Blur – Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Group exhibition

30 NOV 2002 – 16 FEB 2003
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam


To blur: to make or become vague; blur: a smear or smudge; something vague, hazy or indistinct). The exhibition BLUR shows 29 artists with 51 acquisitions from the past two years which were purchased on the initiative of the curator of ‘applied’ art.

The exhibition BLUR shows acquisitions from the past two years which were purchased on the initiative of the curator of ‘applied’ art. This somewhat roundabout formulation and the title chosen will make it clear that a concept such as applied art is difficult to maintain (if it can be maintained at all), that it is difficult or impossible to pigeonhole artworks in modernistic categories any more, and that the generally accepted crossing of borders in art practice is leading to new sorts and areas. As of yet this process is still in full swing, between and within the familiar disciplines, media and formats. The furious exchanges that are taking place have led to ‘debordering’, changes and shifts in positions, and with that, in relationships.
Not all the works shown in BLUR are examples of this crossing of borders and the running together of disciplines. Some remain inside the borders and emphatically join into older artistic traditions. What unites the acquisitions is their relation to the existing collection and the quality of their craftsmanship.

Jewellery and related objects remain characterised by its connection with the body and its intimacy, but that does not contradict the fact that for years now jewellery makers have formed a guild of border-crossing artists who nibble away at the edges of their ‘discipline’ – Onno Boekhoudt in the lead. On show are three acquisitions from this recently deceased artist, which might have been the beginning of a catching-up process, because until recently Boekhoudt was not represented in the Stedelijk’s collection.

A fine example of the blurring art practice is the work Handcomputer I by LAM de Wolf, from 2001. It consists of a wall of more than 2000 textile and plastic rolls that project several centimetres from the wall and give a three-dimensional, flickering image, like enlarged pixels on a computer screen. As the viewer moves in front of the work, he or she constantly sees a different image. At the same time the rolls, which are not completely rolled-up, also constantly cast a different shadow pattern. The image is never static, and because of that continues to fascinate.

The Museum already possesses a book and a series of posters from Suska Mackert, in which she was engaged with jewellery in a conceptual manner. The video work shown in BLUR was made especially for the exhibition ‘Display’, the 2000-2001 edition of the Municipal Art Acquisitions. Mackert comments on the theme of display in a subtle manner by closely copying and calligraphically reproducing the logos of six international luxury jewellery firms such as Bulgari, Piaget and Tiffany & Co., with the patience of a saint. In the video-still reproduced here she is working on the Cartier logo.

The acquisitions are to be seen in gallery 23 and in the display cases in the corridor between the entrance and the restaurant. The larger works are brought together in gallery 23, with the wall installation by LAM de Wolf as the eye-catcher. Jewellery and objects are exhibited in the display cases. Four video works are also being shown in the corridor, including Mackert’s video.

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  • Date 2 January 2015
  • Tags Exhibitions - Past