Exhibition ‘Mounira Al Solh & Bassam Ramlawi.’ And drawings by René Daniels.

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam proudly presents the first large-scale solo exhibition by Mounira Al Solh in The Netherlands. Al Solh’s work can be described as an inner conflict with social environments which impose national, cultural and religious identity. In that sense it is a reflection on the social and religious tensions in the country of her birth, Lebanon, which has undergone several civil wars and still occupies a sensitive position in the present eruptions in the Middle East. But here in The Netherlands one’s origins and culture are becoming an increasingly important aspect in social intercourse too. Al Solh approaches this fact with a mixture of autobiographical elements and humour – because how else can one approach censorship, repression, schizophrenia and the discordant culture in which everyone has a role?

A considerable part of the exhibition is devoted to the work of the figure Bassam Ramlawi. Ramlawi is a juice seller in Beirut who has studied art in The Netherlands, and since done portraits of people from around his shop in Beirut. A documentary shows that he is familiar with the oeuvre of Cindy Sherman and with a famous portraitist of the inter-war period, the German artist Otto Dix, but above all he admires the work of the Dutch artist René Daniëls.

Click here for more information about ‘Mounira Al Solh & Bassam Ramlawi’.

Reading group Postcolonialism, May 2nd 2011

In connection with The Marx Lounge, SMBA has organised an intensive public programme of reading circles, lectures, film screenings and artists’ presentations. Here you can read Andreas Zangger’s report of the Postcolonialism Reading Group of May 2nd. To read Jelle Bouwhuis’ report in Dutch click here.

Two artists on Congo

By Andreas Zangger

How do you present suffering in art? Laokoon (wikipedia)

How do Westerners see Congo, if they even look at all? What picture of Congo is presented to them? And what can art contribute to this picture? On Monday May 2nd SMBA hosted the reading group on postcolonialism organized by artist Joris Lindhout to discuss the book Congo – Een geschiedenis (Congo – A history, 2010) by David van Reybrouck and the film Episode III – Enjoy poverty (2008) by Renzo Martens, who was invited as an artist expert.


Cover David Reybrouck - Congo, A History (2010)


Opening ‘The Marx Lounge’ – Alfredo Jaar


Article Kerstin Winking ‘Postkolonialisme nieuwe stijl’ (Metropolis M)

Coco Fusco / Guillermo Gomez Pena - Two Undiscovered Amerindians visit Madrid (1992)

Click here to read Kerstin Winking’s Dutch article ‘Postkolonialisme nieuwe stijl’, a short introduction on the history of postcolonialism as published in Metropolis M.

Lecture Paul Goodwin ‘Curating Difference? Towards a Critical Post-Multiculturalism’.

Project ‘1975’  entails a theoretical program in which the disperse notions of post-colonialism in contemporary art are challenged. The kick-off of the theoretical backbone of Project ‘1975’ was a lecture by Paul Goodwin, curator of cross-cultural programmes at the Tate Britain.


Flash Art International on Project 1975

Carlos Garaicoa - La Razon (2010)

Click here to read Alexandre Ferrando’s article on Project 1975, as published in Flash Art International.