Theory — Feb 18, 2017

Your public program ticket gives you access to the auditorium and exhibition galleries of the museum. Please note, that the installation Female figure can only be viewed with a time slot. The work can be experienced in a separate space, and may only be viewed by three people at a time. More information

Museumcard €3 / students €10,50 / regular €18
Teijin Auditorium
Feb 18, 2017, 2 pm until 4.30 pm
Main language

During the opening weekend of part two of Jordan Wolfson’s exhibition MANIC / LOVE / TRUTH / LOVE (Feb 18 – Apr 23, 2017) Wolfson and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam will organize an afternoon with conversations, discussions, gif images, and film clips. 

The program will scrutinize traditional ideas in such classical art domains as sculpture, portrait, performance, and video, and will explore how these domains can be fundamentally revised in Wolfson’s animatronics (computer-driven moving sculptures), prints, and films. How do we define a contemporary idea of sculpture? How do we experience physicality? Derived from Wolfson’s interventions of sound and image in his video animations: what is a contemporary definition of a portrait? Is it a mediatized identity that has become a surrogate of our true self? Or a distorted signifier of something else?

Guest speakers:

- Welcome by Beatrix Ruf (director, Stedelijk Museum)
- Moderation by Mark Godfrey (senior curator, international art, Tate Modern London)
- Prof. Esther Leslie (political aesthetics, Birkbeck, University of London)
- Prof. Tony Prescott (cognitive neuroscience, director Sheffield Robotics)
- Mark Setrakian (animatronics specialist and puppeteer)
- Present for the conversation and discussion: Jordan Wolfson
- responding questions by Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen (curator, Stedelijk Museum; exhibition curator)

The importance of establishing an art historical trajectory in relation to sculpture, performance, and technology is not necessarily recognized by artists. One could say this is merely a curiosity of art historians. As Jordan Wolfson explains about his animatronic robot Female figure, now on display at the Stedelijk, “This work is about a physicality I experienced within my own body in relation to a third body, an artificial body. I am not interested in AI [artificial intelligence]. I’m interested in the experience of seeing something.” Both challenging and expanding the ways in which we discuss contemporary art, the program is set in a living room rather than a lecture hall. Drinks will be served and the audience will sit among invited experts in the fields of political aesthetics, cognitive neuroscience, and animatronics. These experts will enrich the discussion of subjects such as physicality, identity, portrait, and self-consciousness that occur within Wolfson’s elaborate video animations and large scale figurative sculptures. 

The exhibition and this event are made possible in part with generous financial support from LUMA Foundation, Fonds 21, VSBfonds, Fundación Almine Y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso Para El Arte, Sadie Coles HQ and David Zwirner.

With special thanks to the members of the Jordan Wolfson Exhibition Circle: ProWinko Nederland B.V., Ringier Collection and donors who wish to remain unnamed. The catalogue is made possible by Joe and Marie Donnelly.

The Stedelijk Contemporary presentations in 2016 and 2017 are made possible in part by Ammodo.