Wouter Davidts: Writings & Projects




Inside | Outside
Trading between Art and Architecture

4-6 May 2017
Cirque, KASK, Ghent, BE

Since the 1960s, art and architecture have experienced a radical and reciprocal trade: while artists have simulated ‘architectural’ means such as plans and models, built actual structures outside art institutions, or intervened directly into urban and public spaces, architects have evoked ‘artistic’ strategies such as sculptural objects and installations, inside art institutions, in exhibitions, biennales and art events. At the same time, art institutes themselves have combined both activities in an interdisciplinary, hybrid field, playing with the conditional differences between the literal and institutional boundaries of inside and out.

Expanding one’s practice was not only a matter of repudiating and transgressing the disciplinary limits and medium-related dogmas of modernism, however. It was also a question of choosing and evaluating instruments. After all, when “there’s only art” (Burgin) or when “everything is architecture” (Hollein), the methods and concepts of cultural practice, as well as the status of disciplinary objects, are up for grabs.

The conference Inside | Outside focused on specific examples or ‘cases’ of the two-way directions of transaction: artists adopting architectural means on the one hand, and architects adopting artistic strategies on the other. In particular, it studied both historical and contemporary examples of the transposition of means and strategies from architecture to art, and vice versa, up to the point where their status, meaning or function is dislodged and transformed.

The conference Inside | Outside investigated the potential openings and possible deadlocks of such exchanges, both in terms of the means and strategies they displace and the context in which they happen—that is, inside or outside institutional spaces and venues. In this sense, the interest lied less in how means and strategies mobilise disciplines than the other way around.

Each speaker was invited to discuss a singular project that exemplifies the reciprocal trade between art and architecture. Papers addressed iterations of the current phenomenon of art institutions commissioning architects to produce temporary, largely function-less pavilions and installations; the exhibition of architecture; collaborations between artists and architects; and the use of architecture as a medium or subject by artists.


Keynote Lectures:

04/05/2017 : Sarah Oppenheimer, New York, US
05/05/2017 : John Körmeling, Eindhoven, NL
Paper presentations 05-06/05/2017:

Angelique Campens (KASK Ghent ), Guy Châtel (UGent), Wouter Davidts (UGent), Mark Dorrian (The University of Edinburgh), Susan Holden (University of Queensland), Maarten Liefooghe (VUB), Mark D. Linder (Syracuse University) John Macarthur (University of Queensland), Philip Metten (KASK Ghent), Ashley Paine (University of Queensland), Emily E. Scott (ETH Zurich), Léa-Catherine Szacka (Oslo School of Architecture and Design), Annalise Varghese (University of Queensland), Stefaan Vervoort (UGent), Stephen Walker (The University of Manchester), Rosemary Willink (University of Queensland)
The conference Inside | Outside: Trading between Art and Architecture was the inaugural event of ‘Is Architecture Art?,’ a research project of the Centre for Architecture, Theory, History and Criticism (ATCH), at the School of Architecture, University of Queensland (AUS) in partnership with the Department of Architecture & Urban Planning, Ghent University (BE). The project is funded by a Discovery Grant of the Australian Research Council (ARC). More information on the team and the ongoing research is available on the project website: https://isarchitectureart.com

The conference has been organized in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK), School of Arts, Ghent (BE).

* MASTER CLASS ‘Accelerazione’


02.11 – 06.11. 2015

'Accelerazione: 9 works by 8 artists of the Herbert Foundation' Herbert Foundation, Gent (installation view)

‘Accelerazione: 9 works by 8 artists of the Herbert Foundation’, Herbert Foundation, Gent (installation view)

Taking its clue from Mario Merz’s installation Accelerazione = sogno, numeri di Fibonacci al neon e motocicletta fantasma, the motorcycle shown in 1972 on the curving walls of the vestibule of the Fredericianum in Kassel at the Documenta 5, the exhibition Accelerazione presented 9 works of eight pivotal artists in the collection of the Herbert Foundation: Carl Andre, Gilbert & George, Jannis Kounellis, Richard Long, Mario Merz, Bruce Nauman, Giulio Paolini and Gerhard Richter. The exhibition advanced these eight artists as key protagonists in the swift changes in art and art practice in the second half of the 20th century at both sides of the Atlantic. Rearticulating the role and meaning of the artwork and the artist, as well as questioning the function and significance of the studio and the museum, each radically fuelled new modes of understanding of the aesthetic and societal status art. During an era deeply marked by social upheaval and political turmoil and by major economical and industrial shifts, they deployed their respective practices in different media and with a wide array of forms, materials and tools.

13 Accelerazione

‘Accelerazione: 9 works by 8 artists of the Herbert Foundation’, Herbert Foundation, Gent (installation view)

Participants to the Master Class were invited to explore the art historical and critical comprehension that was to be gained from a sustained focus on a single artwork. Taking the agency of the artwork as the main point of departure, participants were encouraged to develop new ways of enhancing the historical and critical reading of an artwork by adopting different perspectives and methodologies. If an artwork potentially signals a decisive moment in (art) history or, as Merz’s title seems to suggest, even speeds up historical change, the critical task then is to map and register the effects in the distinctive domains that it was and maybe still is operative in. To this end three particular frames of reference were brought into play, that is, of work (oeuvre), publicness (exhibition) and discourse (criticism) respectively.

Thanks to:
Anton & Annick Herbert

Samantha Epps (UK), Katherine Jackons (CA), Edwin Deen (NL), Angela Bartholomew (US), Raphaël Julliard (F), Laura Wolf (DE), Mearg Negusse (DE), Aileen Treusch (DE), Nina Herbosch (BE), Louis De Mey (BE)

Wouter Davidts, Ghent University (UGent)
Robert Slifkin, The Institute of Fine Arts of New York University (NYU)

Maarten Liefooghe, Ghent University (UGent)
Stefaan Vervoort, Ghent University (UGent)
Veerle Thielemans, Terra Foundation

The Master Class was generously supported by:

duvel logo terra logo

* Lecture Series Orban Space: Luc Deleu – T.O.P. office



* Métamatic Artists’ Lecture Series

* MASTERCLASS : Luc Deleu-T.O.P. Office: Orban Space

21-25 March, 2011Stroom Den Haag

The masterclass Luc Deleu-T.O.P. Office: Orban Space intended to unravel the complex oeuvre of Belgian architect-artist Luc Deleu from the late 1960s on through today. The aim was to investigate the work of Deleu within art and architecture historical frameworks, as well as position his practice in more broad social and political contexts.

Guided by an international team of experts, 21 international master students (NL, BE, US, UK) worked with the full scope of visual and discursive material available on Deleu, the result of which was be publicly presented at the end of the week in the exhibition space of Stroom The Hague.

Participants were invited to attend a program of public lectures, as well as join an editorial session for the upcoming book and exhibition on Luc Deleu-T.O.P. Office (i.c.w. Stroom Den Haag & Valiz Publishers Amsterdam) with the following contributors (a.o.) : Maarten Delbeke – Aglaia Konrad – Felicity Scott – Luc Deleu – John Macarthur – Marjolijn Dijkman – Guy Châtel – Metahaven (Vinca Kruk/Daniel van der Velden) – Stefaan Vervoort – Manfred Pernice – Wouter Davidts – UP (Koenraad Dedobbeleer/Kris Kimpe) – Astrid Vorstermans – Arno Van Roosmaelen – Francien van Westrenen.

The masterclass was organized by the Research Master Program Visual Arts, Media & Architecture (VAMA) of VU University Amsterdam (www.visualartsmediaarchitecture.wordpress.com), in collaboration with Stroom Den Haag, deBuren and Fonds BKVB (www.stroom.nl; http://www.deburen.eu; http://www.fondsbkvb.nl).

Further information is available on: http://www.stroom.nl/activiteiten/manifestatie.php?m_id=2031974


17-18 Febuary, 2011

Rijksmuseum Twenthe / Faculteit Art & Design, ArtEZ Hogeschool voor de Kunsten

Enschede, NL

The two-day symposium Holland-America studies the artistic relationship and dialogue between Europe and the United States in 1950s and 1960s. While this liaison is all too often portrayed as one of rivalry and competition, epitomized by the waning of Paris and the rising of New York, it has equally well been one of association and exchange, taking place in then expanding international networks of artists, critics, and curators.

The symposium Holland-America will focus on the role and position of the Netherlands played in this transatlantic exchange. It intends to unravel the complex history of the distribution and the reception of American art and artists in the Netherlands in the first two decades after World War II. The aim is to explore the interchange between two countries with a shared social and economical history yet with distinct art historical traditions. Who were the key players in the transatlantic traffic of people, ideas and artworks? Which exhibitions or art events could be identified as major moments of intercontinental exchange?

* 17 February : Day 1: invited speakers: David Anfam, Wouter Davidts, Jonneke Jobse, Diederik Oostdijk, David Raskin, Caroline Roodenburg-Schadd and Rogier Schumacher

Keynote lecture: Jo Baer, followed by a conversation with Jeremiah Day.

Location: Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Gobelinzaal (www.rijksmuseumtwenthe.nl)

Tickets: 17,50 Euro (including entry to the Rijksmuseum Twenthe and lunch). Please register at: servicedesk@rijksmuseumtwenthe.nl with notification of ‘symposium abstract usa’ before February 11.

* 18 February : Day 2: graduate speakers, selected via an international call for papers: Evelyn Austin, Catherine Dossin, Carl Jacobs, Janna Schoenberger, Daniël van der Poel, Marin Sullivan and Jesse van Winden.

Location: ArtEZ Academie voor Art & Design, Enschede, Collegezaal 2 (www.artez.nl)

Tickets: Free entry

Download Full Programme Here : HOLLAND_AMERICA symposium

The symposium Holland-America takes place within the context of the exhibition Abstract USA 1958-1968: In the Galleries at the Rijksmuseum Twenthe (Enschede, NL; http://www.rijksmuseumtwenthe.nl). The event is organized by the Department of Art History, VU University Amsterdam (www.let.vu.nl), in collaboration with Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede; Fine Art Academy, ArtEz Academie voor Art & Design, Enschede (www.artez.nl); and WIELS, Centre for Contemporary Art, Brussels (www.wiels.org). It benefited from the generous financial support of the Research Fund and the Graduate School of the Faculty of Arts, VU University Amsterdam; and the Embassy of the United States in the Netherlands.

* CONFERENCE Hiding Making – Showing Creation

Strategies in Artistic Practice from the 19th to the 21st Centuries

7-8 January 2011

Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Rijksakademie, Amsterdam

Registration: http://www.mythenvanhetatelier.nl/activiteiten/symposium-hiding-making-showing-creation/registration-form

Information: http://www.mythenvanhetatelier.nl

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