07.04.2019, 2 - 5 p.m.

Talk: Angela M. Bartholomew

Occupied Spaces: 'Chambres d'amis' & the Defiance of Daniel Buren's 'Le Décor et son Double' (1986)

Photographs: Yuri van der Hoeven

Few exhibitions from the 1980s reveal the conflicting agendas of exhibition maker and artist so vividly as Chambres d’amis (Jan Hoet, 1986). With installations in private homes spread throughout the city of Ghent, the stated intent of Chambres d’amis was to free art from the museum, to blur public with private, and to enable unexpected confrontations between art and life. But in the context of Belgium in the mid-1980s, it was also intended to strengthen the position of the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst.
Several of the artists associated with the exhibition, Daniel Buren in particular, had established practices in the late 1960s and 1970s that examined the conditioning of experience through the ideological frames of art’s institutions. Seeing the motives underlying the show, Buren asserted that Chambres d’amis was, “no more than an exploitation, if not in fact a recuperation of strategies, used by many artists of that generation.”

In this talk, art historian Angela Bartholomew will consider how Buren’s two-part work Le Décor et son Double performed a critique of the canonical exhibition by making it clear that the sites of installation – private spaces – were not independent of the museum, but were being strategically occupied by it.

Angela M. Bartholomew is a doctoral candidate in art history at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her research examines how artistic practices shape exhibition making, and in turn how exhibitions shape artistic practice. She writes often on topics related to forces shaping art in the 1980s and 1990s for exhibition catalogues and journals such as Kunstlicht, OnCurating, Metropolis M, and Stedelijk Studies.

After the talk, the private part of the work of Daniel Buren, Le Décor et son Double is open for a visit.


Language: English
Location: Herbert Foundation, Raas van Gaverestraat 108

The admission is 15 euro (8 euro for students) and has to be paid in cash at the reception. Please make a reservation beforehand via reservation@herbertfoundation.org