News — 20 Nov 2018

Freedom of Movement is the latest edition of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam’s Municipal Art Acquisitions, a biannual show that features recent work from artists living in the Netherlands. The Municipal Art Acquisitions always focuses on a different discipline, and this year’s version brings together artists who work within the field of time-based media, which includes film and video work, internet art, performance, dance, sound art, and workshops. During the course of the exhibition, the Stedelijk will acquire several of the works on display for its internationally renowned collection.

Polina Medvedeva, The Champagne Drinkers: Russia from the Back Seat of a Taxi, 2015-2018 video projection, color, sound, 53 min., with four-channel video installation on smartphones and car seats. Courtesy the artist

Artists in the Netherlands were invited to submit work to Freedom of Movement via an open call. Out of 399 submissions, the jury—which consisted of choreographer Ligia Lewis, curator and Shadow Channel director Juha van ’t Zelfde, artist Harm van den Dorpel and curator Susan Gibb, led by Karen Archey, curator of this show and of time-based media at the Stedelijk—selected twenty artists to be featured.

The artists in the exhibition are Isabelle Andriessen, Yael Bartana, Verena Blok, Melanie Bonajo, Kate Cooper, Danielle Dean, Deniz Eroglu, Juan Arturo García González, JODI, Jort van der Laan, Basir Mahmood, Polina Medvedeva, Rory Pilgrim, Falke Pisano, Michele Rizzo, Rafaël Rozendaal, Sara Sejin Chang (van der Heide), Joy Mariama Smith, Jonas Staal, and Remco Torenbosch. Read more about these artists here.

Basir Mahmood, Monument of Arrival and Return, 2016. Video installation, 9 minutes 36 seconds, courtesy the artist

The title of the show refers to the right of a person to travel within or outside of a country and later to return to it. As nationalist and populist movements gain traction, the phrase “freedom of movement” has become politically loaded, raising questions of how much freedom we really have and how much we allow others. The notion also refers to the body’s ability to move, take action and express agency.

The works in this exhibition engage with the themes of movement and migration from a variety of perspectives. Artists address for instance the restriction of movement, the relative power of various national passports, the integrity of the body, surveillance operations overseen by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Agency, and the conflicts embedded within holding dual identity.

The Municipal Art Acquisitions rely on financial support from the Municipality of Amsterdam.

The Stedelijk Museum is pleased to present one new and one existing performance by Falke Pisano, one of the artists featured in the exhibition.

They will take place in as part of the opening weekend, on Sunday 25 November:

14.00 hrs: No Man's Land

15.00 hrs: Wonder-what-time-it-is.

For both No Man’s Land and Wonder-what-time-it-is, Pisano has created installations incorporating illustrations, diagrams, video, and other materials, which she will activate in public lecture-performances at the Stedelijk Museum.

Both works are part of the artist’s ongoing series VONDERVOTTEIMITISS (2017-present), which interrogates the purported objectivity of Western civilization’s philosophical roots. Through short stories written by authors that are now firmly embedded in the Western “canon”, Pisano questions concepts we believe to be self-evident, such as space, time, and language.

The performances will take place in exhibition gallery 1.29 and are freely accessible for visitors with an entrance ticket. Reservations are not necessary.

Kate Cooper, untitled, video still, 2018, courtesy of the artist and the Mondriaan Fund