In the Presence of Absence
Proposals for the Museums Collection
05 Sep 2020 - 31 Jan 2021
Spanning more than 14 rooms and work by 23 artists and artist collectives, the interdisciplinary exhibition In the Presence of Absence presents a selection of (counter) narratives that challenge fixed ideas about our society and question how history is written. When not addressed by organizations such as schools, libraries, archives, and museums, the absence of these stories forms knowledge gaps within the public debates that shape our collective consciousness and memory.
The selected projects include personal, intimate subjects as well as large socio-historical topics. Handwritten letters, for example, address an intangible concept such as elegance in an installation by Evelyn Taocheng Wang. Topics including migration, transition and memory are brought to our attention in the drawings by Sadik Alfraji, among others. Also included in the exhibition are archive materials, script, imagery and spoken word as forms to bring stories and histories to the fore. For example, on the basis of archival material concerning Srebrenica released to her, Anna Dasović critically re-examines the way the Royal Netherlands Army trained soldiers via roleplay to perform an image of themselves and respond to “the other”, whereas Natasja Kensmil’s painting installation adapts the classic archetype image of a prominent marriage in the 17th century into a contemporary critical portrait about power relations and wealth.
The title of the exhibition is inspired by the title of the last book written by the poet Mahmoud Darwish. In the context of this exhibition, “the presence of absence" explores how stories function and resonate within a society.
The selected artists for In the Presence of Absence are:
Sadik Alfraji / Leonardiansyah Allenda / Kristina Benjocki / Kasper Bosmans / Rowena Buur / Anna Dasović / Timo Demollin / Quinsy Gario in collaboration with Mina Ouaouirst / Inas Halabi / Remy Jungerman / Natasja Kensmil / Sarah van Lamsweerde in collaboration with Leroy de Böck and Alicia Hoost / DOMINIQUE (Dominique Latoel) / Wendelien van Oldenborgh / Ahmet Öğüt / Our Polite Society / Pieter Paul Pothoven / Farida Sedoc / Ghita Skali / Evelyn Taocheng Wang / Jennifer Tee / Gilleam Trapenberg / Werker Collective
Curators: Britte Sloothaak & Fadwa Naamna