7 Oct 2023 - 25 Feb 2024Amsterdam Museum at the Amstel
Refresh Amsterdam #2 War & Conflict
Artistic presentation of urban culture with work by contemporary makers
How does past violence affect your life in the present? What do you pass on to future generations? Refresh Amsterdam #2 includes works by 20 artists from different disciplines, selected through an open call. Through their work, they demonstrate how wars and conflicts around the world and over time play a part in the city of Amsterdam.
Refresh Amsterdam is a biennial, interdisciplinary manifestation of Amsterdam’s urban culture. This second edition is organized together with more than 20 cultural institutions in Amsterdam, with the collective We Sell Reality as our main partner. Additional work by the makers presented here is being shown at various other locations, plus there is a weekly public program of talks and performances throughout the city.
We Sell Reality, photo by Eva Roefs, 2023
The names of the selected artists, some working as duos or collectives, are Nasam Abboud & Yazan Maksoud & Roua Jafar, Kristina Benjocki, Marcel van den Berg, Luan Buleshkaj, Dina Danish, Ehsan Fardjadniya & Raul Balai, Tina Farifteh, Clinton Kabena, Ayşen Kaptanoğlu, Susanne Khalil Yusef, Gert Jan Kocken, Senka Milutinović, Vika Mitrichenko, Sithabile Mlotshwa, Pieter Paul Pothoven, Ratu R. Saraswati, Anika Schwarzlose & Elena Khurtova, Victor Sonna, Handan Tufan, and We Sell Reality.
Theme: “War & Conflict”
Amsterdam is in part shaped by wars and their consequences. For centuries, the city served as a refuge for many. Amsterdam has likewise contributed to war and oppression in various places throughout the world as well. As a result, its residents reflect a rich diversity. Yet many people still carry their experiences of war with them, also in Amsterdam.
With her audiovisual installation The Flood, Tina Farifteh (Tehran, 1982) examines the idea of water as a metaphor for the people attempting to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean each year and, with terms such as “asylum tsunami” or statements like “we are being inundated with migrants,” are portrayed as a threat.
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Gert Jan Kocken
Gert Jan Kocken (Ravenstein, Netherlands, 1971) presents a large version of Depictions of Amsterdam, an archival work composed of a series of city maps. These were used in Amsterdam during the Second World War, such as the “dot map” showing the distribution of the city’s Jewish population.
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The digital artwork Momentary Lapse in Memory by Senka Milutinović is an interactive environment based on recollections from Milutinović’s family and friends of the NATO bombardments in former Yugoslavia in 1999.
The main partner of this second edition is We Sell Reality, an art collective comprised of documented and undocumented makers. For the realization of Refresh Amsterdam #2, the Amsterdam Museum also works closely with leading institutions for art and culture throughout Amsterdam:
AGA LAB, de Appel, CBK Zuidoost, Framer Framed, International Institute of Social History (IISG)[DH1] , Kriterion, Melkweg Expo, Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, OSCAM, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Paradiso, P/////AKT, Podium Mozaïek, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, ROZENSTRAAT – a rose is a rose is a rose, Sexyland World, Stichting NDSM-werf, The Black Archives, Tolhuistuin, and W139.
While Refresh Amsterdam #2 is happening, work by the selected makers will be on view at various locations in the city, such as the second part of Clinton Kabena’s installation Landed Rock (2022) at the NDSM wharf, the neon artwork Bidnan3eesh – بدنا نعيش (We want to live) (2022) by Susanne Khalil Yusef at OBA Oosterdok, and the installation Overtoom 274 (2023) by Pieter Paul Pothoven at the International Institute of Social History.
On behalf of the Amsterdam Museum, writers, creators, and partners have produced essays and other content on the theme of war and conflict.