anderson questioned the patterns and the meeting points that are to be found throughout geographies, times and power structures that lead to formations of identities and various senses of belonging. Our translation remains anchored in this area of interest, but wishes to add the potential of the polisemy, indeed the spectres, of the original Spanish word, 'demonio', in dealing with the subjectivity of one's experience of culture and power.
'The Demon of Comparisons' grew out of the exchanges and discussions during the 'Open Circuit #1: Yogyakarta', organized by Electric Palm Tree in September 2008 in Indonesia. During the week-long workshop, participants shared and negotiated their experiences and vocabularies of social transformation from their respective backgrounds.
The exhibition is in a dialogue with 'The Antagonistic Link' running at Casco, Utrecht throughout the same period. The opening takes place on Saturday 28 March 2009 at 17:00 hrs, accompanied by a first staging of Ongoing propositions under different conditions by Sönke Hallmann & Achim Lengerer.
Electric Palm Tree is initiated by Kyongfa Che and Binna Choi, joined by Cosmin Costinas, and established in the beginning of 2008 as an ongoing project for transnational artistic research. More information about Electric Palm Tree is available at

'The Demon of Comparisons' and other Electric Palm Tree activities in the period 2008-2009 are made possible by the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, in the framework of ?Intendant Culturele Diversiteit?. Additional financial support is made by Arts Council Korea and Prince Claus Fund.

Tags: Heman Chong, Tibor Hajas, Sung Hwan Kim, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Sung, Tadasu Takamine