‘It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it’

Anne de Vries, Katanga Bub, 2011, Mobile devices, light box, press image, 90 x 144 cm.

Anne de Vries, Katanga Bub, 2011, Mobile devices, light box, press image, 90 x 144 cm.

Manifesta Foundation (Manifesta Biennial, the roving European Biennial of contemporary art), and DutchCulture, invited Amsterdam-based gallerist, Martin van Zomeren, to install a group exhibition throughout their shared historic grand Amsterdam canal house turned office space at Herengracht 474.

9 May – 1 October 2014 at Herengracht 474, Amsterdam

Participating Artists: Edith Dekyndt // Martijn Hendriks // Alexandra Leykauf // Fiona Mackay // Katja Mater //Jean-Baptiste Maitre // Navid Nuur // Nick Oberthaler // Cornelius Quabeck // Anne de Vries

Ranging from videoworks, sculptures, paintings and installations, the exhibition explores the practice of 10 Dutch and international artists. Some of them express clear statements about society and cultural history while others investigate their surroundings in a methodical way fluctuating between objectivity and experience.

For instance, the works of Navid Nuur are based on rigid conceptual principles (or ‘sets of rules’ as the artist calls them) that derive mainly from his sensory relationship with his surroundings. Edith Dekyndt confronts scientific objectivity with a subjective and poetic approach to the empirical world.

‘Katanga Bub’, one of the works situated on the first floor, brings together the extreme ends of the mobile device industry and shows a clear headed examination of society. Here Anne de Vries re- photographs underwater a press image depicting the landscape and workers of Katanga, in The Democratic Republic of Congo (i.e. an area mined for many minerals like tungsten and coltan, which have been crucial for the manufacture of mobile devices). The elemental earthy origins of the mines are (re)connected with the liquefied luxuriance of global technology commodities and their marketing aesthetics, to express the easy exchange of information through these devices.

Jean-Baptiste Maitre investigates how images are created and remain in our cultural collective unconscious. ‘Dan Around’, an installation situated in the basement of the building, vaguely recalls Dan Flavin’s sculptures, conceptual archetypes of the seventies, but it is not an exact replica of his work. It’s a vague memory crystallised in clay, shaped by hand and then glazed. The artist shows how the way we remember artworks has something to do with art and it is as much important, if not more important, then looking at an original art piece.

Manifesta Foundation Office

Martin van Zomeren’s exhibition is the second in a rolling programme of international contemporary art exhibitions curated by Amsterdam gallerists who are invited by Manifesta to exhibit in the historic office building at the Herengracht 474. The exhibitions occupy intriguing and unconventional spaces in the working offices from the cleaning cupboard to the basement.

“In 2014 we celebrate 20 years of Manifesta, with Manifesta 10 opening 28 June hosted by The Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russian Federation. We are delighted to have worked together with DutchCulture to present this second exhibition in the historic 300-year-old Baroque building that house both of our organizations. It is exciting for us both to live and work amongst these exceptional artworks by artists resident in The Netherlands.” Hedwig Fijen, Manifesta Director

*‘It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it’ can be seen by appointment on weekdays from 10.00 till 18.00. For an appointment please contact marjolein (at) manifesta.org

Herengracht 474 1017 CA Amsterdam The Netherlands

Office hours from 10:00 to 18:00