News — 27 Jul 2018

First major museum survey and premiere of the new film installation Eurasia (Questions on Happiness)

6 October 2018 - 24 February 2019

The Stedelijk Museum will stage the first large-scale museum survey of Metahaven, bringing together the collective’s new moving image work with their renowned design practice. As Metahaven, Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden have achieved international acclaim for their work spanning the genres of visual art, design, and film. This exhibition features the premiere of Eurasia (Questions on Happiness), a film installation jointly commissioned by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (ICA), which will be simultaneously shown at both locations.

Karen Archey, Curator of Contemporary Art, Time-based Media: “We are pleased to collaborate with the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London on complementary exhibitions of the Dutch collective Metahaven. With the co-commissioning of the new film Eurasia, this collaboration places Metahaven on a much-deserved international podium, and brings together the two institutions’ strengths examining art and digital culture.”

Richard Birkett, ICA Chief Curator: “The Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam share a deep commitment to the support of challenging work by contemporary artists, thinkers, filmmakers and performers. Working together to make possible Metahaven's ambitious new work Eurasia, alongside parallel exhibitions at both institutions, has provided the perfect forum for cementing these connections, and for amplifying Metahaven's vital poetic inquiries into present-day conditions.”

Four galleries at the Stedelijk will be dedicated to the large-scale, immersive video installations that Metahaven has been creating since 2015 and that have never been shown before in the Netherlands. A fifth gallery centers around Metahaven’s music videos, textile and print works.

Metahaven, Eurasia (Questions on Happiness), still, 2018. Courtesy Metahaven

Eurasia (Questions on Happines)

Shot in the Ural Mountains and Macedonia, Eurasia (Questions on Happiness) combines animation and documentary analysis with aspects of science fiction, poetry, and folk tale. Eurasia begins where its predecessor, Metahaven’s 2015 film The Sprawl (Propaganda About Propaganda), left off, and finds itself along the New Silk Road which links the technological infrastructures of Asia and Europe. Traversing through abstract plains and ecological disaster zones, the film focuses on historical time running at different, incompatible rates, across vast territories that are collapsed into singular media spaces.

About Metahaven

Metahaven’s work encompasses the practices of filmmaking, writing, design, and installation, and is united conceptually by interests in poetry, storytelling, digital superstructures, and propaganda. Their moving image works manifest as immersive installations, and share an aesthetic logic with the collective’s design work in an attention to surface, texture, and the intelligent simplification of complex logics and visual forms. Their work is frequently exhibited and published throughout the world.

Publication

A monographic print publication, collaboratively edited with exhibition curator Karen Archey and designed by Metahaven, will be published on the occasion of the exhibition.

Taking the form of a large zine, the publication contains essays on Metahaven’s work as well as a series of conversations with leading voices in diverse fields such as music, poetry, art, film, and fashion. Contributors include writers Ana Teixera Pinto, Malka Older and Suhail Malik, musicians Holly Herndon, M.E.S.H., and
LIL INTERNET, poet and translator Eugene Ostashevsky, fashion designer Yulia Yefimtchuk, and many others.

Metahaven, The Sprawl (Propaganda about Propaganda), still, 2015. Courtesy Metahaven

The exhibition Metahaven: EARTH at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is curated by Karen Archey, Stedelijk’s Curator of Contemporary Art, Time-based Media.

This exhibition is organized concurrently with the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London exhibition Metahaven: VERSION HISTORY, opening October 3rd 2018 and running through January 13th 2019.

Eurasia (Questions on Happiness) (2018) is produced by the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and co-commissioned with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Sharjah Art Foundation. The film is supported by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and Creative Industries Fund NL and generously assisted by Strelka Institute, Moscow.

The exhibition Metahaven: Earth is generously supported by the International Collector Circle and Curator Circle of the Stedelijk Museum Fonds. The accompanying publication is made possible by the Mondriaan Fund.

Metahaven, Captives of the Cloud: Scanlation, 2013. Courtesy Metahaven

Note to editors

For more information and images, please contact the Press Office of the Stedelijk Museum, +31 (0)20 573 26 660 / 656 or pressoffice@stedelijk.nl