— Delphine Bedel

Lecture: X-Change. Investigating the exchange of ideas, concepts and materials between art, academia and audiences

Friday 25 May, 2 pm – 4 pm/4.30 pm
Round Table Conversation in the context of the manifestation and exhibition ‘The Return of the Shreds’ of Ni Haifeng and Kitty Zijlmans.

Investigating the exchange of ideas, concepts and materials between art, academia and audiences.

The Return of the Shreds covers a wide range of projects and installations, such as the title project in which 9 tons of textile shreds are displayed in the largest room of Scheltema; a re-installation of Of the Departure and the Arrival (2005) in which every day objects were made into blue & white porcelain objects in China, and send back to the Netherlands; Shrinkage 10% questioning original and copy in a diminishing series of porcelain objects, and the Used Passports project asking people to hand in their invalid passport [a part of their past identity] and as such partaking in the project by being involved.

X-change is the main topic of the Round Table Conversation: exchanges and the subsequent changes in the processes of trade, between nations, cultures, concepts of art, and between art and scholarly fields/the sciences. Exchanges are rarely equal, mostly inequality is involved, power relations, rich and poor, etc, especially now in a globalizing world. These questions are underlying our project.

Kitty Zijlmans
(Art Historian, Chair)
Ni Haifeng
Roel Arkesteijn
Delphine Bedel
(artist, curator)
Jessica de Boer
(MA Governance & Sustainability)
Lene ter Haar
(curator Museum Het Domein)
Francesca Dal Lago (
Research Fellow Universiteit Leiden Contemporary Chinese Art)
Paola van de Velde
(art critic)
Janneke Wesseling
(lector KABK)

Research MA students Art History University of Leiden:
Thanavi Chotpradit, Margriet Krijgsman, Flora Lysen, Iberia Perez, Jianwei Wang

Thesises :
1. Many contemporary artworks make use of and reflect upon the mechanisms of the global economic system, the trade system, the postal system, the system of art institutions, etc., and by doing so they question the system from within  they criticize it by making use of it.

2. A large number of (mostly invisible) people are involved in the production and dissemination of art, e/g Ni Haifeng’s artworks. The artist comments on the economic/social dimensions by making visible the producers and underlying processes of exchanges within the production chain.

3. Art is a site for cultural and societal discourse. In this globalizing world, art can tell us something of our personal and communal existence.

Scheltema voor actuele kunst
Marktsteeg 1 / hoek Oude Singel
2312 CS Leiden

From May 24 – July 29, de Lakenhal in Scheltema presents the manifestation and exhibition  ‘The Return of the Shreds’ of the artist Ni Haifeng and art historian Kitty Zijlmans. Their cooperation is part of the artist/scholar research project ‘CO-OPs: Inter-territorial explorations in art and science’ that runs within the research program ‘Transformations in Art and Culture’ which is funded by NWO/Geesteswetenschappen (see: www.co-ops.nl). The idea for the CO-OPs project emerged from the assumption that art and science (including the natural and social sciences, and the humanities) are not isolated developments but are fed by their mutual dynamics. The central theme of the project discusses and investigates the question which new insights may be generated by linking artistic-reflective thinking and scientific-analytical thinking. Also, which (reflections on) processes of knowledge production could emerge when artists and scientists cooperate.