Angela Bartholomew

Theme: Curating Public Knowledge

Painting into a Corner: Mediation in the Age of the Discursive Turn

This presentation will show that The Pilgrim, the Tourist, the Flâneur (and the Worker) (2011) – the final installment of the four-part Play Van Abbe program at the Van Abbemuseum – reveals, both in form and content, the problematic institutional condition in which art finds itself in the midst of our so-called discursive turn. As critique has become a short-circuited practice – critique of, by and for the museum – and didacticism surges to the forefront of curatorial aims, museums have multiplied the means by which art is interpreted. In such a situation, it seems imperative to ask: between all the layers of mediation, is there any room left for art?

Angela Bartholomew is a doctoral candidate in Art History at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (VU), where her dissertation focuses on the impact of institutional mediation on artistic practices from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s in the Netherlands and Belgium. She is Editor of Kunstlicht, an academic journal for visual art and culture, and co-editor of The Monument Papers, the discursive component of Everything For You, a project by the Belgian artist Jan De Cock (2013-present).