aaa festival

the human body
24 Jan 2014

In collaboration with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and other partners, the Stedelijk Museum is proud to present the next program in the stedelijk|aaa festival series Confrontations, with the theme “The Human Body.” During this afternoon, this theme will be explored in a very special way by various speakers, musicians, and performers, including Nicole Beutler, Bojana Mladenović, René Gude, Johan van Iersel and Niek KleinJan

Teijin Auditorium, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
4 - 5:45 am
Entrance price to the Stedelijk Museum

It is necessary to make a reservation. Please, send an email to: with your name, phone number and the date of the program you want to visit.

“The Human Body” has a rich history in the visual arts, from the nudes in classical masterworks to the controversial performance art of the 20th and 21st centuries. During this Confrontations program, these latter-day art forms take central place. In the 1960s and 1970s, famous – and sometimes notorious – artists such as Marina Abramovic, Joan Jonas, Ulrike Rosenbach, and Carolee Schneeman pioneered the use of their own bodies as a visual arts medium. In the opening lecture, Bojana Mladenović, director of the Het Veem Theater, will discuss the role of the body in the visual arts over the past 50 years. Unique visual material will be shown from a variety of art performances. 

In addition, Michiel van der Aa, house composer of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, will give a performance. In his work, Oog, the soundtrack takes the initiative from the cellist almost imperceptibly, ending in an illusory interplay of eye and ear. In the late 1990s, Thom Stuart created an accompanying choreography which will now be performed again.

In Vinko Globokar’s work ?Corporel, percussionist Niek KleinJan himself becomes the instrument. The audience is presented with an intimate struggle between liberation and self-castigation, the battle of a split personality with his body, in which the borders between music and performance are totally removed. 

Philosopher René Gude, “Denker des Vaderlands” (The Thinker of the Fatherland), former editor-in-chief of Filosofie Magazine, and director of the International School for Philosophy, will give a short speech reflecting on the disease which inevitably confronts him with the vagaries of his body. 

The afternoon concludes with dance, the ultimate art of the moving body. The celebrated choreographer Nicole Beutler will present part of the dance duet 4: Still Life. In this work, performed by two dancers, Beutler distills the building blocks of the dance duet from the history of the dance. Space and light serve as the guidelines for a musical composition: leaders and followers, distance and intimacy, confrontation and fusion. The bodies of the dancers enter into a relationship with the geometric shapes on the stage, which are reminiscent of the abstract art that is so abundant in the exhibition rooms of the Stedelijk.  

Before the program, you are invited to attend the Gallery Talk by Geurt Imanse, an informal tour through the current exhibition, Kazimir Malevich and the Russian Avant-Garde. Imanse is curator at the Stedelijk Museum and made an important contribution to the exhibition as co-curator.