This spring Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is staging two exhibitions abroad. From 16 February stanbul Modern is hosting ‘La La La Human Steps’, a large exhibition of works from the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, and from 1 March a selection of contemporary surrealist drawings will be on display in the Institut Néerlandais in Paris. Both exhibitions have been put together by director Sjarel Ex.
La La La Human Steps
16 February – 6 May 2012
Contemporary Surrealist Drawings from Rotterdam
Institut Néerlandais, Paris
1 March – 13 May 2012
The two institutions invited the museum to put together an exhibition from its own collection.
The exhibition in stanbul Modern is being staged as part of the celebrations of 400 years of diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey.
‘La La La Human Steps’ shows works by twenty-eight Dutch and foreign artists embracing the theme Human Encounters. Parisians are able to enjoy drawings by seventeen contemporary artists who work in the Surrealist tradition. Almost all the works in both exhibitions were collected by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in the last eight years.
La La La Human Steps
From 16 February Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presents an exhibition in Istanbul featuring works by artists who relate to the image of mankind historically, personally or socially. They focus on subjects like desire, curiosity, failure, despair, treachery and confrontation. Modern and contemporary art is featured, alongside old master paintings and prints, including a work by Joachim Patinir about Sodom and Gomorrah. The museum is exhibiting recently purchased work by Erik van Lieshout, John Bock, Andro Wekua, Guido van der Werve, Cyprien Gaillard and Aernout Mik, as well as unusual works by Bruce Nauman, Bas Jan Ader and Vito Acconci.
Human Encounters is an important subject in history and in art. ‘La La La Human Steps’ is put together to embrace this theme through three headings: Encounters in History, Personal Encounters and Public Encounters. Encounters in History shows the historical foundation and contains sixteenth-century fantasy prints by Turkish artists from the Ottoman Empire.
Personal Encounters covers a series of works in which mankind is confronted with his own ego and in which La Condition Humaine predominates. There is, for instance, a video work by Erik van Lieshout, in which he teaches English to a Chinese girlfriend and at the same time tries to seduce her. The same theme is found in a film by Vito Acconci, in which he tries to catch objects thrown to him while he is blindfolded. The confrontation between mankind and society in general is the third theme in Public Encounters. A good example in this section is the work by the French artist Cyprien Gaillard. In his film he shows how two groups of Russian hooligans fight each other in a kind of medieval battle. The epic work by Yang Fudong, which depicts the loneliness of the intellectual, is also on display in Istanbul.
A number of screens in the exhibition show film clips from the dance performance named ‘Amelia’, choreographed by the founder and the artistic director of the Canadian dance company ‘La La La Human Steps’ Édouard Lock. The name of this dance troupe, which is also the title of the exhibition, acts as a metaphor for the themes highlighted in the exhibition.
‘Amelia’ is a compilation of fourteen choreographies by Édouard Lock to music by Lou Reed, representing attraction and rejection, mutual understanding and misunderstanding, hope and despair.
Contemporary Surrealist Drawings in Paris
From 1 March, the Institut Néerlandais exhibits a selection of more than seventy contemporary drawings by seventeen artists from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection. Over the years the museum has built up an international collection with work by supreme draughtsmen like Ewoud van Rijn, Paul van der Eerden, Peter Feiler, Oscar de las Flores, Charles Avery, Paul Noble and Charlie Roberts – work that is the product of a specific or fantastic world view and in some cases can even be regarded as a form of automatic imagination. This surrealist quality predominates in the selection. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is continuing the tradition of collecting works by artists like Dalí, Magritte, Delvaux, Tanguy and Zurn.