Theory — 30 Jun 2019

Join us for an in-depth afternoon on ‘Body Awareness’ on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Maria Lassnig - Ways of Being’. This program is organized in collaboration with Mama Cash and STUDIO i - Platform for Inclusive Culture.
Museumticket + € 3,-
Teijin Auditorium
30 Jun, 3 pm until 5.15 pm
Main language
  • Installation view ‘Maria Lassnig – Ways of Being’, 2019, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
    Installation view ‘Maria Lassnig – Ways of Being’, 2019, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
  • Installation view ‘Maria Lassnig – Ways of Being’, 2019, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
    Installation view ‘Maria Lassnig – Ways of Being’, 2019, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
  • Installation view ‘Maria Lassnig – Ways of Being’, 2019, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
    Installation view ‘Maria Lassnig – Ways of Being’, 2019, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
  • Installation view ‘Maria Lassnig – Ways of Being’, 2019, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
    Installation view ‘Maria Lassnig – Ways of Being’, 2019, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

In conjunction with the exhibition Maria Lassnig - Ways of Being, an in-depth afternoon on ‘Body Awareness’ will take place at the Stedelijk Museum. This program is organized in collaboration with Mama Cash.

Austrian artist Maria Lassnig is internationally considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century. In the Netherlands, however, she is nearly unknown. Her multifaceted corpus of work includes paintings, drawings, films and sculptures. A main theme for Maria Lassnig was 'Körperbewusstsein' (Body Awareness), the relation between your body and the world. Instead of depicting what she sees, she visualizes the inner experience of her body.

What happens when you depict your own embodiment? How did Maria Lassnig achieve this? How can the way you feel differ from the way the outside world perceives you? How do you maintain ownership of your body, especially when facing social exclusion? These and other questions are the starting point for this afternoon program.

Speakers and performers Ashley Hans Scheirl, Emma Harjadi Herman, Sekai Makoni, Rachel Rumai and Mounir Samuel will respond to the concept of Body Awareness from their own expertise and perspectives. Maria Lassnig’s work will be introduced by Beatric von Bormann, the curator of the exhibition.

Beatrice von Bormann is curator of art 1860-1960 at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and mounted the exhibition Maria Lassnig - Ways of Being. At the moment, she is preparing a number of projects for 2021, including an exhibition exploring the work of German Expressionists Emil Nolde and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and their specific relationship with ethnographic art, considered from a post-colonial perspective. The presentation is a co-production with the Statens Museum in Copenhagen. Von Bormann served as Head of Collections and curator at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg since 2014, curating shows such as Charlotte Salomon – Leben? oder Theater? and Affichomanie. Toulouse-Lautrec und das Plakat um 1900. Previously, in the role of freelance curator, von Bormann curated exhibitions including Oskar Kokoschka – Humanist und Rebell for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, which travelled to Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Dix/Beckmann: Mythos Welt for the Städtische Kunsthalle Mannheim, and the Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung in Munich. Von Bormann was guest researcher at the University of Amsterdam from 2002-2010.

Ashley Hans Scheirl was born 1956 in Salzburg, Austria. 1975-1980 s_he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. Between 1979 and 1996 about 50 short films were produced. Ashley Hans - formerly 'Angela' - became known for her_his feature-length film 'Dandy Dust' (1998), which radically challenges norms of sexuality and gender identity as well as the medium cinema itself. Scheirl lived in London for 16 years where he participated in an international scene of queer and transgender artists. In 2003 he completed a post-graduate M.A. at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design London concentrating on painting_installations. Since 2006 Scheirl is professor for 'Contextual Painting' at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. In 2017 Scheirl participated in documenta 14, exhibiting in Athens and Kassel.

Emma Harjadi Herman works at international women's fund Mama Cash and is the campaign manager for #MyBodyIsMine. Since joining the organization in 2013 her projects have included developing the annual Mama Cash Feminist Festival in collaboration with Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The festival has featured the feminist art critic collective Guerrilla Girls, Brazil’s graffiti queen Panmela Castro as well as local artists like Raquel van Haver and Naomie Pieter. Emma also serves on the Supervisory Board of Atria, the national institute on gender equality and women's history. Bringing the voices of women’s rights activists to a wider audience is a constant theme in Emma's endeavours.

Sekai Makoni is a workshop facilitator, trainer, podcast host and researcher. Her work focuses on Blackness, colonial histories, womanism, faith, emotion and song. She is of Zimbabwean heritage by way of Cambridge and London and has academic experience from the University of Birmingham and the London School of Economics. She most recently graduated from her second Masters at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. She is the granddaughter of Zimbabwean activists who were political exiles in the late 60s. Accordingly, activism and how it can be done in a way that recognizes trauma and allows for self-care is also important in her work. On her podcast Between Ourselvesshe makes space for Black women’s voices on topics such as Black Europe, Zimbabwean women in the diaspora and mixed identities. She is currently exploring Black church and faith rituals that are queer-affirming, as well as how to speak about spirituality in the arts and academia.

Writer, poet and performer Rachel Rumai Diaz is a native foreigner who calls many countries her home. She paints images with words and events, and uses the world as her canvas. She is fluent in English, Spanish, Dutch and Spanglish and intertwines these languages to create poetry that triggers imagination, emotions and understanding. Rachel is passionate about equality and sharing untold stories of the people around her. As a storyteller her goal is to build a bridge between Art and Activism to create Artivism that touches on subjects like Feminism, Post-Colonialism, Identity and Diversity.
Rachel is co-founder of the upcoming art community ‘De Vrouwenkamer’, which focuses on giving female creatives a platform to express and share their art, and invites artists and the public for open discussions about subjects like sexism, inequality and feminism.
Rachel is also co-founder of ‘La Raza’, a collective founded by latinx female creatives in The Netherlands that attends to unite the Latinx community and create a platform for creatives to meet and represent the culture through art and activism.

Mounir Samuel became one of the most famous young commentators on TV and Radio in the Netherlands during the Egyptian uprising against President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and later again in the revolts of 2012 and 2013. He is an author of more than a dozen books including fiction, poetry and non-fiction. He frequently publishes articles and editorials in almost all Dutch quality newspapers on a wide range of topics.
His public coming-out as gender queer transgender-person in 2015, led to massive public response and social outrage. He recently premiered his first large theater show “En toen schiep God Mounir” (And then God created Mounir) in which he deconstructs his many identities and calls for the creation of a new Adam - both feminine and masculine and truly living in harmony with the divine and its creation.


3.00 PM
Welcome - Dorine de Bruijne
Introduction - Beatrice von Bormann
Keynote - Ashley Hans Scheirl
Presentation - Emma Herman
Film - Alok Vaid-Menon
Presentation - Sekai Makoni
Spoken word - Rachel Rumai
Column - Mounir Samuel
End of program
6 PM
Museum closes


Mama Cash has launched the #MyBodyisMine campaign, which strives for new social norms for women and non-binary persons regarding the body: norms that are based on enjoyment and freedom (of choice) in the post-#metoo age. Women and non-binary persons are encouraged to apply a stick-on ‘My Body is Mine’ tattoo and tell their story in an Instagram post. A video portrait of Alok Vaid-Menon that was created for the campaign will be shown during the program.



This program is developed in collaboration with Mama Cash and STUDIO i - Platform for Inclusive Culture.