SMART Project Space on 24 Mar 2001 13:24:26 -0000

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[Nettime-nl] SQUAT | Opening Saturday March 24, 9 PM.

SMART Project Space | 1e Constantijn Huygensstraat 20, Amsterdam

requests the pleasure of your company at the exhibition opening of:

SQUAT |  March 25 - May 6, 2001
Work by Karin Arink, Jeroen Jongeleen, Tony Matelli, Jesús Palomino, Valerie
Tevere, Muriël Toulemonde. Curated by Thomas Peutz

Opening Reception March 24, 9 PM

SQUAT is about finding space for personal manifestation, whether physically
or mentally,  within the urban environment. The squat movement might be past
its peak, but recent developments in Amsterdam  - an increasing housing
shortage combined with an increase in rent prices which have lead to an
exodus of artists and cultural initiatives out of the city- call for the
necessity of personal interventions within the city. The philosophy behind
the squat movement, finding space for personal manifestation in the city, is
as urgent and alive as it always was. Instead of defining the city as a
collection of buildings, it is more productive to envision the urban
structure as a constantly changing story of the experiences of its
inhabitants. The situationists proposed the term ´psychogeography´, a
geography that is not based on physical frontiers and buildings, but one
that describes the interaction of  people with and within the urban
environment. Thinking about the city in terms of its use rather than as a
plan imposed from above, opens up possibilities for individuals to create
their own space. Jeroen Jongeleens work is such a personal intervention in
the public space, understood as a communication structure. The stickers that
he sticks on mail boxes or traffic signs are, just like posters, mass
communication devices through which he sends his messages. But the theme
squat is addressed in many different ways in this exhibition. Jesús
Palomino's work is the most literal approach in building a structure of
materials one can find in the streets, whereas Karin Arink manifests herself
in virtual public space. Valerie Tevere's videos are about the way people
project themselves mentally in their city. Asked about their associations of
specific locations, the stories of New Yorkers shown on 5 monitors weave
together as a many facetted city portrait. The horse of Muriël Toulemonde
running on an assembly line, an image of explosive but stationairy energy,
can visualize the sometimes difficult search for space to manifest yourself
as an individual.

SQUAT is a statement about the situation in which Smart Project Space finds
itself. An art space that precisely wants to inscribe such a personal story
within the city and engages itself in a struggle with city departments and
housing developers to achieve its goal: to give the Jan van Swammerdam
Institute an active role within the city and establish a multi disciplinary
centre that meets a need within Amsterdam culture. Over the last years
artists have developed new artistic practices by inscribing art in various
social spaces, crossing boundaries between institutions, ideas and
disciplines. The art institution retains a crucial point of reference for
these practices but to do this it needs to reconsider its role parallel to
the developments within the arts. Smart creates a space in which this
dialogue can take place, together with artists by bringing the place of
presentation and production of art within one building. A strong metaphor of
the idea of squat appears in Tony Matelli's work. From a material commonly
used for the creation of beautiful flowers Matelli constructs a weed that
pushes itself to the inside via the cracks in between walls and floors.
While weed is usually perceived as a undesirable presence, an aggressive
growth, in this context it is transformed into a positive image of
determination to demand one's own space.

Sponsored by: Gemeente Amsterdam, Mondriaan Stichting, Mentrum, Brand Bier,

SMART Project Space |
1e Constantijn Huygensstraat 20, NL-1054 BW Amsterdam
Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday 12.00-20.00 hrs.
Post Office Box 15004, NL-1001 MA Amsterdam
Phone: +31 20 427.5951 / 5952 | Fax.: +31 20 427.5953

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