11 November 2020 | 17:15-18:00
Dr. Janna Schoenberger, Amsterdam University College
‘Klaas Komt! Robert Jasper Grootveld’s Social and Cultural Critique’
Abstract: Ludic anti-smoking magician Robert Jasper Grootveld (1932–2009) was a prophetic artist who addressed politically and socially charged issues related to consumerism, race and gender. Grootveld is known for his role in the happenings near the sculpture Het Lieverdje on the Amsterdam Spui in the 1960s. But he is also the missing link among the sea of canonical figures of the time, from Provo anarchists Roel van Duijn and Luud Schimmelpennink to cabaret performer Wim Sonneveld, painter Constant Nieuwenhuys and writer Simon Vinkenoog, to name but a few.
In her talk, Janna Schoenberger will present new research from her book, Waiting for the Witch Doctor: Robert Jasper Grootveld’s Scrapbook and the Dutch Counterculture. She argues that Grootveld’s Scrapbook is the key to unexpected dimensions of the idiosyncratic and activist oeuvre of a man whose prophecies about the ‘addicted consumers of tomorrow’ still ring true.
Janna Schoenberger is a lecturer at Amsterdam University College, where she teaches modern and contemporary art. Dr. Schoenberger completed her doctoral studies in Art History at the Graduate Center, The City University of New York in 2017. Her dissertation, Ludic Conceptualism: Art and Play in the Netherlands, 1959 to 1975, is the first extensive study of art in the Netherlands in the 1960s and ‘70s. It investigates ludic art through a diachronic thread of play that extends from the first iteration of Constant’s New Babylon in 1959 to the death of Conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader in 1975. In 2018 – 2019, Dr. Schoenberger was the Johan Huizinga Fellow at the Rijksmuseum and a Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Yale University’s Beinecke Library.