Within the context of this year's ARCOmadrid programme FOCUS: the Netherlands, Latitudes was invited to curate “The Dutch Assembly” by invitation of the Mondriaan Fund and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Madrid. Taking place throughout the five days of the art fair, within a specially-commissioned structure designed by Dutch artist Jasper Niens and designer Thijs Ewalts, the programme of "The Dutch Assembly" comprises 30 talks, book presentations, conversations, screenings and performances starting every hour on the hour, involving a wide range of Dutch institutions and organisations forming a series of ‘depositions’ and dispatches highlighting the exemplary work being done in the Netherlands. “The Dutch Assembly” seeks to address cultural practice in a rapidly-changing economic and political climate from the Dutch perspective in an international context as well as reflecting on the artistic links between Spain and the Netherlands. (+ info...)

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Mobile-friendly version of the programme here


Jasper Niens and Thijs Ewalts, "Superstructure", Wood, metal, 8 x 11 x 4m. Produced at Studio Pompstraat, Rotterdam.Production: John Colenbrander, Rick Eikmans, Daan Jansen, Jonathan den Breeijen.


NOTE: All the presentations will be in English, except those marked with an asterisk (*) which will be in Spanish. Programme may be subject to change.


Jeremiah Day, artist, Amsterdam/Berlin.
The 2011 fiftieth anniversary of Hannah Arendt’s text “The Crisis in Culture: It's Social and It's Political Significance” has been taken by Jeremiah Day as an occasion to explicate and elaborate upon the questions faced in contemporary thinking on art and politics through a series of seminars, reading-groups and public discussions in London, Berlin and Amsterdam. In this talk, Day will introduce and reflect upon this year long project, touching upon the embattled status of public support for culture in the Netherlands. /

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Delegate: Leontine Coelewij, Curator.
Coelewij will discuss the museum as it is currently being renovated and enlarged, and looks forward to a grand reopening in the second half of 2012. The museum will be enlarged with a futuristic white annex by the Dutch bureau Benthem Crouwel Architects and will have more space than ever before to show its world famous collections and cutting edge exhibitions. The new museum building will house a restaurant, a museum shop, a library, and a film theatre and its hall in the basement will be the largest exhibition space in Amsterdam.

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA), Amsterdam. Delegate: Jelle Bouwhuis, curator.
SMBA's presentation will focus on the long-term programme Project “1975”, initiated in December 2010. Jelle Bouwhuis, curator and director of SMBA since 2006, will introduce and contextualise the project which focuses on the post-colonial predicament of contemporary art and includes research activities, guest-curated shows, traveling shows and specific writing commissions. A report is kept on the blogsite:

Nathaniel Mellors, artist, Amsterdam/London.
The complex relationship between language and power is a recurring theme in Mellors’ multi-faceted work, typically manifesting itself in absurdist, humorous narratives that reveal a penchant for satire and the grotesque. For “The Dutch Assembly”, Mellors will talk about his ongoing absurdist video series 'Ourhouse' (tying in with the special screening of the film at the Cineteca, Matadero, Madrid on 17 February, 20h), particularly addressing the core themes of objectification, sculpture and linguistic manipulation. Mellors is Galerie Diana Stigter's "highlighted artist" at ARCOmadrid and also works with /

VanAbbemuseum, Eindhoven. Delegate: Steven ten Thije, Research curator.
The history of the VanAbbemuseum has been largely shaped by the policies of its successive directors, all of whom have contributed to its reputation for being an institution with an experimental, and often radical, attitude. But museum policy is also the result of strategic interplay of forces involving various participants inside and outside the arts: the museum staff, committees, critics, subsidisers, political bodies on various levels and the public. In the light of current Dutch culture politics, can we stay within our tradition of experimentation?

Marres, Maastricht. Delegate: Lisette Smits, independent curator.
Smits has developed several group exhibitions for Marres since 2009, such as “Depression” (2009), “Madame Realism” (2011) and “Specters of the Nineties” (2011). The latter aims to address how the digital revolution and the emergence of a global capitalism in the 1990s have informed and shaped the artistic practices of the decade, including the notion of ‘democratic art’.

(*) Lara Almarcegui, artist, Rotterdam.
Almarcegui will present the publication “Lara Almarcegui. Projects 1995–2010” (Archive Books, 2011), the first monograph of her work. Detailed documentation of works and publications is companioned by an introductory essay by Latitudes, the book’s editors, as well and art critic, curator and art historian Cuauhtémoc Medina, and the theorist and curator Lars Bang Larsen.


Reception hosted by the Embassy of The Netherlands in Madrid.
Official opening of FOCUS: the Netherlands in the presence of the Ambassador of The Netherlands, Mr. Peter P. van Wulfften Palthe and Madeleine van Lennep, Deputy Director Mondriaan Fund. FOCUS: the Netherlands is made possible with the support of the Mondriaan Fund and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Madrid.

(*) Javier Hontoria, art critic and independent curator, Madrid.
Hontoria, curator of the group exhibition “A Dutch Landscape” (on view at La Casa Encendida, Madrid until 8 april 2012) will present the exhibition and discuss the context of the Netherlands in the 60s for artists working today. Artists participating in 'A Dutch Landscape' include: Bas Jan Ader, Feiko Beckers, Gwenneth Boelens, Marinus Boezem, Stanley Brouwn, Jan Dibbets, Sharon Houkema, Martin In't Veld, Katja Mater, Navid Nuur, Ger van Elk and Marijn van Kreij.

De Appel arts centerl, Amsterdam. Delegates: Ann Demeester, Director and Nathalie Hartjes, coordinator of the Curatorial Programme and the Gallerist Programme.
The Gallerist Programme is a new project initiated by de Appel arts centre and The Fair Gallery (gb agency, Paris; Hollybush Gardens, London; Jan Mot, Brussels; Raster, Warsaw). It connects to the Fair Gallery’s initiative to examine and create new forms of collaboration between galleries in an increasingly expanded field of operation and to de Appel's ongoing commitment to the exchange of curatorial knowledge within the art field at large. Demeester and Hartjes will be joined at the table by three galleries participating in ARCOmadrid: Rebeca Blanchard (NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona); Helga de Alvear (Helga de Alvear, Madrid) and Jeanine Hofland (Jeanine Hofland, Amsterdam) for a discussion, based on a hypothetical dilemma common to gallery practice.

Manifesta – The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam. Delegate: Cuauhtémoc Medina, Curator, Manifesta 9, Limburg, Belgium.
Mexican curator Cuauhtémoc Medina, together with Dawn Ades and Katerina Gregos are developing a concept for Manifesta 9 in Limburg, based on extensive research on the theme of the post-industrial landscape in this former coal-mining region. 'The Deep of the Modern' intends to create a complex dialogue between different layers of art, history, heritage and society. Manifesta 9 takes the region as its point of departure, as a new way to look at industrial capitalism as part of a global phenomenon, both in terms of imagery and ecology. For the first time, a single venue has been chosen to host an edition of Manifesta, namely the vast industrial space of the Waterschei, a former mine complex.

Wendelien van Oldenborgh, artist, Rotterdam.
Van Oldenborgh will discuss her gallery presentation as Wilfried Lentz Gallery's "highlighted artist" at ARCOmadrid, which presents the film “Bete & Deise” side by side recent works, as well as a film by the Brazilian filmmaker Glauber Rocha. She will share her thoughts on how Rocha's cinematic language relates to her own artistic production.

If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution. Delegates: Frédérique Bergholtz (co-founder and director), Miren Jaio (Bulegoa z/b, Bilbao), Pedro G. Romero (artist).
If I Can't Dance... will present their upcoming project with Spanish artist Isidoro Valcárcel Medina and the Bilbao-based collaborative initiative Bulegoa z/b, '18 pictures and 18 stories', with a story told by Pedro G. Romero. Following a brief introduction to If I Can't Dance... and its Performance in Residence programme, Bergholtz will present the research project initiated with Isidoro Valcárcel Medina and associated curators Bulegoa z/b as part of this programme. Art historian and critic Miren Jaio from Bulegoa z/b will elaborate on how the research project has evolved into the upcoming production titled '18 pictures and 18 stories', and its development in close dialogue with Isidoro Valcárcel Medina over the past year.


Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam. Delegate: Anke Bangma, Curator Contemporary Art.
A core question for a culture museum like the Tropenmuseum is: What is culture? How can we grasp and picture it? And how can we create representations of culture in ways that involve the people portrayed? One of the museum’s current contemporary arts projects by Mexican artist Erick Beltrán’s microhistorical encyclopaedia “The World Explained”, presents a novel approach to these questions. Beltrán and a team of young anthropologists have been interviewing people in the city and the museum, in order to collect their personal theories about the world they inhabit. Together, these theories sketch a portrait of the cultural mentality of Amsterdam today. In an exhibition that also functions as a live print workshop, the theories are compiled into an encyclopaedia of situated knowledge.

De Vleeshal, Middelburg. Delegate: Lorenzo Benedetti, Director.
Benedetti will discuss the exhibition “Autumn of Modernism” (on view until 18 March 2012) whose title was inspired by “The Autumn of the Middle Ages”, Johan Huizinga’s 1919 classic book. According to the Dutch historian, moments of change have a particular accent on cultural production. This perspective is used to analyse the artistic situation in the Netherlands today, with works by Gwenneth Boelens, Piet Dieleman, gerlach en koop, Sara van der Heide, Martijn Hendriks, Bas van den Hurk, Rob Johannesma, Katja Mater, Marc Nagtzaam, Falke Pisano, Roma Publications, Petra Stavast, Batia Suter, Remco Torenbosch, and Martijn in ‘t Veld.

Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht. Delegate: Yolande van der Heide, Project Coordinator.
“Our Autonomous Life?” is a cooperative sitcom offering a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes life of a fictional living group, co-written with people who have a stake in the practices of communal living. It is conceived in collaboration with artist Maria Pask and cultural anthropologist Nazima Kadir as part of Casco’s long-term project, “The Grand Domestic Revolution—User’s Manual”; co-produced by Casco and SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain.

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam. Delegate: Zoë Gray, curator Witte de With, 2006–11.
Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art presents its newly released publication: “20+ Years of Witte de With” (ed. Monika Szewczyk, Nicolaus Schafhausen and Zoë Gray). Work on this book began in a year of jubilant 20th anniversary celebrations and it has been two years in the making. In the intervening period, the stakes of the project have changed, as the current Dutch government’s rhetoric of dismissal and radical funding cuts threaten to undo decades of dynamic cultural development.

Kunstverein, Amsterdam. Delegates: Krist Gruithuijsen & Maxine Kopsa, Co-directors, with Gabriel Lester, artist.
Kunstvereins in Amsterdam, Milan and New York will collectively set-up an unique auction featuring works by artists who have collaborated with the organisations or who will in the future develop projects with one or more of their venues. “KV Auction” is a two-hour performative venture hosted by artist Gabriel Lester as auctioneer, in which alternative means of fundraising are explored. Works to be auctioned are by Carlos Amorales, Heman Chong, Sarah Crowner, Isola & Norzi, Richard Kostelanetz, Gabriel Lester, Raimundas Malasauskas, Renzo Martens, Simon Martin, Willem Oorebeek, G. T. Pellizzi, Adam Pendleton, Alexandre Singh, Marianne Vitale, Barbara Visser, amongst others. Lester is Fons Welters's "highlighted artist" at ARCOmadrid.


TENT, Rotterdam. Delegate: Mariette Dölle, Artistic director with Eva González-Sancho, independent curator and former director FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon.
Mariette Dölle, Artistic director, will host a conversation with Eva González-Sancho about curating in the Dutch art scene. They will screen and discuss new video works by the young Dutch artist Esmé Valk (winner, Diputació de Castelló Prize 2011) and media-artist Han Hoogerbrugge. How are their artistic positions exemplary for the current trends in the Netherlands?

Stroom Den Haag, The Hague. Delegate: Arno van Roosmalen, Director.
Taking art as a starting point, Stroom Den Haag aims to connect to various parts of society. Two recent programs, “Foodprint. Food for the city” and “Time/Bank” are exemplary in this respect. An interactive presentation will enable the public to experience the approach of Stroom, its profile, and hopefully also to connect to their situation.

(*) Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht. Delegate: Adrià Julià, artist and 2011 Researcher Fine Art.
Adrià Julià will present different fragments of his ongoing project “Notes on the Missing Oh”, which proposes possible mechanisms to work with the idiosyncrasies surrounding a particular 1982 film as they continuously generate local narratives and landscapes, participate in politics of semi-private archives, and produce a variety of truths, fictions and stories.

Museum De Paviljoens, Almere. Delegates: Macha Roesink, Director and Annick Kleizen, Curator.
Museum De Paviljoens’ programme revolves around the attempt to define different positions within the art scene in The Netherlands and share these with a wider audience: both in mid-career solo shows of artists like Yael Davids, Job Koelewijn, Barbara Visser, Meschac Gaba, Germaine Kruip and Suchan Kinoshita. Roesink and Kleizen will discuss several artistic positions of the artists presented in the recent exhibition series “The Dutch Identity?” (2010–2012).

SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain, Amsterdam. Delegate: Theo Tegelaers, Chief Curator.
Tegelaers will introduce the premiere screening in Spain of Robert Smithson's film “BREAKING GROUND: BROKEN CIRCLE/SPIRAL HILL (1971–2011), and discuss the realisation of Robert Smithson’s land art project “Broken Circle/Spiral Hill” (1971). Directed by Smithson's widow, Nancy Holt, and Tegelaers, the film is based on the available directions of Smithson forty years after the completion of the work itself. Original 1971 footage is combined with two recent recordings of video and sound, which include aerial shots and scenes from a quarry lake.

De Hallen, Haarlem. Delegates: Xander Karskens, Curator of contemporary art at De Hallen and curator of FOCUS: the Netherlands at ARCOmadrid ; and Rory Pilgrim, artist, Den Helder.
De Hallen presents “Care”, a new performance by British artist Rory Pilgrim. Pilgrim’s work often deals with emancipatory concerns, typically using music as a means to create a sense of community, and as a tool to unite, question and structure the exchange of ideas and beliefs. “Care” will be structured around a conversation and a musical lament, uniting care as concern with care as healing or nurturing. “Within the context of the art fair, a moment where knowledge, material and experience are exchanged”, the artist has written, the performance will focus on “the original meaning of ‘economy’ – to manage the household – at an urgent time when there is much to care about and to be cared for.”


Fucking Good Art, Rotterdam. Delegates: Rob Hamelijnck and Nienke Terpsma, artists, co-founders and co-editors.
In 2011, the Rotterdam-based artists and editors of Fucking Good Art worked on two issues of the magazine. One was an A3 pamphlet around the drastic budget cuts in arts in the Netherlands and the rhetoric that surrounded it. The other one, a book published in January 2012 based on 25 conversations with people in the arts in Italy, and text and visual contributions entitled: “Italian Conversations – Art in the Age of Berlusconi”. Fucking Good Art will present bits and pieces of both, comparing realities as well as existing and possible strategies.

(*) Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. Delegates: Philippe Pirotte, curator and art critic, Antwerp, and senior advisor at the Rijksakademie and Rubén Grilo, 2011–13 resident artist.
Spanish artist Rubén Grilo is a current resident of the Rijksakademie. For “The Dutch Assembly” Grilo will make an intervention about the concept of the sequential image, examining the links between education, the technology of the image, its ideology, speed and knowledge. The presentation is a performance reduced to its minimal elements and devoted to the complexity of the relationships between different slides projected in PowerPoint. Grilo is NoguerasBlanchard's "highlighted artist" at ARCOmadrid.

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. Delegates: Maria Hlavajova, artistic director, and Rabih Mroué, artist.
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst will launch its newest publication “Rabih Mroué: BAK Critical Reader Series in Artists’ Practice” (2012). The reader examines the work of actor, director, playwright, and Beirut-based artist Mroué, whose practice spans disciplines and formats such as music, performance, theatre, and visual art. [BAK)’s Artistic Director Maria Hlavajova will be present to introduce the publication.

Expodium, Utrecht. Delegate: Bart Witte, Co-director.
Witte will give an insight to the organization’s current and future operations and provide cohesive examples, among which a reflective web platform emerging from its operation in Detroit. It is set to accommodate an extensive network of experts world wide and offer vital input to the debate on current urban phenomena.

W139, Amsterdam. Delegates: Tim Voss, director W139 and Sam de Groot, designer, Amsterdam.
W139 director, Tim Voss, and Amsterdam-based designer Sam de Groot will act out the daily contradictions between art-production and curatorial practice by highlighting the achievements and reversals of a consolidated programming. An advanced introduction into the micro-politics of a Dutch contemporary art space under the populists’ tolerance.

(*) De Ateliers, Amsterdam. Delegate: Paloma Polo, artist and 2007–9 participant, Amsterdam.
Paloma Polo will present De Ateliers residency program, its structure, purpose and dynamics. These aspects will be explained alongside her development and experience of the two year course she attended. Furthermore, a short introduction to her recent work will be given, including an overview of her exhibition “Posición Aparente” on view at the Museo Reina Sofía until 23 April 2012.

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About Latitudes

Latitudes is a Barcelona-based [41º23’N, 2º11’E] independent curatorial office initiated in April 2005 by Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna. Latitudes collaborates with artists and institutions in the conception, organisation and production of exhibitions, public commissions, conferences, editorial and research initiatives across local, pan-European and international situations. Latitudes is part of Hangar's 2010–12 Programming Committee. In 2010 Latitudes was awarded the inaugural curatorial Prize GAC given by the Catalan gallery association.
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