Events — 18 Jun 2017

With: Apparatus 22 / Johannes Büttner and Benedikte Bjerre in collaboration with Helge Peters / Larisa David in collaboration with Raluca Croitoru / Vera Mey / Nat Muller / Rabea Ridlhammer / Anastasia Shin​

Museumcard € 3 / students € 11.75 / regular € 20.50
Teijin Auditorium
18 Jun 2017, 1 pm until 3.30 pm
Main language
*ticket includes access to the exhibition galleries

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and De Appel Curatorial Programme proudly present Why Is Everybody Being So Nice: The Power Nap. The event concludes the series of events organized by De Appel Curatorial Programme and marks the launch of an online publication alongside a program of performances, readings, and a collective snooze in the auditorium of the museum building. Please bring your pillow and blanket!

Why Is Everybody Being So Nice is a project consisting of public events, performances, and an online publication running from April to June 2017 at various locations in Amsterdam, and investigates the ethical and behavioral codes of conduct in the art world. By exploring gray areas between ethics and etiquette, it considers the art world as a rapidly expanding sector of knowledge-based, post-industrial economies. The program provides horizons to think through and navigate the broader issues of precarious labor within the arts field. The program was enthused by an essay by Martha Rosler on this subject in which she states that: “niceness” is an idea that “speaks to a demand, in neoliberal terms, for the wholesale invention, performance, and perpetual grooming of a transactional self.”

The first part of the project took place at De Appel in April, where it unfolded as a four-day-long program of panel discussions, workshops, screenings, and performances. It ended with a collective sleepover, The Night of Exhaustion and Exuberance, which activated the practice of collective sleeping as a gesture of resistance and appropriation of space and time. Why Is Everybody Being So Nice will continue and conclude with The Power Nap, a collective snooze in the auditorium of the Stedelijk Museum.


3.00 PM                      Introduction | De Appel Curatorial Programme 2016-17
3.15 – 5.30 PM             Start programma met:
Dreaming is the new eating | reading by Vera Mey
Fangless | performance by Larisa David with Raluca Croitoru
The Comfort of Things | performance by Johannes Büttner & Benedikte Bjerre in collaboration with Helge Peters
What a wicked game you play - to make me feel this way! | reading by Rabea Ridlhammer
Transactional Self (Archive Version) | performance by Anastasia Shin
Uninvited and Disenchanted come to Town: A Modern-day Fable | reading by Nat Muller
Browsing of online publication
17.30                           End of program


Positive Tension (on curating)
Date: June 18 2017
Time: 12 - 5pm
Location: meeting point information desk in the entrance hall of the Stedelijk Museum

As part of Why Is Everybody Being So Nice: The Power Nap, artist collective Apparatus 22 will conduct a performance-workshop Positive Tension (on curating). The performance-workshop will be a celebration with a twist. Its prerequisites are contained in the Positive Tension (curating kit), a brown bag with over 100 questions about curating and relations with audience, artists, institutions, legacies, ethics, new modes of working in arts, future and so on. This set of both serious and playful instructions will turn the work/party into a marathon of critical thinking.

The performance-workshop is limited to 20 participants (curators, artist-curators, students of art history or curating programs are ideal participants) and requires RSVP through by Friday, June 16th. Participants will have free admission to the programme Why Is Everybody Being So Nice: The Power Nap. More information about the programme and tickets can be found here.


De Appel Curatorial Programme is an educational platform investigating alternative forms of exhibition making and curatorial activities. Since its inception in 1994, the ten-month program brings together six emerging curators from various academic and experiential backgrounds. Together they develop a project within the framework of De Appel’s newly established theme: modes of de-universalization. Every year the participants of the Curatorial Programme organize an event in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum that corresponds to their project in different forms.


Apparatus 22 is a transdisciplinary art collective founded in January 2011 by current members Erika Olea, Maria Farcas, Dragos Olea together with Ioana Nemes (1979 - 2011) in Bucharest, Romania. Beginning with 2015 they are working between Bucharest and Brussels. They see themselves as a collective of dreamers, researchers, poetic activists and (failed) futurologists interested in exploring the intricate relationships between economy, politics, gender studies, social movements, religion and fashion in order to understand contemporary society. A recent topic of research and reflection in their practice is SUPRAINFINIT universe: a world-making attempt to use hope critically in navigating present and future.In their very diverse works - installations, performances, text based-shapes, reality is mixed with fiction and storytelling and all merge with a critical approach drawing knowledge & experience from design, sociology, literature and economics.The collective also works beyond institutions via performances in public spaces, interventions in private spaces and other hybrid forms.

Benedikte Bjerre (born ’87 in Copenhagen, Meisterschüler prof. Fischli, HfBK Städelschule ’15, BFA Sociology, University of Copenhagen ’09) is a sculptor. Her work is concerned with the contemporary conditions of (art) production, distribution and consumption. She is the co-founder of the Danish outdoor art space Billedhuggerhaven Skovsnogen 2017, as well as the curator of Soft Costs, Kunstverein Wiesen 2016, and also one of the artists behind the film festival Cinema-Teatro Apollo, Bellaria 2013. At the moment she is a participant at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Recent exhibitions (selected): Point of sale (Vermillionsands, Copenhagen 2017); PRIMARY STRUCTURES – 1966 bis zur Gegenwart (MMK2 – Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt ’17);LAST MINUTE BUSINESS – fast procedures in small amounts of time (Adult, Copenhagen 2017); Trickortreater (solo) (Lullin+Ferrari, Zürich 2016); En slags penge (Piscine, Aarhus kunsthal, Aarhus ’16); Whatman (The Shelter for Contemporary Art CCA, Tel-Aviv 2016); Pitfalls (solo) (Salon Kennedy, Frankfurt 2016); Take me I am yours (Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen 2016); Stock’n’flow (Bold Tendencies, London 2016); Afgang(Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen 2016); Sharpe Practice(solo) (Traube, Ortisei 2016); Transfer (Kunsthalle Rathausgalerie, München 2015); Lemon Leafes/Zitronenblätter (Villa Aurora, Pacific Palisades 2015).

Johannes Büttner‘s (based in Amsterdam, born ’85, MFA Universität der Künste Berlin ’12) artworks are focused on the precarious circumstances of our age. Sketching futuristic as well as post-apocalyptic scenarios, underlined by a limbo between reality and fiction, past and current visions of the future are the main focus of his work. He is a co-founder of Berlin based cultural “Hate Magazin”. In 2015 he organised and curated the “Kongress der Möglichkeiten” at the Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, and in 2017 the exhibition “belong anywhere” in Berlin. At the moment he is a participant at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Latest exhibitions and performances include: Coming (Channel Sunday, Hamburg 2016), Gabber Nation (Kunsthuis Syb, Beesterzweig 2016), Séance I: Survival (Acud macht Neu, Berlin 2016), Do things people love(live) (Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Berlin 2016); Gabber Nation 2.0 (Intersection Art Rotterdam), Faustgroß (Theater, ADK Ludwigsburg 2017).

Larisa David (b. 1988) explores the tension between collective and individual identities, being concerned with possible alternative strategies to highlight fluid and multiple identities and peripheral histories. Her latest projects have employed the presence or absence of dialogue as a tool to delve into discourses, exceptionalism and the notion of citizenship using existing content – official documents, textbooks, dedicated books, tourists guides, newspapers – that she transposes in new contexts to reveal other perspectives to normative constructions. She lives in Rotterdam and Bucharest.

Vera Mey is an independent curator and PhD candidate at SOAS, University of London currently researching Southeast Asian art between 1955 – 1980. She is currently on the curatorial team of SUNSHOWER: Contemporary art from Southeast Asia 1980 – Now due to open in July 2017 at the Mori Art Museum and National Art Centre Tokyo in Japan. She was part of the founding team of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, a contemporary art research centre of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) as Curator, Residencies. Since it’s inauguration in January 2014, the Residencies Programme has brought together artists, curators and writers in a research driven residency with particular emphasis on artists from Singapore and Southeast Asia alongside artists from the rest of the world. She was Assistant Director of AUT University’s ST PAUL St Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand from 2011 to 2014. Her last project there was co curated with Erin Gleeson from Sa Sa Bassac, Phnom Penh called FIELDS: an itinerant inquiry across the Kingdom of Cambodia (2013).  For 2013 she was curator in residence at Arts Initiative Tokyo, Japan as well as convener of the AUT University Master of Arts Management Curatorial Strategy program.  She is co-founder of the scholarly journal SOUTHEAST OF NOW: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Asian Art and for 2015-16 joined Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art, a research initiative of the Getty Foundation.

Helge Peters is a doctoral student in human geography at the University of Oxford interested in questions of power, knowledge, and materiality. He holds an MA (dist.) in Media and Communications from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a BA in Communications from the Berlin University of the Arts.

Rabea Ridlhammer (Germany, 1990, based in Berlin) has a background in Fine Arts and Graphic Design. In 2015 she graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, where she also co-founded and curated various exhibitions and events at the illusive artist-run-space bunker0621. After dipping a toe into the gallery-pond in Berlin, she is currently pursuing her MA of Art Praxis at the Dutch Art Institute. She is focussing in her research on Play as a reproductive force as well as a potential method of subversion, touching on themes such as gender, representation,’ love’, theater, interior decoration and the gamification of culture and labour under capitalism. Her researches find manifestation in various forms, such as publications, films or events, thus extending beyond writing.

Anastasia Shin (b.1987) Graduated from Goldsmiths BA Art Practice in 2011 and completed her Yoga Alliance TTC in 2009. Both practices inform the format of the work she produces, ‘reflecting the conditions we exist within’ and the changing language used to describe it. Recent work focuses on sociological discourses surrounding the ‘Wellness’ industry with specific reference to devices of ‘data measurement’. She was one of seventeen facilitators of the 12-month postgraduate course ‘School of the Damned’ – Year of the Ram in 2015 and is now attending the Piet Zwart Institute MFA course.

Nat Muller is an independent curator and artcritic. Her main interests include contemporary art in and from the Middle East, and the intersections of aesthetics, media, and politics. With Alessandro Ludovico she edited the Reader2 and Reader3 Between Paper and Pixel (2007) and Processual Publishing, Actual Gestures (2009), based on a series of debates organised at Documenta XII. She has curated video and film screenings for projects and festivals internationally, including for Rotterdam’s International Film Festival (NL) and Norwegian Short Film Festival (NO). Recent exhibition projects include Customs Made: Quotidian Practices & Everyday Rituals (2014) at Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah, and This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam and American University of Beirut Gallery (2014-2015). Muller has been a nominator for the Prix Pictet Award, the V&A Jameel Art Prize, the Visible Award and the Paul Huf Photography award.


Why Is Everybody Being So Nice is curated by the participants of De Appel Curatorial Programme 2016-17: Mira Asriningtyas, Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti, Mateo Chacon-Pino, Kati Ilves, Shona Mei Findlay, Fadwa Naamna.
Intern: Hannah Cheney
Graphic Design: Fazed Grunion

* The title of the program is inspired by Martha Rosler’s essay Why Are People Being So Nice?, published in e-flux journal #77 – November 2016.

The participation of Apparatus 22 in Why Is Everybody Being So Nice: The Power Nap is kindly supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute in Brussels.