On December 8, Charles Esche will present a lecture titled “Historical Times: the capacities of an art museum and how it comes to terms with the world today.”
The talk will move from the meta to the micro, placing the activities of one northwest European museum in its particular historical context today. It will look at how modern times have been constructed and then look at the potentiality of the art museum and its collections to introduce ways of storytelling that release other possibilities into the present. The programmes and policies at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven will be the concrete examples of how these larger processes work out in detail.
The Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven is one of the first public museums for contemporary art to be established in Europe. The museum’s collection of around 2700 works of art includes key works and archives by Lissitzky, Picasso, Kokoschka, Chagall, Beuys, McCarthy, Daniëls and Körmeling. The museum has an experimental approach towards art’s role in society, where openness, hospitality and knowledge exchange are important.
The Curator’s Perspective: Charles Esche has been made possible, in part, by grants from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; by in-kind support from The Graduate Center; and by generous contributions from the ICI Board of Trustees, ICI Benefactors Barbara and John Robinson, and ICI Partners and Patrons.
CUNY Graduate Center
Skylight Room, 9th Floor
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Charles Esche is a curator and writer. He is Director of van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and co-director of Afterall Journal and Books based at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, London. He is a visiting lecturer at a number of European art academies and a board member of Manifesta. In 2011 he will co-curate an exhibition of the museum’s collection in the CAPC, Bordeaux entitled Strange and Close. In the last years, he has curated the following biennials 5th U3 triennial in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2010; 3rd Riwaq Biennale, Ramallah, Palestine, 2009 together with Reem Fadda, 2nd Riwaq Biennale 2007 with Khalil Rabah; the 9th Istanbul Biennial 2005 with Vasif Kortun, Esra Sarigedik Öktem and November Paynter and the Gwangju Biennale 2002 in Korea with Hou Hanru and Song Wang Kyung. Before that he was co-curator of Tate Triennial: Intelligence at the Tate Britain, London and Amateur – Variable Research Initiatives at Konstmuseum and Konsthall, Göteborg, both in 2000.
From 2000-2004 he was Director of the Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmö. From 1998-2002 he organised the international art academic research project called ‘protoacademy’ at Edinburgh College of Art. From 1993-1997 he was Visual Arts Director at Tramway, Glasgow. A book of his selected writings, Modest Proposals, was published by Baglam Press, Istanbul in 2005. He has written for numerous catalogues and magazines including: The Netherlands, for example (ed.), JP Ringier, 2007; Collective Creativity, Fredericianum, Kassel, 2006; Artur Zmijewski, Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2005; Shifting Map, NAI, Rotterdam, 2004. He has written for art magazines Artforum, Frieze, Parkett and Art Monthly among others.