Thinking Through Things

How can analysis take shape? The many different artefacts collected in Thinking Through Things together answer this question. As projects accompanying the theses of eleven rMA Cultural Analysis students from the University of Amsterdam, these artworks, images and objects are each products of individual thought processes, labour and archives: research in practice.

Heterogeneous in both subject matter and form, the exhibition includes video essays, textiles, performance poetry, visual works, sculpture and photography — on topics as diverse as astrology, alt-right camp, smart cities, Islam Nusantara and drone cinematography. Each student’s artefact in this way attempts to put the complex and time-consuming process of cultural research into tangible form. Concepts, deconstructions, new connections and personal reflections are visualised, physically formed or put into new words — each looking to make their ideas manifest beyond the confines of the academy.

At the same time, these artefacts offer new meanings that exceed the written work that preceded them. Rehearsing the maxim of Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis founder Mieke Bal, these projects ‘let the object speak back’ — forging associations, providing unique experiences and shedding new light on the subject matter in ways not anticipated by their creators, nor in the texts they complement. Never foreclosing the production of knowledge, these objects’ analyses continue beyond their authors, and after their work is done.

In this sense, the exhibition begins and continues to think past the page, through things.

The opening of Thinking Through Things will take place at 4bid, OT301 at 20.00 on Friday June 1. The exhibition also remaining open the following Saturday June 2 12.00-18.00.

List of contributors:

  • Rijk Kistemaker – Camp Milo (Video essay)
  • Flora Woudstra – Cosmic Resonance (Video essay)
  • Roselinde Bon – S/Censor (Photo project)
  • Erwin Hurenkamp – Touching/Feeling (Textile)
  • Luca Soudant – Traces of a Momentary Queer Community (Sketches)
  • Erica Moukarzel – I Sometimes Find You in the Strangest of Places, and Wonder, Did I Ever Leave? (Video)
  • Ilse van der Spoel – Bird’s-eye Views: Exploring Aerial Vision in Cinema (Video essay)
  • José Luis Viesca Rivas – Travelling Crystals: Dissidentifications (Photo project)
  • Ana Mustafa – Leather Hard (Clay sculpture)
  • Isadora Ponce – Sonic Textualities (Audio poem, text & video)
  • Corina van Beelen – The Myth of Exceptionalism (Mixed media linoleum print)