[Van AbbeMUSEUM]

Vanessa Beecroft, Performance(détail),
© Galleria Massino De Carlo, Milan
Photo Armin Linke

The participating artists include:

Eija-Liisa Ahtila (FIN),

Vanessa Beecroft (I),

Willie Doherty (N-IRL),

Douglas Gordon (SC),

Aernout Mik (NL),

Tony Oursler (USA),

Sam Samore (USA),

Georgina Starr (GB)

and Gillian Wearing (GB).

Saturday 7 December sees the start of the second event marking the sixtieth anniversary of the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum: 'ID', an international group exhibition of work by young artists. The first exhibition for the anniversary was a choice from the museum's own collection, 'Just paintings...'. This historical survey was something of an exception for the museum, which more typically looks forward and takes an active part in arts discourse. The exhibition 'ID' marks a return to this approach. Except for a few cases, work by the artists chosen has not been shown before at the Van Abbemuseum.

In another sense, however, this event diverges from the normal programme: in recent decades there have been no thematic exhibitions at the Van Abbemuseum. The reasoning behind this was that if a theme is imposed on art, it is almost by definition at the expense of the individual work. The adoption of a thematic approach now has to do with the fact that the theme of identity presents itself in contemporary art. So in this case the subject is not imposed, but is already present. 'ID' shows that identity in all its aspects and possible connotations is a recurring feature of the thinking behind these works. Very different artists are presented who provide an interesting context for each other, apart from the fact that their work is developing in its own, highly promising way. All the artists in the 'ID' exhibition are concerned in differing ways with the concept of identity. This concern may range from the fundamental question of one's own identity to the problem of cultural identity, multiple identity and whether there is such a thing as identity anyway. Another linking element is that these artists prefer to work with photography and the literally intangible and ephemeral images of such unstable media as video and film.

The exhibition takes up almost all the space in the temporary museum building. It was decided to have a relatively small number of artists and to give them enough space to show a range of work. This makes it possible to get a better insight into developments within the work of individual artists.

At the opening there will be a performance by Vanessa Beecroft.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue.

From December 7 to February 9 ,1997 / du 7 décembre au 9 février 1997

Information number for the public : +31(0)40-2755275.


[Van AbbeMUSEUM]