There is an increasingly strong link between museums and contemporary art institutions and the dynamics of the city. Programs at the Stedelijk Museum, the Van Abbe Museum, de Appel arts centre Amsterdam and the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag are some examples of this interaction, and many other initiatives all over the world reflect the same development, from MACBA to the Centre Pompidou. This “urbanization” of museums is part of a broader cultural development. Many artists intervene in and react to the public space. The various forms of mass media, such as television and the internet, have also freed themselves from their domestic existence, and entered into the city and public space through the increasing use of urban screens, locative media and smart phones. The demand within museums for public programs and education is increasing too, resulting in more activities such as talks, debates and courses, often in collaboration with other parties, which also take place outside the walls of the museum in locations such as community centers, schools and universities.
During this Extra Muros symposium, the Stedelijk Museum and the Lectoraat Kunst en Publieke Ruimte at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie will assess how modern art museums can manifest themselves in the city and what both the city and the museum can achieve through such interaction. How can the collection be presented in the city, outside the walls of the museum? What role do artistic practices play in the relationship between the museum and the public space? How can new media technologies help to create innovative dialogue between the museum and the city? What role do public programming and education play in breaking down the walls between the museum and the city? How can institutional theory and critique be used to approach these questions? And finally, does the museum of the 21st century still have walls or are these only physically present?
Now is the crucial time for the Stedelijk Museum to consider these questions, as the old walls are white once again and the new walls are beginning to take shape: when the Stedelijk Museum reopens inside its new walls, will the museum continue to present programs that are extramural, in all senses of the word?
During the symposium, Juha van ‘t Zelfde from Non-fiction will keep a live blog.
The Extra Muros symposium is the result of a partnership between the Stedelijk Museum and the Lectoraat Kunst en Publieke Ruimte (www.lkpr.nl).
Program, Friday, March 11:
In the morning, a number of speakers will focus on the context of the theme “museums in/and the city” and present a variety of innovative projects for discussion with participants.
Opening by Michiel van Iersel (Non-fiction, Amsterdam)
The Museum in the City: The Stedelijk Museum as a Case Study by Leontine Coelewij (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam)
Beyond the Museum: Artistic Interventions in the Urban Realm by Suzanne Lacy (artist and theoretician, Los Angeles)
Coffee and tea break
The Museum and Public Space: A Place You Love to Hate by Jeroen Boomgaard (University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam)
Longing for Heterotopia: Museums, New Media and the Urban Realm by Margriet Schavemaker (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam)
Questions and debate
14.00 – 15.00
Experts from a number of museums will present their extramural activities in “Pecha Kucha” style:
Marcello Exposito (MACBA, Barcelona); Willem Jan Renders (Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven); Pierre Muylle (Madmusee Luik, formerly SMAK, Ghent); Barbara Berger (Gemeentemuseum Den Haag).
15.00 – 16.15
Four parallel workshops led by experts. The aim is to bring participants together to reflect and come up with new suggestions. Themes of the workshops:
Museum in Residence – A Portable Space? (Does a museum need a portable building to present programs in the city?) By: Pierre Muylle/ Marlous van Gastel/Sophie Tates
The Museum and Society (How can museums help to tackle social issues in the city, such as improving quality of life and assisting integration?) By: Leontine Coelewij/Barbara Berger
The Collection Outside the Museum (Is the collection intended primarily for display in the museum or are there ways to allow the collection to play a role in the city – via new art production and public programming?) By: Willem Jan Renders
New Institutionalism/Institutional Critique (How can the museum carry out institutional critique and museum innovation through its infiltration into the city?) By: Jeroen Boomgaard/Marcello Exposito
The Role of the Artist (How can artists help the museum to go out onto the streets, and vice versa?) By: Suzanne Lacy
16.15 – 17.00
Plenary presentation of the workshop discussions, moderated by Michiel van Iersel and Juha van ‘t Zelfde (Non-fiction, Amsterdam)
Extra Muros will take place at the Stedelijk Museum on 11 March. More information on the Stedelijk website.