28.08.2018 by Mariët Erica
Keywords: artists, curating, e-publication, Research, Van Abbemuseum
Deviant Practice is part of the Van Abbemuseum’s research programme. Yearly, a number of artists and archivists receive research grants. In addition to these grants, the museum releases a new online publication regarding the 2016-2017 edition.
Deviance can be understood as veering away from the entrenched path. For the modern art museum these paths emerged from the west’s understanding of itself and by inference its relationship to others. An exploration of Deviant Practice necessarily involves undoing long-held institutional, racial, geo and bio political formations. We therefore understand the prefix ‘de’ (‘off’) in deviance in relation to notions of demodernising, decolonising, deprivelleging or deneoliberalising – key strategies we hope to explore.
The focus on the first Deviant Practice grants is on two research tools: Archives and Constituencies.
Archives: The Van Abbe understands the archive as encompassing the collection of art works, the library’s collection and the museum’s paper archives. Archives are what defines a museum. It is, for better or worse, the heritage we hold. If deviant practice holds within it the need to challenge, consider and undo entrenched paths, the archive would appear to offer the means with which to do that.
Constituencies: Today more than ever, the museum cannot define it’s subjects. It needs to understand them and form positions with them. Understanding how to work with and through different constituencies therefore seems vital when thinking about how to institute deviant practice. Yet it also has implications for how the museum works with it’s archives and building.