Ambassadors selection – Gijs

Published November 15 2018
Gijs' selection

We're counting down the days until Amsterdam Art Weekend! This year we're glad to announce that we are in the company of five great ambassadors. These five people, who are well versed in the contemporary art field, will guide you through the varied and comprehensive programme that Amsterdam Art Weekend has to offer.

Our ambassadors have selected the exhibitions and highlights that they are looking forward to the most. If you'd like to make your own selection, use this link.

Meet Gijs

Gijs, well-established independent curator who’s very much involved in the Amsterdam art scene, has been living and working in Amsterdam for 32 years. He lives in the city-centre, right in the hustle and bustle of it all, and his house – besides being his home – is a location where various art exhibitions, cultural happenings and music, take place all the time.

“I don’t belong to the group of people who complain about the noise and buzz of the city-centre, after all we live right in the middle of it. I realize that the ‘village’ of Amsterdam now counts as a metropolis and that a large amount of visitors will continue to visit the city’s cultural institutions daily.”

Gijs grew up with art and culture, and studied art history at the UVA. During and after his studies, he gathered as much experience as possible working at galleries, museums, private collectors, at home and abroad. Besides that, for 12 years he also managed the launch of art books and published magazines, after which he returned to independent curating. He set up various initiatives, both in the Netherlands and abroad, in which multidisciplinary and transhistorical curating were central. Currently, among other things, he’s working on projects relating to the re-use of historical heritage at the Design Museum Amsterdam and he’s also focusing on various SALON events, an initiative by Manon Schaap, Cathal McKee and Gijs himself.

Art, life and work are interconnected for Gijs:

“Time outside of work actually doesn’t exist for me – nearly all of my free time is spent visiting exhibitions.”

Image credit: Janis Rafa, Covers Series, 2018, Courtesy of the artist and Martin van Zomeren
Image credit: Janis Rafa, Covers Series, 2018, Courtesy of the artist and Martin van Zomeren

Gijs’ selection

Fons Welters, Annet Gelink Gallery, Martin van Zomeren, Kunstverein, Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Stigter van Doesburg, Galerie Ron Mandos, Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Looiersgracht 60, Oude Kerk, Upstream Gallery, Veem House for Performance

“Of course, the Art weekend starts and ends with several visits to the Rijksakademie – there’s so much new talent every year, it’s very good and always a surprise. I usually go two to three times during the Art Weekend.”

Galerie Fons Welters – I look forward to seeing Gabriel Lester’s show, which features several new series of works from the past couple of years – light plays an important role. In the front space, you can see works by Sam Samiee whose installations make references to Persian literature, psychoanalysis, western art history, and philosophy.

Annet Gelink Gallery – On view here is the new work Confetti by David Claerbout. For this film installation he investigates the conceptual impact of the passage of time, using video and digital photography. His works on paper will be shown in the Bakery project space.

Martin van Zomeren – I’ll head here to see the group show Signing the Universe – which includes some of the artists we have in our collection – feat. Pieter Engels, Katja Mater, Christine Moldrickx, and many more. This show owes its name to a video-work by Engels, who celebrates his 80th birthday this year.

Kunstverein – At Kunstverein, I’ll check out the show Mr. Peanut by Vincent Trasov. "I would like to take this opportunity to endorse the candidacy of Mr. Peanut for mayor of Vancouver. Mr. Peanut is running on the art platform, and art is the creation of illusion. Since the inexorable logic of reality has created nothing but insolvable problems, it is now time for illusion to take over. And there can only be one illogical candidate: Mr. Peanut."

Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen – Across the street is the show Good Goddamn by Bryan Schutmaat, a story about a man from rural Texas and his last few days of freedom before going to prison. This was shot over a few days in February 2017.

Stigter van Doesburg – I can’t wait to see new works by Jimmy Robert.  He’s integrated several works by Dutch conceptual artist stanley brouwn into a collage, 'U_n_t_i_t_l_e_d_ _(_B_r_o_u_w_n_)_'. The basis of the piece is a handwritten letter to the artist, ending with the words: “May this text be an indication of the space between you and me”.

Galerie Ron Mandos – Here I hope to see the 'Voetstoots' by Kendell Geers in the back space. I’ve followed him ever since one of his first shows at De Appel 1996 Crap Shoot show. Geers actually changed his date of birth to May 1968 in order to be reborn as a work of art. Geers will create site-specific installations especially for the Art Weekend.

Ellen de Bruijne Projects – At her new space on Singel 372, you can see the work of Lara Almarcegui, a video of a major installation that grows every day when another 250 tonnes of gravel are extracted from a Basel quarry. I’ve followed her ever since her first exhibition in Amsterdam.  

Looiersgracht 60 – As an art book lover, and former art book publisher, I look forward to the 'Printing Plant: Art Book Fair,' in one of Amsterdam’s most special independent art spaces, featuring over 70 international independent publishers and artists. Artistic print culture has a rich narrative in Amsterdam’s history, and Printing Plant offers a new and much-needed platform for the progressive publications being produced there.

Oude Kerk – Across town I’ll visit the Oude Kerk to see the new installation by Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, in the oldest (and most amazing) building in Amsterdam. It’s a sound installation investigating the relationship between heritage, architecture, sound and audience at the Oude Kerk, for five months. The work features strong storylines in which the present and the past continuously cross-pollinate each other.

Upstream Gallery – On view is Alicia Framis’ first solo exhibition at the gallery. ‘Forbidden Collections’ brings together two fashion collections designed and made for women by women. ‘Is My Body Public?’ explores the borders between public and private. Make sure not to miss her performance on Friday from 19.00-20.00 hrs.

Veem House for Performance – Don’t miss the performance, 'In a Flickering Light' by Sander Breure and Witte van Hulzen, about our addiction to the light emitted by our devices. Before the performance there’ll be a screening of the video installation Looking Back, 2016 and Paul Koek will perform the soundtrack live on timpani!

Oude Kerk
Oude Kerk

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