press release only in german

Yael Davids: A Daily Practice
June 2–September 27, 2020

The exhibition includes works by Anna Boghiguian, stanley brouwn, Yael Davids, Noah Eshkol, Edgar Fernhout, General Idea, Lee Lozano, Hilma af Klint/The Five, El Lissitzky, Nasreen Mohamedi, László Moholy-Nagy, Bruce Nauman, Adrian Piper, Andy Warhol/Jill Johnston.

The school includes works by Shusaku Arakawa, Jo Baer, Manon de Boer, Marinus Boezem, Anna Boghiguian, Marcel Broodthaers, stanley brouwn, Marc Chagall, Rineke Dijkstra, Ger van Elk, Edgar Fernhout, Marijke de Goey, Joan Jonas, Patricia Kaersenhout, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Toos Nijssen, Carolee Schneemann, Charley Toorop, Ossip Zadkine.

Yael Davids: A Daily Practice was due to open on March 21. Installing was one week underway when the Van Abbemuseum closed due to Covid-19. This project, like so many elements of daily life, was abruptly paused. Now, as we prepare to welcome the public it is cast in a strange new light. The material components of The exhibition—the works, the spaces, the archives—remain the same. However, they will be experienced in ways none us could have foreseen. Elements of The school programme, including demonstrations and weekly Feldenkrais classes have had to be cancelled. The newly conceived classes by Davids, in relation to works from the Van Abbemuseum’s collection, are planned for September.

A Daily Practice is the outcome of a three-year research project during which Davids worked closely with the Van Abbemuseum’s collection, building and staff. Davids draws on the techniques of Moshé Feldenkrais: a system of physical exercises that aims to increase self-awareness through movement. Being attentive to, and adapting engrained patterns of movement and behaviour is at the centre of the Feldenkrais approach and this project.

The exhibition
Under the axiom "one is always plural" and responding to the Van Abbemuseum’s invitation to reflect on the format of the solo exhibition, Davids explored the collection of the museum. She was struck by the under-representation of women artists. In the exhibition she configures an alternative collection by artists whose practice, biography, ethics and ethos, fuel her exploration of the body and learning in all its distinct manifestations. Works by Hilma af Klint, Noa Eshkol, Lee Lozano, Nasreen Mohamedi and Adrian Piper are invited in by Davids as sites for learning, personal urgency, revelation and inspiration. These daily practices are shaped by withdrawal, loss and an understanding of the interconnections between physical, spiritual and intellectual worlds—sentiments that resonate with new purpose today. They are brought into dialogue with works from the Van Abbemuseum’s collection including the conceptual practice of stanley brown, General Idea and Bruce Nauman, the abstract forms of El Lissitzky and László Moholy Nagy and the visceral works of Anna Boghiguian and Edgar Fernhout. Davids’ own work, including A Reading That Loves, A Physical Act (2017) presented at Documenta 14, new large scale glass installations and a 60 metre textile work running through several of the galleries will orient visitors, conceptually and physically, through the show.

The school
Central to A Daily Practice is The school—a programme of thematic Feldenkrais classes developed by Davids in relation to works from the museum’s collection. The works were selected by Davids’ Feldenkrais groups in Amsterdam and Eindhoven and include pieces by Jo Baer, Marc Chagall, Patricia Kaersenhout, Carolee Schneeman and Ossip Zadkine. During the classes the public are invited to encounter artworks through movement. Together, The school and the exhibition ask how movement, and the foregrounding of bodies as sites of knowledge, might become more central to approaching art as a daily practice.

Curator: Nick Aikens
Guest curator performance: Frédérique Bergholtz

An exhibition booklet with texts by Davids will be available.

An iteration of the exhibition will take place at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, March 6–May 30, 2021. Curated by Nadia Scheider Willen (collection curator Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst).