press release

Witte de With presents the thematic group exhibition Street: behind the cliché. Open from 9 September until 19 November 2006, it features work in a range of media by 28 international artists.

It is rare nowadays to encounter critical reflections on aesthetic representation that do not involve the concept of ‘space’. Especially in the Netherlands, where the notion of ‘public space’ is a perennially popular topic of discussion, the time is ripe for a reconsideration of how public space operates. What – and who – fills the socio-cultural space of our day-to-day surroundings? As part of Witte de With’s ongoing self-examination, we seek with this exhibition to explore the institution’s complex and problematic position in relation to ‘the street’.

Rather than presenting ‘the street’ as the infrastructure through which people move from A to B, the exhibition considers it instead as a local theater, a stage on which the complex stratification of cultural codes is acted out and identity is formed. Street: behind the cliché is an analysis of the interrelated phenomena that we encounter in our immediate surroundings, such as the fraught relationship between pop culture and subcultural identity, how ‘underground’ is now big business. Transcending purely local situations, Street investigates the public spaces of supermodernity, presenting artists whose works embody alternatives to the anonymity of the globalized world and render visible the underlying structures and mechanisms of public space.

For example, Martin Boyce’s installations dissociate street furniture from its usual context, presenting distorted bins or gleaming fences as theatrical props; Laura Horelli carries out a subjective analysis of post-Soviet public space; Tobias Buche and Sascha Hahn intertwine personal history with media images and historical references to create poetic documentaries in differing forms; David Blandy carries out a very personal quest to establish his own identity within the media-hyped stereotypes of hip-hop culture; and Gareth Moore will spend a month in Rotterdam, creating a site-specific work in the building from materials and ideas found in the city.

Following the exhibition, a publication will provide a platform from which to further explore the ideas proposed by the show. The writers will have the chance to visit the exhibition and incorporate an analysis of the experience in their texts. The book will then be presented in February 2007 on the occasion of the conference The Periphery Complex at Witte de With.

Artists: Joachim Baan (NL), David Blandy (UK), Henning Bohl (DE), Martin Boyce (UK), Tobias Buche (DE), Jason Dodge (US), Marius Engh (NO), Gardar Eide Einarsson (NO), Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard (UK), Isa Genzken (DE), Pieterjan Ginckels (BE), Sascha Hahn (DE), Laura Horelli (FIN), Pieter Hugo (ZA), Ian Kiaer (UK), Germaine Kruip (NL), Klara Liden (SE), Gareth Moore (CA), Alex Morrison (CA), Chloe Piene (US), Robin Rhode (ZA), Ugo Rondinone (CH), Matt Stokes (UK), Aram Tanis (NL), An Te Liu (CA), Luc Tuymans (BE), Silke Wagner (DE), and Tobias Zielony (DE).

Curators: Renske Janssen and Nicolaus Schafhausen.

Supported by: the British Council, the Mondriaan Foundation and September in Rotterdam.


only in german

Street: behind the cliché
Kuratoren: Renske Janssen, Nicolaus Schafhausen

mit Joachim Baan, David Blandy, Henning Bohl, Martin Boyce, Tobias Buche, Jason Dodge, Marius Engh, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Isa Genzken, Pieterjan Ginckels, Sascha Hahn, Laura Horelli, Pieter Hugo, Ian Kiaer, Germaine Kruip, Klara Liden, Gareth Moore, Alex Morrison, Chloe Piene, Robin Rhode, Ugo Rondinone, Matt Stokes, Aram Tanis, An Te Liu, Luc Tuymans, Silke Wagner, Tobias Zielony