Close Connections 2008

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SMBA is presenting Close Connections 2008, a visitors' programme for international curators during Art Amsterdam. This 4th edition of Close Connections offers seventeen selected curators a dynamic and diverse programme that will enable them to become acquainted with the art, artists and art institutions of Amsterdam. The programme runs from May 7 through 12.

The purpose of Close Connections is to encourage exchanges and international cooperation. This cross-border project contributes to the development of the Amsterdam art world and its reputation in other countries. In addition, it helps the visual arts sector in Amsterdam to become acquainted with developments elsewhere in the world.

The first Close Connections took place in May, 2005, and was organised by the IZA (International Support for the Arts) Foundation. Since then a Close Connections has been organised with each Art Amsterdam, and thanks to this programme 55 curators from all corners of the world have already enjoyed an intensive visit to the city. After three years the IZA Foundation asked Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam to take over the organisation of the project. Given the great enthusiasm of the artists and institutions involved, SMBA was pleased to accept the responsibility, especially as one of the purposes of the SMBA is to give new art from the Amsterdam context a firm international footing. Close Connections fits with that effort.

This year curators from Africa, Europe, the United States and South America have been invited for Close Connections. Among those cooperating in the programme are institutions such as De Appel, the Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands Media Art Institute, the Rijksakademie, SMART Project Space, a number of galleries, and many artists from The Netherlands and other countries.

In order to introduce the invitees to institutions outside Amsterdam too, this year there will be a presentation by representatives of Witte de With (Rotterdam), De Paviljoens (Almere), Stroom (Den Haag), De Hallen (Haarlem) and Sonsbeek 2008 (Arnhem). You are warmly welcome to sit in on this presentation on Saturday, May 10, at 4:00 p.m, in the Art Amsterdam lounge.

In addition, in cooperation with Motive Gallery on Friday afternoon, May 9, there will be presentations of the artists Martine Stig and Aurelien Froment to be seen in Maison Descartes.

Furthermore, the curators of Close Connections are cooperating on the bus tour that is being organised as part of the opening of ‘Master Humphrey’s Clock’, the final project for the curatorial programme at De Appel.

Close Connections 2008 is made possible in part by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, the Prins Claus Fund, the Roberto Cimetta Fund, the Dutch Embassy in Berlin and these galleries:


Ellen de Bruijne

Fons Welters

Gabriel Rolt


Lumen Travo


Ron Mandos

This year the following curators are guests at Close Connections:

Sara Arrhenius, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm

Jonathan Carroll, Project Art Centre, Dublin

Övül Durmuşoğlu, Istanbul

Christophe Gallois, Fondation Musée d'Art Moderne Grand Duc Jean, Luxembourg

Catherine Hemelryk, CAC, Vilnius

Tobi Maier, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt

Thomas Mulcaire, Institute for Contemporary Art, Cape Town, currently co-curator of the São Paulo biennale

Gabi Ngcobo, Cape Town, South Africa

Vincent Pécoil, Salle de Bains Gallery, Lyon

Susanne Pfeffer, Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin

Torsten Reiter, Maerz Galerie, Leipzig

João Ribas, Drawing Center, New York

Başak Şenova, NOMAD, Istanbul

Matthias Ulrich, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt

Andrea Viliani, Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Bologna

Eva Wittocx, STUK, Leuven