sonsbeek20→24, entitled ‘force times distance – on labour and its sonic ecologies’, will run in Arnhem, the Netherlands, from July 2nd through August 29th, 2021, celebrating the opening of its 12th edition.
Amidst everything that has and is still going on, what is silenced and what reverberates? What is revealed and what is ignored? Is solidarity resonating? Do we perceive its echoes while some people keep being denied breath?
For some, these times are merely bundles of repackaged war metaphors and symbolic gestures that mirror the familiar cycles of inequalities and histories of labour injustices, while for others the pressure of immense uncertainties and deprivation are relatively unknown and pose new challenges. So how do we really show up for each other? How do we work through radical forms of intergeographical and intergenerational solidarity that are embodied, communal, and not merely consumed, commodified, and therefore fleeting?
The curatorial framework of sonsbeek20 24, centred around labour and its sonicities, connects a millenary history crossing times and geographies to the present moment, through a multitude of voices, sounds, and ripples. It invites us to listen to the sounds relegated to the ‘edges’ of the ‘main’ motive, to the whispered stories, to those passed through singing and through story-telling, and embodied narratives. An edition that inhabits the absence from the dominant image. An edition that draws particular attention to that which has been written otherwise, in singing, playing, performing, dancing, caring, in polyphonic rhythms and multiple motherless-tongues thanks to which memories, traditions, spiritualities, entire cosmologies crossed oceans and deserts. This edition aims to reveal the complex labour relations and inequalities that show who is (un)seen, who is (in)dispensable, who is seemingly worth our applause, and who is fawningly silent.
Ibrahim Mahama, Parliament of Ghosts, 2019. 2nd class train seats, train workshop lockers, school cabinets and archive material including 1st class carriage lining, blueprints, photographs, school exercise books, metal shavings from re-conditioning train wheels and other salvaged materials. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and White Cube. This work is presented in collaboration with Museum Arnhem. Originally commissioned by Manchester International Festival and the Whitworth, The University of Manchester and premiered at the Whitworth for MIF19. Image courtesy of sonsbeek20→24. © Django van Ardenne
With more than 250 contributions and artistic positions in 13 different locations, sonsbeek20→24 expands its original format of an exhibition in Arnhem’s Park Sonsbeek, to a multiplicity of manifestations in and beyond the city of Arnhem. Including aeroplane hangars, vaults, military schools, radio, museums, a private foundation, two churches, a festival, a guardhouse, community libraries and centres, barbershops, a.o., this first public edition questions and stretches the notion of public space and public art.
By expanding its time frame until 2024 and initiating a deceleration process, sonsbeek20→24 stages a continuous public and educational programme choreographed at different scales that will include a series of demonstrations, events, lectures, workshops, performances, and listening sessions. sonsbeek20→24 is committed to establishing long-term relations between artists and their practices, local communities and institutions, as well as different public sites and their everyday visitors.
Werker Collective with Gleb Maiboroda and studio bonbon, Textiles of Resistance: Growing, Weaving, Printing, Archiving, 2021. Installation, metal frames, silkscreen prints on recycled textiles, handwoven textiles, archival material, series of workshops. Commissioned for sonsbeek20→24. Image courtesy of sonsbeek20→24. © Django van Ardenne
An educational programme built together with artists, activists, and community members from Arnhem and its surroundings will be looking at the notion of syncopation in an attempt to build a collective score. By drawing inspiration from the relation between labour and time within a number of African communities, this programme will conjure the space of the laborious as a space of celebration, of transmission of knowledge, of connectedness and of reflection, too.
This 12th edition of sonsbeek—the pathbreaking quadrennial for art in public space, is co-curated by Antonia Alampi, Amal Alhaag, Zippora Elders and Aude Christel Mgba, curatorial support by Krista Jantowski, under the artistic direction of Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung.
Olu Oguibe, Sex Work Is Honest Work, 2021. Text, glass tube neon lights, 1200 x 90 cm. Commissioned for sonsbeek20→24. Image courtesy of sonsbeek20→24. © Django van Ardenne
Artists and collectives in the exhibitions include: Julieta Aranda, Leo Asemota, Sam Auinger, The Black Archives, Cheick Diallo, Ndidi Dike, Justine Gaga, Ellen Gallagher, Antonio Guzman in collaboration with Iva Jankovic, Louis Henderson and João Polido Gomez, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami and Belinda Zhawi, Yinka Ilori, Anne Duk-Hee Jordan, Mae-Ling Lokko and Gustavo Crembil, Ibrahim Mahama, Oscar Murillo, Hira Nabi, Olu Oguibe, Wendelien van Oldenborgh and Erika Hock, Laure Prouvost, raumlaborberlin, Willem de Rooij, Nader Mohamed Saadallah, Mithu Sen, Marinella Senatore, Farkhondeh Shahroudi, Libita Sibungu, Buhlebezwe Siwani, Jennifer Tee, Sunette L. Viljoen, Omer Wasim, Werker Collective, and Alida Ymele, as well as historical positions by stanley brouwn, Sedje Hémon, Imran Mir, and Abdias do Nascimento.
Contributors to the first of five readers to be published for sonsbeek20→24 include: Amal Alhaag, Simone Atangana Bekono, Anivia Beylard, Panashe Chigumadzi, Danielle Child, Ibrahim Cissé, Precious Colette, Léon-Gontran Damas, Kemigisha, Kodwo Eshun, Philomena Essed, Iheb Guermazi, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Jana Keijdener, Chenjerai Kumanyika, Lionel Manga, Maurizio Lazzarato, Guy Ossito Midiohouan, Anne Moraa, Alia Mossallam, Djuwa Mroivili, Mwazulu Diyabanza, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, and Akila Richards.
The Black Archives in collaboration with Yinka Ilori, Sound Waves of Resistance, 2021. Archival material, various media. Commissioned for sonsbeek20→24. Image courtesy of sonsbeek20→24. © Django van Ardenne
sonsbeek20 24 will also be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue, published with Archive Books.
Contributors to the public and performance, radio and education formats in the course of sonsbeek20→24 summer manifestation include a.o.: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Krista Burger, Crystallmess, DAI, Mitchell Esajas, Quinsy Gario, Antonio Guzman and Iva Jankovic, HISK 2020-2021, Anneke Ingwersen, Anne Duk-Hee Jordan, Susanne Khalil Yusef, Richard Kofi with Simone Zeefuik, Sanne Landvreugd, Anwar Manlasadoon with Sahra Mohamed, Wayne Modest, Farida Nabibaks, Natuurcentrum Arnhem, Olu Oguibe, Wendelien van Oldenborgh and Erika Hock and Kleopatra Vorria, raumlaborberlin Radio, Ritmo Percussion, Romy Rüegger, Saas-Fee Summer Institute for Art presents Curating Noise: Reverberations and the Polyvocal with Christopher Cox and Cécile Malaspina and Warren Neidich, Mithu Sen, Marinella Senatore with Nandhan Molinaro and Elisa Zucchetti (ESPZ) and Tamar Harosh, Jennifer Tee, Under The Table, Marjolein Vogels.
Partners and locations Museum Arnhem, ArtEZ University of the Arts, Kröller-Müller Museum, Eusebius, Collectie De Groen, Cultureel Centrum Rozet, Showroom Arnhem, WALTER books, Waalse kerk, Stadsvilla Sonsbeek, Toneelgroep Oostpool, Nationaal Park De Hoge Veluwe, The Yarn, Machinery of Me, DeHangar.art, Focus Filmtheater, Dutch Art Institute (DAI), HISK Gent, Trinfinity/ART+, ArtEZ Studium Generale, A Beautiful Mess, Omstand, Besiendershuis, RTV Arnhem, Omroep Gelderland, Proeftuin Oost via IJsselbiënnale, Decolonial Futures, Framer Framed, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Centraal Museum Utrecht.
Buhlebezwe Siwani, Ibutho, 2019. Wool, 220 x 100 x 60cm. Unique. Courtesy of the artist and Madragoa, Lisbon. This work is presented in collaboration with Museum Arnhem. Image courtesy of sonsbeek20→24. © Victor Wennekes
Extended collaborations Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Centraal Museum Utrecht, various conjunctions with national and international partners.
Main sponsors Gemeente Arnhem, Provincie Gelderland, Mondriaan Fonds, and Veluwe op 1.
Supporting grants and sponsors Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Ammodo, BankGiro Loterij Fonds, VSBfonds, BPD Cultuurfonds, Ondernemersfonds Arnhem, Fonds Cultuurparticipatie, Pictoright, BNG Cultuurfonds, Nederlands Letterenfonds, Jaap Harten Fonds, Pauwhof Fonds, Rabobank Stimuleringsfonds, Stichting Stokroos, Netherland-America-Foundation, Hendrik Muller Fonds, Lira Fonds, Zadelhoff Cultuur Fonds, and Haëlla Stichting.