outside Sparwasser HQ

January 12. - March 1. 2008
Smart Project Space Arie Biemondstraat 105-111, Amsterdam, www.smartprojectspace.net , tel:+31(0)204275951

the catalogue as pdf

photo documentation

I Know the World
Fucking Good Art, Tamar Guimaraes, J&K, Søren Lose, Tanja Nellemann Poulsen/ Grete Ågård, Danielle van Z
uijlen, curated by Lise Nellemann

3. Februar
Artists Talk/Diskussion in Smart Project Space:
J&K, Søren Lose, Tanja Nellemann Poulsen/ Grete Ågård, Danielle van Zuijlen, Amelia Pica, Cosmin Costinas, Yeb Wiersma (TransArtists), Lise Nellemann
(Sparwasser HQ)

‘I Know the World’ is a series of exhibitions and talks initiated by Sparwasser HQ in Berlin in 2007. The series focused on the issue of travel for artists and the way in which the works they create are influenced by experiences abroad. For SMART Project Space, Sparwasser HQ has developed a fourth exhibition and a day of talks. These particularly focus on works and artistic practices informed by encounters with another
local context, in most cases resulting from participation in international residencies. As
with previous editions, this exhibition is closely related to issues of internationalism, mobility and cultural politics, but especially aims to take a closer look at the art works themselves. The works are based on research, sensibility and insight gained by the artists on location and some include presumptions and personal artistic strategies which function as useful obstacles when encountering the host country (a foreign context).

Artist duo J&K bring forth ideas of the Orient framed by their own culture and mix them with what they actually observe and discover in their host country. The result is a work that brings to life a futuristic fiction where religions fuse and new world orders unfold before our eyes. The question is raised as to whether the artists produce a fantasy, a prediction, or a portrait of an existing hybrid world culture.

Søren Lose's work comments on the heritage of Danish culture by juxtaposing the classical icons of so called Danish national romanticism with his own photographs and found tourist snap-shots. The work also reflects on how a country succeeds in bringing home an international artist when he gains foreign recognition and questions how his work is inscribed into national art history, canonising not only the artist, but a genre.

Travelling in time/space stimulates Tamar Guimaraes’ work. Historical research provides narrative material, allowing representations of the past to reveal their connections with the ‘here and now’ – ghosts of long buried colonial times, the remnants of racism and national 'expansion' still haunting our present. Her work ‘Jan Leton and the Archive’ uses footage of an outdoor theatre play, re-enacting a historical situation in the dunes of North Denmark. Brazilian born Guimaraes’ research on a former slave, Jan Leton, is listed and performed, and as such the present is also experienced as dejŗvu.

Working with collective projects which aim to create a common space of remarks and expressions in an interdisciplinary manner, Tanja Nellemann Poulsen & Grete Aagaard challenge and debate current social and political issues. Today, please stay home! Please stay home today stay home stay home home home home is a quote from a digital running text display that is part of their installation ‘Set Up Tours ...’. With this work the artists take the dream of travelling into consideration. Not only is travelling traditionally seen as a tool for education, but it is also a privilege, something often equated with total
freedom. The artists express a critical voice towards these clicheťs of the travel and 'life style industry' images.

DaniŽlle van Zuijlen’s work represents 'hosting' as a model of research. She is currently finishing a five-year residency in the provincial Dutch town of Hoorn. In this kind of inverted residency, she stays in her ‘own’ country and hosts visitors from abroad. Within this rhizomatic international community she situates working relationships and facilitates circulation among the visiting artists, her own practise and the town as such. Her contribution to ‘I Know the World’ is a text about the inverted residency.

'Hosting' in a slightly different sense is also introduced by the artist duo Nienke Terpsma & Rob Hamelijnck. Through their participation in residencies the artists produced and published issues of the magazine 'Fucking Good Art' collaborating with artists in the host cities. In the case of the Copenhagen and Berlin, the issues also provide the cities themselves with an important source of information by offering a portrait of the activist art scene.