Valentijn Byvanck

Theme: Sensorial Knowledge

Reading the Senses

Two years ago Marres, House for Contemporary Culture in Maastricht, launched a program focused on the senses to develop alternatives to the visually induced cognitive model that rules most exhibition spaces. We wanted to explore a vocabulary for the senses that bridged the world of art and everyday life. Exhibitions such as The Winter Anti Depression Show was about depression and sensory stimuli; Undertones was about sound, the body and architecture; Intimacy was about bodily signalled spiritual comfort. These exhibitions offered immersive spaces and experiences that need to find a pattern and a language to be communicated.

Valentijn Byvanck holds a PhD in Cultural History from New York University. Currently, he is director of Marres, House for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht, Netherlands. He previously worked for Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, at the Zeeuws Museum and as Artistic Director for the Museum of National History, Leiden, until 2012. He writes for De Volkskrant and has made tv programs about contemporary art.