Performing Sovereignty

Curatorial research project

Through my latest research project, Performing Sovereignty, I am dedicated to exploring the complex and evolving relationship between artists, curators, and cultural institutions, and their role in shaping social and cultural agency. For a while now, my exhibitions have explored the ever-shifting connections between humans and the material world. Through challenging our ideas about sovereignty, I've curated exhibitions such as Lunar Distance (Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem, 2009), Alles was Sie über Chemie wissen müssen (CTM Berlin - Festival for Adventurous Art and Music, 2011), and The Story of the Stone (A Tale of a Tub, 2015).

During my tenure as director and curator of A Tale of a Tub in Rotterdam, I curated a program of exhibitions centered around various interpretations of the concept of sovereignty. These exhibitions featured works by acclaimed artists such as Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Jonathas de Andrade, Shezad Dawood, Michal Helfman, Christopher Kulendran Thomas, and others. Through their work, we explored how existing power structures and knowledge shape social relationships and personal connections, as well as how we can achieve more meaningful social and political involvement. Furthermore, we presented a thought-provoking program centered on the ideas of the Spanish philosopher María Zambrano, which featured contributions by artists and thinkers from all around the world. Among them were Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Chai Siris, K.r.m. Mooney, Nicoline Timmer, Etel Adnan, Lee Kit, Sofia Caesar, Tamar Guimarães and Kasper Akhøj, Basma Alsharif, and Himali Singh Soin and David Soin Tappeser. Through their insightful and innovative work, they challenged the status quo and opened up new possibilities for understanding our complex and ever-changing world.

Performing Sovereignty takes an even closer look at the institutional structures within the art world. I aim to gain a better understanding of how artists navigate the social history of asymmetry and power through their work. I'm particularly interested in exploring the changing ideas of authorship and challenging the hegemony of dominant narratives. Furthermore, I'm examining the relationship between the individual and institution and exploring the sovereignty of materials and non-human entities.

Performing Sovereignty is kindly supported by the Mondriaan Fund.