ZEROnow: on the topicality of ZERO
24 Sep - 25 Sep 2015

A symposium with Rem Koolhaas (OMA, Rotterdam), Prof. Bruce Altshuler (New York University, NYC) and others.

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, De Pier Scheveningen
Entrance fee to the Stedelijk Museum + € 2.50


Otto Piene, Venus von Willendorf, 1963, olieverf en rook op doek, 150 x 200 cm, Collectie Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
Otto Piene, Venus von Willendorf, 1963, olieverf en rook op doek, 150 x 200 cm, Collectie Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.



Ticket session 1: Curating ZERO, 10.30 am - 12.30 pm

Tickets session 2: The Artist as Curator, 1.30 - 3.00 pm

**SOLD OUT** session 3: Topicality of ZERO, 3.30 - 5.00 pm


Tickets Session 4: Beyond the White Cube, 1.00 - 4.30 pm


In conjunction with the exhibition ZERO: Let Us Explore the Stars, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, the ZERO Foundation Düsseldorf, and The Hague’s TodaysArt Festival proudly present a two-day symposium with invited artists and curators to re-read the history of ZERO and address the topicality of its legacy.

Even though ZERO reached its zenith in the art world more than half a century ago, it was not until quite recently that this international network of artists was established as a fixture in art historical scholarship. Why did it take so long for ZERO (roughly active between 1957 to 1966) to be accepted into the canon of 20th century art? And why did it happen, of all times, at the outset of the 21st century? How are contemporary perspectives on ZERO (re)shaping the artistic legacy of this international network? And last but not least, what does the legacy of ZERO mean to contemporary artists?

Such probing questions fuel this two-day symposium, by which the organizers hope to critically frame and contextualize the current research and curatorial practices in relation to the ZERO network. 


DAY 1: SEPTEMBER 24, 2015

Session 1: Curating ZERO in 21rst century
Location: Teijin Auditorium, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Time: 10.30 – 12.30
Language: English

Following a warm welcome by Beatrix Ruf, the first session of the symposium showcases a series of Pecha Kucha presentations by curators of recent ZERO exhibitions. In eight minutes they will critically discuss their curatorial work and address questions such as: What was the focus of their displays and why? What did they “zero” out? How do these exhibitions relate to the canonization of ZERO in the 21st century? 

Speakers are a.o. Margriet Schavemaker (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam), Colin Huizing (Stedelijk Museum Schiedam), Mattijs Visser  (ZERO Foundation, Düsseldorf), Johan Pas (Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp), Petra Heck (Todays Art Festival, The Hague), Marga van Mechelen (UvA) and Edo Dijksterhuijs (freelance journalist en art critic).

 Tickets session 1

Session 2: The Artist as Curator
Location: Teijin Auditorium, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Time: 1.30 – 3.00
Language: English

Most of the historical ZERO exhibitions were curated by the ZERO artists themselves. The topic of the artist as curator will be introduced by Bruce Altshuler, professor of museum studies at New York University, in his keynote lecture which contextualizes the ZERO practices in the larger field of artist-curated shows in the 20th and 21st centuries. Tiziana Caianiello (ZERO Foundation, Düsseldorf) will launch the brand new publication The Artist as Curator: Collaborative Initiatives in the International ZERO movement, 1957-1967Margriet Schavemaker will pose questions for the two academics during the conversation that will follow their presentations.

Tickets session 2

Session 3: Topicality of ZERO 

Location: Teijin Auditorium, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Time:  3.30- 5.00
Language: English

Renowned architect Rem Koolhaas (OMA, Rotterdam) will provide a keynote lecture on the topicality of ZERO and the inspiration he found in the visual and conceptual practices from the 50s and 60s. Afterwards Koolhaas will engage in a roundtable discussion with  Beatrix Ruf (Stedelijk Museum).

*Session 3 is sold out*

DAY 2: SEPTEMBER 25, 2015

Session 4: ZERO Beyond the White Cube
Location: De Pier, Scheveningen
Time: 1:00 – 4:30
Language: English and Dutch

Fifty years ago, the ZERO art movement planned an unusual art manifestation titled ZERO on Sea, which was unfortunately never realized. For the iconic Pier in Scheveningen on the Dutch coast, about fifty participating artists including Lucio Fontana, Yayoi Kusama, and the Dutch Nul group were asked to propose a site-specific work challenging the climate and weather of the seashore. Inspired by this manifestation, TodaysArt hosts  the 11th edition of its festival with visual art, performances, interventions, club nights, and presentations in the spirt of ZERO, including the second day of the two-day symposium ZEROnow: A Symposium on the Topicality of ZERO. The TodaysArt festival runs from September 24 to 27.

After an introduction by director Gwyneth Wentink (TodaysArt, The Hague), Session 4 will shed light on the original 1965 concept for ZERO on Sea, the circumstances of its cancellation, and the interpretation of the characteristic venue that still exists today.

Caroline de Westenholz (freelance art historian, UK/NL) did extensive research on the organisational network, the participants and their proposals from 1965. Antoon Melissen (art historian, Amsterdam) will focus on ZERO  on Sea within the context of other benchmark presentations in the Netherlands. Dirk Pörschmann (ZERO Foundation, Düsseldorf) will elaborate on the utopian philosophy of ZERO on Sea. A moderated discussion will be led by Margriet Schavemaker.   

Later in the afternoon, Petra Heck will introduce a new generation of artists that present their (site-specific) work for the Pier, Scheveningen, in honor of TodaysArt: Natalie Jeremijenko, Lotte Geeven, Berndnaut Smilde, Evelina Domnitch/Dmitry Gelfand, Zoro Feigl and Lisa Park. The closing debate with Margriet Schavemaker, Petra Heck, and the contemporary artists will be followed by the opening ceremony of TodaysArt Festival 2015, The Hague.

Tickets session 4