Public Art Amsterdam

Substantive management: Theo Tegelaers
Coordination: Charlotte Bijl
Research: Marlies van Hak
Communication: Annemieke Dannenberg and Christie Bakker

On 15 August 2020, the second audience-oriented manifestation of Public Art Amsterdam will begin. After the successful pilot Pay Attention Please! in 2018, TAAK was asked to coordinate the content and execution of the second edition: Transparency | Opacity.

Public Art Amsterdam is a collaborative effort of art institutions from Amsterdam that join forces to draw attention to Amsterdam’s public space. The collaboration emerged from a shared interest in — but also concerns about — this space. We ask ourselves how we, as cultural institutions in Amsterdam, can contribute to the (re)shaping of public space.

Transparency | Opacity

In recent years, governments and art institutions in Amsterdam have frequently discussed ways of making the public domain more inclusive. In a strongly divided urban landscape, it is challenging to do justice to democracy and diversity, especially to that which is not — or cannot be — as visibly present. 

That is why the 2020 edition of Public Art Amsterdam focuses on issues of (in)visibility, transparency, and opacity in the city. Involving various disciplines, we come together to discuss principles of disclosure, concealment, and the hierarchy between government, institutions, and citizens. But who are we, as an association of critical art institutions, to decide that these are important themes for the city and its inhabitants? Can we do justice to the call for diverse voices? How do we do so with integrity, which ethical values do we adopt, and how can we make our own questioning visible? 

The manifestation Transparency | Opacity will take place at various locations throughout the city. Every institution has its own programme in which they present ideas about inclusivity, visibility, and representation. In this way, a wide range of positions, voices, and attitudes towards (in)visibility, concealment, and art in public space will be heard. Additionally, there is an umbrella programme which includes a symposium, weekly events, and a growing multimedia publication, amongst other activities. As an open association, Public Art Amsterdam can question public space and propose changes collectively, instead of limiting itself to an institutional role. With the manifestation, the art institutions investigate who or what is not (yet) seen or heard (enough), and what role the various art institutions might play in this process. The shared theme of the 2020 edition provides a fitting platform for this inquiry.

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Public Art Amsterdam exists out of the following institutes: CBK Zuidoost, De Appel, Framer Framed, GET LOST-art route, LAPS/Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Stichting NDSM-werf, Oude Kerk, Amsterdam Museum, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Mediamatic, Zone2Source and TAAK.

Board: Jacqueline Grandjean, Oude Kerk (chair); Theo Tegelaers, TAAK (secretary) en Clarissa Riemersma, Stichting NDSM-werf (treasurer).

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