Category: Global Collaborations

Uncategorized February 12th, 2016

Kamarado in India – A Look Back

In the autumn of 2015, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam presented the group exhibition, Kamarado. In January 2016, Kamarado travelled on to India, giving co-curator Jelle Bouwhuis the opportunity to visit the exhibition on site and report on what he discovered there.

Kamarado looked different in India than it had at the SMBA. The project took place simultaneously at two different locations: at the partner organization, the Clark House Initiative in Bombay (they prefer the old city name to Mumbai, introduced in 1995 by local nationalists) and the India Art Fair in Delhi, the country’s largest art fair.

Installation Kamarado with works by Sosa Joseph and Saviya Lopez Read More »


Uncategorized December 31st, 2015

Kamarado in images

From September 12 till November 8, the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam presented the exhibition Kamarado, which was the first result of collaboration between Amsterdam and the Clark House Initiative in Bombay. Kamarado brought together a group of artists from across the world who together explored the idea of the comrade, a term which originally refers to ‘the one who shares the same room’. Kamarado was the fourth and final collaborative exhibition project realised under the umbrella of the three yearlong Global Collaborations program of the Stedelijk Museum. Below a visual impression of the images.

Kamarado, exhibition overview in Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, 2015

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Uncategorized December 16th, 2015

Inverted Night Sky: A Conversation with Jeronimo Voss

Artist Jeronimo Voss was one of the participants in the exhibition Kamarado, which was on view in the SMBA this Fall. The exhibition is part of a series of collaborative projects within the framework of the three-year program Global Collaborations. As part of the Kamarado project, the Global Collaborations Online editorial team has interviewed several of the exhibiting artists in order to unpack some of the historical complexities that run through their works and the exhibition. Assistant Manon van den Bliek and Global Collaborations editor Christel Vesters attended Inverted Night Sky, the special event organized during the Museumnacht 2015 and spoke with Jeronimo Voss about his research.

Detail of an isophotic map of the Milky Way by Anton Pannekoek from 1927 (research material for Aspects of the Milky Way by Jeronimo Voss)

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Uncategorized December 1st, 2015

Amol Kisan Patil about Sweep Walking

Amol Kisan Patil is one of the artists participating in the group exhibition Kamarado, which was on view at the SMBA from September 12 until November 9, 2015. The exhibition is part of a series of collaborative projects within the framework of the three-year program Global Collaborations.

As part of the Kamarado project, the Global Collaborations Online editorial team has interviewed several of the exhibiting artists in order to unpack some of the historical complexities that run through their works and the exhibition. Co-curator Kerstin Winking spoke with Amol K Patil about his work Sweep Walking, Indian middle class life and the legacy of his father and grandfather.

Amol K Patil, Sweep Walking, 2015

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Kamarado – Camaraderie in times of globalisation and social media

On Saturday 12 September, the Kamarado group exhibition opened at the SMBA. Kamarado is the fourth and last in a series of collaborative projects that are part the three-year Global Collaborations research and exhibition project. After collaborative exchanges with KUNCI in Yogyakarta, the AUB Gallery in Beirut and the Belgrade Museum of Contemporary Art, the Stedelijk Museum/SMBA entered into a dialogue with Clark House Initiative in Bombay, India. Clark House Initiative was founded in 2010 by Sumesh Sharma and Zasha Colah, as a curatorial collaborative, an experimental institution and an artists’ union concerned with ideas of freedom. In the past year, Sumesh Sharma and Zasha Colah have collaborated with Jelle Bouwhuis and Kerstin Winking, curators for Global Collaborations, to realise the ambitious two-part Kamarado project, whose Amsterdam edition consists of an exhibition and a related public program. After Amsterdam, the project will travel to Bombay.

Adrian Melis, Productivity Control System for the Last Cane Cutter, 2015


As was the case in the first exhibition project in the series, Made in Commons, which took place at the end of 2013 and was developed in collaboration with the KUNCI art platform in Indonesia, the important themes of ‘collectiveness’ and ‘the commons’ are at the centre of the Kamarado project. What meaning or importance does camaraderie still hold, when so many want to close national frontiers to those fleeing from war and terror? What does camaraderie mean in a society driven by materialism, profit and ‘my happiness before anyone else’s’?

The themes of collectiveness and communality are intrinsically linked in the term ‘comrade’. The title of the exhibition, ‘kamarado’, is from Esperanto, the politically neutral language developed in the late 19th century to encourage transcultural communication and exchange. In the first place, the term is associated with such political ideologies as socialism and communism, but, as the curators write in their introduction to the exhibition, the term also evokes connotations of less utopian ideals.

Judy Blum Reddy, Futurama, 2014-15Six artists from different parts of the world were invited to participate in the exhibition, reflecting on the meaning of the term ‘comrade’ from their own practices, contexts and world views: Sharelly Emanuelson from the Netherlands, Adrian Melis from Cuba, Amol K. Patil and Rupali Patil from India, Sawangwongse Yawnghe from Burma, Sosa Joseph from Kerala, India, and Jeronimo Voss from Germany. In the exhibition, the new works conceived and realized for the project are complemented with a number of existing works by Judy Blum Reddy, Mieke Van der Voort, Htein Lin and Rupali Patil, which, as the curators express it, operate as ‘cues’, referencing the historical complexities and relations between the new works. By inserting these cues, the curators want to show the connectivity between ‘here and there’, the present and the recent past, and to speculate on a possible narrative regarding the central theme of the exhibition, which is not based on similarities or a singular position, but instead shows the various manifestations and identities of the comrade today.

Can You Describe This?

Can You Describe This?, an essay written by Zasha Colah, one of the curators, for the SMBA Newsletter, makes it clear that there might be another theme running through the exhibition. This is the question of if, and how, we can describe any situation (‘this’) when confronted with images of terror, war, destruction and repression, with a ‘degree zero of political capacities’. ‘To describe alone, in the sphere of intellectual production, is considered a low form that precedes analysis, critical judgment, and theory. (…) Yet describing or description is also a method that is applied in literature and art history.’ Colah then refers to Svetlana Alpers’ seminal study (1983) on 17th-century Dutch painting and its relation to the prevalent optical theories of those times.

Sosa Joseph, What must be said, sketch, 2105Contrary to narrative, description carries an aura of objectivity and neutrality. But, as is the proposition of Jeronimo Voss’ installation, Initial (Aspects of the Milky Way), which engages with the work and life of the Dutch socialist and astronomer Anton Pannekoek (1873-1960), ‘description is also something unstable’. In Pannekoek’s case, for instance, his observations and descriptions of the stars and the Milky Way were shaped by his socialist ideas regarding the correlations and interdependences within the social (i.e., ideal socialist) sphere.


Kamarado is on view at the SMBA from 12 September through 8 November. An informal walk-through, with interviews with the artists about their work by Clark House Initiative and the SMBA took place before the exhibition opened. On Sunday, 13 September, a special public event further extrapolated the exhibition’s different themes in a programme of performances, films and a lecture.

Collecting Geographies August 18th, 2015

Thinking in Narratives: Interview with Bart van der Heide about TROMARAMA and a Global Perspective at the Stedelijk Museum

From 12 June through 6 September, the Stedelijk Museum is presenting the first European solo exhibition by the Indonesian artists collective, TROMARAMA. The exhibition is part of the Stedelijk Museum’s Global Collaborations project. With this three-year programme, the museum hopes to form a well-informed and nuanced perspective of developments in contemporary art from a worldwide approach. Global Collaborations Online editor Christel Vesters spoke with the Stedelijk’s new Chief Curator, Bart van der Heide, about Tromarama’s work, its significance for contemporary art and the Stedelijk Museum in particular, and the Stedelijk’s vision of global art within its own collection and programming policies.

Tromarama, Unbelievable Beliefs (2012), video still Read More »


Uncategorized January 21st, 2015

Expanding the Stedelijk Museum Photography Collection: The Problematic Principle of Collecting Geographies

What does the world look like from inside the Stedelijk? This question formed the starting point for How Far How Near, an exhibition that investigates how the (non-Western) world is represented and/or presented in the museum’s various collections and exhibitions. How Far How Near takes a modest selection from one of the important genres represented in the photography collection, the tradition of documentary and journalistic photography. This cluster shows a specific geopolitical reality, namely that until very recently, in the policy that has underscored the photography collection, ‘the world’ has been represented through the lenses of Western photographers. This has been changing in recent decades. What is it that this expansion of geographical field of view and positions offers? What patterns and expectations are being created by this change on the parts of Western museums? And what changes has this affected in how we form images, and in the possibilities for self-representation by ‘the Other’ in the Stedelijk Museum?

Walid Raad, Already been in a lake of fire, 2011

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Uncategorized December 30th, 2014

How Far How Near: Photography and Context

As part of Global Collaborations, curator Jelle Bouwhuis put together an exhibition with works from the collection of the Stedelijk Museum. How Far How Near: The World in the Stedelijk  looks back at the contents and origins of the collection with an eye on works from regions beyond Europe and North America, and with a plea for greater attention to art from these regions. Photography has an important role in this exhibition. Mirjam Kooiman, as a curator in training at the Stedelijk, was closely involved in the development of the exhibition. In two short essays, she looks at the role that photography has played in our perceptions of the world beyond Europe. The second essay will follow in January.

Installatie exhibitionposters How Far How Near

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Collection Collection Collection September 18th, 2014

How Far How Near… Interview with Jelle Bouwhuis

How Far, How Near: The World in the Stedelijk opened on 18 September, with works from the Stedelijk Museum collection and new work by Godfried Donkor and Lidwien van de Ven, created especially for this exhibition. The exhibition argues on behalf of greater attention to art from regions beyond Europe and North America. Recent acquisitions of works by African artists raise the question of why, in the past, the museum’s collection and exhibition policies have been so geographically limited? Christel Vesters, art critic and editor of ‘Global Collaborations Journal’, interviewed Jelle Bouwhuis, head curator of the exhibition, about the background to How Far, How Near.

Dorothy Akpene Amenuke, How Far How Near, 2012 Read More »

Blikopeners February 5th, 2014

Artist in Residence: Bernard Akoi- Jackson (part 1)

As part of its three-year Global Collaborations program, the Stedelijk Museum has invited the Ghanaian artist Bernard Akoi-Jackson to be an artist in residence. In collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum’s Blikopeners, Akoi-Jackson will spend the next year developing a project on such themes as culture and identity. The Blikopeners are young people, peer educators of 15–19 years old, with a fresh perspective on art. They represent a wide variety of backgrounds, study a range of different courses and come from all over the Greater Amsterdam area. The Blikopeners give guided tours and advice about all aspects of the Stedelijk Museum. Bram Verhoef, an up-and-coming art professional, interviewed Akoi-Jackson to learn more about his plans.


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