La La La Human Steps


A Selection From The Collection Of  Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

16 February – 6 May 2012

Artists: Vito Acconci, Bas Jan Ader, Yael Bartana, Sebald Beham, Erhard Schön, Niklas Stoer, John Bock, David Claerbout, Pieter Coecke van Aelst, Peter Feiler, Yang Fudong, Cyprien Gaillard, Šejla Kamerić, Paul Kooiker, Inez van Lamsweerde, Erik van Lieshout, Aernout Mik, Melvin Moti, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Bruce Nauman, Joachim Patinir, Anri Sala, Cindy Sherman, Salla Tykkä, Marijke van Warmerdam, Andro Wekua, Guido van der Werve, Sylvie Zijlmans

Founded in Rotterdam in 1849, Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum has an international collection comprising of over 140 thousand works of classical, modern, and contemporary art. This selection from the collection of the museum brings together major works by 28 artists from around the world.

La La La Human Steps exhibition focuses on human relations, humanity and our struggle to cope with life as human beings. It is possible to translate these themes at historical, personal, and public levels. Hence the exhibition follows three main strands that take “human” as starting point, and complement one another.

Paintings and prints by Old Masters form the historical basis of the exhibition. Each one of these works harbors historical references for today’s world and reflects on themes such as curiosity, anxiety, fear, violence, sin, and failure. These fascinating works are grouped under the title Encounters in History.

The works in Personal Encounters relate to the subconscious, human emotions such as fear, solitude, greed, wrath, and lust, and to the individual’s desire to find answers to personal issues. They emphasize how our feelings, whether positive or negative, are an indispensable part of all of us as human beings.

The third part called Public Encounters looks at the ways in which individuals encounter one another in the public realm. The works in this strand display, from different viewpoints, how people encounter, confront, and conflict with one another in society.

The exhibition borrowsits title from the Canadian dance company La La La Human Steps. The company’s performance Amelia, also shown in the exhibition, refers to close encounters between human beings. Amelia can also be seen as a metaphor for an optimistic and courageous attitude.

There are countless interrelationships between the themes in the exhibition, the artists, and the positions they adopt. The exhibition raises questions that are common to every human being and attempt to suggest answers.

Curator: Sjarel Ex

Aernout Mik, 1961
Refraction, 2004
8’ 54”
Part of the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen


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