press release

Much artistic and curatorial practice today aims at exploring the truthfulness of historical representation, or the problematic dialectic between collective memory and factual source. Of late there has been a great deal of attention on artistic practice that focuses on reconstructions of historical events – from reenactments to documentary videos, the aim is often to question, investigate or reconsider social attitudes of interpretation. Opposed to these tendencies the group exhibition We All Laughed at Christopher Columbus deals primarily with six artists’ subjective, artistic interpretations of specific historical events.

The significance of the events explored is already determined in collective, internationally distributed history, and although the subjects are not related, or consequentially linked in history in any acknowledged way, they do suggest points of allusion by way of similar artistic approaches and attitudes. This is most evident in the way the selected artists embrace the fictive within the incident, without being compromised by feelings of responsibility to accuracy, thus leaving space for the audience to interpret their own response to each work and construe hypothetical, historical associations.

The title of the show is borrowed from the work of Runo Lagomarsino. Like an accidental slip of the tongue the text appears as a projection on a tiny billboard that takes center stage while the other works, including Ola Pehrson’s exquisitely hand-constructed models and pseudo documentary that make up Hunt for the Unabomber, revolve around it.

All artists’ biographies can be found on

Events To mark the occasion of the opening of We all laughed at Christopher Columbus at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, two events will be held at ‘SMCS on 11’ on July 20 at 8pm:

A conversation between Jeremiah Day and Florian Wüst entitled: ‘The Permanence of Revolution: strategies used to re-think historical events, as exemplified by writings of Hannah Arendt and Peter Weiss’, followed by a screening of the short film November (2004) by Hito Steyerl.

‘SMCS on 11’ is the program of events of the Stedelijk Museum on the 11th floor of its building.

In addition a performance by Jeremiah Day will take place after the opening of the show, in SMBA itself on July 21, starting at 10.30pm.

The exhibition is accompanied by the SMBA Newsletter, which features contributions by the curators.

We all laughed at Christopher Columbus is generously supported by IASPIS and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm.


only in german

We All Laughed at Christopher Columbus
Kuratoren: Krist Gruijthuijsen, November Paynter

mit Roderick Buchanan, Jeremiah Day, Runo Lagomarsino, Ola Pehrson, Amalia Pica, Florian Wüst