Valiz, Amsterdam

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The Shape Of Evidence: Contemporary Art And The Document

The Shape of Evidence examines the role and use of visual documents in contemporary art, looking at artworks in which the document is valued not only as a source of information but also as a distinctive visual and critical form. It contends that for artists who use film, photography or written sources, adopting formats derived from specific professional, industrial, scientific of or commercial contexts, the document offers a way to develop a critical reflection around issues of representation, knowledge production, art and its history.

It addresses several issues that are key both in art and in general culture today: the role of the museum and the archive, the role of documents and the trust that is placed in them, the circulation of such images and the historical genealogies that can be drawn in relation to images. Its uniqueness, however, also derives from its method: it is based on a close reading of a select number of works of art (e.g. Christopher Williams, Fiona Tan, Jean-Luc Moulène), which makes it approachable and engaging with the reader.

Moreover it applies an interdisciplinary perspective: while being about contemporary art it discusses objects and ideas drawn from a wide spectrum of areas including literature, history, photography history, scientific representation, surrealism, conceptual art, commercial photography and so forth.
The Shape of Evidence invites viewers to reflect upon the production and interpretation of seemingly straightforward images, and proposes that some artists can show us through their practice how to turn these deceptively simple images inside out.

Sophie Berrebi (1973) is a writer, art historian and occasional curator, born in Paris and living in Amsterdam. Her writing has appeared in frieze, Afterall, Metropolis M, and Art and Research, among other publications. She received her PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, and has been based at the University of Amsterdam since 2003 where she teaches art history and theory, mainly in the areas of photography and contemporary art.

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Camiel van Winkel
During the Exhibition the Gallery Will Be Closed: Contemporary Art and the Paradoxes of Conceptualism

In this compilation of essays Camiel van Winkel uncovers the conceptual roots of contemporary art. He shows that the art of today as a whole is essentially ‘post-conceptual’. The production and reception of art are determined by circumstances and factors that conceptual artists in the years 1965-75 were the first to announce: the cultural dominance of information, the professionalisation of artistic practices, and the applicability of the criteria of ‘good design’.This post-conceptual perspective offers a new and revealing insight into the systematics of contemporary art and artisthood, in particular with regard to the relation between conceptual and visual aspects, the meaning of theoretical discourse, and the role of institutions and mediators.

Camiel van Winkel writes on contemporary art and occasionally curates exhibitions. Based in Amsterdam, he teaches art theory and art philosophy at Sint-Lukas University College of Art and Design in Brussels. He is advisor at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. He is the author of Moderne leegte. Over kunst en openbaarheid (1999), The Regime of Visibility (2005) and De mythe van het kunstenaarschap (2007). His latest book, based on his PhD dissertation, is titled During the Exhibition the Gallery Will Be Closed. Contemporary Art and the Paradoxes of Conceptualism (Valiz, 2012).Graphic Design: Sam de Groot

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In-between Dance Cultures : The Migratory Artistic Identity Of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui And Akram Khan
Guy Cools (ed.)


Belgian-Moroccan Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and British-Bengali Akram Khan are two of today’s most prolific choreographers. Given their respective backgrounds and the practices they pursue, their artistic universes are largely built around their identity in-between dance cultures. Guy Cools, who accompanied both, situates their work within the larger critical debate on the (post)modern and (post-)migrant identity. Cools details some of their iconic choreographic pieces. This book offers a complementary view on questions of cultural identity taking the contemporary dancer’s somatic awareness and knowledge of the body as its starting point.

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Interrupting The City – Artistic Constitutions Of The Public Sphere
S. Bax, P. Gielen, B. Ieven (Eds.)

To interrupt the city (be it digitally or materially) means to arrest the flow or circulation that the city consists of. The tactics by which this interruption is achieved may vary, ranging from a media offensive to riots in the streets, but each and every time these activities affect the public sphere, also make the public sphere. Thus, the public domain is constituted by a combination of social, political and media forces, in a continuous flux, continuously being interrupted. This book attempts to chart the conditions under which one is able to develop a voice in the public sphere, and to ask in what way these conditions could be altered by means of artistic interventions.

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Interrupting The City
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