Artistic Research: Sharing Methods and Practices with Rosanne Jonkhout and Clare Butcher

February 5 | 15:00-17:30 | Vox-Pop Creative Space

Rosanne Jonkhout


Clare Butcher

The third meeting of the Artistic Research Research Group will take place February 5th from 15:00-17:30 at Vox-Pop Creative Space for the Humanities (Binnengasthuisstraat 9). During this meeting, Rosanne Jonkhout and Clare Butcher will both give a presentation on their research and practice. A short introduction and bio of the two presenters can be found in this invitation.

Rosanne Jonkhout

Rosanne’s practice centres around how a she might be part of dismantling coloniality when she is a product of it herself. Can a white person contribute to decoloniality without further obscurification and persistent misconceptions? Her research led to identifying the ways in which her own discipline, the European contemporary art-world, is entangled with coloniality and whiteness. In her presentation for ARRG Rosanne will share her research and her findings with the participants of ARRG. How can a decolonial, white contemporary artistic practice be sustainable?

Rosanne Jonkhout graduated studying Fine Art at ArtEZ Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Arnhem in 2016 and finished the research master Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam last summer. Besides publishing texts and exhibiting work as part of her own practice and a collective, she currently works for the research department at Rietveld Academie and as artist assistant. Together with Nagaré Willemsen, Rosanne founded the collective ‘Rosanne & Nagaré’. This collective employs diverse media, ranging from performances to workshops, that centre vulnerability. In these installations, they create new realities that reconsider our daily life and hereby approach the conversation about decoloniality in a different way.

Clare Butcher: Grafting the Anarchive

How can anarchival approaches to the Johannesburg Biennale generate a methodology for decolonizing exhibition histories? 

The Johannesburg Biennale grafted itself into the last moments of apartheid South Africa’s cultural isolation in 1995. After the country’s first democratic elections its internal political turmoil was dialed to the max. And together with the gradual incorporating of the Global South into an emerging brave new “art world”, the Johannesburg Biennale’s brief existence stands as an interrupted testament of its time: a faded facsimile, a scattered un-archive. Having collapsed in 1997 in the face of compacted issues around its second edition, the full story of the biennial’s rise and fall has not yet been comprehensively narrated – even twenty years after its closure. And while comprehensive narration is not the aim of this research, there is indeed an art historical imperative to collate an account of Africa’s largest showing of international contemporary art to that date. But how that record is collated is also a matter of concern. Which sources of knowledge inform an archive that is as yet suspended, waiting to be shaped? How to even speak of producing exhibitions, Knowledge (capital K) and archives when these colonial constructs are themselves in an urgent process of disassembling and reimagining?

In the spirit of the “anarchive” – as conceived of by Erin Manning and the Senselab – this research particularly focuses on the second edition of the biennale – Trade Routes: History and Geography curated by Okwui Enwezor – which opened the same week as the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in South Africa; was the larger of the two biennale editions; more international in scope; and closed its doors early due to budget cuts. With these confluences in mind, the research draws on the importance of collective and personal accounts, as well as the significance of anecdotes, ephemera and idiosyncratic materials in constructing an unfaithful history of the event. Three bodies of personal collected materials – that of an artist in the exhibition, the only local member of the curatorial team, and the head of the African Institute for Contemporary Art (biennial foundation) – will offer a triangulated set of perspectives that begin to trace and trade the routes of the political, aesthetic, infrastructural making and breaking of the biennial. Through a collaborative process generated around these materials, shaped in conversation with other voices and bodies, I hope to develop an anarchival methodology which speaks to questions of the entanglements within and around such cultural encounters with notions of memory (re)construction and possible erasures of the past within post-colonial, post-apartheid art history. Could an embodied, multi-valent grafting together of other voices and accidental documents not yet claimed by any “official” archive inform a framework for decolonizing (and perhaps redeeming) the study of exhibitions?

Clare Butcher is an art educator from Zimbabwe, who cooks as part of her practice. She is coordinator of unsettling Rietveld Sandberg and teaches in both academies. She was aneducation Coordinator for documenta 14 and has taught at KABK in the Hague, the Piet Zwart Institute’s Master of Education in Art, and the University of Cape Town. Her own formal education includes an MFA from the School of Missing Studies, an MA in Curating the Archive from the University of Cape Town, and partici­pation in the De Appel Curatorial Program. Some collaborative and individual endeavours include Men Are Easier to Manage Than Rivers (2015); The Principles of Packing… on two travelling exhibitions (2012) and If A Tree… on the Second Johannesburg Biennale (2012).

This link will lead you to the shared ARRG file, here you can find the extra materials for past and upcoming meetings.