News Archive




Municipal Art Acquisitions 2010

History appears to be growing in significance as a determining factor in our identity, our culture, our norms and values. The creation of the Canon of Holland and the establishment of a National Historical Museum are evidence of this development. In the past, particularly in the 19th century, a similar interest in history resulted in magnificent historical paintings and monuments commemorating national heroes and events. Increasingly often, contemporary art is also showing interest in historical reflection, but in a variety of disciplines and definitely not necessarily in support of 'the nation'.
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Now is the Time

To celebrate the publication of the collected essays Now is the Time: Art & Theory in the 21st Century, the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam will host a booklaunch on Tuesday, December 1. During the event Eelco van Welie, director NAi Publishers and Gijs van Tuyl, director Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, will present first copies of both the Dutch and English edition of the publication to Lex ter Braak, director of the the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB), and to Gitta Luiten, director of the Mondriaan Foundation who supported the publications financially.
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Lecture Jimmy Ogonga

The lecture will be on Wednesday November 18th from 8.00 to 9.30 p.m. at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Rozenstraat 59, Amsterdam, T +31 20 4220471 |

Please let us know if you will be attending and if you are interested in bringing others along.You can contact Haco de Ridder at

In November Jimmy Ogonga, Program Director of the Nairobi Arts Trust – Centre for Contemporary Art of East Africa (CCAEA) and himself an artist, will be a guest of the Mondriaan Foundation with their international visitor’s program. On Wednesday 18th November he will give a lecture on the work they are doing at CCAEA, followed by an interview with Jelle Bouwhuis of Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. We cordially invite you to attend.
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Museum Night at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam

Melanie Bonajo -Opera for Glossolalia: Demons, Devils, Angels, Monsters and Other Intermediate Beings
8:00 through 10:30 p.m.

Followed by guided tours of the exhibition ‘Long Live Matriarchy!’

On Museum Night Melanie Bonajo will present a continuous performance of Opera for Glossolalia. This will be done in cooperation with Maia Lyon-Daw and Joseph Marzolla.
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Eelco Runia lecture and Van Brummelen & De Haan book launch

Thursday, 22 October, starting 8:00 p.m.

In cooperation with Valiz Publishers, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam is helping launch the book Redrawing the Boundaries by Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan. In association with the book launch the historian Eelco Runia has been invited to lecture on the concept of ‘Presence’. After that there will be a screening of the film Monument of Sugar by Van Brummelen & De Haan. The artist pair will provide a brief introduction to the film.
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Africa Reflected

For the upcoming Africa Reflected project, from October 11 until October 16, we would like to bring the following events to your attention:

Monday, October 12

1 - 6 p.m.:
A semi-public seminar with Kobena Mercer

There are still some seats available, please send a motivation to

8 – 10 p. m.:
A collaboratively organised video screening

Wednesday, October 14, 8 – 10 p.m.


A public lecture by Simon Njami

Admission is free but reservation is recommended: please mail to

Click here for more information on the project.

Redlight Art - A Second Exchange

'A Second Exchange' is a three-day public presentation which signs the closing of RED A.I.R. / Redlight Art Amsterdam, the artists-in-residence program in former brothels in the centre of Amsterdam. The presentation brings together the works developed by eight resident artists during the past months. It will also be an opportunity to reflect on the role of art in process of urban transformation during two public discussion sessions on September 26 and 27. Participating artists: Laurence Aëgerter, Mounira Al Solh, Alexis Blake, Egle Budvytyte, Francesca Grilli, Achim Lengerer, Ahmet Ögüt and Niels Vis. Read more

Hala Elkoussy and Jelle Bouwhuis win Abraaj Capital Art Prize

The artist Hala Elkoussy and SMBA curator Jelle Bouwhuis have won the prestigious Abraaj Capital Art Prize. The announcement was made yesterday evening in Dubai. Elkoussy and Bouwhuis were selected on the basis of a project proposal that can be realised with the money from the prize. The result will be shown next year in the context of the Art Dubai contemporary art fair. In total the prize amounts to $200,000.
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Mevis & Van Deursen win the Amsterdamprijs

In August 2009 the “Amsterdamprijs voor de Kunst” (Amsterdamprice for the Arts) was awarded to designers-duo Mevis & Van Deursen, as to the two other winners A. Roosen and F. Starik.

Since the establishment of the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam in 1993 Mevis & Van Deursen have been the designers for the project space, for example they are responsible for SMBA’s house style and several books. 10 Years SMBA, Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani - Blind Spots and REHAB are some fine examples of books the duo designed for SMBA.

Extra shuttle buses to the Krakersmonument

Please note: due to unexpected circumstances, the shuttle bus on August 28th is cancelled. Our apologies!

On July 25th, before the opening of the exhibition called 'One's History is Another's Misery' will depart an extra shuttle bus from the Rozenstraat to the Krakersmonument at the Stromboliweg. The shuttle bus departs at 15:00h and will be back at 17:00h.
There is also an opportunity to go on the shuttle bus on September 25th.
There are still seats available in the bus, to make a reservation mail to

Presentation Jeremiah Day - Krakersmonument

On Saturday afternoon, 27 June, SMBA presents 'Krakersmonument' (Squatter's Memorial) by Jeremiah Day. The presentation will take place around 5:30 p.m., at the end of the Stromboliweg, in the western harbours of Amsterdam. As an introduction, prior to the presentation a public conversation between Jeremiah Day and the former artist Raivo Puusemp will take place in Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, beginning at 4:00 p.m. After this a shuttle bus will depart for the Stromboliweg. Frank van Kreuningen, chairman of the Amsterdam Spinoza Circle, will perform the opening ceremony. More

The Rise in Moskow and San Francisco

The video installation The Rise, by the artist duo Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani, will be presented during the Moskow International Film Festival (MIFF) and in the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). The Rise is made during a residency period at the Amsterdam Zuidas and premiered in 2007 in SMBA.

The Moskow International Film Festival, which lasts from 19 June till 28 June, will exhibit The Rise in the context of Media Forum. This platform is a part of the programme of the annual festival that focuses on recent cinematic experiments, supported by lectures and master classes. The exhibition in SFAI, 'Summertime: or, Close-ups on Places We've (Never) Been', is curated by Hou Hanru. It examines post-modern issues such as nomadic identity, hybridity and globalised mobility.

The Zuidas residency by Fischer/El Sani was a collaboration with SMBA, the Professorship of Art and Public Space and is part of the 'Zuidas Free Spaces AIR Project' of the Virtual Museum Zuidas. Click here for more info on The Rise.

'Episode III' in the Cinema

Date: from Thursday 4 June onwards

The film Episode III - Enjoy Poverty by Renzo Martens will run from 4 June onwards in five different Dutch cinemas. Episode III premiered as the opening film on the IDFA at 20 November last year and was subsequently shown continuously with other related objects until 4 January in SMBA. The film will run in the following cinemas: the Ketelhuis (Amsterdam), Filmhuis Den Haag, 't Hoogt (Utrecht), Lantaren-Venster (Rotterdam) and Plaza Futura (Eindhoven, as of 11 June). Episode III will also be released in Belgium.
On 29 May there is a pre-release screening in the Ketelhuis. The screening will be concluded by a debate between the film critic Dana Linssen and the journalist Joris Luijendijk.

Click here for more information about the film Episode III - Enjoy Poverty.

Unveiling Jeremiah Day Squatters' Memorial

Date: Saturday, June 27th

SMBA is participating in the manifestation My Name is Spinoza. The event offers artists, art and cultural institutions and members of the public a platform for a lively exploration of Spinoza's thinking. As a participant SMBA works together with the artist Jeremiah Day on the development of his temporary Squatters? Memorial , a proposition for art in public space. On the 8th of May the manifestation started and it will be held in May, June and September 2009 More information will follow. Visit the website of My Name is Spinoza for more information about the program of the opening and the art manifestation.

Jeremiah Day Squatters Memorial is an art project of Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. It is a proposition for art in public space, part of the manifestation My Name is Spinoza. The project is made possible in part by AFK (Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst) and SKOR (Foundation Art and Public Space).

The Manifestation My Name is Spinoza is an initiative of the Amsterdam Spinoza Circle, developed by SKOR (Foundation Art and Public Space) and in corporation with Foundation Spinoza Centrum Amsterdam.

Seminar: 'The Demon of Comparisons'

Venue: Doelenzaal in the UB of the UvA, Singel 421-427 in Amsterdam
Date: Saturday 4 April from 11:00 till 18:00
Language: English
Entrance fee: 7 euros
Reservation is required:

The exhibition 'The Demon of Comparisons' is accompanied by a seminar on Saturday 4 April. Go to 'The Demon of Comparions' to read more about the seminar and the speakers.

RED A.i.R. Presentation Artists

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam is pleased to invite you to the presentation of RED A.i.R., the artists-in-residence programme launched in January 2009, in the Red Light District of Amsterdam.

Location: SMBA, Rozenstraat 59 in Amsterdam
Date: Tuesday 17 March
Time: doors open at 19:30,
the programme starts at 20:00
Language: English
Admission: free
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Fischer/El Sani's 'The Rise' in Kunsthaus Glarus

Exhibition: 'The Beauty of the Imperfect, Impermanent and Incomplete' by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani
Location: Kunsthaus Glarus (CH)
Date: 15 February - 3 May 2009

The Berlin artist duo Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani will exhibit from 15 February on in Kunsthaus Glarus in Switzerland. Part of this show is the film installation The Rise which was made during the Zuidas residency period and subsequently shown in SMBA in the Spring of 2007. The Zuidas residency in the new financial district of the Dutch capital is a collaborative project of SMBA and the Professorship of Art & Public Space. The Rise centers on the Viñoly building, the office complex with the characteristic fissure in its facade. In their film, inspired by Hitchcock's Vertigo and Piranse's carceri images, Fischer and El Sani concentrate on the complex relationship between the formal language of the building, the psychological effects triggered by its neomodernist architecture and the free market ideology that radiates from the setting in Zuidas. With the current credit crisis, the film is more topical than ever. The Rise is extensively discussed in the monographic publication Blind Spots, which is still available in SMBA or your local art book store.

For more information of this artwork see The Rise
For more information regarding Kunsthaus Glarus see

'Now is the Time' Big Success

The lecture series 'Now is the Time: Art & Theory in the 21st Century' attracted a total of 2545 visitors, divided over seven evenings, which means that per evening approximately 357 seats in the University of Amsterdam's Auditorium were filled. This success proves once more that the debate on art and art theory can indeed be stimulated by a high-quality lecture and debates programme.
'Now is the Time' also attracted more visitors than its predecessor, the lecture series 'Right About Now', that took place in 2006/2007 and which, with an average attendance of 220 visitors per evening, already was a success.

The organisation looks back at seven well-received evenings. The selection of topical themes, elaborated in fourteen thought provoking lectures, could count on an enthusiastic response from the audience. Highlight of the series was the engaging lectures and debate session with Terry Eagleton (UK) and Boris Groys (DU/RU) on the urgent theme of Belief on January 15, which attracted no less then 550 people.

But 'Now is the Time' hasn't come to an end yet. At the moment the organisation is working full speed on the final publication in which not only all the lectures will be published as an essay, but also the edited versions of the moderated debates. This publication will appear this coming Fall and will be published in collaboration with NAi Publishers. Thanks to the generous support of the Fonds voor Beeldende Kunst, Bouwkunst en Vormgeving, the publication will appear in both an English and a Dutch edition.
For those who cannot wait that long, you can visit our newly launched Photo Gallery on the website of 'Now is the Time', which contains visual documentation of all the evenings. Go to
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'Defacing' in Louvain

Exhibition: 'Defacing' by Gert Jan Kocken
Location: STUK, Louvain (B)
Date: 11 February - 11 April 2009

The exhibition 'Defacing' by Gert Jan Kocken is presented until April 11 in the art centre STUK in Louvain. 'Defacing' originated in Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam where it was on show in the Fall of 2007. Kocken's work primarily deals with the image in relation to history and memory. In 'Defacing' he shows photographs of religious statues and paintings which were defaced during the Iconoclastic Fury in 16th (and partly 17th) century. The detailed, life-sized pictures, as shown in the white spaces of the STUK exhibition, portray the material quality of the damage even better than when one is faced with the real objects in their existing surroundings. But with 'Defacing' Kocken does not only draw attention to an important event in the religious history of North-Western Europe; for at the same time he raises questions relating to the power of the image today.

For more information about this exhibition see 'Defacing'
For more information concerning STUK go to

Now is the Time: ROMANTICISM

Date: Thursday 29 January, 'Romanticism' with Jos de Mul and Jörg Heiser
Location: Oude Lutherse Kerk, Auditorium of the University of Amsterdam (corner Spui), Amsterdam
Start at: 8.00 p.m.

Thursday 29 January the philosopher Jos de Mul (NL) and the art critic Jörg Heiser (DE), will discuss the return of Romanticism in contemporary art and culture.

In the debate on our post 9/11, multicultural society, Jos de Mul argues, people often put claim on the rationalistic and universalistic legacy of Radical Enlightenment. Supposedly being its opposite, Romanticism is perceived as an irrational and nationalistic counter-Enlightenment. According to De Mul, this description is false. Jos de Mul teaches Philosophy at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and published, among other titles, Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy (1999) and The Tragedy of Finitude: Dilthey's Hermeneutics of Life (2004).
Jörg Heiser investigates the presence of Romantic tendencies in Conceptual Art by using the term 'Romantic Conceptualism'. In his lecture, Heiser will discuss the conflict between the Sublime and 'the open art work' and the stereotypical ideas surrounding 'heroism versus humility'. Jörg Heiser is co-editor of the art magazine Frieze and in 2007 curated the exhibition 'Romantic Conceptualism'. He recently published the book All of a Sudden: Things That Matter in Contemporary Art.

The lectures are followed by a debate with experts and the public, moderated by Thomas Lange (DE). Lange teaches Modern Art History at the University of Amsterdam and specialises in 19th century art.

All Now is the Time lectures are in English. Reservation required.
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Terry Eagleton and Boris Groys in Now is the Time

Sixth evening: Thursday 15 January with Terry Eagleton and Boris Groys
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Oude Lutherse Kerk, Auditorium of the University of Amsterdam (corner Spui), Amsterdam

Thursday 15 January the lecture series Now is the Time: Art and Theory in the 21st Century will answer to a 'religious turn' in contemporary society. The influential literary critic Terry Eagleton (UK) and art critic, philosopher and media theorist Boris Groys (DE) will look into the contemporary prominence of ethical and religious values. They will especially focus on the relation between this field of ideals, ideologies and belief systems and the arts. In reaction to censorship and iconoclasm many artists feel compelled to oppose the religious turn by defending freedom of speech. Notwithstanding this defensive position, the art world seems to be developing an increasing positive interest in religion. Eagleton and Groys will concentrate on this interaction between religion and art and the way in which these two diametrically opposite tendencies are related.

All Now is the Time lectures are in English. Reservation required.
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