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News — 5 Oct 2019

The 2020 edition of the Proposals for Municipal Art Acquisitions exhibition, organized by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, departs from a critical outlook on the museum collection. Seeking stories that are unseen, ignored, or deserve to be told more often, the Stedelijk Museum encourages artists and designers to send proposals that disseminate intangible, embodied, and personal forms of knowledge transfer to challenge prevailing knowledge power structures. A selection of artworks and design projects from this exhibition will be acquired for the museum collection.

Prevailing knowledge systems such as education curricula, public archives, and museum collections lead to selective inclusion of information classified as “valid” or “reliable” while other valuable forms of knowledge production are repeatedly excluded by organizations. These can include stories regarded as untraceable, controversial, or unreliable, such as intuitive knowledge, inherited wisdom, oral histories, and even childhood memories, gossip, and love songs. Such sources remain “unofficial” and are often left outside the structures that shape our collective knowledge. The risk of this segregation lies in the limited perspectives that “official” stories offer. There is a Dutch proverb, onbekend maakt onbemind, (“what is unknown is unloved”) which exemplifies how the creation of knowledge gaps affects what we cherish and foster in the future. This leads to an urgency to constantly question knowledge management in organizations such as museums, and what they elect to value and collect.

This exhibition particularly seeks artworks and design projects that can contribute to a critical perspective. Artists and designers are encouraged to submit projects that can challenge existing or conventional ways of knowing.

This Open Call is aimed at artists and designers working and/or living in the Netherlands; nationality is not a criterion. The deadline for the application is November 14, 2019. Together with an international jury, curatorial duo Britte Sloothaak and Fadwa Naamna will make a selection from the submitted projects, which will be exhibited from the end of June, 2020.


  • Artists and designers may apply with finished works, works in progress, or works they would like to produce for the exhibition.
  • All applications must be submitted via the online application form
  • Inquiries may be sent to
  • Interviews with the jury will take place on November 27-29.

Online application form

Jury members for the Municipal Art Acquisitions 2020

Britte Sloothaak (b. 1984) is an art historian and curator and holds a position as Junior Curator at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Together with Fadwa Naamna, she is co-curator of the 2020 edition of the Proposals for Municipal Art Acquisitions exhibition, which focuses on artworks and design projects that can offer alternatives to existing or conventional ways of knowing. 

Fadwa Naamna (b. 1985) is a curator and researcher based in Amsterdam. She is currently working together with Britte Sloothaak on co-curating the next Municipal Art Acquisitions 2020 at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, a group exhibition followed by selected acquisitions for the museum collection, and invites artists and designers to present works that disseminate intangible, embodied, and personal forms of knowledge transfer in order to challenge prevailing structures of knowledge and power.

Zippora Elders (b. 1986) is a curator based between Berlin and Amsterdam. She is artistic director of Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen and co-curator of sonsbeek20-24. Her recent projects and interests revolve around the landscape in contemporary art, studio photography, performativity and identity in online cultures, and art and design practices in relation to urban development. The programming of the Kunstfort is inspired by the genre of science fiction.

Cédric Fauq (b. 1992) is a curator and writer currently based in Nottingham (UK), working as Curator of Exhibitions at Nottingham Contemporary, where he has been working since September 2017 (first as Assistant Curator). He is one of the co-curators of the multi-chaptered project Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance; upcoming projects include a solo exhibition with Sung Tieu and a project titled Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio. 

Prem Krishnamurthy (b. 1977) is a designer, exhibition maker, teacher, and writer based in Berlin and New York City. He is a partner in the multidisciplinary design practice Wkshps and co-Artistic Director of FRONT International 2021. His work considers both historical and speculative intersections of art, design, architecture, and writing. Other interests include the politics of display and presentational methods, experimental institutional formats, and collaborative frameworks.

Monika Szewczyk (b. 1975) is director of De Appel centre for art in Amsterdam. She has been curator for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel (2015-2017); Visual Arts Program Curator at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago (2012-2014), and Head of Publications at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam (2008-2011); these following formative years in Vancouver (Canada) where she studied International Relations and Art History at the University of British Columbia and held curatorial positions at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and the Vancouver Art Gallery.