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Maria Barnas interviews Crystal Z. Campbell during Museumnacht!


Especially for this year’s Museumnacht (museum night), artist, writer and Rijksakademie advisor Maria Barnas will interview resident Crystal Z. Campbell.

Maria Barnas has asked Crystal to reread her favourite books and to come talk to her about why they are important to her and her work. So during museumnacht you can come listen to this interview!  Additionally a mini-exhibition of Crystal’s work is on display throughout the night.

For the complete overview of Museumnacht visit our website.


Maria Barnas interviewing resident Jason Gomez

Don’t miss the bookshop

The bookshop has never been this big says Marietta Dirker who runs the bookshop (“something with books, but not in the library this time.”) And it’s also very varied: there are screenprints by Dušan Rodić (€50), card sets by Danielle van Ark (€5), a collection of Fire Guys in front of burning houses by Idan Hayosh (€12) and a very subtle designed essay about I Live to Fight (No More) Forever by Crystal Z. Campbell (€3). Some things are only sold on request, like sketches by Admire and work by Krsnamacar. If you want Pawel Kruks publication you have to call him, and he will make one for you.

Art criticism is trending this week

While the rest of the building is buzzing with visitors and artists, the Rijksakademie library is still a place of tranquility. This concentration might be needed for the participants of the workshop art criticism, who’ll write a text during RijksakademieOPEN under the guidance of art critic Rob Perrée. On Wednesday they had their first meeting, to view the works and discuss which artist they’ll write about. The next days will be dedicated to writing and research, and on Sunday the texts will be discussed together in the library again.

But the future of art criticism is not only a topic at the Rijksakademie this week. #artcriticism was even trending on Twitter, mainly because of the 2 day symposium I am for an art criticism that… organized by the Stedelijk Museum and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art. You can read more about it here and here. The symposium is organized on the occasion of the 2012 Prijs voor de Jonge Kunstkritiek (Young Art Critic’s Prize), which winners were announced yesterday evening. And one of the winners, Marieke Ladru, is actually guiding the participants of our workshop. We’ll publish some of the results later on.

Images SF, text RR

We don’t know how he found the time but Pawel Kruk managed to extend his amazing footage about the RijksakademieOPEN with images he shot during the weekend, between performances. Watch this video for a closer look on what happens inside the Rijksakademie: the workshops, the Prix de Rome, the library, the collections, and the most important event of the year - the open studio’s.

Another afternoon in the library

Today I received the first drafts of our writers who participated in the workshop art criticism, organised together with Domein voor Kunstkritiek. Yesterday they spent the afternoon discussing their texts together (for more than 3 hours) and on Wednesday Domein voor Kunstkritiek and this blog will publish their final critiques. Marloes van der Wiel (who studied art education at Artez) told me she had difficulty with the short amount of time, but found the meetings with Rob very educational. Gerben Willers (curator at showroom MAMA) on the other hand liked the strict deadline which pushed him to perform. The workshop taught him to approach the works from a different perspective.

"The Rijksakademie is not a museum"

Today you can still join a special tour to visit the Rijksakademie collections, which takes you to the old library. Besides the extensive library with books on different disciplines, like for example perspective or anatomy, you will also have a chance to see sketches, studies and drawings of Jan Wandelaar, Jan Veth and many more.

The tour participants of one of the previous tours seemed to be experienced art lovers or maybe even artists themselves, having many technical questions. Also one of the visitors was interested why the presented artworks were not exhibited around the building but being hidden in the library. Marietta explained that the Rijksakademie is not a museum. The collection is available for research, and some of the artworks can be loaned but for the Rijksakademie they are mainly a way of documenting the artists who have been here and the development of the institution as such.  

(Text and image by AF)

Bookshop musthaves

Especially for the RijksakademieOPEN the bookstore has been moved to a bigger space on the first floor. Marietta Dirker, librarian, tells me why. ‘We wanted to give visitors more space so they can sit down and flip through the books and enjoy them. What you see laying on this table are the publications by the resident artists. The prices range from 1 euro to 1.500 euro’s.’

I bet the most expensive book is one of kind right?
‘Indeed, it’s made by Irina Popova, a Russian artist. The book is a reflection of the time she spent with a Russian family. It consists mostly of photos and letters.’

There is so much on this table, can you point out your favorite book?
‘No absolutely not, that’s way too difficult. I do love the work by Lei Saito.’ She opens a box with delicate engravings. ‘Also this other small book I really like, it’s full of photo’s of firefighters.’ Another special publication is the one by Alberto De Michele. The book is wrapped and I have instructions not to open it. People have to go into his studio to see it.’

Which book sells the best?

‘Our own portable guide. I think that’s because this year it’s design is very nice. It’s also the first year we sell it, other years it was for free. If people buy it, they support the Rijksakademie.’

Opposite of the bookshop some beautiful Japanese books from around 1900 are on display. They hint at the wide ranging and very diverse library available to the artists, and also for te public throughout the rest of the year. Nowadays all residents donate their publications to the library. I can only imagine artists in the far away future turning their pages, thirsty for inspiration.  

(Text WVL, images JB)