Disruptive Attitudes: Artists Counter the Art of Exhibiting in the Low Countries (1985-1991)
On Thursday 20 May at 15:45, Angela Bartholomew will defend her dissertation ‘Disruptive Attitudes: Artists Counter the Art of Exhibiting in the Low Countries (1985-1991)’ in the aula of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The doctoral defense ceremony can be followed via a live stream from the Office of the Beadle [https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnN8TaVYe83472ewz9CH9HA].
Bartholomew argues that the mid-1980s was a transitional moment in the Netherlands and Flanders – in terms of strategies of engagement, institutional conditions, and cultural policies – and is therefore crucial for those seeking to understand the shifting structures in which art and artists operate at present. Her dissertation offers a re-reading of the decade that asserts that critical artistic practice was alive and well in the Low Countries, though it has been largely underestimated by scholars. Key works of this period by artists such as Guillaume Bijl, Barbara Bloom, Ulises Carrión, Fortuyn/O’Brien, General Idea, Jef Geys, and Gerald Van Der Kaap (amongst others) have been reassessed, looking back with the critical distance garnered by three decades of history.
The context for which these works were made is essential to grasping their full implications. Through a vivid account of pivotal exhibitions of the mid-1980s, she shows that productive tensions between artists and institutions led artists of this time to develop new strategies for disruption, posing a challenge to reigning systems of authority.
The event listing can be found here: [https://fgw.vu.nl/en/news-events/events/2021/apr-jun/20mei_am-bartholomew.aspx]
Image: Still from the opening sequence of Talking Back to the Media featuring the artist Lydia Schouten. Dir. David Garcia and Raúl Marroquín, 24 November 1985, Kabeltelevisie Amsterdam, 53’17”. Collection LIMA Amsterdam.