Theory — 3 until Feb 4, 2017

Symposium on Labyrinthine Exhibitions as Curatorial Model
Regular admission – 40 € (valid on both days) / Student admission – 30 € (valid on both days)
Stedelijk Museum / Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
3 until Feb 4, 2017, 12.30 pm until 5 pm
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Regular ticket Student ticket




Both Dylaby (1962) in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and HON – en katedral (1966) in Stockholm’s Moderna Museet are remarkable exhibitions in the history of curating. Walking into a large vagina, shooting paint, gazing at the stars in a planetarium, dancing the twist, plowing a path through a room filled with balloons: the exhibitions might easily be considered more as theme park attractions than serious art shows, comprising theatrical props instead of works of art. At first glance, these two exhibition “aberrations,” resulting from the close collaboration of museum directors Willem Sandberg (Dylaby) and Pontus Hultén (HON), as well as artists Martial Raysse, Robert Rauschenberg, Niki de Saint Phalle, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely, and Per-Olof Ultvedt, seem to defy serious analysis, let alone contribute to the critical discourse of contemporary exhibition history.

However, these large-scale, collaborative and comprehensive exhibition installations have attracted both the expanding academic field of exhibition history and current curatorial practices. But how are we to understand the body of knowledge produced by a generation of historically conscious, self-reflexive curators and art historians alike? What (critical) models do exhibitions such as Dylaby and HON provide for contemporary curatorial, artistic, and scholarly practices?

During the symposium, a selection of key experts in the field will address these questions and frame them in the wider context of the naissance of the modern and contemporary art museum and the role models of Pontus Hultén and Willem Sandberg, our continuous engagement with the art production of the 1960s, the place of these exhibitions in the wider artistic oeuvres of the participating artists, post-1960s “labyrinthine” exhibition practices at large, and the growing discipline of exhibition history.


The symposium, entitled Lose Yourself – A Symposium on Labyrinthine Exhibitions as Curatorial Model, starts with and navigates around the territory encountered in Dylaby and HON, in order to investigate the legacy of labyrinthine exhibition models and its relevance in the twenty-first century.

Among the confirmed keynote speakers are: Pamela M. Lee (Stanford University), Mark Wigley (Columbia University), Raqs Media Collective, Hou Hanru (Artistic Director of MAXXI, Rome) and Hans Ulrich Obrist (Artistic Director of The Serpentine Galleries, London), Patrik Andersson (Emily Carr University of Art + Design), Noit Banai (University of Vienna), Angela Bartholomew (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Ina Blom (University of Oslo), Eric de Bruyn (Leiden University), Paula Burleigh (City University New York), Andreas Gedin (artist and reseacher), Katja Kwastek (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Camilla Larsson (Södertörn University), Annika Öhrner (Södertörn University), Andres Pardey (Tinguely Museum Basel), Caroline Roodenburg-Schadd (art historian, independent researcher and writer) and Janna Schoenberger (Amsterdam University College).


Preceding the symposium, a young researchers colloquium at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will explore the broader context of artistic and curatorial approaches to Setting the Conditions of Display in 20th and 21st century art.

You will find the program here.


The symposium is organized in the context of the large-scale retrospective of Jean Tinguely that the Stedelijk Museum is mounting (October 1, 2016 – March 5, 2017). The project is also part of a research project conducted by the Moderna Museet that focuses on Pontus Hultén’s archive. The project will produce a series of publications highlighting pivotal exhibitions in the history of the Moderna Museet, which will be launched in conjunction with the symposium.  


The organizers aim to present a selection of the contributions to the symposium in a publication that will appear in 2017.

Organizing Committee

Angela Bartholomew – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Dorine de Bruijne – Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Annika Gunnarsson – Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Ylva Hillström – Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Katja Kwastek – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Anna Lundström – Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Andres Pardey – Museum Tinguely, Basel

Margriet Schavemaker – Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Anna Tellgren – Moderna Museet, Stockholm


For more information or questions, please contact Dorine de Bruijne: