Force Times Distance
On Labour and its Sonic Ecologies
sonsbeek, the path-breaking exhibition for art in the public space since 1949, is very pleased to announce the artists and a number of participants that will contribute to its upcoming edition, which has been postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19. The 12th iteration of the sonsbeek quadrennial will take place under the auspices of artistic director Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung and his team of curators Antonia Alampi, Amal Alhaag, Zippora Elders, Aude Christel Mgba, and Vincent van Velsen. Overseen by general director Steven van Teeseling, the sonsbeek foundation will explore the elasticity of the large-scale temporary art event format over two editions.
Force Times Distance – On Labour and its Sonic Ecologies takes its cue from the physics formula for work, but metaphorically it invokes issues of (in)visible labour, their conditions and rights in relation to varying times and geo-cultural spaces; force as in disproportionate power gradients, times as in the non-linear understandings of the notion of time, and the collapsing of distances between the here and there. It will look into the ways history of labour and the working class reflects and is framed by issues of race, gender, class structures, geographical distance, and politics. These issues will be explored through their sonicity: the exhibition will act as a choreography of sonic frequencies.
sonsbeek20→24 in 2020, a prelude
Conscious of how questions around labour and the sonic are becoming increasingly relevant, pressing, and radically shared, we decided to launch an ongoing online public program featuring talks, films, texts, musical and performative interludes. The launch of this “prelude” will coincide with sonsbeek´s original 2020 opening date. The online content will be clustered around questions of care work, precarious labour conditions, informal and criminalized labour, universal basic income, labour and access to health care and education, labour and abuse of power and social protection, as well as the way race, class, gender, and religion frame training and career prospects.
The prelude will commence with an introductory essay by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung; followed by a conversation with Kodwo Eshun; newly commissioned sound performances by Shenece Oretha and Nastio Mosquito; a “Home Office Radio” by Flavia Dzodan; films by Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Hira Nabi and Lawrence Abu Hamdan; and a mixtape around labour and protest songs by the sonsbeek curatorial team. Through the prelude various layers of sonsbeek20→24 program will be introduced.
More texts, online conversations, performances, radio podcasts, and films will be released in the coming months, by contributors such as Maurizio Lazzarato, Alia Mossallam, Oscar Murillo, Laure Prouvost, Nader Mohamed Saadallah, Lionel Manga and many more.
sonsbeek20→24 in 2021: artist list and core components
sonsbeek20→24 is set to open in spring 2021 (exact dates will be announced soon). Artists and collectives in the exhibitions include Leo Asemota, Sam Auinger, Black Archives, Willem de Rooij, Cheick Diallo, Ndidi Dike, Justine Gaga, Ellen Gallagher, Antonio Jose Guzman, Louis Henderson and João Polido, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Yinka Ilori, Anne Duk-Hee Jordan, Mae-Ling Lokko, Ibrahim Mahama, Oscar Murillo, Hira Nabi, Olu Oguibe, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Laure Prouvost, Raumlabor, Nader Mohamed Saadallah, Mithu Sen, Farkhondeh Shahroudi, Libita Sibungu, Buhlebezwi Siwani, Jennifer Tee, Sunette L. Viljoen, Omer Wasim, Werker Collective, as well as historical positions that have left a mark on modern and contemporary arts across disciplines and geographies: Stanley Brouwn, Sedje Hémon, Imran Mir, and Abdias do Nascimento.
Contributors to the public and performance programs, radio and education formats include a.o.: Carlos Amorales, Abigail Collins, Family Connection (Quinsy Gario & family), Anneke Ingwersen, Iheb Guermazi, Amal Khalaf, Susanne Khalil Yusef, Robin D.G. Kelley, Richard Kofi, Thokozani Mhlambi, Nastio Mosquito, Alia Mossallam, Farida Nabibaks, Beya Othmani, Marinella Senatore, Ali Tnani, The Saida Manoubia Musical Troupe of Najoua Balti, among many more and as part of the special edition of the Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art for sonsbeek, we are joined by Christopher Cox, Ananya Jahanara Kabir, Ulrich Krieger, Cecile Malaspina, Kamila Metwaly, Nastio Mosquito, Warren Neidich (founder), Anri Sala, and Greg Tate.
Through a variety of programs, sonsbeek20→24 will manifest in collaboration with the following institutions in and around Arnhem: Kröller-Müller Museum, Museum Arnhem, Machinerie of Me, Collectie De Groen, De Nieuwe Oost, Focus Filmtheater, Rozet, WALTER books and in Park Sonsbeek, Park Zypendaal, Nationaal Park De Hoge Veluwe, Schaarsbergen, Buitenplaats Koningsweg, De Stadsvilla and more, to be announced later. Key partners of sonsbeek are ArtEZ University of the Arts, Museum Arnhem, Dutch Art Institute and Werkplaats Typografie.
In addition sonsbeek20→24 is excited to launch:
sonsbeek conjunctions: hosted in Arnhem, sonsbeek conjunctions is a collaborative program seeking to form alliances and complicity in our proximity, recognizing the strength of sharing discourses and practices with other institutions. It will feature a variety of events, including invocations, symposia, concerts, workshops, research groups, study programs, and other cultural and community activities with ArtEZ, Casco, De Appel, DAI Roaming Academy, Het Nieuwe Instituut, HISK, If I Can´t Dance I don’t Want to be Part of Your Revolution, Metropolis M, Rijksakademie, Framer Framed, TAAK, Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art, ArtEZ studium generale with iMAE, The Research Center for Material Culture, a.o
sonsbeek councils: inspired by Okwui Enwezor’s Documenta 11 platforms, sonsbeek councils are a series of international encounters at crossroads curated by the sonsbeek20→24 team in dialogue with local cultural workers in multiple locations worldwide. These councils will consist of a seamless flow of contributions, including musical performances, films, panel discussions, and lectures. Each iteration of the sonsbeek councils will explore sonic and oral histories of the sites in which it will take place. They will cumulatively grow from edition to edition, closing with a last edition in Arnhem in 2024.
sonsbeek parasite radio explores the ether as a possible exhibition space, and situates sound and oral cultures across socio-cultural lines, across histories, languages and geographies. The program moves between libraries, cafes, online radio stations, pirate radio, and DIY stations that broadcast from barbershops, artist studios, record stores, and homes across Arnhem, the Netherlands and the world.
sonsbeek syncopation will be composed of education and communities outreach activities where labour will be experienced as moments of celebration, transmission, learning, leisure, connectedness, and reflection. The program intends to be closely organized with and by people from the city of Arnhem and the Netherlands.
sonsbeek publication will consist of two catalogues in ‘21 and ‘24 and five readers. Catalogues will contain images and essays to contextualize artworks. Readers will be published each year, delving into the thematic realms of sonsbeek20→24’s different frequencies. The first reader in ‘20 will bring together newly commissioned essays and poetry by Robin D.G. Kelley, Panashe Chigumadzi, Simone Atangana Bekono, Alia Mossallam, Maurizio Lazzarato, Danielle Child, and Lionel Manga, amongst others. All publications will be designed by Werkplaats Typografie and published by Archive Books.
sonsbeek archive will be the first constituted within the quadrennial, on the history of sonsbeek, piecing together official records preserved in local institutions as much as materials such as sounds, recorded memories and objects received from the public through an open call. An archive by the people for the people. This archival endeavour will result in an exhibition at Rozet.