AA Bronson: Tent of Healing
10 Dec - 15 Dec 2013

Lower level (in front of entrance to ABN Amro gallery)
English, from 2 - 5 pm
Entrance price to the Stedelijk Museum

not necessary

Costume design performance Tent of Healing.
Costume design performance Tent of Healing.

The Public Program of the Stedelijk Museum is very proud to host artist AA Bronson for the performance Tent of Healing, which will take place on the lower level of the museum. Tent of Healing is an ongoing reflection – at once private and public, secret yet publicized, a performance without spectacle. The tent itself is a studio, cocoon, and spa – a site for divination, flirtation, and meditation. AA Bronson is both subject and object in this hybrid work. He is the artist become an artwork. He is the wounded healer, who asks to be healed. He is the performer who asks to be performed upon. He is the body that embodies this meditation on death and dying. 

Tent of Healing is a nomadic performance structure. It will be visible at the Stedelijk from Tuesday, December 10 to Sunday, December 15. The artist will be present in person from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. each day. (Or will he?) He might be alone, or he might have guests. He might be visible, or he might be veiled. The museum is a place for looking, but what will you see, or will you be seen? 

The performance continues in other venues and at other times. It will take place in a secret location a short walk from the museum, without witnesses or documentation, at unannounced times. And it is rumored that a midnight gathering in an unnamed location will mark the midpoint of the project.

The performance also takes place online, on a website that the artist will not name, at an URL that he will not communicate.

The performance is a meditation on death but also on community, collectivity, and human caring. Tent of Healing invokes the spirits of populations that the artist describes as excised from written history, for example the countless number of slaves who passed through the auction houses of the Netherlands during the colonial era; the hundreds of “witches,” both male and female, who were slaughtered here during the Inquisition; and those who died of HIV and AIDS in more recent history. Finally, it is a meditation on the death of the artist himself. 

The tent is created by weaver Travis Meinolf (Marin County, California). Meinolf has incorporated recycled clothes and blankets from his home in Berlin into the tent, sharing and donating pieces of his own life, existence, and, ultimately, self to the project. The tent creates connection and is an act of mutual care, one artist for another. Architect, designer, and husband of AA Bronson, Mark Jan Krayenhoff van de Leur, designed the structure of the tent as well as the costume for the performance, providing a framework for the artist’s meditation. 

More information about AA Bronson

AA Bronson (b. Vancouver, 1946) is an artist and healer currently living and working in Berlin as a guest of the DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogramm. In the 1960s, he left university with a group of friends to found a free school, a commune, and an underground newspaper. This led him into an adventure with Gestalt therapy, radical education, and independent publishing. In 1969, he formed the artists’ group General Idea with Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal; for the next 25 years, they lived and worked together to produce the living artwork of being together. Their first solo museum exhibition was presented at the Stedelijk Museum in 1979. Since 1994, the year his two partners died, AA Bronson has exhibited as a solo artist, often collaborating with younger generations of artists. His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art, and numerous other international private and public collections. His exhibition The Temptation of AA Bronson is on view at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, until January 5, 2014.