2 September – 28 October 2018
Toussaintkade 49, The Hague
‘One Thing Plus Another Thing or One Thing Minus Another Thing.
That’s How Stories Begin.’
(Quoted from: ‘Le Rapport Darty’, Jean-Luc Godard & Anne-Marie Miéville, 1989)
Angela Detanico & Rafael Lain
Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann
Curated by: Chris Bestebreurtje, Petra Kuipers and Sam Steverlynck
4 November – 23 December 2018
Toussaintkade 49, The Hague
‘Archipelago — A Problem (On Exactitude in Science)’
Daniel Gustav Cramer
Michael E. Smith
Curated by: Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk
In the story Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius (1940) Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges writes about the imaginary planet Tlön. He describes specific phenomena there such as a tendency for objects to fade away or even disappear if they are no longer seen or experienced.
The depots of international collectors house contemporary artworks of tremendous potential that are seldom exhibited, scarcely examined or re- assessed. Many of these works were shipped straight there from the artist’s studio or gallery and have not been seen since. They languish behind the scenes waiting to interact with an audience.
Tlön Projects’ objective is to promote the visibility and mobility of these works from contemporary art collections so they are not forgotten, leading to their loss, analogous to Borges’ tale.
In recent years we have conducted field research and started cataloguing artworks in private, international collections. Works have been carefully selected to become part of a Tlön Projects compiled, imaginary collection. Imaginary because Tlön Projects can use the works, yet does not own them and the collection’s composition – collated as it is from international collections – solely exists within Tlön Projects.
In the short story The book of sand (El libro de arena, 1975) by Jorge Luis Borges a man comes to possess a very unusual book. The pages are numbered in accordance with an unfathomable system that keeps changing. Sections keep being added. The pages seem to grow from the book. Once closed, then re-opened not a single paragraph, illustration or chapter can be re-found ever again. Time and time again, entirely new texts and images are combined in new ways.
This illustrates the nature of Tlön Projects’ fabulous collection. It changes. Works are removed, works are added from time to time. Oeuvres are enriched, works from series reunited, strangers become friends and outsiders suddenly get to join in. The whole thing keeps changing character. As soon as you try to get a grip on it, it runs away between your fingers like sand. The collection will never be complete and that isn’t a goal unto itself, but a tool for recombining the collection’s fragments to tell new stories and make viewers think.
The imaginary collection constitutes the point of departure for Tlön Projects’ programme which will be nomadic in nature. In close cooperation with partner institutions, Tlön Projects will initiate a satellite programme deploying to various international locations with its 'collection as a guest'. This programme will be developed by fellow curators, temporarily engaged by Tlön Projects or curators linked to an institution, a host that will welcome the collection with an exhibition or other form of presentation. Other means of publicising research on the collection include: publications, online concepts, case studies, interviews, lectures, performances and screenings.
Tlön Projects is a non-profit organisation (with PBO status) initiated by Chris Bestebreurtje and Petra Kuipers.