‘Collectors’ Items # 5 – Studio System’ at Waddington Studios from 18:00 to 21:00 Friday 18 October 2013
Works by Frank Ammerlaan; Marc Bijl, Claire de Jong, Inti Hernandez, Ed Lipski, Thomas Raat and others.
The fifth annual project taking place during the London ‘art fair season’ celebrating the international scope of Dutch contemporary art collections, is a direct response to the landmark building in which the project will take place. Waddington Studios is substantial new-build project by RIBA award-winning architects Featherstone Young Associates located close to the hub of London’s East End artistic production. Occupying the site of a former board games factory, it opened in 2013 as a complex of high-end, technically sophisticated commercial photographic studios.
Rather than prescribing any singular curatorial thematic, ‘Studio System’ presents the work of emerging and established artists that have proven of interest to various Dutch collections in an open-ended dialogue with the building itself. In some cases, the architectural or formal preoccupations of the artists’ works find a complementary environment within the sleek contemporary architecture. In others, it is the vague aura of ‘the studio’ and all that that entails – an artist’s place of production, photography or even a glint of Hollywood- that makes the connection. No attempt is made to connect the works either in terms of their content, potential meanings or the artist’s intention. Rather, here it is the very notion of ‘the studio’ that connects them. Indeed, the very nature of the exhibition’s format takes its cue for the building’s unique architecture and all the possibilities of a state-of-the art commercial photographic studio.
Whereas previous projects in the Collectors’ Items series have posited a more complex statement about particular Dutch contemporary art collections, ‘Studio System’ is arguably something of a return to the straightforwardness of approach in the first project. Here, the work of a relatively small group of artists who have gained the attention –and patronage- of important Dutch private and public contemporary collections in recent years is presented in a kind of one-on-one directness, perhaps responding to the architectural purity of the ‘future icon’ building. In a fitting ‘feedback loop’ the building is the work of a practice that has also worked on projects for contemporary artists’ studios. Ironically, it is perhaps the most fitting of all locations. Dutch culture is famously enthusiastic about bold contemporary architecture as will often be experienced by those who visit exhibitions in some of its top museums. And now, for the first time, a Collectors’ Items project will occupy exactly such a bold contemporary space.
Of course, ‘Studio System’ retains its core assertion that the wealth and vigour of Dutch contemporary art collections, whether the numerous museum collections, key corporate and company-affiliated collections – such as the Caldic Collection- or enthusiastic and influential private collections such as the de Bruin-Heijn or Hugo & Carla Brown (Cobra to Contemporary) collections- remain a vital part of building the careers of artists such as those presented in this project; perhaps the art world’s equivalent of old-school Hollywood’s ‘studio system’. Furthermore, as will become evident, a second important function is that they remain drivers in cultural dialogue between the Netherlands and the rest of the world. Much like the influential mercantile players of the 17th century – when the Dutch passion for collecting was cemented- such collections fulfill a powerful social function of ensuring that the scope of Dutch cultural capital is truly international.
This project is made possible as a collaboration with Waddington Studios. ‘Collectors’ Items # 5 – Studio System’ takes place at Waddington Studios 127 Church WalkLondon N16 8QWwww.waddingtonstudios.com Free entrance during all public opening times:
Fri 18 October 18:00 to 21:00, opening reception.
Sat 19 October 12:00 until 18:00 & Sun 20 October 2013, 12:00 until 17:00.
Frank Ammerlaan and Marc Bijl are represented by Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam.
Inti Hernandez is represented by Ron Mandos, Amsterdam
images: Bridged Differences (Efficiency analysis III) (c) Inti Hernandez, 2010