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 it’s 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 these how larger processes work out in detail.
Charles Esche (*1962) 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 9thIstanbul 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 where he made solo exhibitions with Surasi Kusolwong, Nedko Solakov and Superflex a.o. and group shows including “Baltic Babel” and “Intentional Communities” 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 where he curated exhibitions by Elisabeth Ballet, Christine Borland, Roderick Buchanan Douglas Gordon, Jonathan Monk, Stephen Willats and Richard Wright as well as group shows such as Trust and The Unbelievable Truth.
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.
About The Speakers Series: Each semester the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College hosts a regular program of lectures by the foremost artists, curators, art historians, and critics of our day, situating the school and museum’s concerns within the larger context of contemporary art production and discourse. Lectures are open to students and faculty, as well as to the general public, and will also be documented through video and/or audio recordings, which will reside in the CCS Bard Library and Archives.