News — 11 Jan 2016

Amsterdam, January 11, 2016 - The work # +14.11 by Saskia Noor van Imhoff was acquired by the Stedelijk Museum in 2015. It is a spatial installation comprising photos, various objects, and a humidifier. For the inaugural presentation of this work at the Stedelijk, the artist is making a site-specific installation. The piece references both the architecture of the museum galleries and the collection of the Stedelijk. In her work, Van Imhoff retrieves (little-known) objects from the museum’s storage depot and integrates methods of conserving, classifying, and storing art into her installations.

To construct the installation in galleries 28 and 29 (the innermost galleries of the design circuit), Van Imhoff conducted an intensive investigation of the museum’s storage depot. The artist uses original objects, such as those she discovered in the depot, in her installations, as well as replicas. This strategy reveals one of the central themes of her work: a critique of the tenuous divide between original and copy. How do we view a work displayed in constantly changing situations and presentations? How does removing a work from its original context and using it as material for a new work affect the meaning and value of the art object?

Saskia Noor van Imhoff pursues an approach comparable to that of an archaeologist—constantly peeling back layers to discover deeper meanings, unearthing unexpected objects and fragments of knowledge that can be used to create new narratives. In addition, Van Imhoff also uses documents related to scholarly museum research and everyday objects, juxtaposing them without any kind of hierarchy.

Specifically for the work at the Stedelijk, the artist has included a humidifier, a piece of equipment often used to store and help preserve objects, but which here serves to question the precarious balance of the museum climate.

According to curator Leontine Coelewij: “Van Imhoff engages with critical research into museum strategies. The way in which the meaning of artworks is affected by a museum’s guidelines and systems is inherent to her work. With this, Van Imhoff is one of the most intriguing contemporary representatives of ‘institutional critique,’ a direction in art that primarily focuses on the critical consideration of museum practices.”

The title of the presentation is # + 23.00; the purchased work, which is entitled # +14.11, is part of this exhibition. By electing to give numerical titles to her artworks, Van Imhoff refrains from offering either associative or intrinsic information. The series of digits refer to the serial nature of her art production in a system devised by the artist herself, within which she frequently refers to previous objects or presentations.

In parallel with her presentation at the Stedelijk Museum, Saskia Noor van Imhoff will also stage a solo exhibition at De Appel (February 6  through April 10, 2016). A special newspaper will be published to link both presentations, each of which has a distinct character and engages with the specific context of the respective institutions.

About Saskia Noor van Imhoff
Saskia Noor van Imhoff was born in 1982 in Mission (Canada). She studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam (2004–2008) and at De Ateliers, Amsterdam (2010–2012). In 2013, she was nominated for the de Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs. Also in that year, Van Imhoff completed a residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, and staged an exhibition at the Bad Bentheim Castle, as winner of the Ruisdael Stipendium. She is represented by Galerie Fons Welters in Amsterdam.

The Stedelijk Museum in 2016
In 2016, the Stedelijk Museum presents a series of dynamic solo exhibitions by a promising generation of artists. Many of the presentations feature new productions and recent acquisitions. With this, the Stedelijk responds to current artistic developments and supports contemporary talent, in some cases, by also assuming the role of commissioner. For the Stedelijk, artists define the meaning of the times in which we live. Developing long-term relationships with the artists of today shapes the identity of our collection for the future.