+31 (0)6 24 76 95 80
+31 (0)6 14 19 81 30
Dick Pellegrom - treasurer
Tlön Projects Foundation is a non-profit organisation granted with the Dutch cultural ANBI status. This means we are registered with the Dutch tax authorities as a Cultural Public Benefit Organisation. Donations to support Tlön Projects are tax deductible.
For residents abroad there are similar rules regarding gifts and tax advantages. Please find more information at your local tax authorities.
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© Tlön Projects, 2018
In the story Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius (1940), Argentinian author Jorge Louis Borges (1899 - 1886) describes Tlön, a fictional planet where things fade away, and even disappear, as soon as they are forgotten and no longer observed.
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 from time to time, works are added. 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.
A database system has been developed by Uqbar Office to provide insight into the imaginary collection. The database is clearly laid out in a very image-oriented manner. The system provides optimum space for images, film previews, sound excerpts, background information, reference material, exhibition histories, installation guidelines, protocols, artists’ notes and other knowledge and facts about the work of art. The works are listed alphabetically in accordance to the artist’s surname. Private data such as owner, provenance and value are hidden from prying eyes.
Curators, thinkers and authors will be invited to access the imaginary collection for research purposes so scenarios can be developed for exhibitions, innovative presentations and fleeting activities that will spotlight the works from the collection.
Tlön Projects operates from an office in Amsterdam. Our ambition is to locate our head office at a location far from the usual centres of artistic production, on untilled land; a fertile habitat. The building will function as a laboratory, will offer residencies, house a library, constitute a knowledge centre and will be a meeting place. The place will provide calm and space to reflect. So entirely new scenarios can be developed for the visual arts unhampered by the past.
The laboratory will be a research come work space for curators, authors, thinkers and artists providing opportunities for experimentation within contemporary art’s vocabulary. It will be a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration between artistic, academic and social practices. The lab will become Tlön Projects’ permanent core. It will be where Tlön Projects’ Satellite Programme will be developed. The latter will be displayed at other locations, orbiting 'planet Tlön' like a satellite.
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: young independent curators who will thereby gain experience working with the givens of a particular collection, further enhancing their talents. The curators can also be linked to an institution, a host that will welcome the collection with an exhibition or other form of presentation. In both cases there will be close cooperation as well as joint vision and ambition.
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 initiated by Chris Bestebreurtje and Petra Kuipers.