News — 27 Sep 2021

In the context of the biannual Municipal Art Acquisitions (2022 edition), the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam organizes an Open Call entitled 'Guna-Guna: Design, Contemporary Art and Diasporic Magic'. This Open Call will be followed by a jury selection and a group exhibition, parts of which will be acquired for the collection of the museum.

Ever since the Municipal Art Acquisitions are organized through Open Calls, each edition has focused on a specific discipline or combination of disciplines. Both design and visual arts were selected for this edition, with particular emphasis on objects, sculptures and other projects that directly or indirectly involve guna-guna. Guna-guna is a concept that tantalizes, speaks to the imagination and is surrounded by a mysterious haze of inexplicability. Guna-guna is a silent and mystical force that can be productive, protective, deflective or destructive. This phenomenon can manifest itself in many ways: spirits, protective entities, the realm of animals and plants, folklore creatures, natural or occult and inexplicable events. This Open Call is concentrated on the notion that objects may possess a soul or supernatural force that cannot be seen, but that certainly can be felt.  

In a broader perspective, guna-guna can be associated with animism, voodoo, vodou, popular belief, witchcraft or magic, as well as with ritual acts, spells and metaphysics: all that eludes direct observation, or the magical and enigmatic aspects of objects and sculptures. This edition of the GKA seeks out knowledge, makers’ traditions and techniques that are passed on across generations and move from place to place. This also applies to the concept of guna-guna itself, which traveled to the Netherlands with the Indonesian diaspora. Makers with an interest in dialogue about the silent inner force of objects, sculptures or other projects they create are encouraged to submit a proposal.  

This Open Call is intended for designers and artists working and/or living in the Netherlands, regardless of nationality. Existing works, works in progress and works to be developed specifically for this exhibition are eligible for submission. A selection by curatorial duo Amanda Pinatih and Britte Sloothaak, together with an international jury committee, will be on show at the Stedelijk Museum from 29 October 2022 onwards. During the exhibition, director Rein Wolfs—in consultation with the Stedelijk curatorial team—will announce which works will become part of the museum’s collection.  

Practical information 

  • Deadline: 22 November 2021, 11:59 p.m. 

  • All proposals must be submitted through the online application form. 

  • A work must be submitted in the application. It is possible to submit multiple works. See the application page for more information. 

  • Only fully completed applications will be eligible for evaluation. (Please allow for the time needed to upload files, and keep in mind that uploading may take more time near the deadline due to heavy traffic.) 

  • Selection and jury interviews will take place from Monday 13 to Friday 17 December 2021.  

  • Selected makers will receive remuneration according to the Fair Practice Code. See the application page for more information. 

  • Questions may be sent to gka2022@stedelijk.nl.  

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