press release

Activating Pasts, Practising Futures
Celebrating 150 years
February 20–December 31, 2020

In 2020, the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten is celebrating its 150th anniversary. Throughout the year, the programme “Activating Pasts, Practising Futures” will explore the history of the Rijksakademie and highlight what is relevant within it to artistic practices of today. In addition, together with our resident artists, alumni, colleagues and partners, we will develop new artistic projects, conversations and collaborations that lay the foundation for the next 150 years. The Rijksakademie was established in 1870 by King Willem III in order to keep artistic talent in the Netherlands and has since become an internationally renowned artist residency programme. The two-year programme offers support to artists at crucial moments in their development in the form of time, space, facilities and critical dialogue. “Activating Pasts, Practising Futures” looks both to our history—with alumni that include Piet Mondriaan, Karel Appel and Constant—and plants seeds for the future.

Throughout the year
“Activating Pasts, Practising Futures” was launched with a lecture by alumnus Ade Darmawan (co-founder of artist collective ruangrupa in Jakarta and co-artistic director of documenta 15), and across the year will include talks, guest residencies, archival explorations and artist projects, culminating with our annual Open Studios in November. In tandem with the anniversary, we are launching a new visual identity, designed by Julia Born and Mevis & van Deursen, a new website, designed by Tomas Celizna, and an artist edition box with new works by alumni.

“Activating Pasts, Practising Futures” will invest in forming new collaborations with a wide range of people and organisations. Besides continuing to build on the international character of our work, we will also foster relationships within our local context, the city of Amsterdam. This will be reflected in, amongst other things, an exhibition in the Amsterdam Museum, a map that shows the Rijksakademie’s presence in the city, an artist in residence in Artis zoo, a collaboration with the Oude Kerk, where artists will be housed in adjoining houses, and a project that draws inspiration from our history and collections in collaboration with De Ateliers, which is located in the Rijksakademie’s former building.

Artists in residence Aspects of the program of lectures and events will be organised by resident artists, as part of a new initiative to share their working processes throughout the year. Other contributions to the program will be made by a number of artists, curators and (art) institutions, including Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz, Anna Dasović and Sara Giannini (as part of the independent platform Heterotropics), Arnoud Holleman (with de Ateliers), Candice Hopkins (with de Appel), Sung Hwan Kim and Joan Jonas, Charl Landvreugd (with Witte de With), Arvo Leo (with Artis Zoo), Pablo Martinez and Monica Hoff, Hermann Pitz, Pedro G. Romero, Antonio Vega Macotela, NIAS (Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences), the online radio project Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee, and more.

“Activating Pasts, Practising Futures” is generously supported by our main partner Ammodo, with additional support from Stichting De Gijselaar-Hintzenfonds and the Creative Europe Programme – European Commission.

About the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (NL)
The Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten is an artist residency programme situated in Amsterdam. Our artist community has a unique ecology, which is highly international, multi-disciplinary, experimental and critically engaged. The artists who join the programme are often at an early stage in their professional practice and at turning points in their artistic development. They are supported with a studio, a stipend, and by a wide range of artistic and technical advisors, including artists, curators and thinkers. They have access to technical workshops, a library and discursive engagement, including workshops, lectures and events.These provisions are aimed at enabling artists to challenge themselves, to experiment, and to deepen their practices, and to explore what comes from working alongside positions that are vastly different from one another. The Rijksakademie has a commitment to diversity, to working with a global perspective and with sensitivity to the local.