Nikolay Alutin, Bruno Alves de Almeida, Dita Birkensteina, Alisa Blakeney, Cookies, Sofia Dourron, fanfare (Lotte van de Hoef, Freja Kir), Jan Hüskes, Aram Lee, Aude Mgba, Miguel John Versluys, Shen Xin.

Landscape with Bear was an exhibition with the Unintended Collection of De Appel

De Appel, Amsterdam
2 May – 1 June 2019

Within the archives of De Appel lies an accumulation of objects — of artworks, props, leftovers, and unidentified materials — that have come to be known as its Unintended Collection. Unintended because no-one made the decision to begin assembling them, nor seeks to add to their number, nor governs their categories. Starting from the eccentricity of this collection, Landscape with Bear presents a single continuous landscape that blurs the line between art object and display. Building from the proposition that practices of collecting are part of regimes of knowledge-production, this exhibition asks, what kinds of knowledge can emerge from the fragmentary, the uncertain and the unstable?

This project has been developed through a collaborative process between 13 individuals from fields spanning curating, art history, architecture, design and archaeology. The Unintended Collection is ambiguous: it has an interpretive flexibility, a material structure and granularity that means that things might be individually removed without collapsing or changing the structure of the whole. For this reason, it is plastic, occupying a space between communities of practice and allowing for cooperation across disciplinary borders.  Over the past six months, this group of participants have gathered with and alongside the physical objects of the collection to consider modes of access, and meanings that can be untangled from these relations. From these meetings, participants have developed a series of interwoven narratives that materialise as sound, image, physical architecture and text throughout the space of the exhibition.

The publication documents the making of Landscape with Bear, a project that investigates what has come to be known as De Appel’s Collection (Unintended), an accumulation of objects – artworks, props, leftovers, and unidentified materials – that lies within the institution’s extensive Archive.

This book is one of the outcomes of the project, alongside the exhibition at De Appel and the performative-event at the Stedelijk Museum, which took place in May 2019. Along with the commissioned essays, it registers the group meetings, each of which was documented in various forms: photographs, audio recordings and minutes. Extracts of these materials have been selected and edited to be included in the book in order to reflect on the methodology used.

Photos: Konstantin Guz