Artun Alaska Arasli & Brendan Anton Jaks: The Beauty Commission
29 May 2016

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is proud to host a new commissioned theatre production, The Beauty Commission (2016), written and directed by Amsterdam-based artists Artun Alaska Arasli and Brendan Anton Jaks.

Teijin Auditorium, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
3 - 4 pm
Entrance ticket Stedelijk Museum + € 2.50

Tickets May 28

Tickets May 29

Artun Alaska Arasli en Brendan Jaks, The Beautycommission, 2016, Stedelijk Museum, afbeelding courtesy the artists
Artun Alaska Arasli en Brendan Jaks, The Beautycommission, 2016, Stedelijk Museum, afbeelding courtesy the artists
Portrait Artun Alaska Arasli and Brendan Jaks, Photo: Fabian Landewee
Portrait Artun Alaska Arasli and Brendan Jaks, Photo: Fabian Landewee

Artun Alaska Arasli (TR) and Brendan Anton Jaks (US) developed The Beauty Commission in conjunction with the exhibition Living in the Amsterdam School: Designs for the Interior 1910 – 1930 (until Aug 28, 2016).

The play is a fictional dialogue between German philosopher Theodor Adorno and Dutch architect Michel de Klerk following the events surrounding the commission and design of an archive for the Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt am Main. Commissioned by Adorno to house the documents of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, and designed in the style of Amsterdam School architecture by de Klerk, the building’s approval lies in the hands of a group of four actresses named “The Beauty Commission,” appointed by the city to advise the appearance and placement of buildings. When “The Beauty Commission” discovers something odd in the design, the secret desires and incentives of all parties involved reveal themselves. 

The formal expressions of the Amsterdam School, the legacy of the Frankfurt School, and the desire to organize and preserve human achievement have been the subject of a previous exhibition by the artists titled The Elephant in the Shipping Room (Simply Wild) (July 2015, Jennifer Nails, Frankfurt am Main). With The Beauty Commission, Arasli and Jaks aim to further address dynamics of human interaction, power structures, and the influence of governing bodies on individuals through a time-based narrative structure.

The Beauty Commission will premiere on Friday, May 27, followed by a second and a third performance on May 28 and 29. A limited number of tickets are available online via the Stedelijk Museum website.


Artun Alaska Arasli (1987, TR) is an artist, curator, and writer. He studied fine arts at the Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, with professor Willem de Rooij and in the Image & Language program at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. Recent exhibitions include Hospice (with James Beckett) at Markus Luettgen, Cologne, and My, My. A Body Does Get Around at Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam, which Arasli also curated. A selection of his poems will be published in the Interjection Calendar by Montez Press in late 2016.

Brendan Anton Jaks (1983, US) is an artist who works mainly in sculpture, sculptural assemblage, and installation. He studied fine arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and is currently completing his residency at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Exhibitions include Potlach at De Ateliers, Amsterdam and Who Controls the Smoke Controls the Mirrors at Gallery Fons Welters, Amsterdam.

Behind the Scenes


The Beauty Commission                                  
Anna Nijenhuis, Eva Julia Bervoets, Liliana de Vries, Marieke Giebels

Theodor Adorno & Hector Rottweiler
Tom Jaspers                                                          

Michel de Klerk
Nick Bos (Fri & Sun), Krisjan Schellingerhout (Sat)                                                   


Artun Alaska Arasli, Brendan Anton Jaks                                              

Director & text
Artun Alaska Arasli                                       

Stage, scenic and light design
Brendan Anton Jaks              

Artun Alaska Arasli                                         

Henri Sandront,  Petra Heck                                       

Yumi Maes, Andy Woortman

Technical director
Tom Makkes                                 

Graphic design                                    
Laura Amann

Britte Sloothaak                                     

Special thanks to

Antiekboerderij Krommenie, Bonne Suits, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Artyom Zakharenko, Azinta Plantenga, Bart-Jan Brouwer, Bart van der Heide, Bart Rutten, Beatrix Ruf, Céline Hoex, Ingeborg de Roode, Joachim Robbrecht, Rigel Kilston, Roos Bouhuis, Sanya Schreuder, Suzanne Huis, Taro Lucas, Ticho Brouwers and Thomas Verbogt.


This performance has been made possible with the generous support of The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK) and Stichting Stokroos.